If you ever look into the literature on happiness and well-being you can’t escape the evidence that comes up over and over again that the quickest way to feel well, to feel good, to feel happy is to invest in relationships; to be generous with others. So given the fact that we tend to be healthier and happier when we’re generous, the question is why are we not more generous more of the time?
The answer, I would suggest, is that we tend to be caught up in the Self. By the self I’m referring to our ongoing thought stream about our preferences our likes our dislikes. The story of Me: where I came from, where I am, where I’m going next to get what I want and what I need.
The opportunity when we practice mindfulness is an opportunity to sort of drop that storyline; maybe hold the self at a little bit of a distance and just Be. And in that domain of being we can connect with what’s of deeper value to us, what’s truly important to us. And what you will probably find when you pay attention to your experience in this way is that generosity and gratitude and compassion naturally flow out and fill you with a sense of wellbeing and connection to others.