One year is a long time to transform how we think, act and react. It surely is a good learning experience of how mindful should one be and at what levels this technique should be applied. I attended various talks givenby international leaders, engaged in discussion with many others and started mapping how mindful each one of them were while they were talking to me in person, people in larger groups or giving a piece of their mind to a much larger audience beyond you could see. It was all about ‘mindfulness’. Many of us leaders come from various walks of life and we bring in new ideas, renew the old ones and tread on a path that is truly transformational.

My take away learning amongst many others has been to use this technique called ‘mindfulness’ more frequently while I hear, talk, respond to others mindfully. Leadership is not easy and it doesn’t come easy to those who do not use enough of this technique. I was recently reading about how Anderson Cooper started his meditation retreat and how it transformed him as a person. I can say that as development workers we are high caliber people who are working consistently between pressures, stipulations and calibrations all the time. Mindfulness becomes a way of life for many of us. Like I said, it doesn’t come easily, it comes with practice – that doesn’t have limitations, displaces the old with the new and renews the old in this process. It also meant how effectively I could bring back the focus on my own life, the ones around me and my professional and personal commitments.

Serving as a fellow has been transformational experience for me I will say. I always looked at official retreats as a skeptic when I was in  India but something suddenly changed my mind when I first started serving at CARE. Starting a day at the pool chilling out with colleagues at an official business retreat just brought me out as a convert! Which i obviously realized later as a part of my ongoing self- analysis. There were several revelations like that which struck me later. My next realisation came at the HIVE Global Leaders Program last year, where we started off with an envigorating meditation and yoga session. This was proven as if I longed for this day a with long positive sigh! For a while, I was confused between relaxation with mindfulness. I am still figuring out what Mindfulness actually means, till then I relate to a working definition of it which is the awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose in the present moment and non-judgmentally. Mindfully, I realise and because I realise, I believe and thrive. This is what my take-way is.

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