Mindfulness While Doing Skilled Labor
— J.X. Mason, Blog of June 30, 2020
We know that meditation and mindfulness help us relax, help us “go deep,” and help us feel at one with Creation. But mindfulness is also critical when we are doing skilled (and even dangerous) physical work. Observe a Master Electrician, plumber, or tree-trrimmer at work. You will see a steady, efficient, almost balletic grace. There are no wasted moves.
Here is a list of mindfulness directives we all heard when we were growing up… our parents just never described them as “being mindful:”
Position your tools and materials around you before starting work. (French chefs say, “mise en place.”)
Keep track of your tools as you work.
Pay attention to what you are doing.
Don’t let your mind wander.
Be aware of the blade (or the flame or the live wire) at all times!
Keep your eye on the road; keep both hands on the wheel.
Don’t work fast – work smart.
Work steady, not speedy.
To plan your next move, first step back from the machine.
Practice “forehandedness” – do each task in a way that will make the next step more efficient.
The job isn’t done until the worksite is cleaned up and the tools are put where they belong.
A place for everything, and everything in its place!
Do your planning at your desk or kitchen table, not while operating equipment.
Do your dreaming (creative envisioning) at your evening fireside; or in the morning before you rise.
— J.X. Mason, at ContinuingCreation.org