This community is designed to be a welcoming space to enhance mindfulness inquiry and exploration. In this spirit, please share and respond mindfully and compassionately, cultivating continued respect, safety, and support for all.
Thanks for sharing @Gene Williams! This reminds me of something I read in Brené Brown's book 'Daring Greatly'. In it, she differentiates between guilt and shame, explaining that guilt is the feeling 'I did something bad' whereas shame is the feeling 'I AM bad'. Here's a little more from her blog on the topic:
"Based on my research and the research of other shame researchers, I believe that there is a profound difference between shame and guilt. I believe that guilt is adaptive and helpful – it’s holding something we’ve done or failed to do up against our values and feeling psychological discomfort.
I define shame as the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.
I don’t believe shame is helpful or productive. In fact, I think shame is much more likely to be the source of destructive, hurtful behavior than the solution or cure. I think the fear of disconnection can make us dangerous."
Thank you for sharing your reflections @Faune. I love your sentiment that everyone should try hugging a tree at least once. I can vividly recall the first time I hugged a tree as an adult - not where I was exactly but what was moving through me. I remember thinking that 'tree huggers' are so misunderstood. Mainstream consciousness tends to think that 'tree huggers' are really 'out there', and yet given that the world's trees are so fundamental to the wellbeing of our planet and human life in countless ways, it seems so rational to honour, give thanks to, and lovingly embrace these beings.
Thank you for the reminder... I will hug a tree on my walk today.
Hello @Joseph, I can really identify with what you are saying. My background is in social work and when I began my career, this was also my experience. I remember working with people who were in conflict with the law. I also had to check my values, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and assumptions. One strong memory that has stayed with me for many years is a pearl of wisdom from an experienced community worker who often said, "Just because you made a mistake, it does not mean you are a mistake".
When I think about this statement, I often think about the powerful role that stigma has in shaping peoples lives. We need helpers and providers who work in our systems to take the time to check their values, assumptions, and beliefs because people who work in the helping profession have an important role to play to help people to understand that they are not mistakes and they matter!
I see mindfulness as a pathway to bring this kind of awareness.
Thank you for sharing your journey.
I walk every morning. As I said when I first came on here I used to walk in the woods behind my house which I loved. I walked with my dog, Henry, for many years but he died a few months ago and can not walk there yet. I live on a road that I do not love but it is very pretty and not manicured except for right around people's houses. The rest is trees and streams. Today I walked by the big pond up the road. There was fog over the mountain and there was the sound of early morning birdsong. Sometimes I have to remember to stop and listen to the peacefulness of it. Walking every day can keep you in touch with the seasons as you notice what comes up and when. I am not the happiest person but seeing wildflowers or birds or groundhogs or turtles or birds in the pond brings me bits of joy. The natural world is what counts. The things we as human make are not really a part of that but nature is well, natural and how things should be. I am surrounded by trees and have hugged them. Everyone should try hugging a tree at least once.
Thank you for this post @Rachel, I have been hyper busy with work this past week. I appreciate the reminder keep my feet on the floor, step near a window, take a deep breath and know where I am right now.... and everything else is just temporarily visiting.
This will be my practice for today.