I am inviting everyone to start the New Year with a reflection on how to love better.
We don’t need to be in love to love. Although everyone loves to be in love. Even when you are in love, you can learn to love better.
The kind of love I have in mind here is Agape love, the broader more expansive love towards ourselves, others and the planet. How can we cultivate that love all of the time?
Everybody has love inside of them. You don’t need to search for it, you need to trust that you have an abundant amount of love to give and receive. We are wired to love and we are wired to respond to love with kindness.
Nobody can survive without love. If you take a look at your exchanges, love is everywhere around you. All day long we are exchanging love, like we are exchanging money. One we see, the other we feel and sense. A hello is love, a smile is love, nice words are love.
Always cultivate an open heart. I was in meditation today and was observing my heart. I know from personal experience that what happens when we have a conflict, experience a rejection or disappointment, is that we tend to close our hearts.
We close them because we are sad but also because it hurts to feel the pain and disappointment of rejection. This is exactly why we need to reverse our course, and stay open. By keeping our hearts open, we are nourishing them and allowing them to receive love from other sources, be it our pets, friends, parents, neighbors, and all of nature. Let the exchange of love keep flowing.
All our hearts are like giant flowers with petals. What happens to a flower when it is closed? We don’t see its essence, its colors, we can’t smell its fragrance. That is why we need to keep our hearts open and beautiful despite adversity. Our hearts are made to be appreciated. Everyone is worthy of love, everyone is worthy of receiving love. We are loving and lovable.
Cultivate the love you have. Let it grow. Love the small acts of love, they will grow your love.
As you expand your awareness, your love will expand. You will naturally make space for love to flourish inside of you. As you start to embrace your essence which the present moment reveals to you, love will replace what is not love inside of you….
So chirp your hearts out this New Year, and pay attention to the love that flows all around you.
Most people would probably agree that our world needs empathy.
The dictionary defines empathy as the action and the capacity of understanding, being aware of, and being sensitive to the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of another person.
As humans we are wired to be empathetic because we can feel our own pain, thus the pain of other human beings or animals. We can deeply understand their distress. But if we are wired for empathy, why so many people lack empathy?
One might argue that our culture – with its emphasis on mental and technological progress – has cut us off from our emotions and our bodies. We spend most of our time thinking, analyzing and not really listening to the silent messages of the heart and body. Because we spend so much time on our computers and at our desks, we can easily become isolated in our heads, and that means less time in person or within real life communities.
Psychologists talk of three types of empathy. Cognitive empathy is when you can put yourself in somebody else’s shoes. We cognitively understand what they are going through. Though this is important, it is not enough.
Emotional empathy is when you feel and sympathize with the feelings and emotions of others. We need this capacity to maintain relationships and friendships. But emotional empathy can be treacherous for sensitive people. Taking in, into your body, somebody’s else emotions and pain – can cause you to become ill.
I heard a radio host yesterday apologizing for not talking about the tragedy in Texas. She explained it like this… “I feel too much pain. I am in an overload of pain after months of tragedies. I can’t go there.”
Feeling the pain of others is an essential component of good health. But it is important to be able to separate one’s emotions from other people’s emotions. And this can be difficult for a lot of people.
To have healthy empathy, we must transition into Compassion. With compassion we understand and we feel for someone else, but we also understand that we need to stay whole in order to be a healthy and helpful resource for others. Compassion is felt more in the heart. It is an invisible silent thread that is felt between people. We are extending our heart to someone else’s heart.
Compassionate people are in control of their emotions. They can be very helpful in bringing about wise solutions. They are helpful with their sheer and trustworthy presence.
So to increase empathy and compassion, I would suggest to start with yourself.
Ask yourself how much empathy you have for yourself? Are you hard and unforgiving of yourself? Do you feel a lot of guilt all the time? Self-reflect and meditate on yourself often.
Also, remember episodes where you lacked empathy for others? Were you afraid or unware? Always ask why and wait for the answers to emerge from deep silence. There is no need to go into the past. But by remembering your aha moments of your past, you can illuminate your future.
Changing ourselves is a process. The most important thing is to be committed to transformation and to realize that your most important task on this planet is to become more human and to be of service.
It is a beautiful summer outside and most of us will see our parents and relatives during vacation. These happy moments might awaken within us some deep and uncomfortable unconscious issues. It is possible that some of us might feel a bit unbalanced after our times with family. It is because it is very hard, for most of us, to stay in our personal power in the presence of family.
I would like to share with you a small meditation to reclaim your personal power after you see your family. If you feel apprehensive even before the visit, you can use this meditation as medicine to prep for the visit, and also to stay centered, while you are there and afterwards.
I suggest that you trust the first insights that come to you during this quick meditation. Sense, perceive and feel the symbols, the images, the colors and the textures that might come to you during this relaxation. Also, use intentionality to make changes in perception.
CLOSE YOUR EYES AND START BREATHING. Relax your shoulders, your neck, and drop your emotional energy from your whole body towards the earth, and start sinking under the pull of gravity to mother earth. Drop a connection from your lower body to the earth and feel interconnected with the vastness of the earth.
Imagine that you are sitting on the beach and the waves are coming and going. Feel the peaceful energy of the summer air and bring that into your body. Slow down your body with the shimmering blue of the ocean. Use intention to entrain with the color and the vibration of the ocean.
Sink in even deeper. Call your life force energy to you. See it as a color or a symbol, and gift your body with your life force energy. Be full of your life force. Be in your power.
Now put your awareness on your heart and ask your heart where and to whom you are losing personal power. Take a moment to identify the experiences and people that weaken your life force energy the most. Notice the type of exchanges you have with them. If you feel like you have been losing your power, ask yourself why you are giving permission to that event or person, to take your power away.
Ask your heart what you need to do to always feel your full power when you are with these people.
Use your intention to separate your person power and agency from the power of the people draining it. Feel free to sense that separation in your own way. Just intend for it to happen and create healthy, nurturing boundaries.
If you need to forgive anyone, do so right now. If you feel the need, have a silent conversation with your parents or relatives. Tell them how you would like the relationship to change going forward. Just state your wish, and present it to them in silence, let them know your new vision for a happy relationship.
Now recall a moment when you felt in your full power. Remember how it felt. Go back to that moment and try to bring that feeling to awareness.
Be a balloon full of your best self. Draw a healthy boundary around your body. Feel the excitement of this new you, and show it to the people you love.
Become grateful for bringing more acceptance and understanding into your life!
If we think back in time, probably the most memorable people in our lives are those who have spoken kind words to us.
Words carry the power to move mountains and to move us deeply. The right word at the right time might save someone’s life, might shift someone’s reality, might make someone rethink their entire life…
Trust that your words will be heard.
Kindness is a quality of the soul. We develop kindness when we realize that we have so much kindness in our hearts to give. Then we start thinking more and more kind thoughts and want to say more and more kind words. We practice kindness and kindness returns to us.
When we are inspired to say something kind to someone, we are manifesting the color of our deep soul. The soul wants to express itself through spoken words. Together kindness and words are pure energy that shift and animate the soul of someone else, and affect our own cellular energy and the energy of the entire universe. This is how interconnection works.
Use kind words profusely. Never think that a particular person doesn’t deserve it. Don’t withhold it because you have been hurt or because you are afraid. Our calling is to give kindness, to infuse our words and the world with the elixir of gentleness and kindness and inspiration.
Our responsibility is not to wait for a response or expect an outcome. Our responsibility is to live through the laws of our soul.
Be kind to yourself. Wake up every morning and set the intention to be kind to your body and spirit. Don’t criticize yourself, don’t regret anything, don’t be afraid to be yourself, don’t look for anybody’s approval, don’t control how you appear to others. Walk with the confidence of someone who is kind.
Kindness is surrender, surrender to who you are in this present moment, smile to yourself right now, smile to your soul, to your accomplishments, to your encounters, to your day. Be kind to the experiences you have. And yes, look within, to appreciate the kindness you are made off.
Think kind thoughts during the day. Send kind thoughts to others. Make your day a kind day.
Don’t judge the world by its unkind acts, it is not our responsibility to participate and join the unkindness of the world.
Say hello with kindness to your neighbors, greet your colleagues with kind smiles you have never shown before. Be the kindest person there is around.
What is there to gain you may be asking if the person on the street is unkind to me?
Remember that a kind person is a wise person.
He knows how to manage himself and how to bring healing and change to the world. You will be wiser than your unkind neighbor, you will be wiser than anybody who sends unkind and mean thoughts and words your way.
You now know something about the power of kindness that they don’t know. You now know that kindness is more powerful than any other energy around, and that it opens doors and builds treasures, and gathers wisdom, and touches the souls of people.
It makes the world a better place for all. And it makes you someone we all want to hang around, because you nourish our soul and our spirit, and that makes a life worth living!
Think about these words, yourself and the world with kind thoughts, and get your smile on today.