Have you ever had someone tell you, “Please be mindful of your words,” or “Mind your p’s and q’s?” In short, they were asking you to think through what you say and do. It’s a simple thing, being mindful. Yet, with the pace of this world and the rigor of our responsibilities, being mindful requires us to allow a precious few seconds to pass in reflection before words come streaming across our lips. It is possible, with a conscious pause for patience. The benefit is holding back harsh words, protecting relationships and, honestly, not looking like a babbling buffoon (personal experience speaking here) in front of others.
So, if being mindful means making time to think. What does it take to be heartful? Well, first of all, we need to recognize the difference between a thought and a feeling. People, myself included, tend to shift statements interchangeably between, “I think,” and “I feel.” However, there is a difference. For example, “I think this is the right road,” versus “I feel the impact of that conversation.” Both are valid; both are valuable. “I feel” sentiments should be a genuine reflection of your heart, passed through your unique filter of conscience. To be heartful, we must honor, consider and express ourselves in a way that respects the thoughts and feelings of others. It’s empathy in action.
Ok then, how do these two concepts contribute to your greater purpose? Ah, that’s the best part. When you are mindful of your thoughts and heartful with your feelings, you are more receptive to being hopeful and sharing that hopeful energy with the world. For instance, if I want to make the most of my spare time, I am mindful and focus thoughts on ways I might mentor or volunteer. In parallel, I am heartful and recognize the uplifted feelings that helping inspires within me, as it supports the emotional needs of others. Finally, I am hopeful my time or resources will empower others to have a restored sense of purpose and hope.
To bring it round to a deeper level, living in a mindful, heartful, hopeful way does not have to be outwardly directed at all times. Try to face individual challenges, tense situations and new endeavors with thought, feeling and hope. Work through the intentions and outcomes in a journal, or share your findings in comments below. May you discover, accept and realize your greater purpose more each day.