Monday, May 21, 2018

Smile, It’s Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Build Meaningful Relationships

Attention is the rarest and 
purest form of generosity.
--- Simone Weil

I once saw Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese monk who Martin Luther King, Jr. nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, speak at the Warner Theater in Washington, D.C.
The Buddhist monk asked the sold-out crowd: “What is the greatest gift you can give to the person you love?”
After a hushed silence, he shared: “To be fully present.”
To be fully present with others, we must first be fully present with ourselves. In this digital era, this is one of the greatest challenges posed to us.
We are so quick to externalize our challenges, whether it’s our shrinking checkbook or our fear about our jobs. This approach is a mistake that corrodes who we are.
Before we Occupy Wall Street or Occupy the Shopping Mall, we need to Occupy Ourselves.
How do we accomplish this goal, and become fully present? By taking an inner detour, slowing down a bit, and learning how to spend quality time with ourselves—not online, not seeking the next best deal; simply befriending the silence rather than running from it.
This week, make a pact with yourself to integrate self-time into your daily schedule.
Whether it’s a sunset walk, a yoga class, or a meditation group, before you go to or return home from work, envision a means of taking time each day to reconnect with yourself. Then make it a reality.

Anthony Silard is the president of The Center for Social Leadership, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday every other week, enter your email here (1-step only). To support The Center for Social Leadership's Young Leaders Program for disadvantaged youth either directly or through purchases, click here.

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