No, not with all his muscles and fame… read on.

Mindfulness is all the rage this year. Ironic really, since it’s been quietly there, appreciated by its adherents for as long as people have tried to still their constant mind chatter.   As long as people have been breaking down and trying to find themselves when they try to pick up the pieces. It’s certainly been recognized in western medical terms since Jon Kabat Zinn did his mindfulness for stress reduction work in the 1970s. But things seem to come and go in cycles and mindfulness is back!

Back and ready to… well, take care of business.

Like it’s always been.

I was on a bit of a shopping trip on Friday and as per my usual stationary and book curious self, I popped in to The Works, found most of it lacking until I happened upon a clutch of books on mindfulness. At a couple pounds per book, I reckoned they were a steal. At the very least, I’d be able to lend them out to my friends and clients.  I’ll dig into them in future posts.

I later wandered into Waterstones in the Galleries and made my usual rounds. Indulging my fascination with all the lovely new hardcover histories and popular science books, nostalgia with the travel and graphic novel sections and curiosity with the business and self-help/psychology sections. I’m secretly always looking for new books on life coaching, business coaching, leadership coaching or wellness coaching, whatever people are niching their coaching practices as. Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon the “Mindfulness” section! An actual whole section, with it’s own sign and as big as the Religion section beside it! It turned out that I’d got a really good deal on my books from the Works, but more than that, it struck me that this really is big now.

Mindfulness in Bristol, in the UK generally, is moving through a period of hype that cannot go unnoticed. It’s in businesses, schools, and just like Hygga (Danish coziness), it’s in magazines and in more books than you can shake a stick at.  It’s not a panacea, as many teachers may imply. It won’t cure cancer. It won’t make the loss of a loved one go away or magically restore a family breakdown. It is, at the end of the day, just watching yourself, but that seems to be enough to lower bloodpressure, improve your sense of wellbeing and happiness, and a host of other benefits the Huffington Post has helpfully detailed here.

At the very least, its good to see mindfulness and meditation coming into the mainstream.  The thing is, it’s not just a hippy dippy thing.  Tim Ferriss’s podcast interviewing successful people, (Tony Robbins, Peter Theil, Josh Waizkin, Seth Godin etc…) has demonstrated a clear trend among the highly accomplished; they meditate.  Something like 80% of the folks he’s had on have detailed a meditation practice.  Even Arnold Schwarznegger spent a year doing Trancendental Meditation before he felt he’d changed his mind enough to stop.  He says he still feels the benefits of that year, even decades later.

So if Arnold did meditation to become more mindful etc. what’s your excuse?  Don’t need to because you’re already highly accomplished?

I wonder what Arnold would say… let alone meditators through history.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Please feel free to share.