Everyone of us is born with a warm, glowing fire in our core. We don't learn it or earn it, and we can't lose it. This fire surfaces as love, passion, thoughts and compassion. How we choose to live and regulate the release of our fire is important to our daily joy. If we open the floodgates, we may drown in our passion. But, if we dam the flow of our passion, then our hearts are slowly eroded.
Much of the joy of life comes from expressing our inner fire, as we unconditionally share the warmth with others by acts of love and kindness, by passionately arguing and acting to fight injustice, by singing at the top of our lungs to a song that moves us. Challenging times often require to look deep inside for this fire, but we can always find it and the solace that comes from knowing that we need not look anywhere else for the glowing passion of life. Try to let some out every day.
You have undoubtedly experienced moments of complete joy, when you feel that everything and everyone with you at the time is exactly where they were meant to be. I believe that these joyful moments are the essence of a meaningful life. So, how can we work to experience as many as possible?
First, try to be present at all times. Focus your mind on what is happening wherever you are, rather than on events of the past or future. Avoid distractions or "multi-tasking." Second, learn to accept that whatever is happening at the moment is factual. Wishing it were otherwise will only create stress. It will pass. You can work for change, but only after acknowledging the situation. Finally, maintain a perspective of compassion and unconditional loving kindness. This goes for you as well as others. Desire the best for everyone. With these mindsets, you will spread goodness and invite moments of pure joy, and will surely experience many.
We often find strength when we least expect it, when we feel weak, tired, down. Our inner strength is always present, but is most tested and useful when we need it most, summoning patience, kindness, forgiveness, charity in trying times.
So, as with physical exercise, we need to challenge and develop our inner strength by recognizing and working on our weaknesses. Intentionally put yourself in positions that tend to elicit reactions in you that you'd like to change. Get stressed out in traffic or waiting in line? Build your patience skills by embracing the time to talk with others or listen to something enjoyable. Uncomfortable talking to strangers? Strike up a conversation knowing that only good can come from the human connection. If you are honest with yourself, you'll know what you need to do. Your greatest inner strength gains will come from you greatest needs - and will be there when you need them.
Think about whom you consider as a true role model and why. Which of their character qualities do you admire and aspire to? What specific words or deeds can you regularly practice to build a habit of this admirable character quality? What advice would your role model give to assist you? Make some notes and keep them somewhere visible.
Evolving yourself is not easy, but worth every bit of the effort that you make. You will develop and exude a character that warms your heart, and for which others will be grateful and will aspire to. This age-old influence of positive role models is essential to the goodness and virtue of humankind.
"I am because you are, you are because I am." Ubuntu is a deep African custom that recognizes that, in every sense of life, we are each other. We live off of each other much like animals and plants live off each other's breath. Our lives are enhanced by sharing the joys and sorrows of friends, family, strangers, animals, plants, the Earth.
We can invite this emotional richness by actively practicing compassion as we go through our day. Your life will transform if you seek to understand the needs and feelings of others in your interactions. Moreover, as your compassion becomes more heartfelt, you will not only reap a more meaningful emotional reward, but your kindness will shine and brighten the lives of those around you. Ubuntu. Ubuntu.
Love is our most precious gift and we have an unlimited supply. Love reflects our true inner selves - kind, caring, compassionate, good. Why not give it freely?
Every day presents an opportunity to enrich your life and those of others by sharing your kind, loving self. An open and vulnerable heart reveals the meaning of life. As you deepen a relationship, give every ounce of your love. You'll be amazed at how much is there and how good it feels to shower your love without fear.
This past weekend, we gained a new daughter and her wonderful family to love. We are incredibly grateful for the joy that they add to our lives. There is no such thing as too much love.