After you read the blog - be sure to review the Mindful Living tips, check out the guided meditation and answer the prompts in the Reflect & Journal section.
We all have an inherent capacity to care and connect with the world that surrounds us. It requires us to pay attention with intention. It means valuing our common humanity, appreciating our differences, and acknowledging them from a place of humbleness and empathy for how others think and feel. That’s why I’m an advocate for mindfulness as a way of life.
When we’re mindful, we pay attention to what is happening in the mind, body and external environment in the moment, through a curious and kind lens. Central to a mindfulness practice is paying deliberate attention—without judgment—to ourselves and others with understanding and compassion. In this way, we recognize that every person and experience is interconnected. Just like the domino effect, when I am compassionate toward others, I experience a compassionate response in my own world. In other words, as I help relieve the suffering of others, it has a cumulative effect on my own happiness. It’s through the act of combining this understanding and practice that we begin to function better, treat ourselves and others with greater understanding, and appreciate our common humanity.
What can we do to expand our care and concern?
We know that making a commitment to care for and lessen the suffering of others is a sure way to feel good about ourselves. People do this every day by giving up their seat on the subway, holding a door open for someone or volunteering at a food bank. It gives us a sense of meaning, inspires connection and has the capacity to transform life for ourselves and others. When it comes to a life well lived, being in service to others is the tipping point. It is not only essential to our relationships—it shapes us into better human beings and makes the world a kinder place. If it’s true that what goes around comes around, then being mindful of others is a practice worth our attention. Actually, it already lies within us. While we have this capability within ourselves, we may not know how to access it. So here are some ways.