“When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another – and ourselves.” – Jack Kornfield, mindfulness teacher and author

As our worlds at home and at work increasingly become busy, our minds (and bodies) respond in ways that tell us that we need to slow down and reflect. To me, mindfulness is being engaged with the moment as it is. It’s focusing on what is here. It’s connecting the mind with the heart. As Grants and Communications Manager, I realize how applying the practice of mindfulness contributes to the value of staying connected and being responsive.

Staying Connected

Staying connected with the organizations and communities the Foundation supports gives life to the mission of the Foundation. Through connectedness, we can discover and build strong relationships that leave a positive imprint in the lives of those whom we serve. At my post, it is not just about writing reports, presenting data and maintaining the grants process. It’s also about engaging with staff and board members, funders and grantees, leaders and community members. It’s about being part of a movement that places whole health and well-being at the heart of a thriving community. It’s about connecting those dots between what I do, who it is for, and why I do it. And those dots create a strong foundation (pun intended) for staying focused and being aware of how I can be responsive to applicants’ needs.

Being Responsive to Feedback

By staying connected, we strive to meet people where they are. During a grant cycle, we value the feedback we receive regarding any improvements and enhancements that can be made to our grants process. Based on the feedback, we as a team discuss ways to refine the experience of future applicants. I then make the necessary changes and continue to monitor the ease of use and access. Our online application system has not only increased accessibility and saved time, but it has also produced less of a carbon footprint by reducing paperwork. By transitioning to the cloud and becoming part of the online world, our grant application system has enabled us to streamline the process from start to finish.

It is this aspect of connectedness and responsiveness to the work I do, the work the Foundation does, and the mission we firmly believe in that keeps us moving toward a better tomorrow by being ever present to the needs of today. Mindfulness practice can help with this process as we march on in our busy lives.

If you are interested in learning more about mindfulness, here is a good place to start. Also, I personally like to use the mobile apps Simple Habit or Calm. I welcome ideas and suggestions on how to continuously improve our grants management process. I invite you to contact me at ssanchez@sistershealthfdn.org.