I hope you are all doing well and enjoyed the last few days of amazing sunshine!! What a gift after the bitter cold and the seemingly endless days of grey and wet. We all know that February is a wild card and often brings another cold event. Still, these moments of bright, warm light are such a boost to the system.
The beginning of the month always brings an opportunity for reflection as well as intention setting. When I sat down to ponder, here’s what came up for me when I thought about February.
As children, we may remember getting our box of valentines cards and filling them out for our classmates. We made little boxes or bags to receive these little missives of kindness. I recall my teacher encouraging us to give to everyone as the love we shared was in friendship. Wouldn’t that be so great now?
I think love is about generosity, inclusion and acceptance for all. We all have struggles and hardships as well as success and ease. What if we committed to being kind to everyone we encounter? What if we let go of fear of the “other”? I imagine our world would be such a beautiful place to live and flourish.
With wars raging overseas and the ramping up of what looks to be a contentious next nine months in our country, I hope we can remember that we are all more alike than not. Peace is possible and I believe it is up to all of us to practice kindness and have awareness to the dangers of hate.
The Mindfulness practice of Loving Kindness is one I turn to often when I start to feel triggered by the news or by my own judgements about folks. This practice is when we wish ourselves and others well. We even include those that we may find hard to like or be around. These folks may be people we know or even those we don’t know. We say these lines:
May I be happy.
May I be healthy.
May I be safe.
May I live with ease.
We then wish these same statements to a loved one, a neutral person, a difficult person and finish with all beings. The last one is my favorite part.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be healthy.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings live with ease.
This practice has been shown to help people feel more connected and even more generous. I encourage you to find a moment or two to sit, breathe, bring the people to your mind and say the words. Imagine the people receiving the gift of well wishes. Then notice how you feel. It seems super cheesy but practicing building compassion and empathy has no downside, I promise.
The photo at the top of this page are prayer flags. It is a Himalayan belief that when the wind blows the flags, it spreads the blessings, good will and compassion embodied in the images and writings across the land and out in to the universe. I think of them as Loving Kindness in flag form :)
So that’s what I have been pondering. I hope this is food for thought for you, too.
I have also been filled with gratitude for being able to teach and practice with you. This is my tenth year of teaching yoga and I am honored to get to pass on the teachings as well as learn from you too! Every time we are together is truly a gift. Thank you.
May February bring an abundance of kindness, love and peace for all beings.
Love and peace,
I am a student and teacher of Mindfulness. Here you will find my monthly newsletters. They are short missives with some thoughts and ideas to help us live purposeful and happy lives. Thanks for reading.