He needed that

Written by Amy on September 16th, 2016

I don’t know what it is about the 1222 building, or the parking lot, or the people, but something always happens when we go there.

It had been a morning of trying to be a good caregiver… which only emphasizes all the more that in my trying, it was trying.  Trying to balance basic things like respect in two forms: trying to be on time for an appointment, while gently re-routing detours of mom’s predictably unpredictable Alzheimer’s journey needs.  Little detours like needing to take the dog for a walk when I’m trying to get mom to leave on time (“She’s ok, I just took her 10 minutes ago.” “Look at her! She needs to go!” I have to admit, the dog does a good job of looking desperate).

So when we finally get to the parking lot, and “one, two, three” I help mom out of the car, and am hoping to make a bee-line for the 1222 door.  Just then mom’s eye is caught by an elderly gentleman sitting on a bench.

“Who is that?” she asks me.

“I don’t know.” I try to guide her, saying quickly, “Let’s go this way, toward the door.”

“I know where the door is!” she says, happily, staying on her own path, holding my hand tight, and walking toward the gentleman.  His long white beard almost touches his thigh as he sits, slumped over, leaning on his walker parked beside him.

As we got a little closer, mom calls out cheerfully, “Hi!” and grins and waves, her palm blinking with the opening and closing of her fingers.

He looks up, face brightening like a flower touched by a ray of sun, and waves back.  Mom smiles with a friendly nod, and we continue making our way toward the door.

She looks earnest and tells me, “He needed that ‘Hi’.”

I glance back at him.  He is still smiling.  I smile… and I feel the weight of my trying efforts of the morning lift.

“Yes,” I agree. “He needed that ‘Hi.’  I think we all did.”

Mom nods, satisfied.

How many times when I feel frustrated, lonely, or just tired, am I in need of a “Hi!”

As human beings, we long to be acknowledged, witnessed, seen.  Compassionate mindfulness is a way of learning to say “hi” to what is present, what’s here, including what is often overlooked.

Try out a Compassionate mindfulness experiment: say “hi” to what’s present.  Really. Try it out.  With a gentle breath, notice what is present right now…. the sensation of breath, thought, emotion…  Oh, a little ache in the neck from long work at the computer.  Acknowledge it, “Hi!”  maybe the ache softens just a little bit.

Now take “Hi!” on the road.  Acknowledge someone who isn’t expecting you to see them.  What happens?  Acknowledge an aspect of your internal experience that is so mundane that you don’t usually notice it.  What happens?

Acknowledgement goes a long way.

In fact, it may go so far, so fast, that you’re here.

An invitation to share:
How is this for you?  What do you do when your “trying” seems to take you further from what you want?  Please scroll down and post a comment and share.

An invitation to work together:
Sometimes acknowledging things isn’t so easy.  Especially if your nervous system is numbed out or on high alert with chronic stress or difficult events.  When that’s the case, you may need a little help to ease the diverted the stream of attention and let it come back into it’s natural flow.  I enjoy helping people say “Hi!” to the difficult and the wonderful.  Feel free to contact me or check out my individual work. Why not free yourself from whatever makes it hard to embody this life? You can click here to read more, then we can have a conversation to see if my work is a good fit for your needs.

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