Dear Integral Meditators,
How much more warmth, benevolence & emotional richness can you bring into your life through simple acts of attention? The answer is a lot, as I explore in the article on goodwill below…
In the spirit of warm attention,
Goodwill as your object of mindfulness
With all the anxiety and uncertainty that we face today, in conjunction with our minds tendency to exaggerate the problems that we face at the expense of the good things, it can seem that the world and people around us are a little short of goodwill. One of the things that I have been working with over the last week or so is really trying to notice and appreciate the goodwill that comes my way during the day from different people and sources. As I have continued in this practice, it has really struck me how much goodwill there is around me, and how nice it feels to really note it and enjoy it when it happens.
For example, if I look back over the last day or so:
- I am aware of the goodwill expressed toward me from the students in the two mindfulness classes I have taken
- I am aware of the goodwill extended to me by the barman who served me a drink this evening, and by the friend I met
- I am aware of the goodwill extended to me by my neighbours and colleagues, helping me out with some minor menial tasks
- I notice the almost continual and explicit goodwill coming from my family members
- I appreciate the time and effort some acquaintances have taken to extend a welcome to my daughter and I and include us in their social circle
- I appreciated the goodwill a shop assistant extended to me selling me a hard drive for my computer at the sale price, even though technically the sale date had gone past already
- I noticed the incidental smile and goodwill of the bus driver as he re-opened the door when he saw me running for the bus.
- I note the professional help and endorsement that I have received from colleagues, helping introduce me to new clients
The abundance of goodwill
When I focus in this way it seems like there is really a huge abundance of goodwill being directed at me by a large number of people. Much of this is easy to miss because it is so regular and everyday; it is just normal. But then if its normal then it means I have a huge amount of goodwill to tap into each day right?
Spreading the goodwill
Having been mindful of the goodwill I am receiving each day, I start to feel like I have something of a surplus of goodwill. So then perhaps I can start spreading it around to other people I meet, give it to them with a smile or a small act, or a bigger act. I can choose to be a source of goodwill almost as an act of gratitude for all the goodwill that I objectively and genuinely receive each day from others.
Does this practice of mindfully noticing, receiving and then giving goodwill sound like fun? Give it a go and find out!
© Toby Ouvry 2017, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com
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