Mindful words: How do our stories change when we read about mindfulness? A narrative inquiry
This narrative inquiry tells the stories of four women who read an online blog about mindfulness for three weeks and shared their reflections of the experience. It investigates the role that reading plays in the development of mindfulness—a process that has not featured previously in the research literature. The women in this study were recruited via social media, and all were motivated to learn more about mindfulness and how it could have a positive effect on their daily lives. Data was collected via questionnaires on their understanding of mindfulness and their state of mind prior to, and following the completion of, the project. The women also submitted written reflections, based on their reading and experience of each blog post. Analysis involved coding the data and forming it into individual narratives, written in their own words. The narratives were then deconstructed to investigate their association to the transformative learning process—perspective, experience, reflection, meaning making, and interpretation. The results showed that the women did, indeed, have transformative learning experiences, although the sustainability of such change needs further investigation. Despite limitations, these stories suggest that reading about mindfulness deserves a higher profile—and that the use of a digital platform to host written mindfulness content has the potential to positively affect a wide audience.