I’ve made a lot of changes in the last few years, mainly in terms of trying to be more mindful. I think I’m driving more mindfully, sitting more mindfully, conversing with others more mindfully. I simply do not spend as much time in the future or past I as I used to, and I’m so much more at peace.
But I’ve discovered (yet another) area of my life that I have been living somewhat mindlessly. Ironically, for me to be mindful in this area requires a bit more intentional planning. Yes, mindfulness is a balance between planning (looking forward) using history as a context (looking backward) and being mindful and present in the moment.
The area I’m referring to is doing good.
I think I do good every day. At least that’s my intention. I work hard at my job, my coach and training practice and blog each day to try to serve others and improve their lives. I try to walk through this world with awareness and respect for my fellow man.
But stopping to think specifically how I can do some profound good each day? I got this idea from Catherine Ann Jones’ book Heal Your Self With Writing, which she credits to Benjamin Franklin.
I’m mindless enough (a recurring theme) to not be able to remember to practice this each day, but the days that I have done it have either touched someone else (I made a loved one cry), or made me feel euphoric.
This is not rocket science. We already know that one of the best ways to find positive emotion is by giving of yourself to others. A dear friend, Mimi Cox has a practice on her birthday to perform an act of kindness for every year she has spent on the earth. She anonymously leaves gift cards or flowers for strangers, volunteers, and writes gratitude letters. She inspires me to be a thoughtful and creative giver, a skill I have not really tried to develop until now.
Thank you Mimi and others like you who seem to just be oozing kindness and generosity. I can only strive to follow your footsteps.