Words to live by
Brian Levine and Paz Romano, the authors of Yoga, Travel, Art, and Wellness blog Lucid Practice, share their words to live by.
When we have words that we live by, our favourite quotes, mantras or expressions inspire us to keep a positive focus and treat others with kindness and respect.. .
See the Good
When you see the good in everyone, your world can drastically change. You turn away from negativity and judgement and embrace everyone as they are – inherently good. Act with compassion as the Buddha, as Christ, as Gandhi, as Confucius, as all the great spiritual teachers have taught.
Remember that each person is the way he or she is because of the experiences and circumstances that have led up to this point. Seeing the good in everyone, knowing that we are all one, knowing that we are infinitely connected, prevents you from judging people. Progress can be made if and only if we choose love, kindness, and compassion.
Often people who frequently insult or harm other people don’t think highly of themselves to begin with. By looking past a person’s negative, harmful action and seeing the good, you can help that person realise their own qualities. What nicer practice than believing in and encouraging someone who doesn’t believe in themselves.
Consider an interaction with a mean, old, stubborn man. If he greets you with negative energy, you have these basic options: you can write him off as a mean old person and spit venom back at him, ignore him, or greet him with positive energy and see the good within him. We encourage you to choose the positive interaction.
You might be reading this and thinking, “That sounds great in theory but what can I do today to start seeing the good in others?” Start by acknowledging something good that someone has done for you. Maybe it’s a teacher, a colleague, or a family member. Take ten minutes and write that person a hand written thank you note for the good that they brought into your life.
Acknowledge the positive traits of a friend or family member. Why not constantly infuse positive energy into a conversation? Why not constantly uplift friends, colleagues and family members? Seeing the good and acknowledging the good will make you an invaluable friend.
Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m such an idiot!” after they’ve made a mistake? We encourage you to stop that person in their tracks. Even if they didn’t mean what they said, negative thoughts and negative speech can have a subtle impact on our consciousness. The next time you hear someone put themselves down, immediately pick them up. One transformational positive speech practice is, “talking good” behind someone’s back as opposed to the alternative that happens all too often.
Often times, people will respond by saying, “Well what about Hitler, Stalin, Kim Jong Il, etc.?” Even people who have committed some of the most heinous crimes against society have good somewhere within them. Find it and focus your awareness on this good.
As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” Knowing that we are all one, knowing that we are infinitely connected helps bring this realisation to fruition. The layers of the ego immediately begin to shed once you realise that the person next to you is not distant stranger but instead an extension of yourself.
In the path towards spiritual truth, see the good in all those around you and bring it to the forefront. In the quest to make the world more peaceful and lucid, this is the only option.
Life is Practice
Everything in life can be looked at as a form of practice. Life, from a yogi’s perspective, is a consistent practice to stay happy in the present moment.
Buddhists say all of life is suffering. I wonder what Buddha would have thought about practicing positive consciousness. We think it can help life become beautiful. How does one practice positive consciousness?
Howard Thurman does a nice job explaining his thought process behind positive consciousness or what some may call positive energy: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.” We agree with his words, but gently suggest focusing these words internally. Instead of asking yourself what makes you come alive externally, like a new house, new car, or new girlfriend, focus your awareness to your internal body and mind.
Most yogis would agree that after a yoga practice their breath has made them come completely alive. Many runners feel an amazing sense of joy internally when they complete a marathon. Religious people feel this feeling after deep prayer and meditation. As a society, whatever our lucid practice of choice is, it brings us to feel new life and sustained energy.
Our blog, Lucid Practice, is an extension of our practice. We hope to provide you with useful information and practices in the spectrums of yoga, wellness, spirituality, and positivity to help you live your optimal life.
Two years ago, our teacher eloquently provided words that have stuck to us like glue: “*HOPE* to recognise and understand the fact that every breath we take in this roller coaster of life in Shakti is practice. Asana is practice. Eating is practice. Family and friends are practice. Life is practice. Take a moment to recognise where you are. Breathe. And accept it as a form of practice.
What are your thoughts on seeing the good in people? How do you relate to the phrase, “Life is Practice”?
Brian Levine and Paz Romano are the authors of Yoga, Travel, Art, and Wellness blog Lucid Practice. They traded in their football cleats for backpacks and embarked on a life changing 3-month trip through Asia in September 2011. Since then, they have pursued a life of travel, yoga, and wellness. To date, they’ve traveled through Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. Their goal is to inspire their readers with a passion for practice. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook!