From a rocking chairJune 28th, 2016
My grand-aunt, who happens to be absolutely amazing, recently turned 96. This lady remains a wealth of wisdom, and listening to her many stories, and witnessing her awesome attitude, has always been a real blessing for me. The older I get the more curious I become…so last time we spoke I asked her:
What’s the secret of your unshakable inner peace and happiness?
She looked me in the eye and smiled with the following explanation:
There is always something to appreciate in life.
I like to be mindful of all the good stuff.
The statement blew my mind; after all, her ears don’t hear well, her eyes can’t see clearly anymore, her body hardly moves and it takes her an hour just to dress. She has all the reasons in the world to be unhappy, though she never complains. Instead, she puts her mind on something nice and gives her full attention to that rather than the things that would have her spirit spiral down… Even if onlyone out of ten things are appreciate-able you can be sure she’ll focus on the one good point!
She’s my hero. Her wisdom is admirable. Moreover, she is a role model of how to age with grace. She speaks often of those she met, worked with and loved throughout her life. When she doesn’t feel physically strong enough to go out she likes to refresh memories of the nicest moments in her life. Would you believe she’s still got a best friend from the college? He’s just paid her a visit to wish a Happy birthday..! How great is that?!
Talking with her makes me wonder:
What does it take to cultivate a friendship for over 80 years? How could I age with such grace? What will my favorite go-to memories be when I can’t go out to see the world anymore?
And most of all –
What story will I tell my grandchildren one day?
It’s been a year since my dear friend and a soul-mate Vicki Flaherty invited me to help spread mindfulness among the leaders of our corporation. In this traditionally conservative IT environment of predominantly left-brain oriented people I wasn’t sure if she isn’t just playing the “Imagine if” game with me. However, she was serious and she had me on board for the idea in no time.
Imagine a corporation which has an exciting vision, inspiring leadership, delighted customers and engaged employees who spend their days working from their sweet spot immersed in creatively productive flow.
Now imagine that the change started with something as insignificant as one mindful breath at the beginning of a meeting i.e. 16 seconds spent in group meditation.
Fast-forward…and here we are a year later; I am literally punching myself: two thousand members in Mindfulness community, people all over the world meeting to meditate together, hundreds of leaders interested to apply a more mindful leadership and learning new practices they wish to integrate into their daily lives. All happening naturally and organically expanding far beyond what we’ve envisioned…
The mindfulness story keeps evolving and I sense this is just the beginning. It feels wonderful to ride the mindfulness wave together and create what has only been a dream last spring. Shared out loud with a strong belief and clear intention on the part of Vicki it moved mountains…I mean masses And people already perceive the value it’s creating in their life.
I’m having a “flash-forward” – seeing myself at 96 years old, sitting on a rocking chair, telling my grandchildren how the whole story started…when the project became one of my favorite memories I enjoy coming back to…and why it turned to be one of the most meaningful things I’ve done in my life.
I like to be mindful of the good stuff.
What story would YOU like to tell from your rocking chair one day?