Being Breath

stories from the wilderness of everyday life

Spread the love, Not the hate

Spread the love, Not the hate.

It is worth repeating.

Perhaps I was predestined to have this thought....after all, the afternoon did involve my husband, mother, kids & I going to see A Christmas Carol (the 3-D movie). VERY highly recommended - the story was brought to life in a way I'd never experienced & the graphics, sound, and methods of portraying characters were stunning.

I walked out of there feeling just plain good. Shortly after, we ventured into the chaos that is holiday shopping. Hubby & I were on a mission to find a few last kids gifts while my mom kindly watched the kids. During one trip across a parking lot, one driver chose to speed along without stopping while we were trying to cross the street. We weren't in any danger, just inconvenienced. I looked over & saw a frown on my husband's face.

Now whether he was reacting to the driver or deep in his own thoughts I'll probably never know. But I realized in that instant that the people walking out of that store had frowns on their faces too....that being frown-y was the default state of being. Everyone had their own reasons for holding the look on their face - many were probably doing so unconsciously. I decided right then & there that because I was conscious of my emotions, because I had an awareness of myself & others, that it was my job to spread the love, not the hate.

A simple smile on my face. A generous thank you to someone holding the door, the person who took our order, the waiter who brought out our food. An honest compliment to a woman with a beautiful blouse. It really wasn't much effort. But I could feel the positive energy swirling within me and knew - just knew - it wasn't mine to keep. I could also feel the sleep-walking depression all around me.

It is quite the tricky idea to be conscious of our consciousness - to be aware of the moment. There are many traditions that describe this idea, some identifying it as a witness consciousness. To be able to look at what is going on in this moment (our feelings, the actions we & others are taking, the events & environments around us) as if we were hovering above it all as a simple observer. No judgments.

That is where I found myself this afternoon. I saw all of the hurt that people were feeling, even if they weren't admitting it to themselves. I saw my own hurt, my own switch that was patiently waiting to be turned "on" again...that switch that puts me back in the mindless state of being. All the wants, desires, aversions, & ignorance guiding us through every moment. Breath after breath I remained aware of this...and carrying a smile on my face, life was simply jubilant. People continued to frown around me, the kids screamed, diversions to my plans happened, but like the calm depths of the ocean I remained at ease.

I'd like to say I stayed like this forever. I'd like to say I sit down to write this blog still with the smile on my face & calm in my heart. But I am a work in progress. I slipped in and out of mindfulness. I am aware that this will continue to happen. I am aware that my feeling of "success" comes not from staying in that state of being, but how quickly I return to it after anger or jealousy or want of change slips in. With an inhale I bring in the love, with my exhale, rid myself of all I know longer need.

I invite you to take today & perhaps even tomorrow to just be aware of your default state. If it is one of frustration or indifference, I invite you to move into a state of beauty. Buy the gift with love in your heart, do your job knowing that whatever it is you are doing, you are making a difference. BE the beauty & radiate it. Little by little, lets all try to spread the feelings of love that we all crave and lessen the feelings of anger and hatred.

Just try.

And if you get a chance, catch A Christmas Carol in 3-D before it leaves theatres. It's refreshing to feel so warm & yummy!