image courtesy of favim
last night i was reading most good, least harm: a simple principle for a better world and meaningful life by zoe weil before falling asleep. last week i signed up for an online course through humane education and this is our course book. i'm loving it so far and came across this great piece in her book titled "model your message and work for change." a light bulb went off.
i've been toying with sharing a beloved compliment i received in france and this beautiful teaching aligned so perfectly. on my second paris + provence retreat this summer, a longtime reader of tranquility du jour said to me, "you're just like you are online." it's a small, off the cuff statement that was just what i needed to hear. it felt like a sort of validation that my life was indeed my message and the two were in sync (at least in france!). it felt good!
while reading, "to create a peaceful world, we must each make our lives mirrors of the world we want" and how gandhi answered a reporter with "my life is my message," i was excited to pen this post. it's important to note that sometimes we fall short. as i've shared, after i got my fave yoga mantra tattooed on my arm and found myself getting snippy with a not-so-pleasant postal service worker shortly thereafter, i took a deep breath and remembered my message. it was kindness, not reactive aggression. le sigh.
weil goes on to state that "modeling our message -- "walking the talk" -- may be the most challenging task before each of us. it is, in my mind, a spiritual discipline that is as demanding and difficult as any practice could ever be. it begins with being kind, respectful, and honest in your interactions, but it doesn't end there. modeling your message also entails making choices about products, clothing, transportation, recreation, food, volunteerism, and work that reflects your values and are peaceful, humane, restorative, and sustainable. how difficult this can be to actually do!"
if you were to sum up your message in a sentence or two, what would it say? remember, we're not seeking perfection. it's an impossible challenge. we're human. we make mistakes. we react. we get our buttons pushed. we feel emotions we don't understand. however, as the dalai lama reminds us, "be kind whenever possible. it is always possible." may this be a part of our message.