This morning I encountered a definition of mindfulness that I truly love. Ellen Langer, known as the mother of mindfulness defines it as seeking, creating and noticing the new in every encounter. It is an attention that deliberately takes a look at the different angles of a reality. It is also an acknowledgement that what we may be perceiving is just one way of doing so since our worldview is dictated by our words and beliefs. I like this definition because it is not tied to a vague notion but a very clear directive of noticing.
When we actively notice we also observe that there is no single way of knowing and doing. This leaves me with comfort that I don’t always have to strive to be right all the time. My way is just one way and that it is absolutely okay if that doesn’t work out the first time I try. It is also a call not to take ourselves too seriously and be tied to the outcome that we want. It is when we feel that we are not being evaluated all the time that we can take bolder risks.
I typically get defensive when I am asked questions I don’t know the answer to. I clench up and try to come up with a plausible reply. It has worked for me in the past but lately I have been faced with a lot I don’t know and can’t control. I find myself expressing my uncertainty more often than I want to. Admittedly it has left me feeling vulnerable. But I try to catch myself when these instances happen and remind my heart that everything is a game and all we have to do is show up and play to the best that we can at that exact moment.