We all love a note, the notes rooted in love, consideration and positive intention. Not the passive-aggressive ones letting you know that you have parked your car in the wrong place or your dog has been barking too loudly.
I am talking about the personal notes from your family, from your team, from your colleague, your partner, someone you have helped, someone who is helping you. A short few words scribbled on a bit of paper can do wonders.
“Your dinner is in the fridge x”
“Thank you for yesterday”
“It was wonderful to catch up!”
“Thinking of you, let me know if there is anything I can do.”
Our words and actions can really inspire and help us. I read about a guy recently who started to pin up ‘notes to strangers’ around London.
“Resilience comes with rewards”
“Too Many Talents Remain Hidden by Fear of Ridicule”
Now, these notes are not groundbreaking insights, however, they really connected with the general public and have helped many people. Often, it seems, the right person read the right note at the right time.
I love the idea of a ‘note to a stranger’ that draws hundreds of commuters out of their Monday Morning undercurrent, grabbing their attention and making them smile.
This got me thinking about our teachings at the Mindfulness Association. Reflecting on courses and the wonderful manuals that are sent out, we are taught to be kind to ourselves, we say metta phrases, mantras, little gems of text as a way of changing our emotional orientation or being kind and compassionate to ourselves and others.
Phrases and sentences pop out of the manual and can really strike a chord. The following nuggets of wisdom are taken from our compassion course.
“You are not on your own. You are always feeling the support of your allies. And then each time you tune into the compassionate self within, you can also bring to mind your circle of allies around you”
“Understanding that the happiness of others is inseparable from our own happiness.”
“Relish the feeling of gratitude, noticing how it feels in your body”
“We build the capacity for wisdom by stepping back and looking objectively at our experience through the lens of no blame”
“Compassion training is radical: the very things we least want to face hold the keys to growth and transformation.”
If I am honest, repeating Mantra’s and phrases of loving kindness to myself such as ‘May I be prosperous’ or ‘May I experience happiness and wellbeing’ felt a little alien at first, but directing those same phrases to a stranger was a bit easier. I wonder if the guy that writes ‘notes to strangers’ and myself share some common ground!
We can be inspired by words from our family, friends, partners, teachers. But we don’t need to wait for a note from others to inspire, motivate and support us – we can do it anytime.
We are invited to write a journal as part of our practice, I am not the best at this, but I have the intention to work at it! I do, however, write down little phrases and quotes – they can be sourced everywhere. Books, programs, music, poets, eavesdropping on the train, Mindfulness Association manuals, your friend’s children, mentors, websites – there are lots of words of inspiration.
Here are a few more I like
“We should understand – like Emily Dickinson did – that “forever is composed of nows””
“Monotony collapses time; novelty unfolds it.”
“I don’t enjoy writing, I enjoy having written.”
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”
“The teacher and The taught together create the teaching”
Weekly Challenge – Number One
For this weeks challenge, I am going to write a note to a friend, family, a stranger. I don’t know who yet, but I am sure the moment and person will present itself.
Weekly Challenge – Number Two
I am going to source some more inspirational quotes and I shall incorporate my own identifiable individual quotes and inspirations into my Mindfulness and Compassion practice.
I invite you to do the same. If anyone has any sources of the material then feel free to share them. I am always looking for new inspiration!
Enjoy your note writing