At a conference last fall I was told that some executives at Google were hesitant to join a company sponsored mindfulness program because they were afraid to lose their “edge.” What exactly does this mean? I took it to mean that these professionals feel they need to be hyper-vigilant and on their toes 100% of the time so that they don’t miss an opportunity, get taken by surprise, or get “thrown under the bus.” This way of thinking – this going about life with a certain edginess speaks to a lack of trust in oneself, the people we come in contact with every day, and the flow of the universe. Neurologically speaking, always being on edge is counterproductive (read on).
Today’s letting go exercise asks you to examine your own edginess. Take a few deep breaths, and ask yourself:
1. How do you define being “on edge.” What does it feel like mentally? Physically?
2. Do I feel like I have to keep on my toes with co-workers, friends, even loved ones?
3. How does this serve me? What does this accomplish?
4. What would it be like to approach life with more softness, more trust? What would I gain?
At a minimum, staying perpetually on your edge will wear down your nervous system. In addition it might keep you from accessing creativity and may stop you from making important connections. This kind of hyper-vigilance, because it does stimulate the fight-or-flight response might lead to poor decision making. So when you think about it, being edgy all the time makes you kind of – well, dull. Try to let go of or at least softening your edge today.
Let us know what happens!
We wish you twenty minutes of mindfulness every day!