From the heart

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I would like to share a blog that I posted earlier in the year when View From The Ground was published on a separate blog site. I have been in a reflective mood of Kate and this blog means a lot to me. I hope you enjoy it.

From the heart

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein

A quote I love, and something I feel we could all learn from.

I always write from the heart and my hope / desire / mission is to reach out to as many people as possible. As I’ve already talked about in earlier blogs, I am exploring self love and self belief this year and I would love as many people as possible to join me on this mission.

Part of this work though is looking at where I feel we as a collective need to focus effort to help as many as we can. The last blog followed an article I saw about how too many young people are being prescribed anti-depressants. It could be argued that too many people are being prescribed them – full stop! Who benefits? Clearly, the medication numbs the depression of the person. This isn’t an ill informed comment. Having being prescribed anti-depressants 12 years ago, I am fully aware of their effects, have used them for a period of time. I talk about this in more detail in the book, View From The Ground, which continues to take shape.

But, who else benefits? The global pharmaceutical industry of course. I’ll avoid going off on a rant, on this occasion at least.

Of course, there are alternative solutions. But where will the money come from the implement a fully effect, alternative solution? Will a government be brave enough? I’ll let you decide.

Anyway, I’ve been reading, again. I saw an article advising that there have been calls for mindfulness training to be introduced in schools in the UK. In October, a Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group said the practice should be made more widely available and recommended the Department for Education designate three schools to “pioneer mindfulness teaching and disseminate best practice”. Only three? Surely this rather important initiative warrants being ‘pioneered’ in a broader range of schools – a selection of schools spanning the whole of the U.K., and a selection of schools spanning the different socio economic groups + ensuring that it touches the incredible range of our diverse cultures.

Political author and former head of Wellington College Anthony Seldon has called for daily “stillness sessions” in schools.

I’m not sure the name,”stillness sessions” will necessarily grab the attention of the desired audience, but in theory this could be awesome.

The Dalai Lama was absolutely right when he said “If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.”

So can mindfulness meditation really help pupils concentrate amid the distractions of 21st Century living?

In my humble opinion, it absolutely could. If delivered correctly, and with appropriate time being given to the programme (or program to our American friends). We are blessed to have in our midst some friends who are already working with young children on such a concept, but if that could be taken into schools and colleges to older students, it could be incredible.

Now, considering the concerns raised in my last blog – as detailed above – if mindfulness was rolled out, and given the attention that it deserves, this could really help young people clear their heads, even if it is just a bit at a time. Just image the effect. In this crazy world that we have created, with 24/7 news blasting people with negativity – war, debt, death, Trump, Cameron, North Korea, bombs, etc – it’s no wonder people are fed up.

In all honesty, mindfulness to the corporate world would be a massive step forwards. I hear, see, read about so many people struggling with the pressures that they face in life (including when I look in the mirror), if businesses allowed time for employees to attend mindfulness sessions, or meditation groups, the results could be amazing. I know some companies already do this, but with a bit of encouragement from the governments, surely this could be launched on a much bigger scale. I would certainly attend!

These, of course, are just my observations but it feels like we could all benefit from a bit of mindfulness. It could be good for the heart, for the age of the heart.

And talking of the heart, I would like to end this short blog with a story from the weekend.

As is my Saturday routine, I undertake the weekly grocery shop at our local supermarket. Being a creature of habit, I always look to see if my favourite person is working the checkout. She is a beautiful soul, so friendly, and always willing to talk and help me to understand about her Sikh religion. I love learning about other cultures and we are blessed in the UK to have such a diverse population.

I was sad to learn that the lady’s sister had recently passed away, but she talked about how she praises and still talks to her sister. She also told be that her sister had left her the words for several songs, that she now sings so that she feels that her sister is with her.

At that point, whilst helping to pack my bags, she started to sing to me – holding regular eye contact, and it was as if she was in another world. That’s when it sunk in, she probably was. In a serene place where her sister’s spirit exists, whilst also being with me, and the hundreds of others in the supermarket. Incredible, beautiful, magically, inspirational. A lesion in love and true belief. A lesson in having unconditional belief that her sister was in her heart.

As I said, I love to learn.

And, so another short blog draws to an end. A slightly different format but, as always, written from the heart. I hope it resonates. In this messed up world, we all need to feel some love. Apologies for any occasional typos. It makes the blogs real. Not editorial support at this stage.

Take care. Keep the faith, and spread the word.
Jon

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