I’ve discovered that practicing Loving Kindness is the most efficient response to nearly every challenging situation, not a nicey-nicey way for avoiding the stickiness or discomfort, but a clearly, measurably superior practice for getting the best out of any episode. Here are some examples:
1. Someone lets you down or behaves ‘wrongly’ towards you: the kind approach both takes steps to protect oneself, (which is being kind to one’s own fragilities and removes exposure to stressful stimuli) and at the same time reframes ‘what they just did’ with a level of compassion and understanding which might include mitigating circumstances, perhaps even their ignorance, and reduces the judgments and self-righteousness which historically amplify the stress and conflict. You see? Efficient. And it doesn’t remove holding ourselves and others accountable, it merely changes the tone with which we state our boundaries. This way of communicating responsibly, kindly, will elicit much less resistance and pugnacity in whoever we are dealing with and lead to a quicker and more peaceful resolution.
2. I feel frustrated with myself: If at this moment I wake up to my kind nature instead of adding to the stress with negativity and self-judgement, instead of unconsciously feeding the loop of demotivation and powerlessness, I speak kindly to my reactive fragility, even physically rub my chest kindly, all with an attitude of patience and ‘no-big’deal’ then the chemicals in my body settle down very quickly. Efficient. I will be more motivated to take positive action and self-care in ways which lift me and strengthen my next step forward.
3. I am scared about the future of the planet: Kindness is most efficient here. Fighting in opposition to the forces of destruction seems to feed them with more resolve. Making a human connection with those who are closed-hearted and addicted to quick money, amplifying their sense of humanity is the only thing which will make sustainable change. Seizing power and watching the ‘baddies’ go down in flames often leaves the door open for the same immature and negative structures to replace the old ones.
4. Someone I care about is struggling: I’ve never seen ‘tough-love’ work apart from in extreme, self-harming cases. People respond best to kind encouragement and when we play a part in their unburdening and re-motivation, we also receive the great gift of having our generosity and care received, which is one of the most nourishing experiences available on this planet. Both benefit. Efficient.
What other ways can you share here where Kindness is the most efficient path?
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