This post is a repost from September 2018, as I am in Washingtom DC attending a conference AND fulfilling a bucket list while I still have mobility. I am reflecting back on successes and my own participation at the 2018 conference.
A blog about hope and strong women and sometimes I need to revisit my own struggles. When I examined my two main pet peeves, they both point to mindfulness, or rather the absence of it. One peeve is possibly life-altering, but both are a lack of attention. Why?
The world we now live has sped up. Everything seems to have an urgency. We have gone from a twelve second to a seven second attention span. Reading has become skimming, dangerous when needing the details and irritating to those who provided them and yet are asked for the details already given.
Now, what to do about it? Even for myself, I find it easy to jump to conclusions before reading or researching all the facts. Awareness starts here. The term “multi-tasking” is really a trap. You can only do one thing at a time well…..like reading music and playing an instrument become one when proficient at it and it comes back to being mindful, in the moment. Some things are just automatic, like breathing. Otherwise, we owe it to ourselves to be aware of our surroundings at all times and to be mindful when interacting with others, like on the roads or in public spaces. Learn to breathe into your next move rather than being on autopilot.
If you take nothing more from this post other than to be aware and responsible for all your actions, that’s golden. There is a ripple effect. I watch when it unfolds. It’s like instant karma. Goodness doesn’t come from “the ruling classes.” It comes from the everyday actions of everyday people, like standing up to bullies. We are the ruling class that makes the world spin. Your decisions! Your actions or inactions. Be the best self you can by being mindful. It takes everyday practice.
This takes me back to my own purpose of the job I was given to do in being the acting local volunteer coordinator for an international conference. Huge undertaking with some tools provided. It’s what I did for work for many years as a site coordinator. The want and the need was there. Graciously, I accepted it knowing I could do it. The want and need is no longer in the equation. It was “divinely” appointed for a good cause. Therefore, grace was my lesson, in that I needed patience when dealing with so many different mindsets of the dozens of volunteers and the multitudes of attendees needing assistance. The team of people pulling this off were amazing. The public view was how well run the enormous daily programs went over the four-day conference. Behind the scenes, the conference staff was jumping the entire time. Impressive undertaking and long days.
Two instances stand out when I wasn’t feeling gracious because first, a rush of attendees came into the space I occupied, where the “meet and greet” was taking place. Their combined energies overwhelmed me, I started shaking, teary-eyed and had to retreat to my room for an hour, where I also nourished myself with food. The second was the last evening at dinner, after the conference ended, where my “hangryness” surfaced. I was spent, physically and emotionally. My table companions helped me with my issues and graciously, our server, showed me patience and understood my frustrations. The Bloody Mary might have started to take its effect, which by then was a good thing (I rarely drink). Back in my room, my roommate helped me process my feelings and allowed me to “forgive myself” for acting out. I knew it while I did it, but all my filters had disappeared due to the stresses. I was allowed and grace showed up.
Now, time to retreat and recharge. By doing this, by taking time-out for myself, I get both grounded from the emotional effects I’m having and spiritually blessed by the many experiences provided. Try it. You may find that your mind slows down so that you stay mindful. Take a walk among the trees, along the shores, where nature nurtures. Remember, we ourselves and everyone we encounter deserve grace and that starts with kindness.