I’m somewhat unconventional. I believe in non-violence, radical acceptance, and minimal consumption, among other things. And in a culture that can focus heavily on killing-for-sport, justice (often leaning towards vengeance), and consumerism, sometimes I stand in quiet opposition to people around me. Many of the individuals I find myself contrasted with are people I respect, like, and love. And I’m not “right” and they “wrong”, we’re all just at different places, on different paths.
(At this point, a big disclaimer/clarifier is probably in order: In practice, I absolutely do not hold perfectly to my beliefs. I have my fair share of moments of anger, resistance, and greediness I am not claiming to be the ideal, nor am I claiming to live a model life. What I am saying is that these are my beliefs [at least, for now; I reserve my right to change my mind at any moment], and that I try to live up to my beliefs as best I can – even amid all my human foibles and shortcomings.)
So. All of this is to set the stage for the very cool event that happened in my day today, the stand-out occurrence that caused me to smile broadly, from deep within my heart.
At the beginning of this month I went on a work-related meditation retreat; and after the experience, I shared a variety of semi-easy-to-implement meditation/mindfulness methods with my coworkers. I offered the meditation items in the spirit of, “I think these are cool; take them if you like them; leave them if you don’t. Either way, it’s all good.” (‘Cause it really is; my path is not the path for everyone.) My coworkers were authentically curious about the experience and the tools, and were (are) very supportive of me. I felt so much gratitude for them (and continue to feel so valued by them on a regular basis); it was (and continues to be) lovely.
But that was literally 30 days ago; and old habits are robust, and starting new behaviors is difficult. BUT. I was in a meeting today with a few of my peers, and towards the end of the session one of my coworkers suggested that we perform one of the mindfulness methods before wrapping up our meeting. And she looked at me, and smiled; and my heart beamed. I was so flattered, and so delighted, and so touched that she 1) remembered, 2) initiated, and 3) was 100% sincere. Wow. Wow!
This action was completely unexpected (indeed, *I* often forget about these methods in the course of a busy business day), and so touching to me. In those few moments we all paused, breathed, and were still. I know I felt peace; and overwhelming appreciation. To be listened to is one thing, but to be heard is something completely different. I still have a big ol’ grin on my face. : )