Last week, I talked about reframing the other-than-conscious mindset, those beliefs we hold about ourselves that are hidden in shadow. Much of my work in breakthrough coaching addresses those beliefs and helps to explore them. In this process, people become empowered to live more fully and embrace new mindsets that serve them better.
This is a mindful and intentional practice, and my ears are always open to wise words that can help along the way. Today, I’m going to talk about one mindset strategy from the new book written by my friend Ted DesMaisons, Playful Mindfulness: a joyful journey to everyday confidence, calm, and connection.
Playful Mindfulness at Work
How often do you find yourself paying attention to the present moment with curiosity and kindness at work? Are your days filled with playful mindfulness, surrendering to the ideas and opportunities that present themselves? Or, do you instead approach each day in survival mode, hanging tightly on to the steering wheel, afraid to lose control?
If you’re like most people, you wish to experience more joy and ease in your career. Instead, many of us believe we have no room to be in the moment. We’re run over by our calendars and email inboxes. As we struggle to keep up with our work loads, or even to be seen or heard at all, humor takes a back seat. Our careers feel stagnant. So too does our bliss – if we have any left.
DesMaisons’s book gives us permission to stop muscling our way through work with frowns on our faces. Instead, he presents a fresh new way to experience confidence, calm, and connection by practicing Playful Mindfulness. DesMaisons leverages his unique background in improv to teach us something entirely new about how we show up in the world!
Today, I’d love to talk more about one concept that resonated for me called the “puppy mind.” I think of this as one way to “try on” mindfulness. It might work for you!
The “Puppy Mind”
Imagine having a sweet new puppy. It’s fluffy, snuggly, and seems to smile all day. You’ve only had the puppy for a week, but you love him! One morning, you take the puppy on a walk, but he won’t stay straight on the path with you. He wanders all around, getting underfoot, bouncing all around you. His clumsiness makes you late to work.
If you scold the puppy for wandering around, he will become confused. He’s just doing what’s in his nature: exploring the world, looking for food, and stretching his growing muscles. However, if you gently tug on the lead and say, “This way, boy!” he will likely follow along with a happy gait. You may need to repeat the process many times, but eventually he will get the hang of it.
Too often, we forget to treat ourselves with the same empathetic mindset that we would this small puppy. It’s natural for our minds to wander. We are naturally curious about the world around us, and our highly advanced brains have much to process. However, when we’re trying to get something done, we put immense pressure on ourselves and have little forgiveness for our puppy-like minds. We say to ourselves, “I just hate how I can’t stay focused!”
Consider having more empathy for the way your mind is working. Be gentle with yourself, notice what’s happening, and gently encourage yourself to get on track. This in itself can begin a powerful mindset change. For example, instead of getting angry with yourself for losing focus at work, you could talk to yourself in terms like, “I’m trying to focus on work, but I keep getting distracted because of the argument I had with my wife. It makes sense that it would be weighing on me. I’ll do my best to start resolving things later after work. It’s OK if can’t give 100% today.” Treat yourself with kindness, recognizing that it’s natural for your mind to wander and explore.
Strengthening your Playful Mindfulness Muscles
If the concept of playful mindfulness intrigues you, I highly recommend reading or listening to Ted DesMaisons’s book, Playful Mindfulness. DesMaisons offers practical and insightful wisdom that breaks through barriers to becoming more present and joyful. When we exercise playful mindfulness at work, we gleam with vibrant energy and bring our best selves to the table.
DesMaisons also shares ongoing inspiration on his Monster Baby Podcast, as well as live courses to change your relationship to failure, learn to “play attention,” and hit a mindful pause button in everyday moments. You can learn more about his classes on his website.
|Written by Craig Tennant|
Founder, Engaging Breakthroughs
Transformation Architect and Breakthrough Coach
At Engaging Breakthroughs, Craig Tennant delivers
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