When someone cuts you off in traffic, do you feel indignant?
If you’re like me, your answer was probably “yes.”
For many people, the first reaction in that situation is a negative one.
But given the state of affairs in the world, wouldn’t it be a good thing to put out a higher vibration?
To add good vibes where they’re needed?
To make the world a better place?
I’m sure you agree. But how does one do that?
I believe practicing compassion is one of the very best ways to do it.
Tweet: “Compassion is the radicalism of our time.” Dalai Lama
We never know what challenges and hardships another person may be dealing with that might cause them to act in a way we don’t like.
My friend Teri told me this story about herself:
Tuesday morning I arrived at 8:27 a.m. for my 8:30 yoga class and found all the students standing outside in the parking lot.
I live in Michigan; it was snowing and the wind chill temperature was 3 degrees. I couldn’t have been more mystified to find everyone outside!
I was told the outside door was locked and the teacher wasn’t there.
One student said she had a key and we could go in and practice yoga on our own, or at least get out of the cold. No one moved.
And no one checked the door to make sure it was really locked. We all just relied on the report of the first person to try it.
While I texted the studio owner, someone else called her to see if she knew where our teacher was. The owner in turn called the teacher, who was actually inside and hadn’t realized the door had locked behind her!
She immediately popped her head out the door and let us all in!
Now, this all took place over the course of just five minutes. But, at 3 degrees, it was a very long five minutes.
I reflected during class on the irony of the fact that we all readily assumed we were locked out when one of us even offered to unlock the door, and the teacher was inside the whole time.
No one even double-checked that the door was really locked.
This was a prime example of assumptions leading us astray.
And of giving up too easily.
Clearing clutter. We read about it all the time.
But it’s more than good housekeeping. It’s a key to self-healing.
When I was in graduate school working on a Masters Degree in Economics [yes, I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s true], I got tired of Economics [that seems much more believable] and instead took film courses.
This was at the University of California at Los Angeles [UCLA], which at the time had one of the best film schools in the country. [It still does].
The film classes were excellent, covered a variety of topics, and were like balm for the soul of true film lovers like me.
One of the best lessons I learned was from a casual comment by our teacher about the Alfred Hitchcock film, “Psycho.” It was a lesson that has served me in work and in life.
How is the “Washington Redskins” team name still in use in this day and age?
Most of us have heard the term, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?”
Did you ever believe it was true?
Not likely, because we all know words have power and can hurt.
In fact, there is ample evidence that negative thoughts, feelings and words, can be harmful to the body.
It follows that everyone, be it an individual or a national sports team, should be more conscious of their use of words.
THE HISTORY OF THE TERM “REDSKINS”
The Washington team has tried to defend its name choice by saying that the term “Redskins” honors Native Americans. But that view doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.
I was recently asked by a reader how to maintain positive thinking. He said, “every time I’m positive, or at least I think I’m positive, then negative things happen.”
Having struggled with that very issue, I promised him an answer.
I agree that when stuck in negativity, it can be hard to pull yourself out. But not impossible.
First, accept that we all go through negative thinking some of the time; the trick is to not dwell there. Like driving through a bad neighborhood, you want to get out as soon as possible!
Here are some of the things that have helped me: