Mindfulness is said to be a $4bn industry. More than 60,000 books for sale on Amazon have a variant of “mindfulness” in their title. Mindfulness programmes have made their way into schools, Wall Street and Silicon Valley corporations and government agencies. This blogpost is my way of interpreting the knowledge that I have acquired studying and practicing mindfulness. It my personal view and if you need more information and would like to incorporate mindfulness into your lives check out the resources below or get in touch with an expert.
Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens. Mindfulness and meditation often confused but these are different terms that encompass different meanings. However, they are straightly connected. While mindfulness strengthens and enhances meditation, meditation nourishes and expands mindfulness. In other words, mindfulness can be applied to any situation at any given period, meditation is usually practiced for a specific amount of time.
Mindfulness is wordless. Mindfulness is meeting the moment as it is, moment after moment after moment, wordlessly attending to our experiencing as it actually is. It also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.
Why practice mindfulness?
Mindfulness is nothing more than basic concentration training. The fundamental message of the mindfulness movement is that the underlying cause of distress is in our heads. By failing to pay attention to what actually happens in each moment, we get lost in regrets about the past and fears for the future, which make us unhappy. In the digital age we suffer from the thinking disease. Learning to focus turns down the volume on circular thought.
However, the claim that major ethical changes will follow from “paying attention to the present moment, non-judgmentally” is patently flawed. We are told that if we practice mindfulness, and get our individual lives in order, we can be happy and secure. It is implied that stable employment, home ownership and social mobility, will be naturally followed by kale, acai berries, gym memberships, vitamin water, and other new year’s resolutions. We just have to sit in silence, watching our breath, and wait. It can be cruel to not address the internal and external issues that are disturbing your peace and professional guidance is necessary even if they recommend mindfulness. Other than that, anyone who is safe and sound can practice mindfulness at their leisure, to take a step away from screens, the fast-paced world or just to take a 5-second break.
How will I transform it into jewellery?
Mindfulness has many synonyms. You could call it awareness, attention, focus, presence, or vigilance. It is about having your heart and mind in the present; not necessarily relaxed or over enthusiastic but in coordination with each other. The jewellery will not try to do something it cannot. It will the most basic way to represent mindfulness, just making a moment to rekindle the body. The jewellery would be placed on the pulse points of the body, a route that leads to the heart and the mind will be coordinated in the jewellery mechanisms for each of it.
The key word that would influence the forms and colours is focus. Each piece would have a focus point that may not be visible to the outer world and remain personal to the user. I am using the tie-dye shibori technique with a combination of natural and synthetic dyes that would represent the unavoidable balances we have to maintain peace in life. The mic of the dyes would allow me with the liberty of choosing the best kind of fabric for the jewellery not limited to natural fibres.
I am currently sketching my ideas and would update the development in the next blogpost. Stay tuned.
Mindfulness- An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World, By Mark Williams and Danny Penman, 2012