We are attentive to ourselves and those around us. We hold the best interest of others at heart as much as our own. Caring means respecting the choices of others and compels us to act with integrity and honesty.
To give and receive care is a basic human need. In understanding how to truly care for another we learn how to be better human beings.
Care is an expression of kindness, an exchange that is particularly important in the space of building relationships.
Whether you have known someone for 30 minutes or 30 years, when they convey to you real and genuine attentiveness and care you will naturally feel safer to share an experience with them. This is true whether engaging in a partner dance workshop, a discussion around trauma, or simply sharing about your day.
There are 3 components of caring: awareness, attentiveness, and action. Each one building on the last.
Awareness is being present with what is happening in the now, both internally (our thoughts, emotions, and physical body sensations) and externally (our surroundings, including other people). It means becoming an observer.
Attentiveness is the focusing of awareness. To be attentive is to cultivate curiosity and deep listening. When we are attentive, we observe proactively in order to see what help or support may be needed in a given situation.
Action is turning thought or intention into physical manifestation. In the realm of care, it is taking what you’ve learned from being attentive and bringing it to life. It is stepping forward to contribute your support in whatever form is needed.
With our awareness, attentiveness, and action, we can convey deep levels of care in many nuanced ways.
This means taking the time to understand the various boundaries and needs of the people you are wanting to care for, and then doing all that you can to honour and support them.
Sometimes it means going beyond what is asked for, and even interjecting or insisting when it is necessary. When you truly care for someone, you will risk the potential of losing them to honour integrity, respect, and honesty with them. To tell them things that no one else wants to say, with their best interest at heart. There is of course a greater depth of intimacy with this kind of care.
Caring is, as we can see, a multi-dimensional thing. And as evolutionary beings, to maintain a healthy balance in the way we care for others we must remember to be mindful and intentional about how we care for ourselves.
This entails being attentive to and honouring of our own boundaries and needs. We may need to take action on our own behalf by asking for help, or even by saying no. The prerequisite to this is taking time to get to know what our own healthy boundaries are, and understanding ourselves in deeper ways.
Achieving a balance between being there for others and honouring our own needs, is key to creating healthy relationships in our lives as individuals and as an evolving community. Finding this balance is a critical skill to acquire along the path of awakening, one that is definitely worth mastering.
So we encourage you to do a check-in with yourself about the way you are showing up in your life. Are you aware of the needs of the people around you as well as your own? In what ways could you be more attentive? And how can you take action to take better care of the people in your life, including yourself?
I am aware of my own boundaries.
I am attentive to the needs of those around me, and to my own.
I take action to support and honour the people I love, including myself.