Mindfulness: does it really live up to the hype?

That’s without considering how uneasily mindfulness co-exists with my life as a media trollop. My professional life depends on my not being mindful. On the raging, combative narcissism of a constantly updated Twitter feed. On New and Next and Cool and Scoop! This is the currency of all journalism to an extent – it’s certainly the dark pulse of lifestyle journalism. Being the first one To Know and to let others Know You Know, being perpetually In The Loop, making everyone else feel anxious about Not Knowing, about missing out, getting it wrong, being the last one languishing at the suddenly outmoded party… This is how my game functions, and never more so than now, when the internet has speeded up the lifecycle of trends to a giddying pace. But mindfulness is not about New. Mindfulness is about Now. Mindfulness stands in direct opposition to speculating over what next.

So that’s problematic.

On top of which, mindfulness is big on empathy, on relating properly to other people, while my gig is Nemeses, on long-standing, festering enmity, on flicking filthy looks at that chick just along from you on your fashion week row, on mindless ambition and hard-bitten competition. Mindfulness has relaxed my features, robbing me of my Bitchy Resting Face, which makes many professional engagements a trial. You try parading around like you’re definitively Power, when your face is open and soft and glowing like you’re fashion’s answer to the fairy godmother.

The thing is, I couldn’t go back to being not-mindful, even if I tried. Partly because I know something about living I didn’t know before, and I can’t not know it. Partly because it just feels better like this. Sweeter. Gentler. Lighter. Ultimately, what all this has brought me is a way of growing up. I live in a society and during a time that allows many of us to exist in a state of pseudo-youthfulness. The age distinctions have blurred for women like me, who never stop shopping in Topshop and who use the vernacular of girls 20 years younger (LOLZ, sick, FOMO etc) because we pick it up on Twitter and Facebook, where we’re active, or from our much younger boyfriends, or the daughters we think of as contemporaries.

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