Head spinning with all what has been happening?

Maybe you feel like those footballs I saw abandoned in the river.

I despise the act of littering. However part of me considered those footballs, to be somewhat akin to a public sculpture.

I found myself transfixed to their movements. There they were, being thrown around at random. Swirling, tossing, turning, bouncing and bobbing in the noisy turbulence of the wild water. Trapped there, apparently unable to escape. Well, they could be an artist’s impression of our busy minds.

They say that the average person has 100 thoughts per minute. Arguably many of those 100, notably with a high emotional charge, recur again and again. Busy minds indeed.

We can get sucked in by our thoughts. End up grasping and clinging to them. And elaborating and building imaginary worlds.  This is often the experience leaders talk about when we explore their VUCA world.  Volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Bouncing around in this turbulence, our ruminations or speculations draw us away from being present.

As Jon Kabat-Zinn advocates, we need to learn “to get out of this current, sit by its banks and listen to it, learn from it, and then use its energies to guide us rather than tyrannize us”.

The practice of mindfulness offers us that.  It offers us a way to cultivate our ability to be present, through meditation.

And it starts with paying attention to one stable thing.

Our breath.


  • Cacioppe, R. Leadership & Organisation Development Journal 1997; 18:335-345
  • Kabat-Zinn, J (1994) Wherever you go there you are: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life, Hyperion, New York, p. 9
  • Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash
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Cathy Teesdale
12 years ago

Speaking as one currently trapped in (peri-menopausal?) turbulence, I love the image (& ur little video clip) – must focus on swimming to quieter waters & then climbing out onto the bank to watch with a smile… :~)