Thankyou to a friend who shared this lovely video with me last week.
'It is our responsibility to be more kind to one another.' says Carl Sagan.
Play this as you read...
How beautiful is this video AND what an honour! It's incredible as after I practice Yoga, it may sound cheesy or crazy or what not, but I can literally feel an inner smile radiating out and recently as I have walked more consciously along the streets of my urban Bristol landscape, moments after I have exited a class, I have witnessed this state and then I have drawn attention to the reaction of those around me as I walk - they smile back. Believe it or not, they smile back! If your eyes shine brightly and radiate peace, acceptance and wonder, others gravitate towards this and feel automatically at ease. If your eyes are wide open, yet soft, if your body is tall yet open it oozes confidence yet is welcoming, people smile. Try it. Try walking down the street and smiling. It can be external but when you get that sense of the internal peace, see what happens then too, it's remarkable. This has the reverse effect too, when our gaze is low, our posture is folded over and reserved, people frown.
Most recently I have experimented with slowing life down a little in my interactions with people, listening more deeply without rushing to respond and asking questions, it's incredible what deeper connections you can make with a complete stranger in particular, in just one minute. Another friend of mine and I bumped in to each other in a cafe the other day and he described his experience of sitting in a previous cafe that week and how he had to record a conversation that he was over hearing, as during the hour that he sat there, it was like a clone of another conversation that came before it and another and another... and it went like this...
How are you?
Yeh good man you?
Yeh great you?
Yeh good, you?
Yeh good man yeh
Cool, see you
Yeh see you
WOW! Was that a connection? Was that care? Was that kindness?
If we crave some cosmic purpose, let us find ourselves a worthy goal. Maybe the goal could be kindness and authenticity.
So in fact, just yesterday I made the time to speak with someone that once upon a time, I dismissed and judged for once being inappropriate in their communications and a little unstable once upon a time, yet yesterday I made time for them again and in those 20 mins, I learnt so much, not only that I had judged and in some of that judgement was truth, but how inside of that person was creative potential, talent, a heart and ultimately, kindness. Sometimes we just dont know how to channel it! We make mistakes, we push people away, we deny parts of ourselves, yet within us all there is beauty and there is potential for expansion of mind and body that brings freedom and connections beyond what we could have ever have imagined. We live on a treadmill and we have visualisations of how life should be, whether that be what a relationship should look like, what order life should take, and how we should conduct ourselves - but what if we blew all of that out of the water and you changed the preconceived ideas and came to the realisation that opportunities, connections, and life changing moments are presented to you everyday, people come in to your life for a reason, as does tragedy, but what can you learn from them and how can you integrate those in to your life to advance your being with more intelligance that goes beyond science, but an assembly of stories and moments of complete beauty.
I guess this could be considered Humility. the quality of having a modest or low view of one's importance.
"humble", but also as "grounded", or "from the earth", since it derives in turns from humus (earth).
I love this description of humility from a hindu perspective...
Prabhupada explains humility to mean one should not be anxious to have the satisfaction of being honored by others. The material conception of life makes us very eager to receive honor from others, but from the point of view of a man in perfect knowledge—who knows that he is not this body—anything, honor or dishonor, pertaining to this body is useless. Jopson explains amanitvam, humility, as lack of arrogance and pride, and one of twenty six virtues in a human being that if perfected, leads one to a divine state of living and the ultimate truth. Eknath Easwaran writes that the Gita's subject is "the war within, the struggle for self-mastery that every human being must wage if he or she is to emerge from life victorious", and "The language of battle is often found in the scriptures, for it conveys the strenuous, long, drawn-out campaign we must wage to free ourselves from the tyranny of the ego, the cause of all our suffering and sorrow". To get in touch with your true self, whether you call that God, Brahman, etc., one has to let go of the ego. The Sanskrit word Ahamkara literally translates into The-sound-of-I, or quite simply the sense of the self or ego.
Gandhi interprets the concept of humility in Hinduism much more broadly, where humility is an essential virtue that must exist in a person for other virtues to emerge. To Gandhi, Truth can be cultivated, as well as Love, but Humility cannot be cultivated, Humility has to be one of the starting points. He claims, "Humility cannot be an observance by itself. For it does not lend itself to being practiced. It is however an indispensable test of ahimsa (non-violence)." Humility must not be confused with mere manners; a man may prostrate himself before another, but if his heart is full of bitterness for the other, it is not humility. Sincere humility is how one feels inside, a state of mind. A humble person is not himself conscious of his humility, claims Gandhi.
So in Yoga this week, we will practice love and kindness to self first and foremost, we will move with more awareness and delve deeper in to the connection you have to your state of being and your body this week, in that moment, on your mat. Can you offer more kindness and authentic connection to yourself, starting just where you are today. I'll meet you there.