Do you know the feeling of living on autopilot? From the moment you hear the alarm in the morning immediately feeling 'sucked' into busyness and doing. You may still be in bed under the blankets, but you are already checking your mail, thinking about the appointments you will have that day, your agenda and the things you will have to do.
Life often pulls us into a continuous loop from the moment you wake up. We lose ourselves in being busy, solving, improving. According to a Harvard University study, we spend 47% of our lives on autopilot. This means that we spend almost half of our lives lost in thoughts, worrying, preoccupied with the future or the past. This has a big impact on how we live our lives. We work, eat, play with our children and talk to family and friends on (semi) automatic pilot.
Mindfulness is best described as the opposite of being on autopilot. Mindfulness is the ability to be truly present to what is happening here and now, without judgment. Being aware of your current experience without seeking something specifically.
Mindfulness is about waking up to your life and seeing things as they are. It is a powerful technique to train our attention to be more present. We are creatures of habit and change is often something difficult. But being mindful of our own thoughts, feelings and body can give us the boost we need to step off autopilot and start experiencing life more vividly.
"If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things – that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It’s a discipline; you have to practice it."
- Steve Jobs