Mind the Gap With Mindfulness
Everything is temporary. You, me, we, are only here for a brief moment in time.
I am reminded of our temporary existence when I read about tragedies such as the shooting that ended the lives of eight people in Atlanta. Paul Andre Michels, Hyun Jung Grant, Yong A. Yue, Delaina Yaun, Suncha Kim, Xiaoije Tan, Daoyou Feng, and Soon Chung Park lost their lives because authorities believe someone had "a bad day." It amazes me how quickly an agenda for dismissing the increase in anti-Asian hate crimes is evolving.
We must do better as a society to find value in human lives. New enforceable laws and policies are critical to protecting vulnerable populations. We know the lives of Black, Asian, Latinx matters, but somehow our thoughts remain unable to influence enough action.
As I wrote this piece, I learned about the murders in Colorado and the increases in children detainees at the US-Mexico border. Living outside the US and witnessing the challenges that plague where I grew up, is bizarre. I find myself questioning how the violence and inhumane policies of my home country became "normal."
Do you ever wonder if we have convinced ourselves that life on this planet is worthless?
In the course De-mystifying Mindfulness that I finished this month, we explored the concept of non-attachment. Non-attachment involves acknowledging experiences and maintaining perspective. Simply put, non-attachment is living by the saying, “don’t sweat the small stuff!”
In theory, it is easy to understand the principles behind non-attachment. In practice, it is difficult to avoid sweating the small stuff.
We know the importance of understanding that everything is relative and appreciating the moment. It’s also challenging to fully wrap our minds around the fact that everything we are and do is not permanent. This life is all that we know.
Religious leaders, motivational speakers, and spiritual gurus insist that we "keep the faith" and limit negative thoughts.
I've also shared the importance of having positive thoughts and strong faith during challenging moments on this platform. Let me admit again that I have problems like anyone else.
Tomorrow's concerns haunt my nightmares and linger during my daydreams.
Everything feels like life or death when you are going through a difficult season. Some of us will look to drugs, alcohol, or other risky behaviors to cope with stress. Others will figure out how to pay attention and buy gratitude.
Think about it.
How can you do a better job of paying attention during the moment to experience more gratitude for this day? Limit distractions such as social media notifications and invest in time alone.
I tell my students and coaching clients that self-care is a viable remedy to meet many of life’s challenges. Praying, meditating, exercising, practicing yoga, and journaling are self-care options that can help you strengthen your attention span and manage tough times.
I’m not offering this advice to you from an outsider’s perspective. The header pic is from a surreal moment captured during a hike with my boys.
My self-care practices help ease my challenges with anxieties and uncertainties. My fears feed my food choices, exercise routines, and writing habits. Mental and physical illnesses run in my family.
Increasing our ability to be more mindful can direct how we use our limited time on Earth.
In December, my family lost our 100-year-old grandmother. During February, I created a tribute video honoring her life and followed up this month with an episode sharing some additional footage from the funeral services.
See the video here:
The killings in the States, US-Mexico border challenges, exploring the theory of non-attachment, and my grandmother’s passing forced me to reevaluate priorities in March. I worked on doing a better job of savoring the small moments. On the days I felt less inspired to conquer the day’s tasks, I thought about my legacy and discovered the energy to push through the obstacles of inertia.
Has anything led you to reassess how you spend your time recently? Leave a comment, share this post with a friend, and let’s continue this conversation.
Oh, snap, you made it all the way to end!
That's what's up!
Would you like to read more of my writings? Right now, buy my latest book released in March, Dear Brother: 82 Powerful Poems to Guide Your Journey to Healthy Black Masculinity.