Mindfulness At Work

It was in the middle of January that we hatched an idea: What if we did a month-long corporate campaign on a topic that hopefully would resonate with everyone, yet still remain “us”?

Originally, this campaign was going to be a Facebook Event of the kind that people click to join, but instead of going anywhere, they receive a daily update in their Facebook feed.

Where I work, we do a lot of great things for safe behavior management, bullying prevention, trauma-informed care, and autism. The more I looked at our offerings, the more I kept coming back to behavior management. Most of our content aligned under that topic, and it applied to a variety of industries.

We brainstormed further. When you’re trying to reach as wide a variety of people as possible, “31 Days of Behavior Management” doesn’t resonate.

Yet “31 Days of Mindfulness” does.

And look, March was coming up. March Madness. March Mindfulness. #MarchMindfulness!

Do our content, philosophy, and mission really fit in with the concept of mindfulness? You bet it does! You can’t “do” what we teach without being mindful.

Here’s an excerpt from what I wrote to illustrate this:

Exploring Mindfulness

“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” -Jon Kabat-Zinn

Paying attention on purpose. That’s mindfulness in shorthand.

But how do we actually do it?

Every one of us has this ability already; the trick is to develop it. By paying attention to what we’re thinking and feeling, and how those thoughts and feelings affect others, we’re effectively building in an essential moment of time to decide how to bring out the best outcome, whether you’re in the middle of a daily task or dealing with a more challenging situation.

We need to remember the big picture: The type of person we want to be, nurse, educator, caregiver, whatever our profession. But we also need to keep from getting bogged down in the small stuff that our livelihoods can bring. We need to remember to be mindful in the moment, and react to things from a place of balance, purpose, and non-judgment.

When we’re working in settings where cultivating positive relationships and making real connections are paramount to providing the best care and support, being mindful is essential.

Putting mindfulness together was a huge team effort. Once we had our concept and content picked, we met with our designers. It was in that meeting that we took the idea out of Facebook Event land and into a landing page on our website. From there, we could post each day’s mindfulness tip or resource on several social media platforms, and maintain control over the entire concept for future use..

We had that hashtag: #MarchMindfulness. But what symbol would tie it all together? You’ve got to have a symbol!

It came down to this: The lotus in green, lifting up a person in blue. (That person, by the way, is 1/4 of our company logo!)

The lotus symbolizes patience, love, compassion, and self-awareness. When it’s in green, that’s a gift to improve life and begin good habits.

Speaking of a huge team effort, by the time we had everything planned out, from content to logo to landing page with its cool calendar populating a new post every day, we were already into February.

Could we really pull off 31 days of this in March? Because this was intended for social media, that means not only 31 graphics for the landing page, but 31 socially-friendly graphics as well!

And the rest of work sure doesn’t stop just because somebody gets an idea.

Okay, so I wouldn’t be writing this if we hadn’t made it——but as today is the last day of this campaign, I wanted to say how proud I am of my team for making this happen, through all the planning and the unexpectednesses.

Here are a couple of the 31 #MarchMindfulness gems. Get all the rest right here.

 

The Unexpected Owl

My morning workday routine had just been capsized: My car had to go into the shop and I had to go with it.

I got there before they opened. I told myself it was better this way; first in means getting out that much sooner (theoretically).

While I waited, I was busy logging into work, answering emails, digging through all the supplies I’d brought in my bag, and basically doing everything that was the opposite of the mindfulness we hear so much about these days.

And that’s when I saw the owl.

UnexpectedOwl

The unexpected owl.

I don’t know how long he’d been sitting there. I certainly hadn’t been thinking I’d see an owl today. The area I was in wasn’t accustomed to owls at all.

Yet he, primed to be aware of everything around him, probably saw me drive up from quite a distance away. And just to anthropomorphize for a bit, he could well have wondered what fools these human mortals be, because…

Here was an opportunity to fully experience a moment and I was missing it.

I got out of the car. The owner and one of the mechanics drove up and also got out of their cars. And from a respectful distance, we all fawned over this owl, who just sat there being an owl the whole time.

It made an otherwise ordinary morning a magical morning. And I wonder: How many things have I missed because I’m plugged into my routine?

1022150752_HDR-1

The full scene. I swear he posed for each of us, too.

What’s made you stop lately and just enjoy the moment?

 

Originally published on LinkedIn.