Stitching a New Mindset

As a kid, my little brothers loved transformers. But when your think of transforming, you think of the toy or getting all dressed up. But a transformation in your mindset is so important to acknowledge. In our last class meeting for this course, I feel like I experienced the most eye-opening hour and a half. After continuing our ten minutes of meditation, we need a writing activity. During this activity, we were instructed to write down anything that came to mind when thinking about how compassionate curiosity played a role in my learning throughout this course. At the beginning of this eight weeks, I was incredibly skeptical. I did not believe in the benefits that mindfulness practice had. I thought it was a waste of my time, and would not do anything. But in all actuality, it completely changed my mindset. I continued to do ten minutes of meditation every day; and every day looked different. I always circled back to a meditation we learned probably the second week. I imagine that I am sitting on the bank of a river, and when I start to get overwhelmed with thoughts, I gently label them and bring myself back to the bank. I have always had a bad habit of negative self talk, it is one of my biggest weaknesses. I am hard on myself on every forefront in my life; whether that’s at the gym, in class, grades, my job, my self image, food intake, and so much more. Being able to visually imagine labeling these overwhelming thoughts and gently acknowledging that it is okay to have them, has changed me. During the writing activity, a could not stop writing. Ways that compassionate curiosity influenced my learning just kept coming to mind. In the course compassionate curiosity made me feel a plethora of emotions and feelings. I feel accepted and welcomed in this new mindset and way of thinking. I feel supported and encouraged to continue to lean into using compassionate curiosity more often.  I feel like I am more understanding during this class, and my other classes, in how to see and process what classmates are saying. I approach their opinions and thoughts in a new way. I now know I need to be kinder in my responses to differing opinions. I use mindfulness practices to take a step back if I feel as though I am becoming impulsive in my response. When my course learning and compassionate curiosity is combined, I feel so much more enlightened and knowledgeable; it is honestly transformative. I feel like a kid again getting to learn about a subject that sparks so much excitement within me. During this eight week course, I have seen a change in how I think about an array of different things, all thanks to compassionate curiosity. My self talk has drastically changed. I am kinder to my personal thoughts, whether that is positive thoughts or negative thoughts. How I view myself, my body, and my mind has done a complete shift. I am so much more kind to myself when I know that I am being too harsh. I have used compassionate curiosity and mindfulness practices to do this, especially when I get overwhelmed with these racing thoughts. My thinking about others has also been transformed throughout this course. I approach people’s thoughts, feelings, and views in a new way. Instead of casting blame to them, I take a step back. When I take this step back, I consider what could have lead them to this, and how I can reach their view point in a compassionate way. I have seen that the change in how I think about myself and others, has lead to a change in how I think about bigger issues. My thinking about wicked problems, problems throughout our world, and how those problems affect me and how I affect those problems. This simple writing activity that took maybe eight minutes, opened my eyes wider than I knew possible, to see how much I have changed in a short eight weeks. During this last meeting time of this course, we finished The 11th Hour. During the last thirty minutes, the second eye-opening experience occurred. At one point during the last thirty minutes, one of the people being interviewed said something along the lines of, “the Earth has all the time in the world, but we don’t”. Something about that just hit me in the face. It was something so true but something you don’t want to hear. It’s true though, we won’t be on this Earth forever. But the Earth will always be around. It has time to heal from our mistakes and the wicked problems we imposed on it. Whether we are around or not, the earth will eventually regenerate itself. This was absolutely eye-opening. If more people were aware of compassionate curiosity, and the benefits it has on relationships with others, yourself, and the world, then we could start this change that is detrimental to our planet. This course taught me what humility and humbleness looked like in a situation like finding a solution to the wicked problems of our world. I feel encouraged and inspired to spread what I have learned in this course to so many other people. Even in just the short three weeks between week five of this course and week eight, my progress towards forming a humble and compassionate response towards wicked problems has grown. I have found a wicked problem that resonates with me, and a change that I want to see spread through out my friend group, and others close to me. I have began conversations with others to see their opinions, thoughts, and feelings about wicked problems. They have been healthy, humble, and enlightening conversations. Both the person involved in the conversation and I walk away from the conversation feeling heard, more knowledgeable, and content. I spend more of my time focusing on what I can do to make a small change in my daily living that will, hopefully, one day be a change that is seen throughout the world. My grandpa always told me that you act like the people you are around. I want to fully surround myself with people also pushing and advocating for a change. I have started a daily meditation routine with my boyfriend. We both practice whatever method works best for us individually. However, when the ten minutes is up, we take that time to talk about what was going on in our mind during that time. Some days it was just that we were hungry or stressed. But recently these post meditation talks have turned into us wanting to see a change in our habits. One thing that I have started to implement into my daily life is simply being mindful of the amount of disposable products I use. I am absolutely encapsulated by our world’s beauty. And I am well aware of the problems that are occurring thanks to overconsumption and an increase in waste. I have made small steps in this forefront. However, I strongly feel as though my increase and determination to have more conversations with others about wicked problems, has spread a little bit of awareness throughout my circle of people. Being in college is overwhelming, and meeting new people that have similar interests and causes they strongly support is hard. This course has shown me that approaching new people, conversations, situations, and wicked problems does not need to be as overwhelming as it once was. I have seen this feeling of an immense, daunting task of reaching out dwindle. I have become more humble and understanding in all aspects of my everyday life. The final thing during this last day that stuck with me, is something that was said while wrapping up the class. “Knowledge alone does not move the needle.” It is such a simple saying, but it stuck to me. I feel as thought it is super glued to my mind. Knowing about something and being aware of it, does not make a change to the situation. You must put in the effort, time, and care to move the needle. Moving the needle will make a change. Maybe if more people pick up a needle and put it to work, the world would be patched up with patches that are formed out of compassion, humility, care, and understanding.  

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