Here's a quote I heard from Jay Leno: " I went into a McDonald's yesterday and said, 'I'd like some fries.' The girl at the counter said, 'Would you like some fries with that?'"
Jon Kabat-Zinn, one of my mentors and my former boss, defines mindfulness as "paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, without judgment." A big part of paying attention in this way is connected to really hearing, seeing, being with things the way they are, and especially noticing when we fall into the trap of ignoring what people are actually trying to communicate. My day today was filled with discussions with people who were stuck in old patterns of reactivity, and of course my own patterns were triggered by their patterns. We found ourselves in a soup of misunderstandings and confused communication. Some of these folks practice mindfulness, however, and so we gradually found that we could reach some kind of clarity. Working through this together was profoundly connecting. I feel so grateful for being on the planet with people who are willing to wake up to their own expectations, filters and confusion to a shared tenderness and kindness.