Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mindfulness

Okay, I've just added another reason I am NOT a farmer.  Sure- there's the whole "getting up at dawn" thing, and a lot of dirt involved, but as I grabbed the hot part of a power tiller this afternoon, I realized that being mindful of what you are doing truly separates the proficient from the "poser" in most endeavors (that, and a good pair of gloves!)

As a young student, I was constantly being chastised for "daydreaming"; staring out the school window when I should've been paying attention.  I would've rather been outside running around than learning whatever was being written on the chalkboard (maybe I missed the lesson about burning hot exhaust manifolds on small engines?)  Can you relate?  I don't know of many kids who are mindful of school lessons, though many (and I was one) do enjoy the subject matter (I actually liked science, math, reading, and even social studies.  I just wasn't too keen on sitting still!)  Perhaps mindfulness has more to do with desire than discipline?

Taking up teaching new interpreters 18 years ago, and  becoming an Interpretive Trainer several years later, afforded me the opportunity to become mindful of program delivery, and to step back and see what works.  Being mindful of my message, my audience, and my objectives has made me a better interpreter, (though I still get distracted (squirrel!), and have a lot to learn).  I have a desire to be a good interpreter, and that makes it easier to be mindful of successful and unsuccessful programs.  It is also easy for me to be mindful when playing guitar, staring at the stars, playing a part onstage, and even eating (unfortunately).

Thank goodness we all have different passions, and there are folks who can find mindfulness in tilling a field, or putting up buildings, or managing waste, or whatever.  I am also, however, thankful that we have the capacity to become mindful about things we may NOT have a passion for.  I'm pretty sure I'll be "in the moment" the next time I start the tiller.  Perhaps I can even learn to be mindful of unloading the dishwasher, or mowing the a lawn. Hopefully it won't take a fried lifeline on my hand to gain this focus.  But then again....

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