“Mindfulness means being aware of how you’re deploying your attention and making decisions about it, and not letting the tweet or the buzzing of your BlackBerry call your attention.” attention.attention.” Howard Rheingold
“Mindfulness helps us freeze the frame so that we can become aware of our sensations and experiences as they are, without the distorting coloration of socially conditioned responses or habitual reactions.” Henepola Gunaratana
Mindfulness implores our hearts to get involved in all of our transactions. I suppose there are many that might have a difference of opinion, but when so many children and adults are hurting, it is time to investigate some answers. We are so close to others and have made our world a much smaller place, but we actually know little about the inner world so many of us reside in.
Maybe the quick jokes or heartfelt quotes on Facebook, have a different and deeper meaning. Maybe our simple comment about the weather, or what we are planning for dinner, is actually an attention getter. So much is freely spoken, yet so little is brought up for review or reflection. Is it our fear of the truth, which keeps us at a distance? We want to be happy of course, and everyone agrees to that statement. What we bicker about, is how to get to that state, and maintain it. The small tokens of praise, and comfort, along with a dose of attention from coworkers and friends, keeps us going for a while.
If life is handing us lemons, then our state of bliss begins to fall away, one piece at a time. With all of the help and support we technically receive, throughout our day, we find it full of funny, and happy retorts. If someone is hurting, they either downplay it, or turn it into a joke. I wonder if all of the technology, is covering our deeper feelings of loneliness and despair. We are all so close, yet so far away from each others’ thoughts, and feelings. Most of us don’t have the time to give, one on one visits to people. We kind of include a group, in most of our notices. I guess that works on good days, but during an unhappy time it doesn’t work.
Teenagers, young adults and older adults have much on their minds, and so many responsibilities. In such an overwhelming world of business, and fast paced living, there is barely time for a pit stop. Understanding others takes time, due to the consideration and contemplation involved. Trouble is, if we never take this time, we truly can’t have an in-depth knowledge of the teens, or adults we know. There is no short cut to understanding another person.
We are very complicated, even though we might laugh at the same jokes and have similar life experiences. We are different, and have a variety of challenges, along with a variety of interpretations, and attitudes towards these explanations. We view certain happenings, with a different lens, and arrive at alternate conclusions. It leaves all of us in disarray. We suffer our own hurts, due to our own insecurities, which are varied and intrinsic.
I must admit there are few of us, who want to share our insecurities with others. We don’t get likes or praise from deficiencies. The person who applies for a job, and adds the qualities that they lack on their resume, will usually not get the job. To survive in this world, we perhaps pretend we are smarter, richer, younger stronger healthier and wiser than we honestly believe ourselves to be. It makes us feel good when we are around others, but when we are alone, we might begin to think of ourselves as a sham.
I know this can lead to anger and despair. That is the time we might need a real live person, who will listen, while we complain. We judge our abilities against others too much. These other people are most likely embellishing the truth, about who they really are. They downplay their faults, as much as we do. If we care about our friends, we must take notice of their words between the words, while offering a listening ear. If we are parents of teens, we should likely keep the communication open, and stay involved in their lives. If we do, we probably have a chance of knowing when they are despairing of life. There are never any guarantees in life, but the more we stay emotionally connected to others, the more we keep the senses alive. Typed messages don’t always tell the emotional story.
This world is difficult to navigate and most of us suffer through storms of various intensities. Friends and family make it easier. We can’t believe that having hundreds of friends on-line will give us more support, than the human touch of one or two people. We can’t forget to stay connected to others, in a more profound way. We are humans who want the physical touch, and the eyes and ears to see and hear the human voice in all of its emotional tones. That is why I would never embrace schools that teach only through computers and other technologies. Kids more than anybody, require a human touch. Teachers can only teach kids, after earning their trust. They earn the children’s trust, with love patience and kindness.
If we keep this thought alive in our hearts and minds, we might remember to stay bonded to our kids and spouse. We can all do so much with a kind word, smile or hug than all the printed papers in the world. What power the human body and mind have, when they choose to activate. Building our pride and ego, with the help of those we love, is essential. We are so special and unique. Just being and living and offering our distinct ability, to aid another in distress, is virtuous.
As much as we love to pretend how perfect we are, in actuality, we underestimate our true worthiness. In private we view ourselves as so downtrodden. So many people beat themselves up in their own minds, and never disclose this to anyone. Our teenager who is always mouthing off to us, may be secretly hurting so badly inside. They spill out the anger, and instigate more unhappiness.
We can all get caught in this whirlpool of self hate. It is easy, especially when so much is written, and available, regarding the great feats of others. I know for me a great person, who perhaps will never receive any praise for their actions, is the one who sees through my pain, and my shortcomings, and loves me regardless of my insecurities. Whenever we take that kind of time, and give it to another, we have given a priceless gift of love. Empathy should be taught at home, and reinforced at school.
There is a human need to love and support others. Likewise we hope to be helped when we are in dire straits. Just don’t ever underestimate your value. There are people in our lives, who would be devastated and lonely without us. I would venture to say their lives would be difficult to live, without our presence. Others really depend on our love, as we do their love. Be watchful for the pain others attempt to hide, and use your senses to guide you. We are not robots, and we respond to empathy. With so many friends we can’t forget how to be a friend, nor how much it means to actually express our mindfulness of others.
“We need enlightenment, not just individually but collectively, to save the planet. We need to awaken ourselves. We need to practice mindfulness if we want to have a future, if we want to save ourselves and the planet.” Thich Nhat Hanh
“Mindfulness practices enhance the connection between our body, our mind and everything else that is around us. Mindful living is the key to understanding our struggles with weight and to empowering us to control our weight.” Thich Nhat Hanh
“When you have children, you realize how easy it is to not see them fully, and perhaps miss all those early years. If you are not careful, you can be too absorbed in work, and they will be only too happy to tell you about it later. Being a parent is one of greatest mindfulness practices of all.” Jon Kabat-Zinn