Mindfulness for a Better Summer
One of the bittersweet aspects of summer is that it is difficult to be in the moment and enjoy a season that passes all too quickly. In our anxiety to savor the summer, we can lose some of the enjoyment of a time most of us look forward to, especially during the cold and dark winter. A potential solution is mindfulness, which can deepen our understanding and appreciation of the here and now.
The online and in print presence of mindfulness is growing fast. I’ve enjoyed my subscription to a new magazine, Mindful, which began publication earlier this year. The current, August 2013 issue has a number of interesting articles that can be applied to work and elsewhere. So much of the focus of summer is making the most of vacations and leisure time, yet work also has to get done.
Tara Healey of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care contributes “Putting Mindfulness to Work.” A compelling article that applies inside and outside the workplace is “A user’s guide to living well in screenworld,” about exerting control over your digital life. It’s a conversation moderated by Rich Fernandez of Google (an advisory board member of the magazine), with Arturo Bejar, director of engineering at Facebook and Irene Au, vice president of product and design at Udacity.
The connection of mindfulness to success and fulfillment in Silicon Valley is explored extensively in Wired, July 2013, by Noah Shachtman in “Enlightenment Engineers.” The article features such Valley luminaries as Bejar, and Google’s Chade-Meng Tan, author of Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace).
The Huffington Post in particular has been featuring mindfulness often, especially the recent first-person, meditation-focused blog post by Harvard Business School professor, and former Medtronic chairman and CEO Bill George, “The Tipping Point for Mindfulness.” For a post that is season-specific, try “Summer Mindfulness: 10 Exercises and Meditations,” by Joseph Cardillo, Ph.D., in Psychology Today.
Meditation is not the sole component to mindfulness. That is one of the takeaways from a terrific recent webinar with my friend Jeremy Hunter, a professor at the Drucker School whom I have written about previously;and Mirabai Bush, co-founder of The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society (and an adviser to Google’s Search Inside Yourself program). Jeremy also wrote the article “Is mindfulness good for business?” in the inaugural, April 2013 issue of Mindful. Viewing their conversation, and reading the other material in my post today, can provide convincing evidence that mindfulness is helpful for even the busiest, stressed person, at work and outside of it, in summer and year-round.