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More about mindfulness and kindness
We've seen mindfulness move from the bedroom to the boardroom and beyond, with ever more corporations and athletes embracing the proven effects of enhanced focus, resilience, emotional intelligence, kindness and compassion. The Harvard Business Review touts mindfulness as essential for business leaders and the list of companies adopting mindfulness like Google, Apple, Aetna and Ikea, is growing longer by the day.
Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to whatever is happening in our lives, inside and out, in the present moment. When we connect with the present, we become aware of habitual patterns of thought, emotion and behaviour.
With mindfulness, we train ourselves to pay close attention to what is going on in the present moment; just as it is. Much of our suffering is a result of regrets about the past, worries about the future or judgments about the present. When we are mindful we become aware of and explore these habitual thought patterns and ways of reacting. This attitude of curiosity allows us to create new and healthier ways of responding to life’s challenges.
Benefits of mindfulness:
Some people say it’s not mindfulness without kindness! Ajahm Brahm, a leading monastic mindfulness teacher, coined the phrase “kindfulness” because bringing kindness to your mindfulness practice is so important in working with challenges and unpleasant experience.
The world needs more kindness, and becoming kinder is an important effect of practising mindfulness. Just ask Margaret Wente, who tried an 8-week program that, according to her husband, made her less crabby!
Kindness is the intention and capacity to offer joy and happiness with no strings attached. Like a muscle, kindness can be trained. As Samuel Johnson said, “Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.”
Studies show “that kindness (along with emotional stability) is the most important predictor of satisfaction and stability in a marriage. Kindness makes each partner feel cared for, understood, and validated—feel loved… there’s a great deal of evidence showing the more someone receives or witnesses kindness, the more they will be kind themselves, which leads to upward spirals of love and generosity in a relationship.” (The Atlantic, Masters of Love)
Learn more about mindfulness here.