“Don’t worry if you feel you can only do one tiny good thing in one small corner of the cosmos. Just be a Buddha body in that one place.”
–Thich Nhat Hanh
Many of us live every day with the wish to do good, to be of help, to be a good person in our world. Internally we might notice self-judgment and even blame when we feel we are not living up to this expectation. This can kick us out of the circuit of wholesome good feeling we are in and make our life much more difficult.
The challenge of self-judgment
I’ve observed often enough that when I notice my own negativity and selfishness, at times I feel an overly judgmental sense of shame. When I can catch those moments, and come back to the bigger space of allowing and just noticing what is, then my energy changes. The softness of my heart naturally limits the harshness of my patterns and the warmth of my intention can come through again. Only then can I start right where I am in the middle of a very real life situation.
The power of self-acceptance
With many people I’ve worked with, I see how easily our high ideals and our strong commitment, ironically, can put us in a place of inner conflict, negativity, and resistance. But our basic inherent goodness is still there. Maybe not exactly in the way we’d like it to be, maybe not completely integrated and clear, but it is there. We can sense it, nourish it, appreciate its preciousness, and learn to sense more for its unique way of appearing.
Space and kindness to be aware
If we don’t do that, then this common challenge of shame and self-judgment can limit who we can be, by disconnecting us internally from who and what we actually are. So let’s allow ourselves the space to be aware of what moves inside in the same way as we are aware of what is happening around us. Interested, not judging. This allowing awareness can be the healing environment in which we can be totally honest and exceedingly kind at the same time.
Let’s create this friendly environment within our own mind one moment of awareness at a time. I feel like this season is a great support for this as things happen and change every day around us, in the same way they happen and change moment by moment inside. The more we can allow ourselves to just witness and be aware—with a warm heart—the easier it will be to find open and kind responses to whatever we notice.
Enjoy an aware and friendly week in the middle of blooming, growing, sprouting nature.