Mindfulness And Healing Are An Inside Job
This year has certainly lived up to its Chinese Year namesake – The Rat. Let’s think about the characteristics of a rat for a moment. Rats are scavengers, they rumble about at night, they hoard, rats box for alpha position, they burrow to hide. Can you relate to any of these characteristics in the first half of 2020?
The year started with the COVID-19 Virus. With it came some emotions and behaviors: panic, fear, greed, disconnect, regrets. Some people completely unplugged and went into hiding. Others prepared for the grocery store battlefields with strategies on wrestling an elderly lady to the ground for the last pack of toilet paper. The remaining few became the sole survivors of the “scavenger tribe.”
My class on “Moving through Time,” for coaches and leaders began January 30. My students were from all over the world. They came with mixed emotions each week. A few were very upbeat, some were afraid, and a couple were very depressed. Each week, we seemed to experience something more devastating than the last.
The course I was teaching was highly focused on removing the ego when coaching clients or leading groups. Each week I brought deeper and deeper lessons that talked about supporting the emotions of the client or group, while leaving our ego at the door. Some struggled.
One evening, I took the lesson to another level. It was similar to this:
When we focus on another’s emotional wellbeing with great attention and humble mindfulness, we are able to ease their suffering and create a healing field by which we also learn about ourselves. We can recognize if our ego wants something more for the client or ourselves, or is it the ego that wants to fix something that can naturally fix itself with gentle guidance.
When we commit to the thing that triggers emotion with a sense of curiosity, we accept and can conjure love for it – even in a pandemic or the aftermath of an injustice. We accept it with all its quirks and idiosyncrasies.
It is possible for the mind to find this relaxed state, take a virtual step back, and tilt our heads in a curious state to view a bigger picture. This is the observer, like a monk sitting on a hill in deep blissful meditation while the world surrounding is in total chaos. It’s like that. Being very mindful of our own actions, our own language, our own thoughts that color our current experience. We get to choose. And when we choose, we heal.
The rat then has no place in our mental outlook. No scavenging, no hiding or competing; but, walking in complete confidence in knowing that there will always be a crisis somewhere. So it is up to us to choose to either burrow deep into the ground or to enter the curious state to ask questions, gather information, and then choose mindfulness and healing for ourselves that elevates those around us.
Mindfulness begins with me, healing begins with me. And so, I pass the mindfulness baton to you to look inside, find your peace and share it with others.
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