It’s time to conclude our series on mindfulness that has delved into one, simple notion: and then there was one. There is no you and there is no me. There is no other and there is no self. There is no over and there is under. There are, in fact, no distinctions that withstand mindful scrutiny. There is, rather, but one fabric of life, woven from the pattern of who we are and of who we might become. Our job, then, is to appreciate it fully and to do all that we can to make it ever more visible and true.
For the next six weeks I am visiting my daughter and her ever-growing family in Las Vegas including her husband, her in-laws, and her soon-to-be-born twin girls. It’s hard to imagine anything more special than times such as these. I am, therefore, going to take a break from writing and sending out Provisions during for the next six weeks. Upon my return, I already have an idea of where I am going to go with the next series (and I’m sure I’ll be mulling that around in the back of my mind). For now, however, it’s time to focus my attention on family.
To recap the series I have been writing on mindfulness, it’s helpful to start by looking at the titles of the Provisions in the series and to reread the ones that seem particularly relevant and meaningful at this point in time. Here are the topics we have covered since the beginning of January, concluding with today’s:
- 841: What Mindfulness Means
- 842: Not Knowing Soul
- 843: Time to Look Around
- 844: It Is What It Is
- 845: Barrington Bunny
- 846: Glad to Be Alive
- 847: Time to Stand Still
- 848: Beep, Beep
- 849: Already a Winner
- 850: Time to Unplug
- 851: To Die & Live Again
- 852: Live with Purpose
- 853: It Looks Like Dancing
- 854: Live Your Values
- 855: Control is an Illusion
- 856: Mindless Mindfulness
- 857: Mindful Self-Awareness
- 858: Mindful Generosity
- 859: And Then There Was One
Quite apart from what I wrote in those Provisions, don’t the titles themselves invite you to contemplate and explore the simple yet challenging notion that one can hold a full and complete awareness of what is happening in the present moment without critique or judgment? Practicing mindfulness does just that. The more mindful we become the more we appreciate the true nature of life: and then there was one.
There really are no differences that matter, that are beyond reconciliation, or that should hold us apart. Differences lie on the surface of things: from skin color to position in life to religious orientation to political persuasion to national origin. Wars have been fought over such things, but such hostilities have been always misguided. These are not the things that make people good or bad, better or worse, righteous or evil. On the contrary, there is no basis for war at all since, in the end, we are all the same, we are all human beings.
And all human beings deserve respect, consideration, compassion, and love. This recognition is both the inspiration for and the outcome of mindfulness. We yearn to become one with one another and, indeed, with all of life, and the more we yearn for this the more we make it so. The very act of contemplating solidarity enhances our solidarity with life, an awareness that makes us ever-more insightful, compassionate, generous, and true.
So we end this series where we began, namely, with the invitation for you to become one with yourself, with others, and with all of life. Really one. Not just casually one, but deeply and religiously one. We invite you to explore and to adopt practices that make your heart sing, as though you were a bird calling out to greet the morning with love and to risk, again, the full living of another new day. That, at least for me, is the dynamic truth behind Robert Frost’s famous poem, “The Road Not Taken”.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
For most all of us, mindfulness is the road not taken but, to borrow, that famous line: choosing to do so makes all the difference. So why not go down that road today?
Coaching Inquiries: What does mindfulness mean to you? How would you describe your commitment to mindfulness? What practices assist you to be more mindful? Who are your partners on the journey of mindful living? How could you make that community even more dynamic and true?
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Editor’s Note: The LifeTrek Readers’ Forum contains selections from the comments and materials sent by the readers of LifeTrek Provisions. They do not necessarily reflect the perspective of LifeTrek Coaching International. To submit your comment, use our Feedback Form or Email Bob.
I resonated with our last Provision on mindful generosity. Learning to practice non-fear is my mission. Thanks.
May you be filled with goodness, peace, joy, and health.
Bob Tschannen-Moran, MCC, BCC
President, LifeTrek Coaching International, www.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformation, www.SchoolTransformation.com
Past President, International Association of Coaching, www.CertifiedCoach.org
Author, Evocative Coaching: Transforming Schools One Conversation at a Time, Online Retailers
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