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Gillian Sanger

How can mindfulness help to bridge our perceived divides?

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I appreciated everyone's thoughtful responses to this timely and complex question.  I think so much of living mindfully is rooted in effective and compassionate communication.  It is difficult, especially when issues that bring up such big emotions are at play or when communicating with others who are unlike you in experience, thought, word, or deed.

That said, I have learned recently about something that Dr. Rick Hanson calls Unilateral Virtue.  It basically means knowing how you personally want to show up in your life and in the world, and living by those wishes regardless of how others act or speak.  Not easy, but the idea is to know that you are staying true to yourself and your beliefs/systems.  For me, that means walking through the world with a kind heart.  It is something I try to stay in touch with as I navigate difficult conversations, situations, or experiences.  Having a kind heart might mean, like David said, saying no, or setting a boundary. It certainly doesn't mean being a pushover or denying our own feelings and needs.

Which leads me to the next piece- also references by another in this thread.  Which is to try and identify what might be underneath a particular strong reaction; I find for me it is usually a need or vulnerability that I have avoided addressing, which is in and of itself, something to give my attention and curiosity to.

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