and other ramblings of a small business owner
I love this book. Go and get yourself a copy of it. The end.
What? You need more detail than that? Oh, go on then.
Mindfulness for Busy People is exactly that, a book about mindfulness for people who are … um … well, busy. (I’m doing well, aren’t I?) The cover claims it’s for “turning frantic and frazzled into calm and composed” and you know what, I think that just from reading the book through once I’m partway to being calm and composed. And I had definitely started out in the frantic and frazzled state.
Mindfulness is something that I had heard a little bit about without completely understanding what it was. I’d been put off finding out more because it can have spiritual associations, and I tend to be more of a practical list-making kind of person. But this book introduces the subject in a completely down-to-earth way, making it accessible to even the most cynical person (like me).
The book is written in a very engaging style which makes you very aware that there are real people behind it. It eases you into using mindfulness with exercises along the way, many of which have audio recordings to guide you. I began to feel the benefit pretty much straight away as it made me realise that I was making my busyness worse for myself because of all the thoughts constantly going through my head. And having pointed that out to me it gave me some practical ways for dealing with the thoughts.
I’ve been brushing my teeth mindfully, having a shower mindfully, washing up mindfully, walking home in the wind and rain mindfully (that was an interesting one), but the real breakthrough for me is the realisation that I’ve been causing my own stress, not the amount of work I have to do. Yes, I’ve got a lot (I’d be complaining if I didn’t have any, right?), but never being able to settle to one thing for very long because of the voices in my head saying ‘but you should be doing this’ and ‘you’ll never get through everything, faster, faster’ is my real downfall. So for the last few days, once the voices started up I have been saying to myself ‘yes, I’m worrying about that project, but right now I’m doing this and that’s what I should be doing’. I’m using it to focus on one thing at a time and be much more aware of what I’m experiencing.
As I write this I’ve got a voice in my head saying, ‘it’s all very well practising it over the weekend but how will you cope once you’re in the office with emails to answer and the phone ringing?’. Well, I acknowledge that concern but will continue to approach the day mindfully, and right now I’m writing this review, which is going to get my full attention. Ha!
To be honest I don’t know if I’m doing it ‘right’ but I shall continue to practice and come back to this book for a refresher every now and then.
So, as I said at the beginning go and get yourself a copy. It could make a real difference to you, particularly if you’re suffering from seasonal stress.
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