Respond with a Mindful Light
Being mindful personally and professionally is sometimes challenging and to be “it” we must intentionally practice “it”.
As a faculty member the month of April is fast paced. I believe this is true for many colleagues, students and patient family members. My hope during this time is to remind us to take a deep breath, enjoy one another’s presence and be there for one another.
For today’s Friendly Light I really want to focus on being mindful because we can become deranged human beings when we begin to wrap ourselves up in our anxiousness of all we have to do if we only focus on the check box and lose opportunities to be attentive and empathetic.
So even if I lighten up on myself (because with my mind all over the place I will admit I was struggling to write this post for the week) okay I give myself permission, I will, this will be my shortest blog post so far.
April is among us, exciting times to celebrate with colleagues and students, many papers to grade, managing personal anxiousness as well as being conscious of colleagues and students’ anxiousness and the random personal life to do’s (baseball practices, getting in a workout, taxes, walking the dog, cleaning out the car, finding time for friends...oh my!) All this week around 7pm, I’m like crap where did the day go. This time of year things always get sacrificed. How can we be mindful and remain somewhat sane?
For me I’ve learned not to be so hard on myself (some days I forget this but as I get older I’m becoming more self aware of what my mind, body and soul need-without the guilt, like Wednesday night at 9pm, my body was screaming at me to go to bed, so I did). Being aware of my own well-being places me in a position to respond to others with a mindful light (family, friends, colleagues, students, strangers, etc.)
To give one understanding of mindfulness I share here four areas Ronald Siegel (2014) discusses in a section of his transcript book titled, “The Science of Mindfulness: A Research-Based Path to Well-Being. The section focuses on attention and empathy in relationships. And is only a small section of his 545 page write up.
1. Be attentive: By being present we are fully engaged where we are at that moment. How are we being present in the moments of our personal and professional life?
2. Express Empathy: By being empathetic we feel how another person is feeling. How are we in tune with how others around us are feeling?
3. Show up with an open mind: We do much better if we have radical uncertainty of something different, which can lead us to radically accepting things that we cannot change for now. How are we showing up with an open mind?
4. Be accepting: Acceptance enhances our kindness practices. It helps us build positive emotions and resources for others. And it shifts us away from fault finding in ourselves and others. How are we building positive emotions and resources for others?
Life will get hectic, respond to others with a mindful light.