Hey there! Welcome to the weekend (just about). Now remember, it’s April Fool’s Day, so if you have any pranksters in your life, you might want to be, um, mindful of their whereabouts today. If they get you, try not to be too mad. There’s an old Yiddish saying that laughter is to the soul what soap is to the body.
For this weekend’s mindfulness challenge, we are reflecting back on this week’s earlier post about jealousy.
Oh yes, you know you know it. We’ve all had that occasional feeling that someone else’s good news was surely mislabeled and should have been delivered to us. It’s normal, and definitely doesn’t make you a bad person. The key is to recognize it, and to go easy not only on yourself but also on them as a result of your mindful self-awareness.
So, the challenge this week is definitely challenging. Varsity level, y’all, but I think you’re up for it. The first step is good ol’ fashioned honesty, and bringing to mind a situation in which you recently, or maybe even currently, found yourself feeling a little jealous of someone. Be real, ‘cause you know it’s happened. You task this weekend is to set aside some focused time to wish them well. And no, I don’t mean to <<sigh>> hope that <<eye roll>> everything goes well. I mean to really and truly direct well wishes towards them. So how in the world are you supposed to do that? Glad you asked.
A few weeks ago when we were talking about self-compassion, I mentioned a type of mindfulness meditation called a “metta” meditation. Sounds weird, but really it’s not. You can find examples of it here and here. The idea is that you start of simply breathing, and focusing your meditation on wishing yourself nice things. Maybe something like, “May I be happy. May I be peaceful,” and so on…and repeat. Next step is to move on to wishing the same for someone else – usually starting with someone you care about, who’s easy to send good vibes to. Finally, you take on the challenge of wishing well towards someone it’s a little tougher to love at the moment. I know it sounds crazy, and why would you do this, but I’m telling you, it’s powerful. Not only do we rarely offer ourselves this type of “loving-kindness,” we’re even less likely to do it for others – especially those who make us uncomfortable.
So, give it a shot. It may be tough, but you can do it. Remember, the effort is the meditation. There is no such thing as doing it “badly.” Regardless of what your weekend brings, I wish you well.
Photo credit: Jason Long