We Are More Alike Than We Are Different: We Are Human

Updated: Apr 4

We all have the same basic needs and wants, and yoga reminds us that we are all connected. Try this loving-kindness meditation and watch your compassion soar.

Photo © Copyright by Laura Brown Photography.

My 4-year-old has been reminding me every day for the last week, “Everything is closed.” She's right. These days are different right now. Schools, libraries and restaurants are closed. Even parks are closed. Many of us are working from home, watching littles ones and trying to create a new (temporary) normal to keep our families—and ourselves—calm.


Busy means something different now. Instead of rushing off to meetings and appointments and to drop off kids at schools and practices, our minds are running faster than a race horse about the latest news, and our eyes are glued to the streams of news feeds at our fingertips. Our calendars have been wiped clean, but our minds are still active.


Our new normal has forced us to slow down and simplify, to cease all activities except the essential ones. This change brings new opportunities: to pause and reflect. It’s times like these that unite us and show us how we are more alike than we are different. We all have the same basic needs (food, water, clothing, shelter) and wants (happiness, health, peace and love). Even if you don’t practice yoga asana (the poses), yoga reminds us that we are all intricately connected.


One of my favorite ways to enhance that connection with others is Metta (Loving-Kindness) meditation. This meditation creates more love and kindness for yourself and others. I've been practicing this twice a day for the last few years, and I know it is working. I have increased my compassion for myself and others exponentially with this practice. For instance, there are times when I'm driving and I feel super connected to every other driver on the road, even though we're all going in different directions.


Try it and let me know how it goes.


Practice It: Loving-Kindness Meditation

You can practice this any time of day. (I practice in the morning and before bed). The important part is not when and where but why.

Close your eyes or keep them softly open. Observe your natural breath. Then, repeat the phrases below. You can silently say them in your mind, whisper them or say them out loud.

You.

May I be happy. May I be peaceful and at ease. May I be well.

A loved one. Repeat the same phrases, adding their name.

May they be happy. May they be peaceful and at ease. May they be well.

A stranger you encountered in the last month. Repeat the same phrases with that person in mind.

May they be happy. May they be peaceful and at ease. May they be well.

Someone you don’t typically get along with. Repeat the same phrases with that person in mind.

May they be happy. May they be peaceful and at ease. May they be well.


The world. May the whole world be happy. May the whole world be peaceful and at ease. May the whole world be well.

We're all human, and we all deserve happiness, health, peace and love. Sending you all a virtual hug.

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© 2020 by Julie M. Gentile. All Rights Reserved.