Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Three words that create connection...How are you?

Do you take the time to really see the people you come into contact with? I am guilty of saying what's expected. So someone asks me how's my day and I automatically say good or fine...but this isn't always true. So,  I was really surprised when I asked the cashier at the grocery store how she was doing and she gave me an honest answer... After my initial surprise I took in what she said and responded with understanding and compassion. Her response to this was a true appreciation for having been heard, seen and validated. Just three words,  a real desire to connect and an interest in a persons wellbeing can make a difference on both sides. I felt empathy and she felt gratitude. I'm not suggesting that you go around sharing your life story with everyone! But pausing to really connect with others helps us get out of our heads and into life!

Checking in to see how you're doing is an act of care and compassion...

A good practice is to use this question as a way to check in with yourself...what are you thinking, how are those thoughts affecting your emotions, does it escalate the feelings, are you reacting or responding... It is an opportunity to come into the present moment and see if there is a need to slow things down and really connect with what is happening... This in turn gives you a chance to begin to respond in a way that is healing. It could be pausing to breathe, or give yourself a break from thinking, doing, acting or being. So go ahead and give it a try! When you take care of yourself the world becomes a brighter place, you feel balanced and are able to connect from a place of abundance. 

Here's a beautiful podcast by Buddhist Meditation Teacher and Psychotherapist Tara Brach where she guides us on how to practice checking in and explains the benefits of this loving practice.

May you have moments of peace
May your heart be filled with compassion
May you be free from suffering