How do you express yourself and what difference are you making in this world? I am not speaking of how you verbally express yourself but more of how you show up in the world each day as a human being. What are your behaviours, how do you interact with others and what do you have to offer, how do you celebrate life? Our lives are so connected through relationships with others such as our parents, grandparents, partners, children, siblings, colleagues, friends, doctors, neighbours and the list goes on and how we interact in any of these relationships can differ depending on how we are feeling in any given moment, or on the type of person we are interacting with.
Notice how you respond to people throughout your day and be aware of how you treat some people different from others. Do you give everyone your full attention? Just because one person behaves in a certain way doesn’t mean we should also fuel the fire by expressing ourselves in the same manner. We’ve all experienced people are who loving, compassionate, gentle, thoughtful and then there are those who are angry and just outright rude, but when we can reflect loving kindness to another human being no matter what their expression, a shift is possible to occur. When you practice loving kindness, you may begin to notice that your interaction with others changes because it is very difficult for the ego to survive when love is authentically present. So the question is, how do you want to be in this world? Do you want to always live from a place of loving-kindness, no matter what? And will you? We all have the ability to make significant changes in this world right now by offering loving-kindness to anyone we come into contact with because it is the in giving that we truly do receive. Just imagine if everyone you interacted with on any day extended loving kindness to you and you were doing the same, what a beautiful community we could create together.
When I was in Sedona several years ago attending a retreat, one of our self-inquiry activities was to walk through a Hopi graveyard and read the tombstones and then ask ourselves what imprint we would like to leave on this world and what would we want our tombstone to say. Some may think this exercise is somewhat morbid but the truth is, why wait until this life has ended. When you ask yourself this question now it becomes fundamentally clear what is really important.
Of course, all of us would say that we want to have made a difference in this world and whether we do it by loving and supporting the people who are our family and friends, donating to charities or volunteering or making a difference in the workplace, it all still comes back to the relationship we have with others and more importantly, the relationship you have with yourself.
When we can love ourselves for who we really are whether it be thin, tall, short, rich, poor, smart, dumb, old, young or whatever the description is we give to ourselves, then we have the capacity to love others for who they are and we begin to express ourselves this way in the world. It is truly remarkable when you can be open and let love guide the relationships in your life. You can then begin to discover the impact you can actually have on the world. Mahatma Gandhi said ‘ be the change you want to see in the world’, so I ask you to begin today to be mindful of how you interact with all beings in your life your parents, partner, children, friends, colleagues, neighbours, the person at the checkout at the counter, strangers and including those people you are in conflict with. Make a conscious decision to always live from a place of loving-kindness and then see the changes that take place in your life and those around you.