Mindfulness Activity #67

Mindfulness Activity #67
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Gratitude for Others

Good Morning. This morning I was reading a piece by a domestic care-giver, a home health aide in New York City caring for an elderly client who requires around the clock care. It is a diary written by “Kieran” the caregiver (not her actual name). It chronicles the long hours spent taking care of her patient, her efforts to keep herself and her patient safe by sanitizing, and her efforts to keep herself and her patient emotionally well. She describes in great detail her routines for self-care that include many hot cups of tea, stretching, mindfulness practice, prayer, wrapping herself up in a blanket, and gratitude for sleep in the moments she is able to sleep. Because many of her colleagues fell ill, she was working grueling hours and experienced extreme fatigue. If you have time, read her full 30 day diary here…

https://www.thelily.com/i-do-not-have-the-luxury-of-staying-home-30-days-as-a-domestic-worker-in-new-york-city/

“Kieran” is a model of self-care for those who serve others, but really for all of us. She is aware of her emotional state and does things to correct it when she feels frightened or worried. What struck me most about her account though was the power of gratitude for the kindness of others. She wrote…

I’m due back at work in the morning and I am concerned about not feeling recharged enough. Fortunately, love comes when you least expect it. An old friend checks up on me. And another friend, very dear to my heart also calls. It’s amazing how kindness and thoughtfulness can save the day.

This account shows the restorative power of kindness. We can be grateful for the kindness of others in our lives right now and it buoys us and brings us good feelings and respite from challenges. What’s interesting though is that we can derive the same benefits by remembering someone who has been kind to us, in our corner, or supportive at any time in our life.

So, today’s practice involves awareness of gratitude for the kindness of others. Sit down with your back upright and feet touching the floor. Have a soft gaze a little bit in front of you. Take a few deep breaths as you settle in to this practice.

Leader Read Aloud (or read to yourself if alone):

Call to mind someone who has been kind to you–someone who has encouraged you or offered you support. The person can be someone you have access to now or someone you are no longer able to contact. Recall what this person looks like. Review in your mind instances when this person has been kind to you. Now think about how you felt when you received their encouragement, love, or support. Feel that same feeling right in this moment. Like Kieran, who was able to get enough energy to return to work even though she was tired, the support of others can help you to get through whatever challenges you have. Keep breathing in deeply and exhaling slowly. Imagine you are breathing in the support of this person. Feel the energy from your connection to this person in your life. Feel the strength created by the kindness of others. On your exhale, breathe out gratitude for the presence or the memory of this person. Continue to breathe in, thinking of this person and deriving energy and warmth, and breath out feeling gratitude for the gift of this person in your life. Repeat this practice for as long as you like, but for at least 3 minutes.

You can use this practice to recharge and restore whenever you feel depleted.

I wish you success in whatever challenges you face today!

Michele

Michele-Galietta

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