Mindfulness

No matter where you go or what you do, you live your entire life within the confines of your head.
~Terry Josephson

It seems that a lot of simple living bloggers are into mindfulness. There’s a whole chapter on it in “The Simple Living Guide.” “Be mindful!” they say. “Experience life even while doing the dishes!” “Do only one thing at a time!”

Well, you don’t have to be mindful to live simply. I’m not, and I do.

I really don’t have anything against mindfulness, it’s just not something I’m particularly interested in. “Feeling every drop of water” while I shower isn’t really my thing. I’m showering. I get in, wash myself and my hair, and GTFO. If I choose to hang out in the shower for whatever reason, I do so. If I don’t want to, I don’t. I’m not going to meditate on showering, and I’m certainly not going to be mindful when I’m taking a crap. It just seems sort of silly to me.

I’ve yet to hear a compelling reason to start being mindful. I don’t see what the benefit is. Being mindful is not going to make washing dishes or vacuuming the floor any more pleasant or less annoying. If I was mindful at work I’d go insane. Try doing the exact same damn thing for ten hours a day, five days a week mindfully and see how you like it. Literally. Right now I’m doing the same thing every minute of every hour I’m at work. Twelve pieces to a whole, and twelve wholes total. One hundred and forty four of the same thing over and over and over. Thankfully, I’m not doing all twelve wholes, but I’m doing most of them. Conversation and jamming out to the Beastie Boys while working keeps me happy and productive. Yes, that’s right, I’m more productive when I’m not being completely 100% mindful of my work. My boss knows this, and thus he let us listen to the Boys a little more loudly than he probably would have liked. It’s called “morale,” and we has it.

Now, not being mindful at all is pretty bad. A certain degree of mindfulness is necessary when performing tasks such as…driving a car. Yes, I would like my fellow drivers to be mindful while driving. And by mindful I mean “paying attention,” not “feeling the wheel under your hands” or “noticing the response of your car when you accidentally slam into someone in the other lane because you were too busy feeling the breeze from the window.”

Now I’m just being snarky. But really, the only time I’m 100% focused on something is when I’m reading a book or playing a good video game, and that’s called “immersion.” I’m not terribly into multitasking (I can’t listen to music and read or write at the same time for starters, and listening to podcasts is reserved for work), but I don’t see how talking to a friend while washing dishes is such a terrible crime.

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One Response to “Mindfulness”

  1. Mindfulness is a wonderful thing, but I think you might have a bit of a bias against it from the start :P It doesn’t have to be nearly as froofy as you’ve made it out to be.
    There’s a lot, though, so I’m not going to make a reply-gone-post about it. Remind me sometime and I’ll give you my take.

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