Mindfulness in the Workplace
Training workshop for Town of Woodstock on August 21, 2018 led by Elizabeth H. Cottrell
What mindfulness is:
Mindfulness is the act of becoming intentionally aware of the present moment while paying attention to your feelings, thoughts, and sensations of the body. It incorporates the practice of nonjudgment towards yourself, towards your thoughts and towards others. It is accompanied by a mindset of curiosity, openness, and acceptance.
When you practice mindfulness, you literally create space—mental space and emotional space—headspace, if you will—that helps you deal with the hundreds of things flying at you and around you all the time. It will move you from being less reactive to being proactive.
We are victims of our culture and our busy, wired world. This causes stress and tension.
What Mindfulness is NOT
- It’s not feathers and crystals, tinkling bells or cymbals – no “woo-woo,” I promise!
- There’s no incense wafting through the air or sitar music playing in the background
- Mindfulness—and its practice of meditation—is not a religion or even religious
- It’s not required that you have to sit on the floor in the lotus position
- It doesn’t have to take a lot of time
- It is not a fad
- It’s more than just meditation
RESOURCES AND QUOTES
Alton, Liz. (2017). “5 Types of Mindfulness Training to Improve Productivity and Engagement.” Spark website: https://www.adp.com/spark/articles/2017/09/5-types-of-mindfulness-training-to-improve-productivity-and-engagement.aspx
Alton, Liz. (2017). “Mindfulness in the Workplace: 3 Benefits for Every Organization.” Spark website: https://www.adp.com/spark/articles/2017/09/mindfulness-in-the-workplace-3-benefits-for-every-organization.aspx#
Greesonbach, Sarah. 2018. “Mindfulness in the Workplace: The What, Why and How of Building a Mindful Culture.” Culture Summit website: https://www.culturesummit.co/articles/culture-of-mindfulness/
Hansen, Drew. (2012). “A Guide To Mindfulness At Work.” Forbes website: https://www.forbes.com/sites/drewhansen/2012/10/31/a-guide-to-mindfulness-at-work.
Hougaard, Rasmus and Jacqueline Carter. (2017). “If You Aspire to Be a Great Leader, Be Present.” Harvard Business Review website: https://hbr.org/2017/12/if-you-aspire-to-be-a-great-leader-be-present.
Kavetha. (2018). “A Simple Guide to Mindfulness for Beginners. Lifehack website: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/simpler-guide-mindfulness-for-beginners.html
Scott, S. J. and Barrie Davenport. (2016). Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking. Cranberry, NJ: Oldtown Publishing LLC. https://amzn.to/2Pp7M5t
Baraz. James and Shoshana Alexander. (2009). Awakening Joy: 10 Steps That Will Put You on the Road to Real Happiness. New York, NY: Bantam Books.
D’Simone, Sah. (2018). 5-Minute Daily Meditations: Instant Wisdom, Clarity & Calm. New York, NY: Callisto Media/Althea Press.
Gelles. David. (2016) Mindful Work: How Meditation Is Changing Business from the Inside Out. New York, NY: First Mariner Books.
Hanh, Thich Nhat. (1992). Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life. New York, NY: Bantam Books.
Kabat-Zinn, Jon. (1994). Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life. New York, NY: Hyperion Books.
Scott, S. J. and Barrie Davenport. (2017). 10-Minute Declutter: The Stress-Free Habit for Simplifying Your Home. Cranberry, NJ: Oldtown Publishing LLC.
Scott, S. J. and Barrie Davenport. (2017). 10-Minute Mindfulness: 71 Habits for Living in the Present Moment. Cranberry, NJ: Oldtown Publishing LLC.
For more advanced teaching in mindfulness and meditation, consider the works of Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield.
Websites & Podcasts
Headspace website, blog, and podcast: Meditation made simple with Andy Puddicombe—Brilliant things happen in calm minds. Sign up for free and to get some simple meditations and subscribe to the blog and podcast. Subscription upgrade available for more specifically focused meditations. https://headspace.com.
Headspace on YouTube: animated training, guided meditation: https://www.youtube.com/user/Getsomeheadspace/videos
Tippett, Krista. (2016). “Being Peace in a World of Trauma.” On Being Podcast – interview with Thich Nhat Hanh in the early 2000s at a retreat he was leading attended by police officers and other members of the criminal justice system. When you click on this link, you can choose to play the audio or read the transcript: http://discover.onbeing.org/episodes/thich-nhat-hanh-cheri-maples-larry-ward-being-peace-in-a-world-of-trauma/
Select Mindfulness Quotations
“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” – James Baraz
“Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are just that—thoughts.” – Allan Lokos
“Respond; don’t react. Listen; don’t talk. Think; don’t assume.” – Raji Lukkoor
“What you resist, persists.” – Carl Gustav Jung
“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond winning.” – Lao Tzu
“Our own worst enemy cannot harm us as much as our unwise thoughts. No one can help us as much as our own compassionate thoughts.” – Buddha
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard
“In today’s rush, we all think too much—seek too much—want too much—and forget about the joy of just being.” – Eckhart Tolle
“If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” – Pema Chodron
“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” – Dalai Lama
“Wherever you go, there you are.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
“The feeling that any task is a nuisance will soon disappear if it is done in mindfulness.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
A Way of Life by Sir William Osler
In 1913, Sir William Osler gave an address called “A Way of Life” to a class at Yale. Later inside a copy of the address in his library, this piece— allegedly from Ancient Sanskrit writings— was found in his handwriting with a note that he wanted it to be included in any reprinting of his address.
Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn!
Look to this Day!
For it is Life, the very Life of Life.
In its brief Course lie all the
Varieties and Realities of your Existence:
The Bliss of Growth,
The Glory of Action,
The Splendor of Beauty;
For Yesterday is but a Dream
And Tomorrow is only a Vision;
But Today well lived makes
Every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness
And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.
Look well therefore to this Day!
Such is the Salutation of the Dawn!
My grandfather gave me a copy of “A Way of Life” when I graduated from high school. Here’s a link to Osler’s entire address: https://silkworth.net/pdf/a_way_of_life.pdf or you can order it from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2nUmQLU.
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