This is How You Use the Principles of Yoga to Reduce Social Distance
Extending the Tribe
I’ve read some poignant quotes lately, all pointing to the importance of knowing what you want, who you are, and what your mission is in this world. And then, the quotes explain, make sure the people closest to you are in line with those aspects of yourself.
This resonates with me—we can bring each other up, and yet we have the ability at times to stifle each other, to create abusive and deeply harmful cycles. So, yes, it makes sense to surround yourself with people who will push you forward, teach you something valuable, and support your mission.
And lately, I’ve been shifting people in my inner circle. For me, figuring out who I want in my inner circle is like figuring out what I want my life to look like in three years. And while there haven’t been formal good-byes, there has been some moving on.
This gets me wondering, what about the ones who seem to be always on the “outside” or the people we pass by because they are not healthy for us? What about the people we don’t want in our tribe? Pausing here, I hear my own narcissism. I am not the only one who could befriend them. I am not their antidote or solution.
Still, I wonder, “How do ‘others’ find connection?” Also, how we get rid of this notion of “other” is another conversation. I believe all beings need love and connection. I believe this deeply. I want my enemies (if I have them, not aware that I do) to find love and peace. I want those who annoy me to find comfort and family. And really, I want to live in a world where I can create community with those I normally wouldn’t….yes, those I automatically pass by.
In yoga we talk about Ahimsa. Ahimsa guides us to non harming language and action and unconditional love. So, how do we love the “other,” the ones not in our tribe, the ones we find annoying, or the ones not healthy for us right now?
Here are some ideas I’ve been kicking around:
- Willingness to love. We must find willingness to love or perhaps forgive. This is inner transformation. We must be ready. Willing. Not ready to invite them into out lives necessarily, but ready to extend love; ready to extend presence to those outside our circle.
- Curiosity. Wondering and asking questions about perspectives and experiences outside of our own gives us a sense of openness which allows for further depth of understanding, offering the possibility for compassion. Compassion flips a switch, creating even more possibility for goodwill.
- Metta meditation. This type of meditation extends love and kindness to all. Metta meditation takes practice and support. I’ve found it to be personally transformative, especially around issues of forgiveness.
- Acts of kindness. When we love, or do kind acts, we create energy that spreads to those outside our circle. Love is action and action involves energy (think physics). So this loving energy we create via kind acts of kindness or metta meditation, creates energy which is never ending and flows to places unknown to us.
- Allow for differences. This means creating space for difference in our circle. In safe but perhaps uncomfortable ways, we extend our circle. When we do this we open ourselves up to a more radical and transformative Ahimsa.
Kindness has unlimited potential to travel and to touch lives. The more aligned we are with our path and the better we know ourselves, the more of that gentleness and kindness we can spread to others. There are no boundaries for the effects of kind loving energy.
Perhaps one day we’ll create a world with no “other,” or no social distance.
In the meantime, more kindness is called for. More gentleness is needed. More love is requested. It spreads. We keep our boundaries, yet every action has the potential to create ripples of healing.
Want to create ripples of healing for those in your life (including the others)? Book a session with Lisa.
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