I wish for you a year of plenty of what makes you happy.
I wish for us a breakthrough in how we treat each other on this Earth.
I wish for everlasting peace in each heart that beats.
I wish for universal kindness to be the answer to all conflict.
The beginning of a new year is an obvious time to reflect upon our lives and set about fine tuning the way we move through the world. Bringing awareness to what is important to us can guide our choices. Our words and actions stem from internal catalysts. Perhaps it would be smart for each of us to identify the kind of culture we would like to co-create, then set about creating it.
Mahatma Gandhi was no fool. Be the change makes sense.
Being devoted to something means that there might be a passion or an urgency about the thing we are trying to achieve, or an energetic rise behind our actions. Great. Let there be passion. Let's get passionate about the world we want to live in.
Yet with so much conflict in the world, where do we begin? "What difference can I possibly make," you may ask. Well, in the yogic teachings, there is only one answer. We begin with ourselves and an end to terrorism.
Terrorism???!!! Yes, that is exactly what I mean. Allow me to explain. It is unlikely that any of you reading this are bombing villages or holding your enemies hostage. I'm not talking, necessarily, about terrorism between feuding countries, political upheaval or military war games. Those grand scale conflicts may currently be out of the reach of our individual efforts.
I'm talking about the terrorism that might be going on within you and the ways in which we unduly torture ourselves, creating internal environments of fear. That internal conflict spills over into our interpersonal communication and effects the way we build relationships on micro and macro levels.
Global or communal terrorism is a reflection of what is happening on the inside, and that is the only thing we have control over.
Change occurs when we begin to act out of friendliness and kindness, with ourselves. When we can soften and acknowledge the innate beauty of our humanness, we can lighten up within. This takes time and devotion., a moment to moment realigning with the truth of our own divinity.
When we practice being kind to ourselves, however, we are more apt to be kind to others. When we have compassion for ourselves, we can therefore know compassion for others, thus we are more kind. This is a beautiful circle.
Kindness breeds kindness.
I was fortunate enough to be a part of the launching of Kindness Yoga Studios in Denver, Colorado some years back. We mindfully crafted the cornerstones on which we formed the culture of the company. "What is the kindest choice, here?" and "How can we act out of kindness?" became the guiding questions in decision-making processes.
Kindness paid off.
My involvement in guiding a culture with kindness effected me greatly. It seems obvious. We would assume that most of us would act out of kindness anyway.
But when I began to examine myself closely, I clearly saw the corners of terrorism and "self-terrorism" in my own psyche. I was un-friendly with myself, extremely critical and unkind. This was reflected in my relationships. Awareness lead to change.
When I devoted myself to self-compassion, things outside of me started to shift as well. My interactions with people became softer, more friendly and available. I began to take more time with people, rather than rushing to my next thing. I gave a little more of myself when able to create connection and trust. On a micro-level, I became the change I want to see.
What change do you want to see, create and feel in 2015?
Look inside. See the beauty of the uniquely magnificent specimen that you are. You are a singular experience, an expression of this gorgeous universe and a reflection of the world you are creating. Let appreciation and gratitude be how you greet yourself. Appreciation and gratitude will then be how you receive those around you.
Be kind to you first! This is my wish.
How healthy can we get?
It is entirely in our hands to find out.
In love and peace,