How to Mindfully Serve Others in Times of Change
Our team raised the question this month about how we can help others during this unique time. The more we shared ideas, the more we realized everyone’s desire came from a different intention. We had to reframe our question and ask it from a more mindful state and start with, “Why do we wish to help?” From there, we could consciously listen to what is needed and wanted from others before taking action. How can you mindfully serve others in times of change? Let’s first look at the word mindfulness.
What is Mindfulness?
When you purposely bring nonjudgmental awareness to the thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations of the present moment, you are being mindful. The practice of mindfulness helps you become observant of the situation without over-identifying with your thoughts and feelings, which, then helps you have a deeper understanding of your beliefs, emotional states, and behaviors.
Recognize How You Feel
The first important step before making any decision is to tune in and notice how you’re feeling in this present moment. You can’t help others effectively if you don’t know yourself. Try asking the following questions:
- When a situation is triggering, how do you feel?
- What emotion are you feeling right now?
- How do you respond? Do you: sleep more, get restless, become talkative, create or do more, or do less than normal?
Honor These Feelings
There is no right or wrong feeling in this time or any time. Acknowledging where you are at helps you stay present without trying to ignore it, push it down, or deflect it on to others.
Connect to Your Why
Now, ask yourself, “Why do you wish to help?” Again, there is no right or wrong. Clearly defining your intention helps you stay mindful while taking action. Revisit this why every day. Maybe you’ll notice some deeper work needs to happen, like confronting your fears, educating yourself more, or assessing your core beliefs. This is your personal growth work and it can be done while you’re serving others.
Honor Other People’s Feelings
Even when you don’t know what the other person or group is feeling or thinking, your mindful practice can help you take effective action.
- Educate Yourself: get to know who you want to help. Read, watch, listen, and ask questions.
- Listen: communicate with others and listen to what they are saying. Be mindful not to assume you know.
- Be authentic: what can you offer in this situation? When you show up mindfully knowing your intentions, your feelings in the moment, and the awareness of what you don’t know, then you can meet others from a place of vulnerability versus a place of defensiveness. This authenticity helps open the door for others to do the same.
Mindfully serving others may not be in some heroic way you’ve been shown on social media. It will be better! True help and service reaches someone where they are – not where you desire them to be. Learn more ways to engage with others in the Life Balance Kits in the Veraki app.