Monday Moment: Mirror image

Yung Pueblo_Understand Self to Give quote w logo

When it comes to relationships, we tend to think about whether we get along with other people in terms of their personality, characteristics, and quirks. What we forget is that we’re the other half of the equation. This is true not only as far as the alchemy of human connection goes, but also in the depth at which we are capable of understanding other people.

We experience everything we look at, and everyone we meet, through the lens of our own perception. We have a built-in filter that constantly checks our previous experiences for comparable references to our current one, to help us understand it. In the same way, our perceptions of the people we encounter are filtered through our understanding of ourselves. We see things we recognize, for better or for worse. Often, the things that challenge us most about other people are the qualities we (secretly, quietly) least admire in ourselves. Conversely, we gravitate towards people whose perspectives and values most closely mirror our own.

The more you know, the deeper you can go, and the more authentic any and all of your relationships can be, starting with the one you have with yourself. They all actually begin with that one.

Monday Moment: Reciprocal in nature

M Beattie love quote w tag

Starting off the week of all things heart-related with some deep thoughts about a topic that may seem a little more sentimental than we usually get around here. We do talk a lot about compassion, though, and also the interactions you have with lots of different people in your life, from your inner circle to your colleagues, clients, and classmates. The may all be very different, and you likely wouldn’t say you “love” all – or even most – of them (just your bed and your momma, I know), but they all exist at some point on the same spectrum known as your relationships.   Read More

Monday Moment: External resources

RW Emerson External Power quote w tag_zhangkaiyv

This bit of mindful wisdom may have you scratching your head at first, because clearly, there are external forces and authorities that have the power to make you do things you don’t want to do. For example, your alarm this dark, autumn Monday morning. I think Ralph was on to something different here, though.

The idea is that you and only you are in charge of your internal landscape, and while we can’t control the people and forces that embody the world around us, we are in charge of how we respond to them. You give power to things that you allow to change your mind or mood in a lasting way. The short-term experience is what it is – you can’t stop a thought or a feeling from arising when it does, and ignoring or denying it will only make it worse. But you can choose if you want to take a ride with it and allow it to multiply, or simply notice it, and let it move on.

To bring back another one of my favorite Monday Moments from the writer Alice Walker, “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” You are nothing but power, in fact, when it comes to shaping your own experience in the world. Use it wisely, and never give it away to anything that makes you feel like you have less of it as a result.

Photo credit: zhangkaiyv