Boredom is a subjective experience of doing something that has no intrinsic connection with me or meaning to me.When I feel disconnected with any activity, task or a person I feel bored. At this time I become mindful of my feeling of boredom and make an existential response. This response varies. There is no one standard and fixed response. I turn another page of the book or skip something not interesting me. I withdraw my my mind from the superficial participation in the activity or the shallow presence of myself in the conversation. I take boredom as an opportunity to understand why I feel bored and make a conscious choice. I do not like to pretend that I am interested in what is going on. Taking such steps mindfully makes me more authentic both in personal and social context. I stay with boredom if it feels right to stay rather than withdraw. pretend or deny.Mindful processing of boredom has helped me o learn more about me. In that case, boredom becomes a gift to me to work on myself.
I do many apparently boring tasks mindfully such as cleaning pots and pans and dishes and going to grocery store, I see the value of doing them to help me and others and to serve them. These tasks take a different meaning and I do them joyfully. The tasks become purposeful as I change my perspective. This shift in perception is very beneficial to me. I have fond memories of fetching water from the well and helping my mom wash clothes. I cherish those moments-the moments of having quality time with my mom and serving her. In a large family consisting of four brothers and three sisters, having such a quality time was deeply meaningful to me. Such experiences have planted precious seeds in me and have impacted me deeply. Mom! I am very grateful to you.
When I am in a meeting and I sense the boredom arising in me, I take a mental nap and let me my mind and brain rest. At times I let people know that I am feeling bored and check with others if others feel that way too. This happens when the person in charge of the meeting keeps on harping on the same topic as if we have not heard him or understood him. On such occasions, I let the person know politely how I feel and can we move on to another item on the agenda. I personally feel that I need to give constructive feed back compassionately and politely. I like to be authentic and compassionately assertive rather than faking and being aggressive.This way of dealing with my boredom helps me to be myself and maintain connection with me and with others.
As always, I am grateful to Nipun and others for giving such weekly gifts to reflect, communicate and get connected with all of us.
Jagdish P Dave
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