Mindful moments on living happy and up

POSTED: 05/7/15 1:21 PM

Mindful living has to do with present moment awareness. However, if one is not here, it becomes difficult to know that one isn’t here. One of our greatest character flaws is stemmed from the fact that we are mindless. One-tracked and tunnel visioned in pursuit of our goals. We are fearful that someone else will be better, quicker, stronger/ win, and that would mean we are the opposite, inferior. To teach a new generation of people to be here and mindful of each other might be best thing we have ever done for the world, but this can only be done if we are present now.

About a year ago, a week before Curtis had passed I began to read Eckhart Tolle’s book the “The Power of Now” and came to understand that Mr. Tolle was talking about mindfulness. A year later I am overcome by the enormity of the loss of such a sweet and caring soul and realizing that through my and many others mindlessness how careless a happening this was. Blame, like its cousin shame, is an emotion that I consciously refute, it is an emotion for those who are aware but choose to do differently. If I am aware and attuned, with time a shift in my perception would transform my actions. I think this has to do with being inspired by life and I know that we all possess the potential to be inspired and inspire others. These days we seem very attached to our outer beliefs like gaining status, having the right car, or even bragging about our intellectual superiority and miss what’s in front of us. Its sad to say that it takes a real personal tragedy, like illness or death of a loved one to splash icy water in our fog congested minds to pay attention and choose love first. Tolle spoke about “the pain-body.” The pain body drives us to curse off, neglect, hurt others and ourself. It may look mild on some but for others becomes a real hurricane in the mind and body – lashing out is the pain-body in action. I know many are informed on this concept but are we mindful of the full, thorough and sometimes damaging effect this has on others. Of course it has been a year of inner reflection for me, actually this is my third year of looking consistently on the inside. Fortunately, I was able to spend time in the presence of young children and adolescence, my own included and ‘feel’ myself through a mindful lens and bear witness to up and coming generation. I thank the Sister Genevieve de Weever School, The Vocational School, The CIA Academy and The Voice of The Youth Foundation for allowing me to bring emotional education, mindfulness, meditation, science on the brain and even puberty and reproductive system to the classrooms. Myriam Haar and I have learned much from being in the children’s presence. Changes came with understanding the habits of the mind. I came to understand the beliefs that I had anchored myself to and recognize other youngsters anchors and pain-bodies as well. The most joyous understanding though is how we can influence the development to bring out empathy in young people and a caring society. I want to make clear that I was very confident and still am grateful for how our government and the hard working people have gotten this country to be the jewel that it is in the Caribbean. A shift in its message, with less individuality and more communal emphasis, can bring about friendly changes here. Governments privileged position to not actively promote for example integrity by means of supporting marriages and family life, father-child relationships, counseling for broken families who are in need or acknowledging their struggles. Part of life is to highlight supporting care for physically handicapped members and providing resources and safety and reformation for the lost, the depressed and poor. A caring government understands what it is to be in need of care, and not make them feel self-conscious by disassociating from the population’s hardships. It will create a fickle and ungrateful attitude from the people. The Up and Happy message gives permission, to bully, judge, and snob others into hiding their problems. It’s so fake even the political parties can’t make it fit. People have real challenges, stories, they hold these stories as I held Curtis’s story with Jacintha (my dear friend) as a touch stone to validate my story. She was my witness, my support along with the courage that I gained to be present from mindfulness. A rich country does not automatically mean a generous country, in fact that’s usually when the segregation of the haves and have-nots tend to kill any sense of empathy working from either end. The reality is many of us have our up and happy moments. Political life that campaigns around simplistic terms and exclude a whole chunk of the reality of what is going on for others is childish.  Curtis’s getting ill, and passing has forced me savor life, look at, but I still feel that Curtis should have been here now. He should have known and understood his worth to his family, his friends, colleagues, classmates – his country. Somehow this message did not get through to his core. This is why we need to work on our slogans. He fought to stay with us but his pain-body, sleep-deprived, anxiety ridden, high expectation, fighting spirit and his idea that he was supposed to save others and be invulnerable, crashed.  Have compassion and do not judge him. He should be the reason we remind all our children about their worth to us. To disconnect from our vulnerability in ourselves and others will not allow us to be happy or up.

Debbie Zwanikken

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