At the final day of my yoga teacher training earlier this year, I looked around at the happy, beautiful, joyous faces of my fellow yogis and felt such love between us all.
There was such an amazing and loving energy in the room.
And the thought just popped into my mind: love first, ask questions later.
If we could all learn to live with this in mind it would transform our lives personally and our relationships and interactions with others – ultimately making the world a more harmonious place.
Don’t be mean!
Too often we’re mean with our love and compassion. And if we withhold it, it’s usually from a place of judgement. “They said something hurtful to me / they don’t understand / I don’t think they should be doing x,y,z…”
Hold the person in front of you in compassion – no matter what they’re saying or doing.
Understand their challenging behaviour or words are probably coming from a place of their own hurt or fear. So try not to react against this but instead interact with them from a place of love and compassion.
Learn to love yourself
And start with yourself.
Love yourself; learn to appreciate yourself and all you have to give to the world before you listen to the judging voice in your head.
Your heart is the one to follow. Its voice is that of love. The negative voice in your head has learned bad habits of negative self-talk through past experience of pain and fear.
Focus on your heart
Bringing a conscious focus on heart energy into your yoga practice will help to cultivate such feelings of self-acceptance, love and compassion.
For example, postures such as Chair of the Heart (Utkanasana), Cow Face (Gomukhasana) or Charity Pose (Parsvottanasana) open up the chest and activate heart energy, as do the Dru sequences ‘The Seat of Compassion’, and Energy Block Releases 3 and 4.
Working with the breath or meditation, particularly loving-kindness meditation, slow our racing minds and help us to find a space between stimulus and reaction: moving from thoughtless reaction to mindful action.
All you need is love…
Live from your heart and learn to love and accept yourself and others as they are.
Notice when your (re)actions come from fear and name this, without judgement.
Love first, ask questions later … and do yourself, your family, friends and associates – and the world – a huge favour!