Mindfulness for the masses

28 October 2016 Written by Vicki Evans

My work pattern has changed. Instead of working from home I share an office one day a week. Going from working on my own to being surrounded by people on the phone or in discussion is very distracting. So I decided that headphones were the way forward, I could play my mindfulness app, reduce the distractions and become more productive.


What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is about focussing on the present moment. It is not about switching off our thoughts; that just won't happen it's more about noticing them, being curious about them, not judging them and letting them pass.

What are the benefits?
Building in mindful moments during the day can improve your well-being, leaving you feeling calmer and less stressed so more productive. Just what I needed as deadlines loomed for a new range I am developing.

Perfecting the practice
So last week as the office got busy, I calmly slipped the headphones into my ears and hit play on my mindfulness app. I had to turn up the sound as it wasn't very loud, I did it again as the meditation was barely audible. Now the sound was on maximum and I couldn't figure out what was wrong until I saw the uneasy shuffling of people around me as the app encouraged me to focus on my breathing ... in and out.

It suddenly dawned on me. My headphones weren't plugged into my phone properly and my mindfulness meditation was being broadcast around the office. I don't know the people well enough in the office yet to make a joke out of my incompetence. Instead I quickly plugged in the headphones, gave an embarrassing smile and shrug of the shoulders as if to say, silly me.

Funny in that moment I was very mindful of how I was feeling and the fact that my face had gone the colour of Acer leaves in the Autumn. As entrepreneurs around me worked on their businesses and spoke of gross margins, sales strategies and investment potential? I was focussing on my breathing ... in and out ...

Now the moment has passed and embarrassment subsides I know only too well that mindfulness can help entrepreneurs, professionals, busy mums and children alike. We all benefit from finding a moment of calm for ourselves during a busy day.

Not tried mindfulness yet here is a mindfulness exercise from our lavender and chamomile soap label to practice all in the time it takes for you to wash your hands.

Practise being present in the moment. Here's a meditation whilst washing your hands ... Think only of what you are doing:
• What temperature is the water you are washing your hands in?
• What do you notice about the lather of the soap?
• What aromas are you becoming aware of as the essential oils are released from the soap?
• What do you like about your hands?

Note to self - Check headphones are plugged in.


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