Mindfulness for the Election Year

Do you think mindfulness has a place in politics?  We do….

Raising the world’s compassion set point -This is just one of the gifts that can be uncovered by mindfulness.   Congressman Tim Ryan is an eloquent and brave proponent of the practical benefits of building a more attentive, compassionate culture, and how the realm of politics could use a dose of mindfulness.   He may get some guff from traditional politicos, but he is unapologetic about his push for Washington to up the skills set that mindfulness provides,

Bear witness to your human nature – If you have already begun a mindfulness practice, you may have noticed a subtle change in your ability to accept the full package that comes with being human. You may have noticed tiny shifts in your ability to sit with uncomfortable situations and unpleasant emotions like sadness and anger. This acceptance of being human gives us the ability to be less reactionary and make better choices. Noticing our Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 1.28.16 PMhuman nature also gives us more opportunities to cut through the assault of information that hits us every day and helps us focus on what matters most.

In relationship – What we usually find is what matters most is being in healthy relationships with others. Whether that relationship is warm and loving, or difficult and trying, personal or professional, we have a choice to respond in a way that fosters compassion. Take a look at our worksheet on mindful relationships.

Let go of your edge – Would you give up your “edge” to feel more peaceful? When Jenny Lykken, a Google executive talked about teaching mindfulness to employees, one of the concerns that came up was a fear “losing their edge.”  There appears to be a fear that mindfulness will make us less productive and less successful. The neuroscience behind mindfulness contradicts this assumption.

You know this stuff –   Do you know any judgemental babies?  Probably not.  That’s because we are born into a state on natural curiosity and compassion.  In other words, we are born into a state of mindfulness.  It is a gift that we were all given. This gift might now be buried under a lot of noise.  Stop right now and think of a time when you felt fully present to your surroundings and felt at peace. How far back in time did you have to search? What if you could feel that way on a regular basis? What would you give to feel this way more often?  

The good news is you don’t have to give up anything, certainly not your “edge” or your ability to communicate effectively.  In fact, you, the world, including the world of American politics, has much to gain. 

Read more about Congressman’s Tim Ryan’s work on mindfulness

Listen to this NPR clip to see how Young staffers find their zen

Self-compassion is not a cop-out.  Researcher Kristen Neff tells us why.

Do you think mindfulness has a place in politics?  Let us know your views.

We wish you twenty minutes of mindfulness every day!

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