Dignity and Mindfulness

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”