How consciously do we live our day-to-day lives? From the moment we wake up, to the moment we go to bed, how plugged-in are we to the present moment? If we are truthful, we’d agree that we live most of our lives in the imaginary world inside our heads. We relive our past, contemplate the future, and we fret and worry. And in doing so, we lose out on the present. Many a time, we do not notice what it is that we’re eating. We get ready and commute to work, as if on auto-pilot mode. We multitask, thinking of one too many things at once, not really focussing on any one thing at any given moment.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to call ourselves victims of mindless living. Unfortunately, this way of life only increases stress levels and anxiety, affecting our wellbeing. However, many have begun to realise that practising mindfulness is an effective way to make their lives a little easier. For those who are unsure where to begin, there are always guides who’re keen on helping them out. Holistic wellbeing and mindfulness coach Sandeep Pandit is one such person. He has not only turned his own life around by practising mindfulness but has also dedicated his life to helping others do the same. In an exclusive conversation with Soulveda, Pandit shares his take on mindfulness and why it’s a valuable practice.
You had worked in the corporate sector for 15 years. Could you tell us what inspired you to quit the field and become a mindfulness coach?
Since childhood, I have been intrigued by how our mind could be a potent force in our lives. I started meditating at the age of 10 to overcome a small physical challenge and found solace in it. Thereafter, I decided to dig deep and leverage my mind for holistic wellbeing.
During my corporate stint, I realised that my colleagues and I were living lives far from our true selves. So, I decided to turn my life around using my spiritual understanding and help my fellow brethren as well. It started working so well that I had to finally quit my job and set up an organisation to conduct life coaching and mindfulness workshops.
What does mindfulness mean to you?
Mindfulness is simply focussing on the present moment. It is accepting the goodness that we have in this very moment and feeling a sense of gratitude. It is realising that there is no scope for repenting about the past and worrying about the future because the present moment is an absolute gift.
If we simply practise being in the present moment and appreciate the life that we have, then we will experience a sense of calm and peace of mind. This will result in a successful life, blended with inner peace. This combination is aspirational for many.
The present moment has all the joy, peace and holistic wellbeing. The moment we start repenting about the past and worrying about the future, we sacrifice our wellbeing.
How has practising mindfulness helped you personally?
I was a meditative child. Unlike my peers, I was not bothered by external circumstances—be it people or situations. I was fine, whether or not I got what I aspired for in life. At some point, I started thinking that perhaps I was getting aloof and laidback in life. But eventually, meditation revealed to me that I have become comfortable with any life situation. I am ready to put in the best efforts to achieve something, but if I do not get it, I am still fine. In short, I have developed a mind which is open to everything yet attached to nothing.
In what way do you guide people, as a mindfulness coach?
Many imagine and magnify their challenges in life. They feel nobody could be more unfortunate than them. They cease to focus on what they have and continue focusing only on what they want or do not have. As a result, they become emotionally drained, demotivated and hit a point of no-self-love.
In my counselling sessions and workshops, I focus on empowering an individual by bringing them closer to the present reality and making them truly relish what they already have. That way, their approach to life is positive, constructive, and wholesome.
How does mindfulness improve holistic wellbeing?
If we want to break the vicious cycle of distraction, anxiety, stress, unhappiness, emotional exhaustion and boredom, the only way out is to embrace the here and now, and supercharge our body and mind. Mindfulness practice is exactly what roots us back into the present moment.
The present moment has all the joy, peace and holistic wellbeing. The moment we start repenting about the past and worrying about the future, we sacrifice our wellbeing. As spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle says: “The only thing that is ultimately real about your journey is the step that you are taking at this moment. That’s all there ever is.”