Sunday, August 23, 2009

How can you change the world?

Early this morning when I went to take a walk to the local bagel shop (it's nostalgic for me; growing up having bagels on Sunday mornings) I noticed that every single person that I passed by and attempted to smile or say "hi" to, avoided eye contact with me and kept on walking. It reminded me of whenever I go out-of-state how different it is from New York and it's so normal for people to say hello to a stranger. Maybe the people I encountered this morning secretly knew I was picking up some bagels and were judgmental towards gluten-laden food and the people who can eat gluten without any problems? Probably not. This is fairly common in over populated metropolitan areas where people are more on defensive mode and their minds have so much going on at any given instant that the overstimulation distracts them from responding to a simple smile, or "hello", or even a "how are you?". Fortunately, where I live not everyone is like this. When I pass by someone I always try to make eye contact and give some sort of acknowledgment to one's presence and the response is commonly a previously dormant smile or reciprocal gesture. I can not say what effect a simple "hello" or smile does for the other person but I can say for me it brightens that moment and reminds me of living in the present. As a shaman, I can observe how an individual's aura shifts from a somewhat contracted and jagged state to a smoother, expansive form after such a novel act. A person's body, posture, and movements can tell a lot about an individual and I've noticed that by giving a smile every once in awhile can make a difference in a person's day.

I read in a Facebook friend's update a quote from a shaman who advised that we greet everyone we meet as ourselves and to feel with ALL of our heart. Hmmm. Isn't that what it means in the yogic philosophy and spirituality term "namaste"? Nasmaste - "My essence acknowledges and bows down to your essence". Isn't that beautiful?

I challenge everyone reading this blog to try this practice. The next time you come a cross another being, human, animal, or plant, or any other resident of this planet, make an effort to make eye contact and give a smile or "hello" or "how are you?" (or in Howard Beach, where I'm from, the old head nod as if saying "what's up?) without any expectation of reciprocity. This I know can change the world.

Thank You.

No comments: