Month: December 2020

A Century Of Money

Recessions, depressions, bubbles, and blue skies — our economy has a history of soaring and plummeting. This hour, TED speakers look to the past for lessons on building a more stable financial future. Guests include journalist Kathleen Day, financial advisor Tammy Lally, writer Elizabeth White, and filmmaker Abigail Disney.

Give The Gift Of Compassion This Holiday Season With Co-Mindfulness

Dwarf Burford Holly

by Doro Bush Koch & Tricia Reilly Koch

This year many of us won’t be traveling home for
the holidays. We won’t be rushing off to parties to celebrate the passing of
another year with our friends. We’ll find new pandemic-safe ways to get
together with our loved ones – over Zoom, bundled up around a fire outside,
masked inside our living-rooms with the windows wide open.

Managing our lives during a global pandemic has
been stressful and emotionally draining. Having sacrificed so much already, it
feels cruel not to be able to share the holidays with the people we love. In
our sadness and fatigue, many of us might be inclined to withdraw and hunker
down, but to retreat would be a mistake. The best gift we can give ourselves,
and our loved ones, this holiday season is the gift of our compassion.

Before Covid-19 became a household word, we
started asking ourselves what giving our compassion to others might look like.
How do we make compassion not something we practice every once in a while, but
the very foundation of how we interact with people? Scientific studies have
shown that giving is a much more pleasurable and beneficial experience for us
than receiving is. When we give our compassion to others, not only are we
lifting up the people around us, we are also giving a very real boost to our
own well-being and happiness.

Are You Listening?

To help people cultivate more compassion in their
everyday lives, our team at Bright, Bold & Real Wellness Consulting has
devised a practice that we call Co-Mindfulness. Inspired by the core tenets of
mindfulness meditation, co-mindfulness is a wellness practice rooted in our
relationships. While we tend not to think of our individual well-being as bound
up in other people, scientific studies have revealed that close empathic
relationships are as vital to our health and happiness as diet, exercise,
meditation and sleep are.

Like meditation, co-mindfulness is a practice that
we intentionally set out to do. In mindfulness meditation, we use our breath to
bring our attention to the present moment. In co-mindfulness, we use 7 core principles
to be more fully and compassionately present to the people in our lives. Today,
we’d like to share the first principle “Giving Our Full Attention” to help you make
compassion part of your everyday life. To get started,
choose one close person in your life as your co-mindfulness partner. This
person (who doesn’t need to know that they’re your partner) will serve as your ‘time’
to practice co-mindfulness, meaning whenever you are with this person you will practice
giving them your full attention. Having a partner when getting started ensures
that you regularly practice the principle. Over time, as the principle becomes
more familiar and natural, you can expand your practice to others. The goal is
for the principle to become such an ingrained habit that you begin to do it instinctually
without thinking.

The
principle “Giving Our Full Attention” begins with what we like to call deep
listening
. Deep listening is
patient, inquisitive and has no agenda. Unlike most of the listening we do,
deep listening is a deliberate quality of listening that generously gives space
to another person to freely and safely express themselves. To practice deep
listening, you first need to let go of any expectations you might have for the
conversation. You need to set aside your own personal thoughts and feelings and
make yourself fully available to your partner. Once you’ve carved out a space
within yourself for your partner, you then invite them to speak first, closely listening
to their emotions as well as their words. When they are done speaking, instead
of responding with your own anecdote or piece of advice, you ask open-ended
questions to draw them out, such as “Why did you…?” “What were you feeling
when…?” “Can you tell me more about…” You let your partner take the
conversation wherever they want. All you have to do is make them feel valued and
held by your deep compassionate listening.

20180225_Sunset before the snow

As you listen to your partner, you will also
need to pay attention to what they’re not saying – their body language,
tone of voice, subtle facial expressions. Somewhere between 60 – 80% of human
communication is nonverbal. To understand what your partner is truly thinking and feeling, you
will need to fight your natural
instinct to take what they are saying at face value and pay close attention to
their non-verbal cues. Be especially attentive to any incongruities between what
they are saying and their body language. If you notice a disparity, inquire
about it. You could say something like, “You say you are…but I notice that
you…” These thoughtful observations shared in an open and non-judgmental way
can help to draw your partner out and have them share with you what is really
going on with them.

Giving someone our full attention is how we
express our love for them. We all have a deep desire to be loved and
understood. The more we practice giving our full attention with the people in
our lives, the more we show them our understanding and love, the more we will
be loved and understood in return. This year make compassion your gift to your
loved ones and enjoy a healthier, happier and more fulfilling holidays.


To learn more about co-mindfulness, go to https://comindfulnessproject.com/.       

The following two tabs change content below.

Our aim is to promote mindfulness.


How To Citizen

This year’s election saw historic voter turnout. But in a divided democracy, how else can we commit to our civic duties? This hour, Baratunde Thurston joins Manoush with ideas on how to citizen.

Ripple Effect: Mindfulness and COVID-19

Ripple Reduction

by Hillary Goldthwait-Fowles

“There is only one cause of
unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head.” ~ Anthony De Mello

Covid-19.
That name alone sends shivers down the spine. Stories of suffering, death,
tragedy. A global pandemic the likes we have never seen before, at least in our
lifetimes. Bungled government responses. Politicalization of mask wearing. The
noise is maddening. 

Living in Maine during this time has been a gift. We thought we
were immune to the devastating impact of COVID-19. But like the emerging
winter, it showed itself in all of its viral might. Yet we kept on living like
we’d be okay. Yet, here we are. Right in the thick of it. With no sign of
letting up.

It seemed innocent enough. A night with friends.  Laughter.
Support. Joy. “It’s safe here”, you tell yourself. Everyone’s doing their part.
You tell yourself it won’t happen to you. 

Fast forward to three days later. Fatigue. Cough. Something’s not
right. Maybe it’s just a cold. Maybe it’s not. “Stay home” you hear. So you
stay home and make an appointment to get tested just to be sure.  There’s
too much at stake. 

Then the results come in like something out of The Scarlett
Letter. Positive for COVID-19. The flood of emotions – anger, sadness, grief, despair,
uncertainty, guilt, shame, fear. You have no idea how this will turn out. You
wonder who else will be impacted. The fear of the unknown, the fear of the
ripple effect stares you in the face. 

What to do? Well, you can’t change what’s happened to you, but you
can change how you respond. That’s a choice you can make everyday. 

Ripples

As an anxious person, employing a mindfulness practice has been a
big part of my life.  It’s a practice that is sacred, is ever evolving and
is personal. It’s this mindfulness practice that is getting me through COVID.
Every morning I meditate. I’ll find a place to quietly set an intention. I’ll
listen to either a guided meditation or to solfeggio tones. The goal of this is
to listen to the breath, get silent, and remind myself of the many things to be
grateful for.

Through this practice I’ve discovered some truths. When you’re
sick there’s a lot of time to think. Perhaps too much time. Too much in your
head and not enough in your heart. In mindfulness practices during a COVID diagnosis
and recovery, these themes emerged:

Fear of the unknown – general fear.

Lack of trust due to unresolved trauma. 

Despair over my own sense of entitlement and how my own actions
have their own ripple effect that may not be in anyone’s best interest.

How interconnected we all are.

One moment in particular stands out. I was on the couch with my
husband. When we are snuggled, it’s a form of mindfulness practice. Over time
our breathing rhythms sync. Everything gets quiet. In this moment, I feel truly
safe. It’s in this moment that I notice a pain in my heart. What is this?
I invite this pain to sit and tell me about itself. It’s in my heart centre.
It’s not despair. It’s not sadness. Breathe into it. Allow. Listen.

It’s heartache. Heartache over COVID. Heartache for the millions
who are suffering from COVID, displacement, unemployment, tragedy,
disenfranchisement, systemic racism, ableism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia.
Heartbreak over the divisiveness of our country. Heartbreak over hatred. Heartbreak
over my own internalized isms. 

In that moment of acknowledgement, I notice that the pain in my
heart has subsided. I take another breath. The pain continues to subside
and floats away. 

There are other realizations that have occurred during this COVID
diagnosis and its immediate aftermath. All of which came through when I paused,
got still, listened, leaned in, and practiced loving kindness and compassion
towards myself. Some of these realizations were around fear. Some were around
my own internalized ableism (a mark of success is to work from home while being
sick?! What?!). 

Ripples Of Sunlight

The largest realization was my own privileged, entitled white
woman attitude. How cavalier to think that something like COVID won’t happen to
you, or to someone you love. That you’re above reproach. I’m leaning into
this through mindfulness, leaving guilt, shame, and blame behind. Genuinely
acknowledging these elements of myself, and making the choice to let them go.
The choices that you make today have far reaching consequences for days, weeks,
months, and years to come. We are all interconnected. Our actions have ripple
effects that go beyond ourselves, our egos. Being mindful of this, my life
will never be the same. 

For which I am grateful.


Check out Hillary’s website: www.hillaryhelpsulearn.com

Twitter: @hillarygfphdatp

The following two tabs change content below.

Our aim is to promote mindfulness.