Mindlessly Mindful

I have a morning routine. Wake up, check the plant light on my aerogarden, turn on electric kettle, go to the bathroom, brush my teeth, open my computer, check by email, calendar and to do list, steep tea, meditate as tea steeps, etc, etc, etc….

You get the gist.

I get out of bed and then I automatically do about twenty five things.

Am I doing them mindlessly, or am I actually doing them mindfully?

When you do things by rote, it’s just automatic. We set these patterns in our head…we attach one thing to another and before you know it we have a series of habits that get us through our day. And one could argue that once we’ve established a pattern, our brains stops working. We become automatons:

But by doing things that are routine, are we allowing our brains to rest? And isn’t letting the brain rest part of being mindful?

I know. I appear to be making no sense. How can something be mindless and mindful at the same time? Am I saying that we are multitasking and we don’t even know it?


I once told my Doctor that I wondered why I am able to retrieve all sorts of useless information, yet I never remember anyone’s phone number (this was in the olden days when we actually had to dial a number on a landline) My Doctor said that this sort of information retrieval was good: he said that the intelligent use of storing information in our heads was to take note of things not easily accessible, the random facts so to speak. He said that instinctively my brain knew that I could always open up my phone book and get the number. My brain was being mindlessly mindful. It was allowing me to use my brain to its greatest potential.

Isn’t that the whole point of mindfulness?

Isn’t the goal to give us inner peace and clarity? If we do things by rote, doesn’t that give us a sense of peace, because we don’t have to actually think about it?

Am I making any sense? Or am I just writing the preface to a new sort of self help book that won’t actually help anyone?

This is my out of the box theory on the whole mindfulness craze. I figured it was my turn to come up with a new theory to add to the thousand or so mindful theories that are already out there…Who is to say that we don’t need another?

What do you think?

Can we be mindlessly mindful?