Storying Mindfulness, (Re)imagining Burn

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Book Chapter

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coming out, LGBT, mindfulness, relational stories, self-help


We all have a story we must repeat until we get it right, a story whose conveniences must be corrected and whose simplifications must be seen through before we are done with it, or it with us. (Yoshino, 2007, p. 50) There’s nothing more advanced than relating with others. There’s nothing more advanced than communication-compassionate communication.… This means allowing ourselves to feel what we feel and not pushing it away. It means accepting every aspect of ourselves, even the parts we don’t like. (Chödrön, 2002, pp. 101-102)1

I am sitting and visiting with friends at the beach. e day brings sunshine and scorching heat. Light winds tease us and hint at the possibility of cooling and relief. My attention is drawn to a young boy and girl playing nearby. ey’re trying to build a sand castle and have been working tirelessly most of the day. ey’re committed, which shows by their persistence in rebuilding the castle each time the waves crash it over and by sunburned and reddened bodies. “Come take another break,” yells their father. “It’s bad out there. Protect yourself!” Reluctantly the kids return to the shade of their family’s umbrella. Having stepped outside their play, they feel their burn and seek relief. Like they are dancing on hot coals, the kids jump and yell repeatedly,

“Argggggggh, it burns!” Wanting instant relief, they rub pieces of ice from the cooler up and down their bright red arms, hands and feet. After only moments of attention, they exhale, “Ah…all better!” Giggles replace their panic, as the ice chills and tickles the surface of their skin. Quickly their attention returns to the shore, where they soon return to do more building and, likely, more burning.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Storying Mindfulness, (Re)imagining Burn, in S. Faulkner (Ed.), Inside Relationships: A Creative Casebook in Relational Communication, Routledge