“We live in a dangerous age. People control nature before they have learned to control themselves.” – Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

3 years of pandemic almost over – almost though, because there are still numerous Covid cases in my surrounding right now – a last flare-up of a virus that we are unlikely to forget anytime soon. I particularly remember the first few days of the first lockdown, where the world suddenly became very quiet around us, whether in the airspace, on the streets or in the cities – it was a strange, not unpleasant quiet: it felt to me a bit like a global ‘mindfulness moment’ – the entire population of the earth simultaneously experiencing something completely unforeseen with an uncertain outcome. Initially a very bonding moment, which unfortunately didn’t last long, because ‘rest’ seems to be hard to sustain by us routine-driven human-machines.
In the meantime, we have reached at least the speed of ‘pre Covid’ – the lessons and wounds of the pandemic seem almost forgotten. Sometimes I have the impression we have picked up the pace, it’s as if many of us are driven by a fear that something unplanned might crop up again… this is an observation I make at various professional levels, right up to the running community where I occasionally join in.
Personally, I have shifted down a gear for this reason and realize how much this ‘being mindful’ touches me at the moment – whether while running and walking in nature, whether in my neighborhood and family – even though this mindfulness virtue comes mainly from the far eastern philosophy of life, it seems more important than ever and especially now of great importance that we start to live more mindfully globally in order to be able to cope with the changes on our planet.
“Slow down, you’ll get there faster.” – Katherine King

👉What does ‘mindfulness’ mean to you?
👉Were there any ‘mindfulness moments’ for you during the Lockdowns?
👉How do you manage to share moments of mindfulness with others or inspire others to do so?

👱🏻‍♀️🇦🇹 Sandra Schmelz

It must have been 2016 when I first met Sandra at the WLR (Weekly Long Run). We ran in the same pace group back then, Sandra was (and is) much fitter than me and yet she often ran slower and motivated me a lot to keep running with her mindful manner.
She is a communications and marketing professional by profession and spends her free time with reading, running, doing yoga and with horses – she also loves the sea.
I admire Sandra for her stamina, her courage to address things directly and for her fine, likeable manner. I love running+chatting with you, dear Sandra.

🙎🏻‍♂️🇦🇹 Michael Diebitsch

If I’m not mistaken, the WeMove running shop, the best running store in Vienna, has been around since 2015; Michael has been part of the team there from the very beginning. He manages to merge personal passion and profession – it is a real pleasure to be advised by Michael when buying a new running shoe.
What impresses me about Michael is that he is such a sensitive, authentic person who shows incredible stamina and fitness in running and spreads a lot of positivity on social media.

👩🏼🇦🇹🇮🇪🇮🇹 Eva Fleischer

In spring 1994 I came to the Business Academy Donaustadt and met Eva there – from the very beginning I admired Eva’s passion, enthusiasm, open and humorous manner and her drive and I appreciated her very much as a colleague – Eva is very sporty and likes to spend her free time skiing, cycling, swimming, hiking as well as travelling and with art and culture. Eva currently organizes readings and book presentations for the literary association Sisyphus Wien and enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

👱🏻‍♀️🇦🇹 Sandra Schmelz

👉What does ‘mindfulness’ mean to you?
For me, mindfulness means that I consciously experience the moment and do my everyday tasks and work thoughtfully. I take a step back and breathe deeply and see everything more clearly and feel myself during my life. In a time when everywhere is about becoming more efficient, being faster and optimizing, I want to slow down and enjoy the moment. I listen to my body and its pace and when I am particularly stressed, I stop, take a deep breath, and put the focus on what to do next.

👉Were there also ‘mindfulness moments’ for you during the Lockdowns?
During the lockdowns I meditated a lot and took that with me and implemented it into my everyday routine. When everything was closed again and I was at home more than usual, I also enjoyed that in many moments and felt connected with the other people in the city. There were some moments where I experienced more inner peace than usual because of the lockdowns because the outside slowed down.

👉How do you manage to share moments of mindfulness with others or inspire others to do so?
I sometimes succeed in sharing moments of mindfulness with other people when I go for a walk together in nature or when I point them out to others. Every moment holds something special when we look at it more closely. I like to experience beautiful sunsets or the pink evening light with other people, whether in nature, in the middle of the city or just by looking out of the window.

🙎🏻‍♂️🇦🇹 Michael Diebitsch

👉What does ‘mindfulness’ mean to you?
For me, mindfulness means consciously experiencing the present moment. For me, mindfulness means being in the here and now, without the pressure of having to achieve something, being deeply rooted in myself, and feeling myself, reducing myself to the essentials. In a noisy, fast-paced world, to find the silence and calm within myself. For me personally, the best mediums for this are running and hiking.

👉 Were there also ‘mindfulness moments’ for you during the Lockdowns?
There were many mindfulness moments for me during the Corona Lockdown: thank God: At a time when uncertainty and fears were fueled, I was able to build confidence: Confidence that everything will be all right and that every time has new possibilities for us. I became aware of how fleeting our time is in this world and how important it is to consciously experience the present moment and I had a lot of time for myself.

👉How do you manage to share moments of mindfulness with others or inspire others to do so?
For me, one way to share mindfulness is to exchange with friends: My favorite activity is to go for a relaxing walk with sitting breaks in parks (a special place for me is Setagaya Park), to go hiking or just to sit together in the sun. I am very lucky to be able to combine passion and profession. If I am only allowed to make a small contribution to the pleasure of running, then the sun is already shining in my heart.

👩🏼🇦🇹🇮🇪🇮🇹 Eva Fleischer

👉What does ‘mindfulness’ mean to you?
For me, mindfulness means “empathic care” in dealing with fellow human beings and nature.
As a teacher, it is especially important to meet young people with mindfulness and not to hurt their feelings through carelessness. To take time and pause in the hectic times, especially in the hectic stressful school day. Of course, this also applies to colleagues, family and friends.

👉Were there also ‘mindfulness moments’ for you during the Corona Lockdowns?
In the Corona Lockdown we had distance learning.
I took the opportunity to move to Carinthia to our house on the edge of the forest. It was peaceful and quiet here. One chatted with neighbors, had time for things that otherwise came too short. I became more aware of myself and my surrounding because the noise and pressure from outside were gone. Through long walks in the forest, I experienced spring much more consciously.
I taught with MS-TEAMS, that means I had contact with my pupils via a webcam.
Some students coped well with the lockdown situation, but others suffered. In individual and group conversations we tried to learn and feel mindfulness moments, to “train” mindfulness.

👉How do you manage to share moments of mindfulness with others or inspire others to do so?
I can share mindfulness moments with friends by +experiencing something beautiful together:
+experiencing something beautiful and being aware of it.
+doing relaxation exercises together.
+having a cup of tea and a nice conversation
+enjoying together a good meal, a good glass of wine in a relaxed atmosphere
+doing a walk together
It is not always easy to take a step back and be aware of situations. the window.