Ken Wilber’s phrase “miracle of we” has always struck me as a beautiful description of our cherished relationships. Think about people who are the “we” in your life! There is electricity in those relationships. That’s the energy of spirit! What is the first thing you do when getting together with old grade-school friends? If you’re like me, you share stories of when you were laughing so hard that milk came out of your nose. Where has that spirit gone? I don’t know about you, but I want some of it back! It was natural then, why is it harder now?
I think I have an answer to that question. To get more “we” into our life we have to lose some “me”!
I know I should be less self-centered. You probably agree with that, but it’s hard! In fact, it’s more than hard, self-centeredness is instinctual. That’s why it’s hard to simply wake up one morning and decide to bring more spirit into life. The seedbed needs preparation. For me, it requires shifting awareness away from “self” to something I call “presence”. That sounds academic, but it’s just another way of saying I need to get out of my thoughts and open up more to what’s happening around me.
When “in our head” we are blind to the spirit of “we”. I for one, get so wrapped up in my thoughts that I sometimes miss highway exits. “Mindfulness” practices are an excellent way to facilitate the shift in awareness needed to make room for “spirit”. Peer reviewed studies from major medical schools validate the therapeutic benefit of mindfulness practice. There are many ways to practice this. The common theme is to relax obsessive thought and shift awareness to the present moment.
I am a “Type A” person; intense and task oriented. When I first began mindfulness practice, I found it difficult to let go of my thoughts. Luckily, I stuck with it long enough to experience positive impact. As an example, one day I was on my way to work for an early meeting with our CEO and when I turned on to the highway entrance ramp, cars where completely stopped. Normally, I would have “freaked out”, but on this particular morning, the very first thought that shot through my mind was, “oh no, there must be an accident, I hope no one is injured”. I am embarrassed to say how out of character that was for me. I am convinced that mindfulness practice opened a crack in my awareness just wide enough to let some “we” into my life in that moment. That’s enough motivation for me to keep practicing!