Have you ever met someone and been truly inspired?
That happened to me with my first yoga teacher, Jayanta. His classes immersed us in bhakti or devotion. With every pose that we did, it wasn't about sweating or getting a work out, it was prayer in motion.
It was an act of connecting to the divine and expressing that love through movement.
Recently we reconnected and it inspired me to remember to infuse life with love and embrace prayer in action.
Because everything we do – from brushing our teeth, to mowing the lawn, to making a phone call - is an opportunity to share the love of God and to celebrate being alive.
Each person is an incarnation of the beloved. God is in all of us, shining forth. So as you go about your day, see if you can embrace this essence of prayer-filled living.
It’s simple and requires only 3 things:
Awareness is the choice to be present in all things.
I once had a friend who told me to be proud of whatever job you have, do it with gusto and put in 100% effort. He said, “even if I was a garbage man, I’d do it to the best of my ability.”
I’ve never forgotten his words. He was suggesting to be fully present and aware in everything you do. Do it with pride, care and diligence.
When you choose this attitude, you feel alive, capable, satisfied and attuned to life in a deep and fulfilling way.
2. Practice Gratitude
When I have thanks in the moment for my life, my entire chest expands. I feel spacious, full, rich, content.
Try it right now.
Look around you and think of 3 things you’re grateful for in your life. Inhale that feeling. Don’t you feel bigger and more expansive?
All the research tells us that gratitude is THE fastest way to experience happiness. Gratitude is also an excellent way to feel alive, present and to view the world through the eyes of love.
A wonderful short video to help you experience gratitude was done by Louie Shwartzberg. He uses his exquisite time-lapse nature photography while you listen to Brother David Steindl-Rast , a Benedictine monk, describe exactly what gratitude is. This film is one of my most favorite TedTalks. Check it out here
3. Foster Empathy
Empathy is compassion, or caring about others because you have either experienced a similar pain or can put yourself in that person’s shoes.
An excellent example of empathy at work is Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12-step program. People who are active alcoholics go there for help and support. They are not judged – often for the first times in their lives. Instead, they are embraced and supported by other recovering addicts who know exactly what it feels like to walk into that room, wanting to stop but are scared to death.
We know from studies that it is low and medium income people who are often the most generous donors to charities which may be surprising when you think their incomes aren’t as high as say, a hedge fund manager.
Yet, there have been times in my life when I was one pay check away from homelessness. We can relate, we have empathy.
Infuse this day and every day with the power of love. Allow grace to wash over you and through you as you meet this moment with compassion, awareness, and gratitude.
Life feels so much more fulfilling, rich and satisfying when we choose to see everything as love, as God, as one.
See if you can be the beloved and infuse your life with that love.