I had a moment, a while ago now, when I realised that sometimes I'm the thing that stops the people around me from being mindful. My son was breastfeeding and he kept popping off to inspect one of the buttons on my top. I was frustrated (we had somewhere to be!) - why couldn't he feed and look at the button at the same time?! Then I just had to laugh - he was being mindful and here I was finding that annoying.
I don't think that's a rare situation. Many a wife/girlfriend/partner/friend has lamented their significant other's inability to multi-task - to talk to them while the telly is on, for instance. Then there's all those moments when we launch into a convoluted speech without asking if the other person can give us their attention. We're left wondering at the blank look on their face when they finally realise we were talking to them.
My influence on others' mindfulness hit me again this week as I held a spoon up to my son's mouth, waiting to insert another mouthful of porridge before he'd finished chewing the last. "What am I doing?", I thought to myself, "do I want to teach him about mindfulness or about rushing?" The answer is definitely mindfulness, though my actions suggested the alternative.
So this week I'm going to be watching the way I impact other people's mindfulness. I have an uneasy feeling that it's going to be hard to 'watch' ...