Well, I guess breaking my challenge on the first week is not the way to go for a start! But hey, two weeks have probably shown better insights than one… By the end of the first week, I proved myself that a positive response ALWAYS triggers a positive experience. By the middle of the second, I had completely forgotten all about Ahimsa and was basically plain miserable.
I’ve discovered that although I always pride myself on being an optimist, I lately see more of the glass half empty, so I’ve used these weeks to try to shift my perspective. Although this is easier said than done.
For me, dealing with family is always difficult. My attitude for the past weeks though, has shown me that what I would expect to be the most uncomfortable conversation can in fact turn out to be just fine! Trust me, approaching somebody with a smile and kind words, as well as with the feeling that nothing is ALL THAT big of deal, is way more effective than facing them with a grunt and a matter-of-fact attitude that that conversation is of no interest to you.
The strength gained by this little challenge fueled the rest of my week. I was happy and thinking positively. A short road trip with some good friends helped boosting my positive attitude and Ahimsa practice as well. Those days I learned that, besides the fact that I’m overly clumsy and I trip an average of 50 times a day, I tend to swear a lot. Ahimsa appeals not only to prevent physical violence, but also to the violence of words and thoughts –and this I have to keep working on. Besides, it’s not very lady-like to swear like a truck driver!
I got lost somewhere along the way between my swearing, work overload, and life. I got first tired and then lazy, and finally, I started judging myself for not taking action. And judging is a very harmful spiral –which stands on the opposite side of Ahimsa. Any feelings of peace that I had nurtured earlier on, they went down the drain with my judging.
I dug into the core of my passivity: I was only focusing on the bad aspects of my life. This city is grey. I’m not improving my French. I don’t like my job. I haven’t found a group of very good friends here. Right. All the negative feelings I had been avoiding on everyone else around me, I was throwing right on me.
Practicing Ahimsa means to be constantly alert, observing ourselves while we communicate with others, as well as noticing our thoughts and intentions. All our actions should spring from love. Since I’m not considering moving (just yet), I might as well enjoy living here. So I’ve started practicing my new mantra: I like Brussels. Brussels makes me happy.
These two weeks of Ahimsa have taught me that while I was trying to change the world by changing my attitude towards the outside, it was me all along that needed a shift in awareness.