Mindfulness went mainstream ages ago. Why is that?
Ah, it has ‘full’ in it.
A possible pace change or respite or breath-take time has become, courtesy of current business productivity practices, another opportunity to do more.
The concept masquerades as an opportunity to turn inward and re-charge, but has quickly become another productivity tool.
An amazing array of businesses across all sectors now routinely incorporate some version of mindfulness-like activities into development and training programmes.
Like the school curriculum, another pursuit is squeezed into an unchanging time frame, with unchanging resource levels.
Is truly empty space ever available?
And would any of us recognise it?
‘Beware the barrenness of a busy life’ said Socrates (possibly rather threateningly).
He characteristically gets to the nub of it all.
When busy-ness and productivity drives activity, something very serious happens.
Stronger than displacement, more critical than focus or commitment, more worrying than having no time for reflection, is one unintended consequence of ‘not believing in stopping’.
Socrates uses the word ‘barren’.
There is no longer any potential or possibility.
By excluding one state that is a sure-fire way to replenish and nurture and nourish – doing nothing – we are rendered unable to create or to recognise possibilities or potential, any more.
This is what the burn-out state of many current clients really involves.
Rather than finding themselves, however occasionally, in what Gestalt theory teaches us to call ‘The Fertile Void’, they find themselves simply…void.
Emptiness can be full too – of ‘stuff not yet happened or identified’.
But first, the trick is to find it and embrace it and be in it.
The space really is the place.