One thing is certain, during this human experience we will encounter circumstances that we celebrate and we will encounter circumstances that we would rather avoid entirely. It seems to me that where the rubber meets the road is how we navigate the challenging experiences in life. How can we be present in situations that are not our preference without being taken down and consumed by them?
It starts by remembering that we have an important decision to make, which is to decide how much power we want to give away to circumstance. If we make our happiness or peace of mind contingent on our health, relationships, or work looking a certain way then we are setting boundaries around our ability to experience the joy of life. The more preferences and parameters we put in place, the harder it is to feel happiness and contentment in our daily life. In doing this, we are trying to make life conform to our arbitrary constraints instead of letting life show us and lead us to our next greatest possibility. What if a health crisis is opening you up to a new way of looking at the world? What if a recent job loss is creating the opportunity for you to finally do the work you love?
What if life was bringing us exactly what we needed at every moment, but we just keep thinking that it should look different or be the way we want it to be.
The universe will bring us experiences that can show us where we are still holding back. That is how we heal, grow and evolve – by bringing our best selves to the task put in front of us at any given moment. Life will not bring us to the next step until we can inhabit our current life circumstances with grace and acceptance. Don’t wait for a better job, don’t wait for a better relationship, be the best version that you can be now in this moment and miracles will begin to happen in your life and in the lives of everyone you touch. Where you are right now, doing exactly what you are doing….is perfect.
Here we are yet again, another tragic episode and senseless loss of life in Las Vegas. These are challenging times….between the hurricanes, political landscape and mass shootings, it is enough to cause us all to want to go in bed and pull the covers over our heads. If you think there is no way out of this mess then it is understandable that you want to turn away and divert your attention to anything else. But we have to live for another possibility. We have to walk in faith and the belief that we can actualize change. When we believe that we are too small, too weak, too limited in numbers to make a difference we diminish our power.
The truth is that change never happens by the masses, it happens at the grass roots level. Think of the historic changes in history…Gandhi and the British Empire, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. These men are viewed as heroic figures today, but at the time there was much opposition to their views and non-violent approach to changing hearts and minds. Now more than ever, let us reflect on what it means to take a non-violent approach to our own life. What part can we play? We can choose love over hate every day in a thousand different ways. We can make a difference. Every time we choose to act from love when we could choose to act from hate we are making a difference. We are all connected. We are all one. When we see others in the light of love and forgiveness it not only improves our own life, it improves the life of everyone we come into contact with – the result is a life that is fuller, richer, deeper and more joy-filled, for you and everyone your life touches.
We are all in this together, let’s pull ourselves up and dig deep during this most critical time in the world. I have been moved and inspired by re-visiting Gandhi’s Nonviolence Principles. I want to include them here as a reminder of what is possible when we make love our first, last and only viable solution.
Gandhi’s Nonviolence Principles
- All life is one.
- We each have a piece of the truth and the un-truth
- Human beings are more than the evil they sometimes commit.
- The means must be consistent with the ends.
- We are called to celebrate both our differences and our fundamental unity with others.
- We affirm our unity with others when we transform “us” versus “them” thinking and doing.
- Our oneness calls us to want, and to work for, the well-being of all.
- The nonviolent journey is a process of becoming increasingly free from fear.