Living from the Heart Space and Minimizing Hate
I was invited by the host of #SpiritChat on Twitter to discuss the energy of the heart on June 12th. You can read the cover post here. The chat itself brought joy to the participants, as we talked about how to connect with our hearts, and with each other in a loving way.
After what happened in Orlando, FL I asked myself: Was the perpetrator living from his heart space? Is this something that the heart creates or the mind? Is it something that a group, a community, a country, a religion, politics, society, economic crisis, a mastermind group, or a belief system creates? Or is it something isolated, one soul, one mission, one hate?
Every time an act of hate happens, I ask myself what can I do about it? How can I help minimize terror in the world? As I teach business courses, I started to ask my students, what can businesses do? What can we as a community do to touch the hearts of those filled with hate? What can you do?
If it is the case as some argue, that the most recent state of terror could be connected to global warming, to oil consumption, to greed, to despair, which may lead to hate, I see a tangible opening. To create businesses that are sustainable, which would include using green energy, reducing carbon footprint, creating jobs, treating employees with respect, paying living wage or more, having volunteering activities, deeply teaching tolerance in the workplace and beyond, leading by example on how to respect and accept one another, and treating clients and all stakeholders with kindness and respect universally.
How about as individuals? We can learn to love ourselves at our core. We can learn to model living from one’s heart space, and see how it has an impact on others. We can practice kindness and compassion.
I don’t know if my actions and the way I choose to live my life actually has the power to stop someone from conducting acts of terrorism. I’ll probably never know. But that doesn’t stop me from taking a stand. Taking a stand to treat others with love and kindness, no matter how they look, think, smell, dress, behave, or how they treat me. Even when I feel in my bones the hate towards me, I’d like to be able to send love back.
It may be challenging to respond with love. When I feel it, I go back to the tools I have. I especially go back to Ho’oponopono: I’m sorry, please forgive me, I love you, thank you. Something in me triggered something in them that caused the hate. Something in them may trigger something in me that causes hate. I ask for forgiveness in my mind to help the energy to shift.
Being aware of our feelings is at the core of it all. Learning to name our feelings, learning to nurture where we are for ourselves, and taking a step back before reacting to others may create ripple effects. I’d like to trust that if we each practice it in our own lives, truly practice it, and show up authentically for others, it could make a difference.
Since January 1st 2016 I’ve sent 136 hand-written notes to people who have impacted my life in small or big ways. I won’t describe it too much now as the project isn’t done. I can tell you though, that I received a few beautiful messages back on how those notes impacted the receivers’ lives in a positive way, some even saying that it arrived in perfect timing as they were feeling discouraged.
What can I do? Who can you be? What can we do?
The recipe I use in my life is:
- Start within.
- Self-love – Focus on loving self a bit more each day, even when I hate myself for one reason or another.
- Reach out for help – If the latter is happening, and I can’t move on from hating self, I reach out for help, for a hug, for a listening ear, for wisdom.
- Be kind to self and others – be it asking someone at the counter how they are doing, or listening to a friend with open heart, or complimenting a stranger on their clothes, bag, shoes, or simply smiling, letting go of judgements, being present and taking a moment to listen.
- Meditate – fill the heart with golden light, then send that light to self, to the neighbors, the neighborhood, the city, the state, the country, the continent, all continents, Earth.
- Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
- Fill self with love – Whatever it takes. Dancing. Moving. Walking in Nature. Sleeping. Singing. Hanging out with friends. Meditating. Painting. Working with something that brings joy. Sending love to the heart. Giving self a hug. (Check out the 45 days of self-love for more on this)
- Share the love – I’m doing it more proactively this year with the written notes I’ve been sending. The project started in Brazil as I was there during the first 4 days of the year, then I continued sending cards to NY and to other parts of the US. I’ve also sent cards to Canada, Argentina, Belgium, Mexico, Spain, Australia and Israel, so far. The recipients are from a variety of backgrounds, colors, shapes, preferences, even world views.
- Plant seeds – I have the opportunity to plant seeds for my students to think about the topics mentioned in this article, and I do. How about you? Where and how can you plant seeds? Are you planting seeds and nurturing them? With your children, your co-workers, your employees, your community, your students, and yourself?
- Speak up – see an injustice, hate, racism or disagree with the laws? Speak up, write about it, create a video, lobby, have a conversation with those involved, share your heart. If you don’t feel like exposing yourself, how about sending love, kindness and light to all involved?
- Be the example – look within to see where the hate is, where the shadows are, where the blind spots are hidden, where I still judge others, be aware of it and then make an effort to release it. Be the example.
- Be present – as simple as it sounds, this means truly being in this moment right now, not on the text or the many emails you have to respond to, or the deadline you have, or your next appointment. Simply be present. Easier said than done, but the more present I am, the more I remember what was said and done in my classroom, and I can get back to it several classes later. The students feel seen and heard, and somehow I believe it makes a difference.
- Be you – “Be yourself, everyone else is taken” Oscar Wilde. Indeed. And there is no need to seek perfection in this. I’m very much a work in progress and still need to remind myself to practice self-acceptance.
I’m sure there is much more that we can do. Change laws. Donate to different causes. Reach out to one another in love and acceptance. Share our hearts and souls through our work, our art, our creative endeavors, and our honest and truthful self-expression. And there are many other ways that I haven’t yet considered. Please do share your own recipe in the comments below.
Sending love and light to the families of all the victims, and sending much light to those who have gone into their next journeys.
Sending love and light to you reading this message. Thank you for being here.