|As we wish each other a Happy New Year...there is often; 'let's hope that 2023 is a good one.' This comment always seems to imply that everything is outside our control. Like we are waiting for life to happen to us. Living here in rural France, daily exchanges are often ended with 'Bon Courage', which once again has this feeling that something is about to happen to us.
|The last two years have certainly shown us that we do not have external control, but at the same time, it has shown us that we do have some internal control over how we view experiences.
|As the pace and fullness of modern life can isolate us from one another, our contact becomes vastly more significant. We unconsciously absorb each other’s energy, adopting the temperament of those with whom we share close quarters, and find ourselves changed after the briefest encounters. Everything we do or say has the potential to affect not only the individuals we live, work, and play with but also those we’ve just met. Though we may never know our impact or the scope of our influence, accepting and understanding that our attitudes and choices will affect others can help us remember to conduct ourselves with grace at all times.
|Most people rarely give thought to the effect they have had or will have on others. When we take a few moments to contemplate how our individual modes of being affect the people we spend time with each day, we come one step closer to seeing ourselves through the eyes of others. By asking ourselves whether those we encounter walk away feeling appreciated, respected, and liked, we can heighten our awareness of the effect we ultimately have. This is absolutely something we have control over.
|Something as simple as a smile given freely can temporarily brighten a person’s entire world, especially after spending many months hidden behind our masks. Our value-driven conduct may inspire others to consider whether their lives reflect their values.
|A word of advice can help others see life in an entirely new fashion. And small gestures of kindness can even prove to those embittered by the world that goodness still exists. By simply being ourselves, we influence others’ lives in subtle and life-altering ways.
|To ensure that our effect is positive, we must strive to stay true to ourselves while realizing that it is the demeanour we project and not the quality of our wondrous inner landscapes that people see. Thus, as we interact with others, our behaviour can be as important as who we are. If we project our passion for life, our warmth, voice, and choice of words, every person who enters our circle of influence will leave our presence feeling at peace with themselves and with us. The practice of yoga shows direction when we seem to be lost. It gives us strength when we feel weakened and allows us time to reflect and choose how we speak to ourselves and others.
|You never know whose life you are affecting, big or small.
|Remember this as you go out into the world each day, and as we enter the possible turbulence of 2023, remind yourself that every action starts with a thought, and so can we bring kindness and compassion to those thoughts. So, where is life taking us in 2023...it's your choice.