Welcome to Mindful interrupters. When we spontaneously came up with the idea and I floated it to a few people, someone said to me, “Interruption doesn’t sound like a very mindful thing to do.”
Well, of course, interrupting can be among the rudest things to do—interrupting someone before they’re finished speaking, interrupting a perfectly good meal to answer your cell phone, interrupting your daughter when she’s telling you about her day at school because you have more important things to do. All those: probably not the greatest interruptions.
But there’s another kind of interruption. It can happen when our thoughts have overtaken us with their momentum, and we’re leaping from one thought to another like a grasshopper, not pausing for a split second to take in what’s actually happening in and around us.
“Boy, I sure need a cup of coffee…that coffee I had yesterday was pretty bad…I wonder if Walter even knows how to make coffee with that new coffee maker… frankly, I hate that thing anyway…acch… I should stop at Starbucks, but I’m probably too late…”
Now that we can afford to interrupt. We can afford to allow ourselves a pause that presses reset and can briefly refresh you. Mindful interrupters are suggestions for how to do just that. And at times just reading them—when they appear on the pages of our magazine, on our website (keep an eye on the sidebar on the right), in a tweet (@mindfulonline)—can provide the break in the very moment you read them.
Okay, yes, saying that you could actually stop and smell the roses or really taste that granola bar you’re devouring or take a moment to smile at someone is kind of quirky and corny. A little in the vein of Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey (made popular by the late and great Phil Hartman who introduced them on Saturday Night Live).
But you know what?
They might be a little corny, a little quirky, but they work. Let’s all give ourselves a little break.