Thursday, August 5, 2010

Eye Splinters

A former boss and friend told me, "Sometimes it's better to be alone than in the company of the wrong people." Today as I switched the car radio to WNYE, I heard this advice, "Positive thoughts, positive people, positive outcome." How can we surround ourselves with positive people that uplift us with their words and energy? We make definitive choices about who we spend time with, but we must also give out what we wish to receive. The latter is the greater challenge.

I want to be around more positive people, so I am focusing on my own thoughts. Are they positive? Are my words positive? If not, then I won't attract the type of people I'd like to meet. It is often said, "Like attracts like," and as I look back through my life I see how true this is. My friends and partners have reflected the values and priorities I have held through time. I consciously chose them, but I also unconsciously attracted them.

Currently I would love to meet people who are more focused on the heart and less focused on the ego. The ironic part of that is my new tendency to look for ego-centered behaviors in others. As I focus on posturing and self-importance in the people I meet, I judge them. In this act of judging, I am putting out the type of negative energy I seek to avoid. I would do better to let go of any judgments and simply act like the person I want to hang out with. If I encourage others when I would like to be encouraged, listen when I would like to be heard and give love when I would like to receive it, I will be surrounded with support. This is how I want to start living.

This concept also works within existing relationships. Do you want your child to calm down? Take a moment to get centered yourself, and then ask him to chill out. Do you wish your spouse would open up to you more often? Try being more open yourself. Take the initiative when you feel you have lost touch with a friend. As my husband likes to say, “The phone works both ways.”

Displaying the qualities you are looking for in others can change the dynamic of a group, as well. I have seen this recently in yoga class. It always helps when the teacher sets the tone of the class, but students can also impact the vibe. Sunday I attended a class that I usually avoid. When I walked in the people who weren’t talking loudly were already in headstands or arm balances. I feel that the class attracts type-A personalities and show-offs, but that thought is not going to help me get through the class. I tried closing my eyes and meditating on my mat until the class started. I found that the students near me were quieter and less active as a result. Of course, when the teacher started by asking, “What do you guys want to do?” and someone replied, “Kick ass!” I did not yell, “Namaste, motherfuckers!” like I wanted to. That was probably a good move. I do consciously avoid the class as a rule, just as I might avoid certain people. All the same, if I miss a favorite class and need a makeup, I can still get my practice in and enjoy it. For all I know, the teacher may take it in a different direction or my perceptions of the class could shift. Maybe next week I’ll be positive about “kicking ass.”

“Be the change you wish to see in the world,” taught Mahatma Gandhi. To get an idea of how to adjust my attitudes, I am making a list of all outward changes I would like to see. I will list everything I want for myself and the people in my life. Then I will study that list and attempt to embody it. If I start there, I am less likely to injure myself. Jesus taught, “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Sounds painful, doesn’t it?

1 comment: