DOES MINDFULNESS MAKE LIFE MORE FUN?
MY Velvet Evolution is my year (Jan – Dec 2013) spent trying to have, find and embrace more FUN.
A quick reminder – What is MINDFULNESS?
MINDFULNESS* involves me being present (‘in the moment’), grateful and appreciative of what I have, and not what I have not, as well allowing me to engage with other peoples agenda’s and not just my own. (How many times have you phoned someone up and just ask them a question without asking what’s going on for them, or walked in someone’s office almost oblivious of saying Hello, Good Morning, or ,perhaps got a little ‘short’ with the kids as you try to get them out the house to your agenda without having managed their expectations first?!) Well the theory of MINDFULNESS means one should be present and so able to engage and manage reciprocal relationships to all with whom we communicate.
So how have I fared?
First, I’d like to say I’m glad it wasn’t exercise this month as I’ve suffered tendinitis which made me fairly immobile for at least 2 weeks so that wouldn’t have fared well. However, it did provide me with an opportunity to test out my MINDFULNESS. As I hobbled round the house and had to spend the best part of a week sat down (which drives me nuts!) could I still really feel grateful for my situation? Could I be present and see what other opportunities this provided me with? I’m pleased to report back that whilst it wasn’t always easy to not feel a bit annoyed as I craved the freedom of being able to leave the house (Seriously, I could barely hobble to the bottom of my garden and back – and that’s not a long way!) it really did provide me with an interesting challenge, and made me shift my expectations from what I had hoped would be a physically active start to the year into a very productive work start to the year. If I had to sit down, then what I could do was allow technology to help me move things on so I became joined to my laptop and phone and got my hustle on in a different way. I used MINDFULNESS to divert my energy into another area of productivity. Not only this, I also become aware and very grateful for the fact that my life is in a position where I can spend a week immobile and the only person that affects is me, so if it’s going to happen, best it happens when your only responsibility is you!
So I’m pleased to report that being MINDFUL has added something to my perspective and positivity towards life. I have found myself being aware of and grateful for all the small things which can go unnoticed in our life, for example;
– Going to the cash point and getting £20 out, and needing it in 2 x £10 notes and not a £20, and 2 £10 notes arriving.
– Forgetting my keys, and someone being in when I arrive so it not being an issue.
– Urgently needing advice and someone being at home when I phone them, and so I get my answer in the moment.
Therefore I conclude that MINDFULNESS is a good mindset and positive skill to develop
This leaves me with FUN, and perhaps the bigger question is…
Has being MINDFUL actually provided me with more FUN in my life?
It has definitely made me happier, as it is my experience that being grateful makes one feel happier, because you get more positive moments in every day, and positive moments feel like mini celebrations and that made me feel happier. In terms of FUN, it certainly made me more aware of my FUN levels; how much FUN I was having. Honestly, I can’t say it directly increased my levels of FUN, although I certainly enjoyed being happier, so I guess for me it highlighted once again why I’m spending my year focused on FUN and not creating my own Happiness Project ala Gretchen Rubin. I wonder if FUN is, for me, associated with movement, energy and people, so a month in which I was mostly immobile and isolated may not herald the greatest amount of FUN. However this then raises an interesting question about how much FUN one can have on one’s own?! (No naughty giggles now people!) It is my view that MINDFULNESS alone does not generate more Fun specifically. It does make you happier, and I’m sure when you are engaged in a FUN activity, it would make you appreciate it more and in the moment, as opposed to realising it was FUN retrospectively.
MINDFULNESS is definitely a skill I shall take forwards with me and keep practising and perhaps as I refine my skill at it and it becomes more automatic I may report back in the year that I have changed my view, so watch this space! J
If you have any questions or thoughts about HAPPINESS, FUN or MINDFULNESS, please get in touch as I’d love to hear from you.
Wishing you a Happy Present!
NEXT MONTH in MY Velvet Evolution: For February 2013, MY Velvet Evolution to have, find and embrace more FUN, moves onto LOVE. I’ll be back in touch on 1st February to tell you more about how LOVE will form a part of my search for FUN.
*n.b. If you want to read more about the theory behind MINDFULNESS then click on this link to find out more about my MINDFUL MANIFESTO book recommendation.
If you prefer the audio-visual experience then click here to watch my youtube post about my experience of Mindfulness, how I used it and if I found more fun through mindfulness.