November 23, 2015

The Mindful Life Illustrated: A Chance to Be.

Mindful Life Illustrated 1 do not reuseThere is always room for more kindness. More compassion. More love.

There can never be enough in the world—they are always in high demand.

So when I see an opportunity to extend some kindness, or ease someone’s suffering through understanding, or simply to love, I take it.

There is an abundance of cynicism and negativity already. I never have to look far to see someone in pain, or someone suffering.

With every avenue of the mind, body and the spirit, being human means that we are constantly being worn down by the negative forces around us that lead us into suffering. So, when I can, I choose to balance it out, even just a little.

I have come to see opportunities to create positivity as a small window that the universe is presenting to me. A window into another world. And truly whenever the opportunity is taken you do enter a new world—a world with just that much more kindness in it. That much more light.

Years ago I read a quote by Epictetus. It stuck with me and I kept repeating it to myself. However, recently I found the original quote and it was worded differently than I had remembered. I guess the way I remembered it was the way that made most sense to me. My adapted quote goes:

“Never second guess an act of kindness.”

(as opposed to the original: “Follow through on all your generous impulses.”  ~ Epictetus)

It became a mantra for me—among many others. I am a bit of a quote addict.

Often I would do something with the intention of being kind, then leave the situation and start going over it all in my head. I would start thinking things like: Why did I do that? They must think I’m such a weirdo! Was I being condescending? Did I misread the situation?

Now, in my better moments, I tell myself that if my intentions were heartfelt and I truly believed that what I was doing was a positive thing, I should leave it at that. It is not a perfect art, but if it means that I can use my time to create a bit more happiness, then it is a mantra I’m happy to keep around.

If we start to look for moments that allow us to be kind, compassionate and loving, we quickly see opportunities all around us. But it is up to us to choose to take them. I truly believe that the universe wants us to be happy, and is giving us opportunities daily, but we just need to do a little (or sometimes a lot) of work to get there.

And one way to start is by attempting what is suggested in the last panel of this comic: “Just Be.”

Nothing is more balancing then coming back to the present, sitting and breathing. Then look around and see if there isn’t some way you can turn the seemingly endless darkness into a little bit more light.


>> Look out for Mike’s new weekly comic: The Mindful Life Illustrated, every Monday on elephant journal.


Author & Artist: Mike Medaglia

Editor: Khara-Jade Warren

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