A few weeks ago, I shared a personal vision that spoke of my intention to lead in a manner that inspires dignity.
I defined dignity as follows: an internal state of peace that comes with the recognition and acceptance of the value and vulnerability of all living things. (1)
One might also think of dignity as practicing non-judgmental awareness in a manner which leads to kindness and feelings of compassion for yourself and for others. One might also just think of this as practicing a higher level of respect for yourself and for others.
Practicing this awareness in a sustainable way is what we might call practicing loving-kindness mindfulness.
Here are some steps to help develop this practice: (2)
- Find yourself in a state of support and safety, perhaps somewhere where you feel connected to nature
- Set your intention, answering the question “What am I practicing?”
- Cultivate a witnessing perspective, observing your thoughts like clouds drifting by, being aware of your inner landscape and old unhealthy autopilot reactions
- Stabilize attention and strengthen focus, using the breathe as a tool to nurture the harmony of intention and attention
- Strengthen self-regulation, settling negative energies intentionally and shortening the time that it takes you to recover from emotional hijackings
- Practice loving-kindness meditation, calming the inner critic and practicing non-judgmental acceptance and compassion for yourself and others.
I have led workshops or classes intended to help people heal, build self-esteem and resiliency, and find happiness. Many of these workshops have utilized outdoor education and strengths-based adventure as a means to build a sense of self and self-efficacy. To me, however, successful experiences all start with a inherent culture of dignity and mindfulness.
It is time to practice.
What’s your perspective?
(1) Donna Hicks, PhD (2011): “Dignity – The Essential Role It Plays in Resolving Conflict”
(2) Terry Fralich, LCPC, JD (2014): “The Five Core Skills of Mindfulness – A Direct Path to More Confidence, Joy and Love”