I’ve drawn a blank. This article is meant to uplift and motivate. It is meant to give you quick and easy tips to navigate your professional life and home life and recognize that it is all one, big, beautiful life. It is meant to give you some information that may allow you to work better, more efficiently, and perhaps bring a bit of calm and ease to an otherwise busy life. And right now, when calm and ease are most needed, I find myself without words.
Everyone’s life has changed. The simple conveniences we got so used to living with have been modified without a clear definition of when or how they will return. Uncertainty brings along various emotions – worry, fear, and anxiety, to name a few. This article is here to remind you to feel compassion toward yourself and others and to look forward and forge ahead.
Compassion is the feeling that someone is there for you. Compassion is a mother rocking her crying baby and soothing it. According to Rick Hanson, author of Resilient, How to Grow an Unbreakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness, giving compassion lowers stress and calms your body while receiving compassion makes you stronger and more able to take a breath, find your footing, and keep going.
There are many people and professions that need our compassion: doctors, nurses, delivery personnel, grocery store workers, healthcare providers, teachers, people who have lost their jobs.
In addition to showing compassion for others, finding compassion toward yourself helps you become stronger. Compassion toward yourself is learning how to become your very own ally. Below, you’ll find a way to build compassion toward yourself and others. It is a simple meditation called metta, or loving/kindness meditation.
Sit or lie down and allow your body to relax.
Allow your eyes to close.
Say to yourself:
May I be happy,
May I be well,
May I be safe,
May I be peaceful and at ease.
Think of someone you love, someone you interact with, a group of people that may need compassion.
To them say:
May you be happy,
May you be well,
May you be safe,
May you be peaceful and at ease.
Repeat the sayings three times (or as many times as you need to hear it).
Compassion for yourself is where you start, not where you stop. In addition to compassion, a good amount of grit is needed to maintain mental strength. Grit is the mental fortitude to push through. Grit is being resourceful and having agency, or the sense that you can make things happen, rather than being helpless. Rick Hanson says, “If you’ve been knocked down by life, agency is the first thing you draw on to get up off the floor; look for experiences in which you are making a choice or influencing an outcome.” He uses the analogy of being a hammer rather than a nail.
Humans are resilient. YOU are resilient. Humankind has persisted throughout various challenges, and we continue to forge through. Continue to make progress within. Continue to believe in the resiliency of the human spirit. You can do this!