Inspiration for Making a Difference
Last Thursday I attended a very inspiring event called Living Extraordinary Live. Twelve local Vancouverites spoke for 7 minutes each and highlighted their journeys that have led them to make a difference in our world. The final speaker, Dr. Sukhi Muker, concluded with this famous quotation by Gandhi:
Be the change you want to see in the world
As Dr. Muker highlighted, this quote is about BEing: BE the kind of friend that you wish to have, BE the kind of citizen in our community that you wish to see more of, BE the kind of partner you wish to be with, and we can also add to this list, BE the kind of parent or grandparent that you would like your children/grandchildren to embrace. We have become a culture so focused on doing, that we often miss the journey and focus too much on the future of the finish line or the end product. Gandhi, father of four, said:
There is no path to peace, peace is the path
The twelve luminaries that spoke on Thursday night, found their passion and are following their dreams. They are all enriching their own lives and the lives of others. I’ve written about being mindful before and again that appears to be the message. When we live in the moment, experiencing everything our fives senses have to offer without judgment, we can be the change we want to see in the world. We are less likely to fly off the handle, engage in road rage, or gossip, and more likely to smile at strangers, offer a helping hand, create social change, act and speak from the heart.
Are your words cutting like a knife or warm like a fleece blanket?
Our words and tone of voice are very powerful. I find it very helpful to think of our words and actions as either a knife or a warm blanket. When you speak, notice the energy you give off and think of these two metaphors. When our stress levels get activated, it’s easy to slip into cutting words and a sharp tone of voice, but if you think of how this is being received by the other person (as a knife) it can jolt you into realizing that it’s best to give yourself a time-out and walk away.
The Traffic Light Calming Procedure
When you feel yourself “losing it”, you are in a state of alarm, and your calm, rational thinking brain does shut down. Therefore, one has to walk away, zip the lips, BREATHE and take time to calm down. Once your body feels secure that the alarm is over, your physiology will change and you will be a “warm blanket” once more. You will calm and you will be able to think and speak rationally again. For children and adults the traffic light (for your fridge) is a great image for this.
Red: STOP Don’t say a word - take slow, deep breaths
Yellow: WALK AWAY – continue to take deep breaths
Green: GO – (for children) go and get help from an adult, (for adults) go for a walk
If we focus on ourselves we can have a much greater influence than by judging or trying to change others.
Happy Canadian Father’s Day to all the fathers out there being the change! Thank you to the dads and grandfathers who take the time to read Mama Compass including my own Dad – a faithful subscriber and weekly reader
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