Practising Mindfulness

I find it hard to focus.

Not because I can’t focus, but because I have serious anxiety about missing out. Or as the cool cats say these days – totes FOMO.

I have to try, really try, to just keep my head down. Even when I’m in flow and things are good with productivity, something in me wants to know what else is happening.

Even while writing this blog post, I’m flitting across multiple tabs mid sentence, at the end of each sentence, after I’ve deleted words – there’s no rhythm or rhyme to the flitting, it just happens.

At some points I don’t even realise I’ve done it, until I realise I’m not focusing on the one thing I was meant to be focusing on.

I don’t get disconcerted by it, and I certainly am not bothered by it, but it is something I’m highly mindful of.

Which gets me thinking about how I practise mindfulness.

I don’t.

As a concept, I’m totally bought into it. I get it, I understand it, and I’m with it.

It’s just I can’t motivate myself to do it alone.

I’m such a people person, I need alone time with other people. That is, I can sit quietly in a room full of other people doing the same thing, and be totally motivated to do what I’m meant to. Put me in a room by myself, and it’s hopeless. Before I even try and start my mind is actively finding ways for me to do something other than practise mindfulness.

That presents a real challenge then as a practitioner of all things people related. I advocate it, and am honest that I find it difficult. I wonder, then, if I have diminished the practise before it’s even begun, because I can’t relate to when I do it?

Because, you see, when I practise mindfulness, I’m active. Not in the ADHD sense – although part of me is now paranoid that it might be. But I’m doing something while I’m being mindful. For example, when I recite morning prayer (the Japji Sahib in Sikhi) – it’s when I’m on a train packed full of commuters all going about their hustle and bustle. I’m highly aware of my fellow commuters, and the busy-ness, but I can block it out because I am in their presence.

It’s complicated living my life.

Published by

Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

7 thoughts on “Practising Mindfulness”

  1. There are so many technological distractions now Sukh, and so much lovely information and knowledge available in a nano-second that FOMO. I often find I have to make a conscious effort to concentrate on something, which I did not have to do 10 years ago!

  2. Hi Sukh,
    I hear in your post an interest and respect for others experiences with mindfulness. I also really appreciate your own honesty and awareness. I wonder if you are mindful in your approach, rather than practicing the processes of mindfulness.

    When reading your thoughts, I wondered if you’d come across the philosophy of ‘Focusing’ – that’s not meant to be a veiled insult, but rather a reference to a specific practice 😉 I have very limited understanding of it, having only come across the philosophy/practice at the end of last year. It has resonance with Mindfulness, but (as I understand it) is about connecting with yourself, your body and what is around you to see what comes into focus – a bit like adjusting the lens on a camera until something is more visible.
    When I usually think of focusing, I think of narrowing down to something – which feels like a process of discounting. It doesn’t feel very systemic and takes effort/energy for me. Experiencing ‘Focusing’ helped me to see that term differently. It seems to be about accounting for what you notice, letting your awareness flit, to see what/if anything emerges. So in this case, focusing is about letting everything be there and seeing what gets sharper in focus.

    Thank you for the food for thought..

    1. I think you’re onto something there, Esther. Being mindful in my approach resonates, and thank you for sharing that.

      I’ve not heard the term ‘focusing’ used in the context you’ve described. It’s helping me to think about how I experience mindfulness, or focus, and what I do with that energy/experience.


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