Reading a newspaper article this morning as I was sipping my coffee and feeding the toast/hummus/avocado machine that is Bubba (she's a hipster babe, what can I do?), and I spluttered, a little. The article was about corporate mindfulness programmes to help workers deal with stress. It stated that corporate mindfulness was turning the workers into meek accepting drones. That such practices were getting rid of negative thinking and therefore glossing over, ignoring and not dealing with the root of the problem of working stress in the first place.
Let me tell you something …(just wait a mo while I climb up on this high horse here - hence the artists impression above ... righteous or what?)
And it is something that confuses many people.
They start to do this stuff because they want to get calm - and they do - but they also start to get a little bolshy as well.
They start to see all the places in their lives where they’ve meekly gone along, agreed, given their power away, not said or done the things they felt strongly about.
A regular practice comes along and a fire starts to burn within you, a quiet roar where you see all the places where you have compromised and played small. And boof! As well as calm and contentment you get clarity and JUICE to really live how you want to, you get the courage to go ahead with those difficult words or those difficult actions.
Part of mindfulness and meditation is about acceptance, for sure.
But it’s rational, completely rational acceptance. It’s realising how useless it is to get stressed about all the uncontrollable things that most people get upset about - it is accepting the things you cannot control, in other words. But it equally gives you the clarity to see where you can and want to change the things you CAN control.
And that is the key point that gets missed in this article and similar views. This practice will not numb you. It will not suppress you. It will not and does not turn you into a doormat. It makes you more alive, more You, not less.
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Go well! Arjuna
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