November 11, 2019

What Is Strength-based Mindfulness?

A SHORT LIST

Remember how we told you in our last blog that Googling “mindfulness” gets about two-hundred nine MILLION results? Well, if you put quotes around “strength-based mindfulness” and search for it, you get a much shorter list. About 5,000 people have used this phrase on the internet. And HOPE Studio was in the first three suggested links when we searched for it this morning. Being in first place feels nice. Especially when you’re also in second and third! 

WHAT IS STRENGTH-BASED MINDFULNESS?

It’s kind of an obvious answer but it’s still worth reviewing. What is strength-based mindfulness? Remember from the last blog that mindfulness is a loving, respectful interaction with life as it is (not as we think it should be). And if that is true, then strength-based mindfulness is that loving interaction FROM A PLACE OF STRENGTH. 

Were we to think about strength-based love in our human relationships it would bring to mind that wonderful balance called interdependence. The sweet spot between the extremes of codependence (desperation for others’ approval) and extreme independence (think: cabin in the woods with no phone or internet). Interdependence is when you give and receive love because you want to, because it’s fulfilling and fun. Not because you feel pushed into it, or obligated. 

INTERDEPENDENCE WITH THE UNIVERSE

Here’s an interesting thought, though. If interdependence is a model for healthy relationships with other people, wouldn’t it also be a great way to think about our relationship with reality? With the Universe? With living?

Loving the world, and our life in it, because we CHOOSE to. Not because we need it to be a certain way or even need it to BE. Knowing that, as much as we love our favorite things, there is a place within each individual where everything is perfect and there are no needs. I almost said ‘deep within’–and maybe it is–but deep implies that getting there is hard work. It isn’t hard work, though. It’s always seconds away. 

Let’s go there now…

HEART OF HEARTS

  1. Take a big breath into your stomach. Release tension on the exhale. 
  2. Take another into your chest, focusing on release as you exhale.
  3. Take a third breath into both the chest and the stomach at the same time.
  4. Now, after reading this, close your eyes for a few moments and say something like: In my Heart of Hearts, I just AM. And I am always in my Heart of Hearts.
  5. Imagine what is looks and feels like to be in your Heart-of-Hearts place, a position within where there are no needs, no interactions, no obligations, no scheduled commitments. Total self-contained perfection. Is your place dark or light? Simple or complex? How do you feel physically? Do you have any emotions? Maybe your self-containment feels like a freedom from emotion. Let whatever happens be okay as you rest in this place for a few more moments. Then say: I am enough for myself. 
  6. Finally, when the time is right, return to outer awareness with renewed sense of lightness and effortless strength. 

What did we just do? We connected with a place that doesn’t need food or drink, approval or interaction, action or effort. A place within that is without needs or desires.  

EMBRACE REALITY

So if this place was so perfect, why did we come back from it? Because we WANTED to. Because we like being human. On our good days, we embrace reality because we like being alive. We like meaningful action. And loving interaction. Food and drink. Rock and roll. Funky beats. Laughter. Oceans. Forests. Mansions and rollercoasters. Mind-blowing LIFE! 

We also came back because we know we have not left the place of perfection behind. We carry it within us… 

COMING SOON…

In the next blog, we will go further into specific skill sets but isn’t it wonderful that, before the identification of particular strengths, we have connected with the greatest one of all: self-contained completeness. Wholeness. Perfection.

Friends, do this Heart of Hearts exercise one more time this week. Do the Mindful Minute from the last blog 3 times. And enjoy your evolution! 

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