Everyday Mindfulness: Hello and Goodbye

A memory of hello: I'm working upstairs on the computer, doing something that feels important, like processing my photographs or writing an article. Mark walks in the house. I yell downstairs, "Hi, baby!" Though, in truth, I barely take a moment to pause. I continue to work, to push ahead. Yet I feel disconnected and Mark feels, perhaps, unseen. (Since this event, I've changed my actions. I stop whatever I'm doing and greet him at the door.)

A memory of goodbye: I'm at Mayo clinic hospital, in a small room surrounded by tight corridors. My sisters and I must say goodbye to dad before he's wheeled off for heart surgery. I'm not worried but the moment is poignant. That hug, that "I love you," that "goodbye," I'll never forget. It makes me wonder: what if I treat each goodbye in this way?

Everyday mindfulness is buoyed by small pauses. Little breaks throughout the day. These breaks wake us from trance and bring us back to aliveness. They remind us what's most important. Saying "hello" and saying "goodbye" are natural places for pause. Thirty seconds is all it takes. Thirty seconds of eye contact, full attention, and genuine care. It's a benefit to both the giver and the receiver. Imagine all the greetings you provide in a typical day. Now imagine them as purposeful pauses, as places to slow down and make human connection.

Goodbye. Thanks for your kind attention. Thanks for your love and support. The light inside me honors the light inside you. I wish you well.