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Being vs. Doing – Practicing Mindfulness as a Leader

Friday, April 12, 2024 9:20 AM | Kathy Vlietstra (Administrator)

By Matt Visser, Senior Design Partner, Design Group International

Your life as a leader is full of so many responsibilities. So many things to juggle each day and so many tasks that fill your inbox. It is difficult to find time to “just be” amid appointments, meetings, deadlines, and more meetings. The act of “being” is pushed back to the weekend or your PTO.

The practice of mindfulness can help you, as a leader, gain valuable perspective on your life as a leader. By taking regular time to “just be”, you can ground yourself in the present, strengthen your resilience for the daily challenges of leading, and increase your levels of personal flourishing.

What is mindfulness?

Irene Kraegel from Calvin University gives a simple and clear definition of mindfulness.

“Mindfulness is a simple concept. It means intentionally paying attention to the present moment with an attitude of nonjudgmental curiosity. This can be practiced formally, using times of silent meditation to hone our awareness of what is present around us moment to moment. It can also be practiced informally by regularly bringing our attention back to the present throughout each day.”

As she articulates, mindfulness draws our attention to the present and helps us again awareness of the present moment.

Minding your Person

You are a whole person, and your physical health and wellness is a key part of your personal flourishing. You are an embodied person that exists in the world. Take a moment to breath and be present to recognize your personhood is the start of recognizing your “being” and letting go of your “doing”.

Minding your Spirit

You are a spiritual person, and your existence is bigger than yourself. Taking time to recognize that we are not the center of the universe can be a freeing and hopeful exercise is mindfulness. Take a moment, or several moments in silence to hear the world around you and connect with the divine. Silence is a powerful mindfulness tool to help your “being”.

Minding your Thoughts

Your thoughts and your reflections on the past, present, and future are an important way of being in this world. As cheesy as it may sound, this “present” moment is a gift. The past is over, and you cannot control what has happened previously. You cannot control your future and all that it will bring moving forward. You can only engage your present moment and what you do with today.

Setting aside time to reflect can help you engage your thoughts and increase your mindfulness. As a leader, embracing the present gives you great perspective to adapt to the challenges you are facing.

Additional Reflection Questions

Some questions for your reflection as you spend time being vs. doing.

o What do you want to let go of that’s now behind you in the past?

o What intentions to do you want to set for what’s ahead of you?

o What do you want to embrace for what you want to hold to for today?

Want to practice your mindfulness and taking a “being break”? Join me and others on Friday, April 19th. Register HERE.

Matt Visser is a Senior Design Partner with Design Group International, and a member with the Society for Process Consulting. 
To learn more about Matt, go here. 

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