22 Jul A daily practice for making the world a more peaceful place
With all the violence and craziness happening in our world lately, I often find myself wondering, “What can I do? How can I be of service in helping make the world a more peaceful place?” I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but it’s a heavy weight to bear as an individual. Most of us have a lot going on in our personal lives and maybe don’t have the time to go out and be an activist. This got me feeling a little guilty. I definitely don’t want to be a part of the problem. So, how can I actively make change on a regular basis?
Yoga. In my opinion, if more people practiced yoga the world would be more peaceful. By “practicing yoga” I don’t mean putting yourself in a hot room and twisting your body into a pretzel, although I do think the physical practice of asana facilitates the more spiritual and mental element. In this context when I say “practicing yoga” what I mean is being more mindful. In yoga we practice something called Ahimsa which means non-violence. Non-violence through words, thoughts and actions.
I believe wholeheartedly that the energy we radiate as individuals affects those around us. Think about the last time someone was rude to you. How that made you feel. Most likely you left the situation carrying that negative energy with you and probably told someone else about it, then transferring that energy to one other person at least.
The practice I am offering here is a meditation that anyone can use in their daily interactions. Whether you find yourself getting impatient with a family member or a stranger on the phone, this is something you can do to just check in with yourself, assess the energy you are contributing and decide if there’s something you could change.
Here’s the practice: In any situation, whatever it is that you are doing (words, thoughts or actions) think of these 5 things.
1. Is this coming from a place of love?
2. If not, what’s my motivation.
3. How is the energy I’m contributing affecting others?
4. Is this energy that I’m putting forth, making the situation/world/moment better or worse?
5. What can I do to change my contribution for the better?
It may sound so small but as Mother Theresa said, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family”. Start small. Start with the people around you so that your influence will hopefully motivate them to go out and do the same.
One of my yoga teachers once said, “think of someone you love and send them all the loving positive energy you have to give. Now think of someone you don’t love, a stranger, someone who makes you mad, someone who has hurt you. Send them that same loving healing energy.” Whether you think someone deserves your kindness or not, how you treat them in any interaction big or small, can make more of an impact than you think.
Allow what YOU share with the world to be LOVE.