3rd Station – Mindfulness Matters
You will need access to the Wheel of Awareness Resource Sheet for the exercise, a paper and pen, a quiet space to meditate without interruptions and a copy of the Moment of Mindfulness and Reflection Worksheet to capture and consolidate your thoughts at the end.
In order to be of useful service to others we need to remember to first be of service to ourselves. That might sound like the opposite of service: intuitively we tend to think of service as being something selfless; a process in which we make sacrifices for others, but it’s all a question of balance. It is equally important that we take the time to care for our own wellness and wellbeing; that we learn to channel our emotions, and that we build and maintain reserves of inner-strength to draw on in support of others. Have you ever wondered why airlines tell you to fit your own oxygen mask before helping others? Think about it.
We also need to take time to reflect on our own skills, abilities and expertise in order to then figure out what contribution we might make in the world. What can we offer? What motivates us? What are the passions and interests that inspire us? Positive thoughts and feelings drive positive actions.
A screen-free task:
In the activity that follows you will take a moment of mindfulness to build your awareness of yourself, your connection with your surroundings and with the wider world.
The activity asks you to visualise a wheel with a central core and an outer ring. Between the two are four sections in which you will explore sensory awareness, body awareness, mental activities and your sense of connection to things outside of yourself.
Read through the nine steps on the Wheel of Awareness Resource sheet. You might want to note down one-word prompts to help you remember each step as you progress through the exercise and keep these to hand.
Follow the steps to complete the exercise
Reflect and Consolidate:
Using the Moment of Mindfulness and Reflection Worksheet, write down as much as you can remember from each from each of the four sections along with your overall sense of awareness (from the hub). There are no wrong answers here! Everyone’s Wheel of Awareness experience is unique. Capture your responses with individual words or short statements, artistic expression, doodles. You might find it helpful to write a couple of sentences to express how you are feeling. Alternatively, you might like to record an audio of your feelings that you could revisit if you did this exercise again.
Review what you have written and reflect on the experience. Consider how easy or difficult it was. How did it make you feel? How do you think this exercise might help you to prepare and sustain yourself in helping others? How might you use this practice as a mechanism for keeping mindful of the balance between self and service? How might it help you to connect with those that you support and those that support you.