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The adventure that Mindfulness at Work proposes is not for the fainthearted, it takes commitment and discipline. It is a way of living rather than a moment of well being that cannot be sustained on the long run.
When we use the expression 'Mindfulness at Work' we refer to our intiative that takes place in the workplace. We also mean the fact of being mindful, when our being mindful IS at work, in action.
Because, for the time being, our activities take place in the workplace, we will essentially refer to the practice in this context while leaving the door open to expand well beyond if and when time will have come.
At work, when a person is stressed or overwhelmed by the quantity if difficulty of the work or the activity to be performed, the natural reaction is to think and speak a lot about this situation with oneself and others. It feeds the mental chatter and makes it hard to quiet the mind. At times, people end up spending more time thinking and explaining to themselves and others how much work they have to do than it would take to actually do it. This situation is symptomatic of the fact that the person has lost not only the necessary distance to appreciate the reality but also has no more access to the ability to size reasonably the importance and urgency of a given piece of work. This creates distress and prevent from moving on to a resourceful state. Taking some time out on a regular basis helps incredibly much to regain distance and enable to access again one’s own resources. There are various ways to take distance, some less healthy and with time limited effects, some healthy and sustainable on the long run to which mindfulness practices belong.
Our experience, in the context of the Mindfulness at Work project, has brought us in contact with four main categories of needs that motivate people to take part in the classes and events we offer:
The feedback we receive from participants shows that it is possible to learn new way of being at any stage in life. The participants underline the value of practicing in a group and that they could grow new and healthier habits.
Participants report a number of improvements:
Participants make the experience that life balance is not something one strives for but that one allows to happen by cultivating awareness. The experiences that participants make allow them to become aware of thoughts, physical sensations and feelings as they are without rejecting them or holding back on them. It is also about being able to live in the present moment without being trapped in the past or caught up planning the future. One becomes aware of the ongoing mental chatter, one’s own mental models that make us perceive the world around in a certain way and the ‘me centeredness’ that we are living in and causing to each one of us so much pain.