In honor of Mother’s Day this month, I am sharing a story with you about my Mom. The story describes a lesson on mindfulness. The date of the lesson was April 16, 1988. I remember the date because that was the day I was married and my Mom walked me down the aisle.
Like any nervous bride, I was in a trance and had fixated my gaze at the end of the aisle where the minister and my future husband stood in anticipation. My goal was in sight but I had completely blocked out the present. Then my Mom turned to me and whispered, “Pat, look around you. All these people are smiling at you.” My Mom’s words startled me out of my daze and I did indeed look around. Yes, there were all these happy faces looking at me. I still remember those faces and the names of the people who were there to share in my joy. I would have missed it all, including the memories, if my Mom hadn’t said something to me.
In our fast paced, multi-tasking world, how many of us miss details of the present moment while we rush toward the future? My Mom taught me a lesson in mindfulness long before it became a popular buzz word. Mindfulness isn’t new, though. The techniques of mindfulness are rooted in Buddhism and modern research supports the therapeutic benefits of learning to “stay in the moment”.
We are beginning to understand that mindfulness can play an important role in both our personal and professional lives. Mindfulness is simply being aware of the present moment.
Think about this. Self-awareness is the cornerstone of emotional intelligence. You must practice being aware of your own emotions, as you feel them, before you can learn how to manage your emotions. Once you are proficient with yourself, you can practice getting in tune with the emotions of others and as a consequence manage those relationships more effectively. As you become a more effective leader the productivity of your team improves.
My Mom inadvertently taught me mindfulness as I walked down the aisle. Her words enabled me to be in the moment, get in touch with what was happening in the here and now. Not only did I enjoy that wonderful moment as it was happening; it also gave me wonderful memories to hold onto for as long as I wish to hold them.
Let’s hear from you. Share with us one of your “mindfulness moments” that had a positive impact on you.