Day #35: Mastering Mindfulness
Here's a preview of a model in my upcoming guidebook on Mastering Mindfulness. This short post will give a brief overview of the model.
I think a lot. I contemplate how I live. I look at the different tasks I engage in and consider what they require of me versus what I demonstrate. I think about my relationships and interactions. I think about my habits, routines, and tendencies. I reflect on what I believe I can do better in different parts of my life - i.e. the personal, professional, and social domains. Taking all this into account, I try to estimate the percentage of my day my behaviour fits in each of the quadrants. It's a rough assessment, but It shows me where I will benefit from mindfulness practice and mindful action. It allows me to monitor times of progress towards mastery, and times that I slip. I hope you find it useful.
To unintentionally behave in ways that have negative impact is Mindless. This is Ignorant. We often act like this when we are on autopilot. It's ignorant because we go through the motions without really being aware, engaged and tuned into what is going on such that we can demonstrate effective action.
To intentionally behave in ways that have negative impact is Madness. This is Irresponsible. We often act like this when we are overwhelmed and unable to think straight, and when we're in self-destruct mode. It's irresponsible because there was some consciousness and awareness that our actions weren't optimal. However, we didn't access the calm and creativity to bring about positive action. We didn't exert the self-regulation or self-respect, and fell victim to self-sabotage.
To unintentionally behave in ways that have positive impact is Mysterious. This is Instinctive. We often act like this and don't even give ourselves credit. It's useful to take these wins and give yourself a pat on the back. We need not beat ourselves up too much over the times when Madness emerges, because their are Mysterious times when things click effortlessly for us. When we get into flow, our instincts kick into gear. Our consciousness is so focused that we actually lose self-consciousness. 'I' and 'action' become one and we can demonstrate incredibly effective performance. After our flow experience, we are in awe of what we have done and also a bit mystified about how we made it possible.
To intentionally behave in ways that have positive impact is Mindfulness. This is Insightful. We often act like this when we choose to engage our attention with what is going on in the moment. When we open up to what is relevant and real, and allow to pass the rest of the stimulus and noise. We focus on and filter moment-by-moment information within us and in our present context. Insight arises as we notice thoughts and feelings guide choices and actions, which brings a sense of trust in ourselves.
But wait, there's more! Nope, not steak knives. Even better!
If we practice and practice and practice being mindful in our lives, we become more deeply conscious and strong with our intention. We deliberately behave in ways that positively impact the world - for our benefit and for others.
We become Masterful. This is Inspired.
Becoming masterful takes practice.
Practice takes commitment.
Practice requires effort over time.
Practice involves perseverance in the face of challenge - met with equal measures of compassion.
Practice begs for tolerance to approach and experience inevitable discomfort met along the way - instead of avoiding what is real or necessary.
Whilst it might not be linear in our world where rationality feels right. Whilst it might not be fast in our world where we want everything to happen at light speed. Whilst it might not always feel like we're moving forward. We are well poised for the path if we trust that practice makes progress.
So important, it begs repeating...
Practice Makes Progress!