In an effort to share a range of perspectives on the meaning of mindfulness and to facilitate a discussion about this important topic, we areÂ posting a series of short essays by different contributors on â€œWhat Mindfulness Means to Me.â€ Below is a blog postÂ byÂ TrishÂ Weinmann.
It happened again today. While I was working, my phone rang and it was my beloved, fabulous daughter. Â I greeted her and asked how her day was going. As she began talking to me, I was caught as she asked: “Are you doing something else? Should I call you back another time?” Â
How could this happen? Â How could I keep working on an email while my child, (my child!) was sharing her day with me? As soon as I heard those terrible questions, I got up and stepped outside – stepped away from the computer, stepped away from the notes sprawled across the table.
Sherry Turkle, a MIT professor, has a new book called Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age. Â One of the key sentences in the book for me is: “Think of uni-tasking as the next big thing.“
This is where mindfulness practice comes in. Â I’ve been practicing some kind of meditation for years but not with consistency or dedication. Â This year, though, I decided that I needed to exercise that part of my mind. Â Consistently. Â Daily. Â Too often my mind would be in ten different directions and getting no where fast. Â Or I would arrive at a destination without noticing anything along the way. Â Or I would interrupt people in conversation because I wasn’t paying attention.
For me, mindfulness practice means paying attention; noticing; being grateful; being present to my loved ones, my work, my hobbies, my body, my life. The practice has created more spaciousness in my head so I can be more present and, at the same time, Â more focused.Â
That question, “Are you doing something else?” is being asked less and less. Â I’m taking uni-tasking to heart!
Patricia-Maria Weinmann beganÂ workingÂ with MIT’sÂ RadiusÂ Â while pursuing her graduate degree in opera direction and production.Â Â In addition to her work at MIT, she is an active freelance stage director and co-artistic director ofÂ Boston Opera Collaborative, in additionÂ to beingÂ a communications consultant and trainer. Â She introduces clients and singers to mindfulness practice whenever and wherever she can, under any guise possible.Â She is married to classical guitarist, John Muratore. Â They have two grown children, Paulina and Nicco, and live in Jamaica Plain.