15 - 30 minutes
Purpose/Objectives - Quick Description
Take 10 minutes to step back and familiarize yourself with the present moment so that you get to experience a greater sense of focus, calm and clarity in your life.
What are you missing out on by being distracted? By not being present in the conversations you engage in? Our minds are lost in wandering thoughts 47% of the time… what a waste of brain power! Take a moment to examine your own mind and thoughts.
- Present the information in the Mindfulness article below - abbreviate as desired
- Have participants all take ten minutes to sit and be present in the moment (5 minutes if they can't handle it) . Ask them to focus on their heartbeat, on their breath, on the sensations of what is around them. Look into their own mind as a third party observer.
- What did they learn from the experience? How can this help in the long term?
Mindfulness is gaining in impact and popularity everyday and can help any group of participants achieve its intentions by non-judgmental focus of one's attention on the emotions and thoughts. But mindfulness takes practice. Once you are proficient, you will find that taking those ten minutes to center and ground your thoughts can help focus and refresh your mind for the entire day. Ironically, those ten minutes a day spent sitting and doing nothing, can end up being the most productive ten minutes of your entire day!
Read the article below in advance of the session
- Do this exercise in People Science groups and debrief in those groups
- Extend the practice throughout your life with purposeful pauses. With each Purposeful Pause below, practice noticing when the attention drifts and redirect it back to where you are now.
- Choose to start your day rather than letting the day start you—begin each day by noticing the sensations of the breath for a few breaths before jumping out of bed.
- Use transitions wisely—choose some days to drive to and from work without the radio or phone. When you arrive at your destination, allow yourself a few moments to sit in the car, noticing the breath.
- Nourish yourself—mindfully eat your lunch attending to the colors, taste, and smells of the food.
- Just walk between meetings—no emails or texts—feeling the feet on the floor, the air on the skin, and the possibility of greeting colleagues you pass rather than bumping into them while you text!
- Sit at your desk while your computer is turning on, noticing the sensations in the body as you sit.
People Science Data Capture:
15 - 30 minutes, be here now, focus, front of the room, intentionality, meditation, mindfulness, present moment, self
We live in an incredibly busy world. The pace of life is often frantic, our minds are always busy, and we're always doing something. So with that in mind, I'd like you just to take a moment to think, when did you last take any time to do nothing? Just 10 minutes, undisturbed? And when I say nothing, I do mean nothing. So that's no emailing, texting, no Internet, no TV, no chatting, no eating, no reading, not even sitting there reminiscing about the past or planning for the future. Simply doing nothing.
The present moment is so underrated. It sounds so ordinary, and yet we spend so little time in the present moment that it's anything but ordinary. There was a research paper that came out of Harvard, just recently, that said on average our minds are lost in thought almost 47 percent of the time. Forty-seven percent. At the same time, this sort of constant mind-wandering is also a direct cause of unhappiness.
Meditation is about familiarizing ourselves with the present moment. But we also need to know how to approach it in the right way to get the best from it. Most people assume that meditation is all about stopping thoughts, getting rid of emotions, somehow controlling the mind, but actually it's quite different from that. It's more about stepping back, seeing the thoughts clearly, witnessing it coming and going, emotions coming and going without judgment, but with a relaxed, focused mind.
What usually happens when we're learning to be mindful is that we get distracted by a thought. Let's say this is an anxious thought. So everything's going fine, and then we see the anxious thought, and it's like, "Oh, didn't realize I was worried about that." You go back to it, repeat it. "Oh, I am worried. Oh, I really am worried. Wow, there's so much anxiety." And before we know it, right, we're anxious about feeling anxious. And it's only in learning to watch the mind in this way that we can start to let go of those storylines and patterns of mind. But when you sit down and you watch the mind in this way, you might see many different patterns. You might find a mind that's really restless the whole time. Don't be surprised if you feel a bit agitated in your body when you sit down to do nothing and your mind feels like that. You might find a mind that's very dull and boring, and it's just, almost mechanical, it just seems it's as if you're getting up, going to work, eat, sleep, get up, work. Or it might just be that one little nagging thought that just goes round and round and round your mind. Well, whatever it is, meditation offers the opportunity, the potential to step back and to get a different perspective, to see that things aren't always as they appear. We can't change every little thing that happens to us in life, but we can change the way that we experience it.