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Mindful : October 2019
Dig Deeper Mindful.org will be hosting a series of Q&As and guided meditations on resilience and healing racial injustice with Rhonda Magee, author of The Inner Work of Racial Justice. Sign up at mindful.org/Rhonda Anne Alexander is a longtime meditator, yogi, and editor. She is the author of two New York Times best sellers and has had a hand in shaping magazines, books, apps, and websites for Rodale, National Geographic, and more. Resilience. I used to think it was a kind of toughening up, a leather- ing or weathering of our inner and outer resources that hardened our weaknesses and made us less vulnerable to the slings and arrows in life. Heming way’s phrase about being “strong in all the broken places” seemed to poetically capture what I’d considered resilience. But I don’t subscribe to that theory any longer. No, I’ve come to see that resilience is the opposite. It requires mental suppleness, flexibility, and a raw vulner- ability that allow us to dive deeply into our psyche—espe- cially the broken places—and see ourselves, our thoughts and feelings, our beauty and longings, hurts and wounds, shadows, worst delusions and misdeeds, and to hold all of that with compassion, curiosity, and loving care. And when we become more tender with ourselves, we can see a path to becoming more tender with others, too. As we see our full humanity with loving eyes—all of it, the good, bad, and ugly—and learn to pause so we can bind up our own wounds, see our illusions, recognize our dreams, blow on the embers of our essence, and chart our own way forward, we can also see that fullness in others and recognize their triumphs, losses, delusions, misdeeds— and maybe even see their wounds that need binding and dreams that call out for nurturing. When we understand resilience in that way, the world opens up to us. It reveals the strong places, and the broken ones, too. It calls us to pause and commit to our true human work. And that is the source of our thriving and our real power. This issue, I hope you’ll join me in pausing and exploring some of the science and stories of resilience and vulnera- bility, especially the deeply affecting interview with cover person Jenée Johnson and her declaration of sovereignty and personal courage. I hope you will find encouragement to lean into your mindfulness practice with clear, loving eyes. The slings and arrows of life are inevitable, but mindfulness can help us all to be magnificently resilient—and thrive— no matter what comes our way. Love, 4 mindful October 2019 PHOTOGRAPHSBYSTEPHANIEDIANI from the editor