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Mindful : April 2013
6 mindful April 2013 from the founders Something important is happening in our society today: people are being mindful. More often. In more ways. And in more places. In our view, the simple act of being present has the power to change everything—how we approach ourselves, our challenges, our relation- ships, and our communities. We believe being mindful is an idea—actually, a way of being—whose time has come. We are launching Mindful to celebrate and support this growing movement. Mindfulness is not obscure or exotic. It’s familiar to us because it’s what we already do, how we already are. It takes many shapes and goes by many names. In his basketball days, former senator Bill Bradley called it a sense of where you are, and for many athletes today it’s being in the zone. For caregivers, it’s attention and em- pathy. For soldiers and first responders, it’s situational awareness. For business leaders, it might be presence or flow. Artists see it as spontaneity and thinkers as contemplation. Mindfulness is not a special added thing we do. We already have the capacity to be present, and it doesn’t require us to change who we are. But we can cultivate these innate qualities with simple practices that are scientifically demonstrated to ben- efit ourselves, our loved ones, our friends and neighbors, the people we work with, and the institutions and organizations we take part in. When an idea’s time has come, it’s part of the zeitgeist, the spirit of the times. Living mindfully is one such idea. Solu- tions that ask us to change who we are or become something we’re not have failed us over and over again. We’re ready for an approach that recognizes and cultivates the best of who we are as human beings. Mindfulness is not only timely. It also has the potential to become a transfor- mative social phenomenon, for these key reasons: • Anyone can do it. Mindfulness practice cultivates universal human qualities and does not require anyone to change their beliefs. Everyone can benefit and it’s easy to learn. • It’s a way of living. Mindfulness is more than just a practice. It brings awareness and caring into everything we do—and it cuts down needless stress. Even a little makes our lives better. • It’s evidence-based. We don’t have to take mindfulness on faith. Both sci- ence and experience demonstrate its positive benefits for our health, happi- ness, work, and relationships. • It sparks innovation. As we deal with our world’s increasing complexity and uncertainty, mindfulness can lead us to effective, resilient, low-cost responses to seemingly intransigent problems. Being Mindful Now is the Time