I think that if my parents were alive today they’d be shaking their heads a little over the current craze that seems to be “mindfullness”. From their perspective I’m sure it’s not anything they hadn’t seen before.
In fact, it’s very likely that it’s something they’d been asking me to do since I was a small child.
They just used other words.
Let’s face it… every time your parents or mine, or our teachers, or our coaches yelled “pay attention!” what they were really saying was “be mindful!”.
Or perhaps it’s the other way around. What we’re all really attempting to do by “being mindful” is to simply pay attention. Pay attention to our lives and our experiences. Pay attention to the people we’re with. Pay attention to our thoughts. Pay attention to the world around us.
The Stoics and Buddhists knew this ages ago. Buddhism is about more than just meditation – among so many other things it’s about being aware of the world around you as you live your life. Stoicism, too, cultivated an awareness of our role in life, with particular attention to being mindful of what is and is not in our control.
Pay attention. You’ll find your parents words echoing at the root of these philosophies.
It’s too bad it took me this long to get it. 😉