Professor Ellen Langer is a new discovery of mine, though she has been working on this idea of Mindfulness for some thirty five years now with various experiments. Her findings have tremendous implications for the way we live our everyday lives.
When she speaks of mindfulness it is different than the pop psychology of simply "living in the moment" because as she points out - we do not know when we are being mindless because we are not there. Apparently we live most of all our days mindless in everything we do so to simply say, "be in the moment" does not take us very far.
Prof Langer encourages us to notice new things. She encourages doubt, because living with certainty is a sort of walking death. For those of us who are artists; that have attempted to draw a landscape we have discovered that the leaves of trees are not just green but many shades of different greens, yellows and even brown. Perhaps because I have had the experience of drawing and painting from life - and noticing so many new things in this process -- is why this idea of mindfulness is hitting me in such a strong way. I want to take this practice deeper into my life and live in a way that is less automatic pilot - and more directly engaged.