“When we seek for connection, we restore the world to wholeness. Our seemingly separate lives become meaningful as we discover how truly necessary we are to each other”
Margaret Wheatley – Author and Management consultant.
A chapter fell open this morning, of one of my favourite books called “Living in Balance” by our friends and advisors Dr Joel and Michelle Levey. One paragraph especially resonated with me:
“In recent times, advances in science have helped to expand our collective understanding of what ensures health, vitality, longevity, and sustainability of an individual or species. Our current understanding is that those most likely to survive and thrive are actually the ones who are the most cooperative, communicative, connected, and mutually supportive in relationship to the world”.
This afternoon I went to visit the Chartwell Apothecary, in Westerham, which has been selling our little book, Mindfulness Moments, over Christmas. I was amazed when the owners told me that they had sold 17 copies and all to people with their own stories of how it would touch their lives. We reflected on how the money from the books being sold through our not for profit Mindlab Goodworks has been able to allow us to reach out and connect with those who would particularly benefit from mindfulness which has included medical students and carers. It has also allowed us to contribute to mindfulness research allowing Dr Gail to develop mindfulness interventions for particular groups such as cancer survivors and asthmatics.
The book was collaboration between third year students at the London College of Communication and Mindlab. It has sold countless copies to raise funds for research and mindfulness training for those unable to afford it.
People kindly gave us their mindfulness tips of how they integrated mindfulness in to their daily lives and the students illustrated them as part of their final degree project. Dr Gail gave the students some mindfulness training and our partners Nuffield Health generously sponsored the printing of it.
This is an example of a mindfully connecting process that has led to a “mutually supportive relationship” and created a ripple effect. It was filmed and can be seen on our Goodworks page and now we are even getting people from across the world liking tips which we have put up on our Instagram (mind_lab_).
How can we make more mindful connections? We can do this if we change our mindsets to look at situations with “fresh eyes” and bring a new approach of curiosity. This allows us to work together for the mutual benefit of all and so our lives become more interconnected and “meaningful”.
Instead of working and living in silos we can consider the “insider-outsider “ point of view that Financial Times journalist Gillian Tett explores in her book The Silo Effect. She quotes the former deputy mayor of New York, Bob Steel, who suggests:
“I think we need to do a mental exercise sometimes, and imagine those old-fashioned frames that they used to drop different lens to drop into. I sometimes try to imagine slotting a different lens into look through somebody else’s eyes”.
Lets be curious and see how we can make more mindful connections across the silos and across the world.
Living in Balance – A mindful guide for living in a complex world
Joel and Michelle Levey
ISBN 978-1-611-029-9 Published by Divine Arts
The Silo Effect
ISBN 978-1-84408-757-0 Published by Little,Brown
Mindfulness Moments- Making Mindfulness accessible in daily life
Edited by Caroline Hopkins and Dr Gail Davies