Mindful Mondays – Beginners Mind
Periodically, I approach my office at work and say to myself, “If I was a new employee, how would I make improvements to this position and build on the previous employee’s accomplishments?” This shift in perspective allows me to get out of autopilot mode and into a more creative mental space.
This is a posture of the Beginners Mind – one of the 7 Attitudes of Mindfulness. (Trust, Letting Go, Non-Striving, Acceptance, Patience, Non-Judgment, Beginners Mind + Creativity and Curiosity which were added later). When we approach our moment-to-moment experience with these attitudes we create a framework to cultivate mindfulness.
We can tend to see our world through a lens of the Expert, full of opinions and presumptions. This perspective can help us organize our world and have a sense of control over the chaos. But, if this quality is left unchecked, we can fall into a stale, mechanical, and uncreative state of mind.
As if for the first time: Beginners Mind
What if you were to approach a family member, coworker, pet, or environment, as if for the first time? Not how it all unfolded yesterday, or last week or 30 minutes ago, but now, free of preconceptions. What would that look like?
This kind of awareness could be transformative for all of us.
When we allow openness and spaciousness for people to be who they are in the moment, when they feel seen and heard, this is when relationships transform.
When we allow our perspective and experience of the world to be something different, we become open to other possibilities. Appreciation, encouragement, creativity, and innovation all blossom when given the space.
Starting with a beginner’s mind, at any time, can provide an orientation for the present moment that is fresh! Every moment is indeed unique and precious. And who doesn’t need more freshness in their life?
Lisa Wellington is a Certified Mindfulness Teacher who writes about integrative practices that downshift stress, increase insight, and jumpstart joy.
She is best known for her work with law enforcement professionals as well as those challenged by housing instability and addiction. Trained in the Fine Arts at Washington State University, she specializes in group training that engages participants’ inherent creativity.
If she is not under a stack of books about psychology and spirituality, she can be found at a Puget Sound beach or nearby trail, always searching for the absurd, which is her superpower.