Peace of Mind within our Community

If I had to describe my vision of a healthy community with peace of mind (whether in a family, workplace, shul, or even all of klal yisroel), it would be a group of people who listen to each other, value each other, see the good in each other and help each other. This environment, by definition, means a place without judgment, a mind without judgment, or an ability to see beyond judgmental thinking.

Imagine you wake up late, have difficulty in the morning getting your kids off to school and because of your frustration you get short with your spouse. (Hard to imagine?) You get to work and your boss, in his ever so nasty way, tells you the report you spent the whole day on yesterday is wrong so you need to redo it today. Instead of just saying sure, you lose your cool.

Now I’m sure you could fill in the blank for the types of thoughts you or or your boss would have, but suffice it to say, he is probably annoyed and angry with you, you are upset with yourself, your behavior and HIM. Without going into detail can you hear all the criticism, judgment and blame you both may be thinking about each other.

It’s hard to listen and value another human being when you are innocently believing your judgmental thinking about them or their behavior as the truth. It’s more accurate to say it’s your opinion or limited perception of them rather than the truth. You see, most people aren’t even aware of the fact that they live in the feeling of their thinking (most of which is invisible to them) rather than the feeling of what others are doing or not doing (to them). This one small clarification has huge ramifications for the peace of mind of any community.

If I understand my own state of mind, as well as the state of the people around me, I will gracefully be able to navigate any circumstance. If a boss could see the stress on an employee when he/she walks into the office and understands the state of mind, his choice of words and behavior would be very different than if the boss didn’t understand the state of mind. So too, if the employee understood that people aren’t nasty and critical unless they are in a stressed state of mind, he/she may not have taken the boss’ tone of voice about the report so personally. We didn’t imagine the boss’ morning, but if it was similar to the employees morning, he may also be living in a lot of thought and judgment.

Any community that is willing to invest time in clarifying for its members where their feelings/attitudes/experience is really coming from has taken a major step in transforming the mental and emotional health, as well as the overall peace of mind in the environment, for each member in which they live/work.

The beautiful byproducts of this time well spent is a community of acceptance, love, unity, compassion and productivity. The ability to bring out the best in each person by understanding their state of mind is a gift that gets revealed to us moment to moment and our behavior will reflect that understanding.

Would you like to share that gift with your community? family? workplace?

Ride The Wave

By Aviva Barnett, MSW

Discover the secret to living
with peace of mind.

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