Stillness Big Year: 8 months in, something usable emerges

Doing my Headspace ten minutes every day has only proven difficult a few times so far in 2018 but the usefulness of this discipline has never been clear. Yes, it relaxes me and that’s a plus, but I like a busy mind under stress and I’ll resist turning “mushy mindful.”

But two of Andy Puddicombe’s many modules offer promise. One is called “Finding Focus” and goes for thirty days. A fascinating ten-minute process, it has you “resting your mind” on seven parts of your body, from ankles to just above the head, “resting” in a light but powerful way, and moving up and down the body. This is not “easy” in the sense of being intuitive, so I’ve dipped in and out of this module over three months, and am only up to Day 23. The idea is that you can bring that focus into regular activities and I’m beginning to think I can apply it to a few things I do every day.

At the same time, I’ve just commenced a more specific “Training” module for athletes. Now, I’m no athlete – I don’t know many people as slow, clumsy and unathletic as me – but I do exercise regularly and Day 3 (of 10 Days) startled me. It suggests that you don’t have to be “mindful” all day. You can consciously turn a more focused, “quiet mind” approach on and off, like a switch. How do you get good at this? Regular practice, Puddicombe says, and bingo, I realize this is no different to routinizing stuff like making your bed or setting an alarm.

This Big Year is a roaring lion!

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