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Mindful : June 2018
When we clear our mental slate, we get kinder. Kindness and caring for others doesn’t only arise from good wishes. It can also emerge naturally from noticing fixed viewpoints and letting them go, however briefly. After all, when they arise again—as they will—we can simply repeat the process. that the powerful discerning mind we need to evalu- ate our own and others’ behavior gets carried away. We’ve shut off our curiosity and decided what’s what. See if you can drop the stor y without the world falling apart. 3 Enjoy the Space In place of the fixed story line, a gap will emerge. Without your predetermined and prepackaged label, you’ll begin to notice more details. You’ll begin to notice the humanity and vulnerability you share with others—however different and however flawed they may appear from your per- spective. The less you “know” in this case, the bet- ter. You can see freshly. Beginning with Awareness 4 Share the Warmth Chances are that, without the armor of your fixed label to create barri- ers and distance between you and another, you may be touched by their humanity. It may soften you up and open your hear t. You may find a luminous warmth lies within. Let it be there. Appreciate it. It will spread naturally, if you remain with it for a while. 5 Move On Avoid fixating on the process of unmasking as a big deal. The less you think it’s a momentous thing, the more likely it is to become a simple habit, like drinking tea or coffee. 1 Notice Irritation When you find you’re getting edgy and irritable with what some- one else is up to, see if you can take a break in the action and explore underneath the irritation, going to its roots. Don’t waste time beat- ing yourself up about it. Just take a moment to see what your curious, investigating mind is revealing. 2 Examine the Story You’re Telling Yourself Underneath the irritation is likely to be a story line. And the story is where the bias is held. “These people...”; “When some- one does that, they’re...”; “I can’t stand it when...” Part of what’s going on here is June 2018 mindful 71 get real