And I'm not doing a very good job tending it.
"Mindful movement makes its way into the office" by Bella English Globe Staff August 07, 2015
As employers look for ways to ease the anxieties of overworked employees, workplace mindfulness is spreading from Silicon Valley campuses to old-school corporate America, with Fortune 500 companies like Target, Nike, and General Mills joining tech giants such as Google, Apple, and Intel in offering meditation and yoga classes, nap rooms, and mindful eating. Professional sports teams use mindful techniques, and there are even some group meditations on Capitol Hill.
That's strange considering that the share of adults working has fallen to 59.3 percent, the lowest level in 31 years.
Plenty of people out there needing work in this era of the Great AmeriKan Economic Recovery (of and for the .01%).
In the corporate setting, the mindfulness movement is purportedly about changing the culture so that both employee and employer can better contribute to the well-being — physical, emotional, financial — of one another. Simply put, it’s supposed to make the office a nicer place.
I don't under$tand. Why would it be otherwi$e?
But a major motivation is the bottom line.
The World Health Organization estimates that stress-related maladies cost US companies at least $300 billion a year in absenteeism, turnover, diminished creativity, and productivity.
How can they know that? Or is it just a figure they pull out of their a$$? What, is there some sort of vaccine against it?
What exactly is mindfulness? Mindfulness involves being relaxed yet observant of what you see, hear, and feel — especially of your own breathing.
Then I should stop minding the Globe.
A godfather of the practice, Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, says this: “Mindfulness equals awareness, but it’s the awareness that arises from paying attention on purpose in the present moment, nonjudgmentally.”
He adds: “It’s just about the hardest thing for a human being to do.”
That's likely true, finding some harmony in this insane world, if only for a few moments. I know I'm going other places to learn how. This $elf-$erving corporate ver$ion ain't gonna cut it (just being mindful of my feelings).
Kabat-Zinn was a graduate student at MIT in 1965 when he began a lifelong love affair with meditation. Later, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, he developed Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction as a way to treat patients in stress and pain.
He learned meditation at Military Indu$trial Tech?
He believes that mindfulness at work works. “The feeling of the workplace itself changes,” he says. “You feel like you belong, that you’re happy at work, that you can get along with people and as problems come up, they’re resolvable. It’s transforming the culture of the company from the inside out, and from the bottom up.”
Looks fa$ci$t to me.
Yes, everything is awesome! Lost your job, it's a new opportunity, more free time for your awesome community, everything is awesome!
But not everyone is a true believer. Dr. David Brendel, a Boston psychiatrist and executive coach, (www.leadingmindsexecutivecoaching.com) says that “a cult of mindfulness” in the workplace could actually replace more tangible employee benefits.
“The workplace is increasingly stressful with people overworked, multitasking, facing a million demands,” says Brendel. “Instead of focusing on actual stress reduction, with more flexible work hours, more vacation, more collaborative and less hierarchical work structures, the modern workplace is focusing on the questionable solution of mindfulness.”
“I have seen situations where people fear they will be ostracized or stigmatized for not doing it. They fear they might be seen as not very mindful, or not team players,” Brendel says. “They’re sitting there holding their breath, gritting their teeth and dying for the soothing music to be turned off and the meditative guide to shut up.”
He must read a Globe in the morning like me.
The Huffington Post, long labeled a low-paying, high-stress place by some employees, could be Exhibit A. Its leader, Arianna Huffington, saw the light after she collapsed from exhaustion. In 2014, she wrote “Thrive,” a self-help book about turning away from money and power and toward serenity. She installed nap rooms, hammocks, and breathing classes in the office....
(Blog editor is getting drowsy at this point)
They tell me an “increased sense of well-being means that people will actually show up for work,” and here I am day after day.
I'm going to meditate overnight on what I want to present to you tomorrow morning.
If you don't mind.
NEXT DAY UPDATE:
Don't neglect the physical aspect, either.