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Charting Fulfillment

Updated: Sep 5, 2019

For the average person it is difficult to maintain complete fulfillment in every waking moment. The natural flow of life’s pleasures and difficulties are in a constant flux depending on the given circumstance. There is a tendency to be carried away by theses joys and hardships that life throws at us, and we coin this tendency to be swayed by external circumstances heedlessness. Heedlessness is trait that we all possess to some extent, and an understanding of heedlessness can elucidate why we go through “ups and downs.”


"Lovefulness" is an idea that builds off the concept of mindfulness. Brown and Ryan (2003) define mindfulness as present-centered attention and awareness. In mindfulness, present moment phenomena both external (attention) and internal (awareness) is focused on by the individual (Dane, 2011). Non-judgmental observation of events is key in mindfulness.

Lovefulness takes mindfulness further by bringing unconditional love and an active process of detachment into the equation.

Lovefulness takes mindfulness further by bringing unconditional love and an active process of detachment into the equation.

Detachment is a construct that will be addressed more thoroughly in another post, but for now we will lay down some groundwork. First off, detachment does not mean that you become a lifeless, personality-less zombie. It simply is the process of loosening the grip of viewpoints, expectations, attachment to material objects, etc. The more we stubbornly hold onto these things the more we will be negatively affected when circumstances go against them. For example, imagine that you are attached to your phone and you drop it. Then your screen shatters; you will be upset in proportion to how heavily you are attached to your phone. If you are attached to your viewpoints, you will become upset when somebody states something against your viewpoint (i.e., I love or I hate Donald Trump)!


When we start the process of detachment through certain techniques, the heart is drained of the fuel that leads to unhappiness. As the heart drains of negative attachments, the fuel of unconditional love can be poured in to take its place. This love is directed toward life itself, and all of the things that go along with it. We believe it is important to not only actively focus on the present moment without judgment (aka, mindfulness), but also to actively build a basis of unconditional love independently from mindfulness. Additionally, we believe there is great benefit in actively working on reducing the severity of our attachments.

A life of Heedlessness vs. a life of Lovefulness



Vacation:

When we go into a “vacation” state of mind, we cut loose from quotidian life. Whether we actually travel to another part of the world or just stay local and crack open some beer, surf the web, or go out with friends, there is a tendency to use activities as an escape from the normal “grind” of life. Then, when that activity is over, we spike back down into our usual state. Traveling to exotic places is fantastic; though, we encourage people to find the same satisfaction that lies in vacation in “normal” life.


Negate Lows:

Lovefulness is a life-long journey that continuously deepens in creating fulfillment; however, as human beings we face challenges that can create temporary unhappiness. While practicing lovefulness your lows will still bring you down when you encounter difficulties; however, rarely will you ever dip below your baseline of fulfillment in life. Additionally, you will have the ability to spike back up after a shorter amount of time compared to if you were not practicing lovefulness.



Equal Reaction:

There can be an “equal and opposite” reaction if one clings to sensory enjoyment to create momentary happiness. Everyone is familiar with this feeling, for example when a night of fun is settling down, a Netflix season finally is over, the day after a great music festival, or perhaps when you are going to bed after working all day, only to go back to work early in the morning. Being swept away by pleasures is a form of heedlessness that leads to dissatisfaction with the present moment. It breeds the thought, “Yeah, life is good, but life is better when I am doing ___________. Using life’s pleasures is not harmful in itself, but being reliant on them definitely is.



Upward Trend:

Cultivating lovefulness is a long journey. Maintaining this state, which is beyond mindfulness, is not an easy task; though, if one does manage to keep this state regular then enjoyment of life will only deepen. How does this happen? As you detach from the aspects of yourself that bring you down and focus on unconditional love, internal and external, fulfillment becomes a byproduct of this process. Ultimately, the best way to understand how the process works is to try it. If you think lovefulness is something you want to cultivate for yourself, contact MHE today to get more information.


Brown, K. W., & Ryan, R. M. (2003). The benefits of being present: mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. Journal of personality and social psychology, 84(4), 822.


Dane, E. (2011). Paying attention to mindfulness and its effect on task performance in the workplace. Journal of Management, 37(4), 997-1018.

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