4 Ways To Help Others Through Mindfulness
This week is the final week for two classes of Mindfulness for Financial Advisors, and the penultimate class for another group. Right about now, if not weeks ago, it becomes important for advisors to step out of the bubble of personal practice and ask: How do I bring this to my clients, colleagues, and partners? Here are FOUR+ WAYS.
ONE: You're Resourcing Them
If you're practicing mindfulness, almost everyone you interact with is benefiting. Your conversation is deeper, your responses are more compassionate, and the way you walk through life has a wisdom about it—the wisdom that can only be acquired by getting to know your thoughts, your body, and your suffering.
The science behind this is nervous system regulation. As mammals—social animals—we help and heal one another through our social connection. And if you're not resourced yourself, you're no good to others.
When you're resourced and your heart and intentions are coming from a place of kindness and generosity, and not ego or greed or selfishness, it's obvious. Your patience develops, your listening is transformative, and your clarity increases. Almost everyone you interact with benefits.
Almost everyone. Who doesn't benefit? The folks who were trying to manipulate you. The folks with no boundaries, the folks who were gaslighting you. Those folks—their behavior—is transparent now. And now that you have a new kind of strength, the kind that says, "No more," you can walk away from those folks. You can fire them. You can opt out of spending time with them. I promise. The time you're spending with them is better spent on people who say Yes to how wonderful you are. Your time is for people who appreciate you. Life's too short for the others.
TWO: Deep Listening
When you're practicing mindfulness, you're listening to your own life. You're listening to the sounds of your life, to your thoughts, to your sensations, and to what's in and around your body. A natural extension of that, even without any training in Deep Listening, is you become a better listener. You become more generous and supportive.
There's a lot of waiting during Deep Listening, but what could be more important than giving someone the time and space to figure out what they mean and what they want to say and do in your presence? (And that last part is key.) Sometimes being with someone and listening to them (and remember to thank them for sharing) is all someone needs. Maybe they needed to let something out.
THREE: Share Mindfulness
There's no need to ever talk about your mindfulness practice, but why don't you? You can say, "I've been doing something that's helped me handle my own anxiety, stress, and fears, and maybe it'll help you, too." Direct them to the Guided Meditations page, talk to them about your favorite practices, and do a short practice with them, if they're interested. Just make sure you don't begin with the breath unless you know that the breath is a safe place for them to rest their attention.
If you're with them, in person, maybe ask if they wouldn't mind if you touched their hand or arm, and apply some pressure. If you're with them or not, ask if they would take a moment to put their feet flat on the floor and describe the feeling of their feet on the floor. Ask them to name 5 things they can see, 4 things they can touch, 3 things they can hear, 2 things they can smell, and 1 thing they can taste (our senses are wonderful at bringing us to the present).
Your presence and your actions can help regulate another person when they are anxious, fearful, or otherwise dysregulated/upset.
FOUR: Share Self-Compassion
If someone in your presence talks about being anxious or fearful, that right there is a huge compliment. It's an honor for someone to say that to you—a gift. They trust you, they feel safe with you. Acknowledge that! Thank them for their courage and for sharing. That's huge! Tell them it's wonderful to talk about their feelings, and point out to them that, in that very moment, they're okay. You know this because you're with them.
You can also remind them to do some self-compassion, perhaps with some compassionate holds.
May ease find you.