This isn’t just for parents though. The manifesto can be tweaked to suit all kinds of close relationships.
It is a reminder that being vulnerable and authentic in our close relationships is fundamental to forming true connections. We can build others up by building ourselves up. We can teach our loved one to love themselves by being a walking example of self-love and respect. We can stop trying to take away the pain of others but instead, be there as their pillar to allow them to work through their feelings. It teaches me to stop expecting perfection from anyone in any aspect of life (including myself). It nudges me to be patient, kind, compassionate and understanding towards my loved ones so as to make life a little easier for them in an already chaotic world.
Above all else, it speaks to me, to start being the vessel of love and light for others, by having the courage to start working on myself from inside out. Noone ever say that the process is going to be easy, straight-forward, instant, or shame-free. How liberating, empowering and scary is that realisation?
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Have you ever felt so down that when someone completely unsuspecting gave you a hug, you felt tears well up in your eyes?
It happened to me once when a complete stranger I met during work, an elderly woman, thanked me for looking after her and gave me a sincere hug before leaving the aircraft. I was having such a tough day but hid it behind a smiling facade that I felt like crying in gratitude for her kindness.
You might think that it is weird to hug a stranger but we had such a good positive connection that it felt just right. She told me that she was from South Africa and I told her that it was my dream to visit her beautiful country. She looked me in the eye and told me to make my dreams come true, that they were important. She had such a grandmotherly vibe about her – kind eyes, wise words and a smile from the heart.
If you have ever experienced such a moment, you would understand how powerful that brief connection can be.
Afterall, a hug is a physical way to show someone that you care for them, wish them the best or (if you are seeing someone after some time) that you have missed them.
The next time you really want to hug someone you love or care for, let your guard down and go for it. If you are not sure if the other person is receptive, just ask them, “Would you like a hug?” Or “Can I give you a hug?”.
Pass on the gift of love and kindness! ❤
From Plum Village:
“No coming, no going, no after, no before.
I hold you close to me, I release you to be so free.
Because I am in you, and you are in me.
Because I am in you, and you are in me.”
I weeped the first time I heard this song. The message of interconnectedness and unity is so strong in this song.
Sometimes it’s so hard to embrace our oneness in a world that so wrapped around individuality and separateness. All I want to do most of the time is to survive and not drown. But the realisation is that noone can force me to drown. One can only cause a turbulent sea in my life but I get the power to decide to either swim or drown. At times, I would have to swim hard over extended periods of time, and at other times, I can gracefully float. I have the power to choose. And I choose to stay afloat. Always.
This song also reminds me of my dad. Even though he has left his physical body, he is still energetically very much present in my life. He has immersed fully into oneness as he left his vessel and the more I connect to the stillness within, the closer I get to him too. He and I are no different. You and I are no different. We are all of the same essence.
The words that we speak, can either water the seeds of love and kindness in someone or pierce a dagger through their already broken heart.
Let’s kick start each others healing process for all of us have felt broken at some point in our lives.
Kindness can heal. Jokes are only funny if it does not hurt the receiver. If you catch yourself telling someone that they are too sensitive to appreciate your joke/s, perhaps, you might actually be brushing aside their truth, which must have taken alot of courage to open up and express.
Listen. Absorb. Accept. Speak.
A friend told me about this retreat at the right time. I hope I can do the same for someone else. Registration closes on 15th April 2017 so there are still a few days left! 🙂
“Do your best to practice compassionate listening. Do not listen for the sole purpose of judging, criticizing, or analyzing. Listen only to help the other person express himself and find some relief from his suffering.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
I was talking to a friend earlier and was moved by what a good listener she was.
She just listened to me the entire time, giving me her fullest attention. She did not interrupt or rush to say something that was on her mind. She let me finish and allowed the silence to linger for just the right amount of time before speaking. More than anything, she comforted me with her deep presence. Just her presence and the fact that she was in that moment with me with her deep listening made me feel better.
Thich Nhat Hanh mentions deep listening frequently. But this is the first time that I have actually experienced the depth of it. I recalled the times I have had conversations with people who were there but not really there with me.
And I have been that person many many times as well. I interrupt people often, I rush to say things on my mind and I think of what to say next when people are talking. Yes, I am aware of my bad habits. But having experienced the depth of deep listening and realising the benefit I reaped from it, makes me want to offer that to others as well.