In a world full of chaos and disarray, I felt like it would be a good time to focus on those attributes we would want to see more of in the world.
The world needs more compassion right now. Compassion is a mental state or position towards suffering that includes awareness, emotion, desire, and relief. Compassion is like a muscle that can be strengthened with work and can also atrophy if it is not used. Your capacity for compassion can expand if that is what you choose.
You might wonder, how do I grow my compassion?
Knowing what is important to you is at the center of compassion. Spend some time identifying and reconnecting with your core values. When you see suffering in your life in some way, ask yourself what would your most kind, loving, compassionate self do to make a difference in this situation. How can you bring awareness, passion, and purpose to this? What will your desire for change and relief do for others? This is where the heart of compassion lies, making a difference for those things that pull at your heartstrings.
Berkeley University has a great website that gives some thoughts on how to grow compassion. Surprisingly many of these practices have to do with each of us growing our internal compassion muscle before setting out to change the world.
On this website, you will find over 80 practices you can do to grow this skill. One of them that grabbed my attention was getting outside and enjoying nature. It is the art of connecting with nature and noticing how it makes you feel versus just seeing it, which is easy to do during this season of change as we move into Spring. When you are connected, then you put your body into a state of being that is relaxed, and calm and you can move with ease in the world.
Renowned meditation teacher Jack Kornfield once wrote that “setting one’s intention is like setting the compass for one’s heart.”
How do you show compassion for yourself and others?