5 Mindfulness strategies for civic engagement:
If I were to attempt to describe five ways to mindfulness and civic engagement, it will take more than just five…However let’s simplify it from the discipline of human behavior approach.
- Give the community a sense of belonging and ownership. A sense that they see themselves vested in their vested interest of the wellbeing of the community.
- Community Leaders should hold regular assemblies to ensure that all issues and concerns are heard.
- Establish a synergy of collaboration with law enforcement agencies in promoting outreach activities that encourage a partnership of collaboration in building trusts. 3a. Reinvent the programs within law enforcement to mirror the needs of the community, with input from the stakeholders.
- Community Leaders should be promoting educational campaigns that create awareness about exercising civic participation from a place of conscious thinking free from fear.
- Hold the elected officials to the standards of conscious social responsibility for the community as their representatives. In other words, supervise your elected officials through the public records in how they are representing the community in the issues that matter to them as a community of Interests.
This is an actual discussion about, what mindfulness and civic engagement looks like:
In a recent conversation with a colleague, it was discussed about the many approaches to consider when disseminating and encouraging civic and community engagement, and/or activism, among the Latinos and ethnic minority Communities. One approach in particular, proved to be worth the discussion that it generated. The concept of Mindfulness and Civic Engagement. What is it? What does it look like in action?
The opinion shared was that mindfulness in civic engagement was not a term that would be appealing, nor conducive to gaining attention among Latinos. And, that their response would be more like of “not understanding how this ‘mindfulness’ thing will be of any “ benefit to me; or them”.
The opinion expressed was that it gave a connotation of a tree hugger, a yoga instructor, a term that will only appeal to white affluent America. In unison, the word mindfulness was replaced by referring to mindfulness as consciousness. That using the word consciousness would be a better choice to generate curiosity, in framing the approach, when disseminating communication about Mindfulness (consciousness) & Civic (conscious) Engagement (participation) to Latinos, ethnic minorities, and to non-ethnic minorities.
Of course, we moved quickly to define the meaning of the word mindfulness, which means, to be cognizant, aware, conscious, alert, present to your surroundings and everyone, feeling connected, from a place that is free of prejudices, bias, and suffering.
Now, let’s see how its meaning can be communicated from a cultural intelligence pragmatic approach that will generate the curiosity of the community to learn what this ‘Mindfulness’ word they are hearing everywhere is all about?
Latinos are heavy consumers, with over 3+ trillions $ of economic force. They are equally zealous in the status image they present to the outside. They love to be in the know of what is trendy, while, at the same time, can be very loyal to the brands they fancy or meet their values. They like to be with the in-crowd of what is new in culture, fashion, and lifestyle.
So, from this angle of their innate curiosity, the word, mindfulness in civic engagement can be introduced, as a lifestyle concept that is essential to the well-being, not only for the individual person, but, also as a member of a community with interests.
When the concept of mindfulness in civic engagement is presented, the following culturally intelligent strategies will appeal to the altruistic nature of the Community, and can be presented as a cultural lifestyle responsibility.
Let’s begin with promoting self-care. How mindfulness (En Conciencia Plena; Viviendo a Plenitud) is crucial and essential to live a life well with purpose and significance.
When people take care of themselves, they feel good, and their outlook in life is optimistic, anticipating with enthusiasm about what they are thinking of. This state of mind is conducive to focus in being and doing the things of the heart’s desires. And, how part of being a conscious responsible person, includes being a healthy participating member of society.
To take care of yourself with daily healthy habits. To learn how to breathe deep and dream big, to silence the mind for guidance. To abandon all their pains and fears for just a few minutes a day. To cultivate and role model values of empathy and compassion, and to know when to practice compassionate tough love. To participate in your neighborhood by learning about the issues and concerns that matter to your community as a community of Interests.
Learn about your political candidates and elected representative’s platforms from their government identified websites. Do not listen to the scare tactics of political propaganda that is presented in the media to instill fear and divisive speech.
Do listen from the heart which is the conscious way of being. Fully present and engaged in the giving moment free of bias and prejudices. Only from this space, collectively, the community can best represent itself. Operating from a state of mind that is free from all the fears and pains that causes human nature to act irrationally created by their own imagined incepted thoughts from their surroundings and life narrative.
They all share common threads of the human condition narrative. Stories of sacrifices enriched with loss and gains, all for the end result to live a fulfilled life of significance in their time here on Earth.
And the only way of getting there is being mindful, being presence itself. To honor and acknowledge the Divine is us, the I AM, which is not other than the Universal Intelligence Consciousness of God, the energy force of the Universe of all there is.
And, therefore, as a community of Servant Leaders, we must strive to share the message as a reminder of their origins. That is one of the Universal truths of being the Spirit in the flesh. We need to learn what is like to be in the human condition form. Our daily lives should mirror the Grace of the Spirit.
The Grace of the Spirit is to be of service to others. We all come from the same essence. And, that is all there is, and it has no form nor name, except, …
What you create with your imagination…
We all Can Imagine Peace.