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Mindful : December 2016
My wife doesn’t want to meditate. How can I persuade her to do it? I think it would help her. I recommend bugging her about it frequently. Bring it up in every conversation and make sure to point out when she’s not being mindful (and be sure to emphasize the word). That will go a long way. Or maybe not. Another option: Reconsider the idea of overtly persuading your wife at all, since any heavy-handed attempts to change people’s behavior don’t usually go very far. The best course is probably to tend to the quality of your own practice. Nothing is more convincing than the embodiment of mindfulness practice that allows others to see themselves in a different light because of the way those around them carry themselves. But don’t cling to the hope that she’s going to become a meditator. You may set up false hopes and put desperate pressure on the relation- ship. And if it turns out something isn’t working, get to the heart of the matter without thinking that meditation is going to fix it. ● I’m a business owner. I get some of my best ideas when I meditate. Should I feel bad about this? So let me get this straight. You are responsible for a growing and active concern and have taken the time to pause, sit down, and open up your awareness to contend with the torrent of informa- tion, demands, and distrac- tions that you face in a typical day. You carve out precious time to simply be and find some balance and equanimity to help you be more effective, less reactive, and to take bet- ter care of yourself. Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. What else do you do? Do you provide generous fringe benefits and a comfor table working environment for your employees? What a shameful example you set! What you seem to be saying is that, as a direct result of practice, you happen to notice that you are able to “think out- side the box” and be creative and innovative. I’d say your completely subversive “dirty little secret” might just change the culture of your business, and if you’re not careful, could infect your employees, too! All kidding aside, it’s not the ideas you get that pose a potential problem, but practicing in anticipation of getting ideas. If you begin to meditate in order to have good ideas then you will be absolutely sunk, because sometimes they’ll come, and more often they won’t. And to be honest, my gut tells me that the ideas you try to have when you are meditating will not be that much different from the ones you have at other times: conventional, predictable, and repetitive. But when we engage in prac- tice for its own sake, letting go of needing a particular outcome but knowing full well that we are doing something valuable and important for our own well-being, then we notice effects that we could have never predicted. It might be a calmer way of dealing with irate customers, a deeper appreciation for the impact of your business choices, or innovations that are game-changers. Let the practice remain simply the practice, and observe the ripples outward that result. December 2016 mindful 45 the mindful faq