Having practised mindfulness for some time, I can report that one of the lovely side effects (or gains, if you will) of the practice is feeling more connected, a part of everything else. This sense of belonging, and not existing in isolation is vital to our wellbeing.
The Lonely Society - a report commissioned by The Mental health Foundation 2010 talks of increases in mental health disorders as we become more individualistic (cited in a Phillipa Perry article February this year in the Guardian - Loneliness is killing us) and last month The Office for national statistics declared Britain to be the loneliness capital of Europe. Surely a massive irony in today's so called 'connected' society! and whatever your thoughts on advertising, I notice that Bisto have used this notion to launch their 'project together' which is around having a table to sit at together and interact.....which many people now no longer do or can do, maybe because they don't have a table or they don't have anyone to connect with. So maybe, next time we sit down with friends or family, we can savour that experience all the more, being mindful of how lucky we are.....even though sometimes it may not feel like it when there is chaos at the table and a big pile of pots and pans to deal with afterwards!!
Lots of people say to me, but what can I do to change things.....there is only one of me? Generally there is wisdom to quote here such as -
Gandhi - "be the change you wish to see"
or Margaret Mead "never doubt that a small group of thoughtful people, committed citizens can change the world. indeed its the only thing that ever has"
and the 'tipping point' is said to be only 10%....yes, if only 10% of the people hold an unshakeable belief in something, this will have an impact upon society.
So for now, maybe we can leave aside all notions of power and cynicism and take part in reaching out to others, and being a part of a connected society, improving both our own and others wellbeing. Connect and be kind, give away your time, your smile, your old stuff - clearing out those closets and shelves also really does help a cluttered mind, giving more space to breathe...
I'm sure you've seen the little film that has been doing the rounds..."Look up" if not, check it out. Thought provoking stuff...
As ever, these are just my musings and opinions on general subjects, so feel free to take what resonates and leave the rest Jane x