In this season of many holy days for many people, I find myself coincidentally face to face with a need for generosity towards “the other”. An interesting twist in this is that the driver of my need to express generosity from my heart is very personal. It’s about the survival of my spirit.

For me, the cure for the cynicism that seems pervasive in our society right now (not to mention
the holiday season), is fostering an authentic spirit of generosity, period.

Does this translate to approval? Nope.

Does this translate to silence? Sometimes.

Does this contribute to peace for my heart and mind? Always.

I ask myself, what good comes from bitterness and resentment? As the Buddha reportedly taught, my holding onto or adding to thoughts of anger and resentment against anyone is like holding a hot coal in my hand. Who gets burned?

How then to foster generosity?

I soften. I look for my breath.

As Vipassana meditation and mindfulness techniques instruct me, “just this breath”. So, I look for just one breath as just one opportunity to soften at a time. Whether I’m greeting a stranger who is slow in line, or a person who is acting in a way that is contrary to a way I would “have” them behave, I ask myself to soften and find my breath and shift to a generous heart. Pretty soon I notice that the discomfort I feel and project upon the other can shift to a generosity toward both “the other” and myself.

When I offer this generosity to “the other”, I’m offering myself a chance for peace and serenity. I’m taking strong and yet vulnerable steps toward moving along into Life, without the painful extra baggage of resentment, cynicism, or bitterness weighing me down and interfering with my experience of the next moment.

Try simply becoming aware of your jaw, your throat and your shoulders and offer your sweet self some tenderness. It is simple. Practice makes it easier.

The good news? Practice will not bring perfection so you can be a beginner with each opportunity.

As a result, may you find the peace that is your right to experience, because once in a while you are able to help foster generous thoughts. A bonus is a softening that will leave you with more energy, creativity and space for your loved ones and yourself.

-Barbara Barnes//Mindfulness Coach(406.475.4168)
-Team Lotus

In this season of many holy days for many people, I find myself coincidentally face to face with a need for generosity towards “the other”. An interesting twist in this is that the driver of my need to express generosity from my heart is very personal. It’s about the survival of my spirit.

For me, the cure for the cynicism that seems pervasive in our society right now (not to mention
the holiday season), is fostering an authentic spirit of generosity, period.

Does this translate to approval? Nope.

Does this translate to silence? Sometimes.

Does this contribute to peace for my heart and mind? Always.

I ask myself, what good comes from bitterness and resentment? As the Buddha reportedly taught, my holding onto or adding to thoughts of anger and resentment against anyone is like holding a hot coal in my hand. Who gets burned?

How then to foster generosity?

I soften. I look for my breath.

As Vipassana meditation and mindfulness techniques instruct me, “just this breath”. So, I look for just one breath as just one opportunity to soften at a time. Whether I’m greeting a stranger who is slow in line, or a person who is acting in a way that is contrary to a way I would “have” them behave, I ask myself to soften and find my breath and shift to a generous heart. Pretty soon I notice that the discomfort I feel and project upon the other can shift to a generosity toward both “the other” and myself.

When I offer this generosity to “the other”, I’m offering myself a chance for peace and serenity. I’m taking strong and yet vulnerable steps toward moving along into Life, without the painful extra baggage of resentment, cynicism, or bitterness weighing me down and interfering with my experience of the next moment.

Try simply becoming aware of your jaw, your throat and your shoulders and offer your sweet self some tenderness. It is simple. Practice makes it easier.

The good news? Practice will not bring perfection so you can be a beginner with each opportunity.

As a result, may you find the peace that is your right to experience, because once in a while you are able to help foster generous thoughts. A bonus is a softening that will leave you with more energy, creativity and space for your loved ones and yourself.

-Barbara Barnes//Mindfulness Coach(406.475.4168)
-Team Lotus