Several years ago I approached an internationally known scientist and writer, and the teacher that introduced to me to the practice of mindfulness, after a conference session for some advice. I was hoping he would share a colleague’s name that could use my professional experience and passion to move into a new career. The teacher, Jon Kabat-Zinn, listened intently as I quickly tried to boil down decades of life and professional experience into 5 minutes.
Then he simply replied, “Why not just put your big toe in the water?” He smiled and continued, “Just take one little step…try just one little thing.” I smiled in return, thanked him, and walked away confused and wishing he could have just given me the “lead” I was hoping for. Looking back at that moment, I realize he gave me so much more. He gave me an honest answer about how to create the life I wanted to live.
I contemplated the meaning of Jon’s sentence for months. Just put my big toe in the water? Slowly – V…E…R…Y… S…L…O…W…L…Y – I started doing just that. I began to make choices, conscious choices, and to pay attention to what would truly make me happy.
I am living proof: If you have a dream, or are confused, or are frustrated with where your life has brought you to at this moment, why not consider just putting your big toe in the water? Then carefully pay attention so as not to miss the endless, delightful ripples.
So now you know why I named my website and company, much to the confusion of my lawyer, Big Toe in the Water. This is my homage to Jon, the person that taught me how to pay attention so as to not miss even one moment of my life.
Mindfulness is now being incorporated by companies to lower healthcare costs, support employees in staying focused which improves their productivity, and reduce levels of stress.
Harriet Stein of Big Toe in the Water brings Mindfulness Programs to companies of all sizes to transform employee productivity, engagement, and satisfaction.