From mindful eating to mindful living

Don't miss part one of the article, What does it mean to be a mindful eater?.   After the PAUSE session with The Wellness Report, I've been experimenting with listening to my body which leads me to

Don’t miss part one of the article, What does it mean to be a mindful eater?.

 

After the PAUSE session with The Wellness Report, I’ve been experimenting with listening to my body which leads me to downsize my portion of intake and consumption, while slowing down the process to be fully engaged with it. And the journey is actually quite satisfying and fulfilling. During the mindfulness lunch experience, even though the portions were small, a number of us felt full within.

 

Here’s the irony I learned.

 

Learning to be in enough
We can keep on consuming and never be enough, yet still craving for more stuffs to stuff ourselves. In contrast, when we learned to be fully engaged with our senses and experiences, even a small amount can be quite fulfilling and enriching. The former is simply going through the motion. There isn’t much connection and relationship to the things we do or pursue. The latter is being deeply engaged and connected. And this difference means a lot of difference!

 

What we have been told about what should be enough to live a good life is an illusion we have been selling ourselves to. Needing to have MORE for not being enough is a craze and virus we set ourselves upon! It is what we have been conveniently conditioning ourselves to in the speed of things. The more we justify ourselves with that kind of lifestyle, the more we ended up complaining almost everything that is wrong with our world. That is because we eventually realize the gap between our desired outcome and reality is apparent.

 

The disconnect in highly connected world
Not only is subscribing to a fast pace living slowing us down, speed actually consumes a lot of energy – mentally, physically and emotionally. Previously, as I was typing on Facebook ¾ of my way to share my learnings from this event, I accidentally clicked on something and the message I had spent crafting was gone in an instant! I have to start all over again.

 

“As much as we like to automate our communication with technology these days, we can’t automate the human relationship and connection. That’s unscalable.” – Alfred Chung

 

Though I was pissed for that moment, something hit me! I realised I was rushing through the process just to get my message out there and be done with it. I was so driven by the outcome rather than delighting in the journey.

 

The second round, I went to my Evernote to redo my message and to simply just enjoy the process of creation. On comparison, this time round, there was depth vs the first round which was kind of sloppy. Even though I lose out in the speed on comparison in terms of the amount of time taken, I realized that depth wins most of the time.

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Connections and conversations
I had several encounters in my life where depth gets me connected to awesome people and opportunities. Whereas whenever I chase for speed, I might need to communicate probably ten or more times to get to that level of engagements for the connection and trust to occur. Although in the beginning, I may have won in terms of getting more things done in a short period of time with speed, in reality, I don’t even get there with speed because people just rule me out upfront. It is not a linear equation! This is where MORE is actually LESS – it can be counterproductive down the road.

 

Slowing down helps to scale the unscalable but with conscious intent. To illustrate this, you can be the champion of speed and width in gaining social media followers of ten thousand fans who aren’t probably as engaged. As much as we like to automate our communication with technology these days, we can’t automate the human relationship and connection. That’s unscalable.

 

In contrast, someone who spend the energy, time and efforts going deep to build a high quality relationship with just a few hundreds advocates can actually “scale” through the word of mouth and influence by these advocates because they are with them. When that happens, you turn the tables around. LESS becomes MORE, sometimes, way more than you can ever imagined.

 

Quality presence
By focusing on what’s LESS that is going to be MORE, we give quality to our PRESENCE. When was the last time we have a conversation without having our thumbs scrolling mindlessly on Facebook? When did we have a conversation where we do not react but instead wait, digest and respond after listening with nonjudgemental ears. While these are not the easiest of tasks (thank you bad habits!), this doesn’t mean the daily shifts in a more mindful and conscious living cannot be done. It takes patience, purpose and practice in my opinion. This is far more impactful and transformational for our health, relationship, career/business and life as a whole rather than living an overdrive, highly cluttered, distracted and overly stimulated lifestyle. This effect of such scaling of our true presence is exponential!

Now who is with me on a mindful living way of life? I’d love to kickstart a mini support system via comment thread below – in creating tips and simple shifts to our daily lives. I’ll go first in the comment on how i run my day with mindfulness in mind. Then i’d love to hear yours.

Alfred is an advocate of sustainability, presence and connection with nature, people and life. He is constantly finding ways to break through our norms and paradigms of living, communicating and in business. As a complexity coach and conscious brand consultant, he helps businesses who are seeking conscious ways to thrive in this digital age of complexity by enabling them to uncover and express their hidden human value, “secret weapons” and unfair advantages. In his free time, he loves hiking and being grounded with nature.

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1 COMMENT
  • Alfred June 30, 2017

    The waking up moment of what you do is quite crucial as it sets the tone for the day. Instead of having to implement radically new habits, you can ride on your existing routine. For example, just before you go to wash up, you could probably spend about 1 min doing deep breathing exercises or simply stretch your body. Over time, you’ll find this new habit setting into place.