Grab a medium-sized object—water bottle, cell phone, book—and grip it tightly, making your hand into a fist around it. Then, without opening your fist, use that same hand to try to pick up another object. What happens? When I tried this exercise, my fist knocked uselessly against the second object and I couldn’t pick it up without opening my hand and letting go of the first object.

Dr. Joe Flanders, the director of the MindSpace clinic, was featured in the Life section of the Montreal Gazette on March 25th. The piece was written by June Thompson, a health columnist at the Gazette. Ms. Thompson, who has written extensively on her own experiences trying out different wellness practices, started practicing Mindfulness recently and declared 2013 to be “the year of Mindfulness.”

We usually perceive everyday people and situations without appreciation or awareness, and through the lens of what we think we already know or understand about them. In contrast, beginner’s mind means experiencing people and situations as though for the first time, without the filter of history and established beliefs. There are several advantages to consciously cultivating beginner’s mind. Here are two ways to avoid mindlessness and increase mindfulness in everyday life.