There is a lot to be worried about in the world right now. Indeed, when has there not been a lot to be worried about! I don’t think there’s ever been a blissful age of peace and prosperity for all. War, disease, crime, terrorism – these are the problems of our age and many ages preceding us.
Perhaps our worries have become exacerbated by the constant noise – the availability and regularity of news via 24-hour news channels and social media. And here’s my disclaimer: I realise I am part and contribute to this world through my other non-yoga career of being a journalist.
This constant noise can sometimes make us feel helpless, anxious and guilty about the global problems around us. This adds to the pressure of dealing with the difficulties and stresses in our own lives.
What can we do about this?
I attended a film talk recently that talked about how the revolution in the world starts with us. (If you want to know more about the film – ask me in class or drop me a message).
It’s about acknowledging how our individual behaviour has an impact on the world, one of the speakers suggested.
This can be a challenging idea – perhaps making us examine our actions a little? Could I be kinder and more understanding to someone? Could I be more conscious of protecting my environment? Am I judgmental of others? What can I do here and now – before I blame others?
This brought me to the concept of Ahimsa in yoga. I’ve been talking about it with some of my clients this week. Ahimsa is the idea of non-violence or non-harm. It is about having compassion for all beings – including yourself.
It is a concept that calls you as the yogi – and as a human being – to consider this: Are my thoughts, actions, and deeds fostering the growth and well-being of all beings?
I think it is a great concept to try and live by (and fail.. and then try again). The world needs more kindness and compassion. It needs more people to smile at each other. It needs more people willing to spare the time to talk to a friend in need. It needs more people to not push each other over on the tube! It definitely needs more people to show empathy and less judgment.
And it is worth noting that we are often in a better position to be kind to others if we ourselves are in a calm and content mindset. We need to stop telling ourselves we aren’t any good. Ahimsa calls for us to cease the swirling mess of self-destructive thoughts in our head.
Let’s try to spare the time to look after our minds and bodies which will enable us to be calmer, nicer people to others too. If you feel under-the-weather or majorly hungover, or tired, or have a headache from too little sleep or too many late nights in the office, chances are it’s going to be harder to be kind-hearted to others? (I say this.. as I can be a right grouch…like really grouchy and I’m meant to be a yoga teacher :-)).
This isn’t meant to be a lecture – but rather a discussion point or perhaps an experiment you (and I) can set ourselves this week? How can I show more compassion to myself and other people?
Let me know how you get on? I’d be interested to hear your stories.