• Lauren Fox

Compassion to Action

Feeling compassion is not enough. We need to act on it.

In a time when trends come and go and you are struggling to keep up, compassion may seem like the least practical trait to have because so many associate it as lacking strength. How many times have you been asked or asked someone to "stop being so sensitive", or "save your sympathy"?

There are times in which our circumstances may seem suffocating and make us feel like we are struggling to keep afloat. Many people experience their own life as if they were not an active member of it, giving up their will and power to choose.

We are constantly being fed the idea that by being uncompassionate to ourselves and other beings we will prosper and be stronger. This idea is created through marketing, books, vibes, relationships, social media or thoughts, we are in a constant feeding mode.

Most adults are able to make choices about their own lives, but how is it that we still choose to suffer? Why do we choose to feed on that which makes us feel disconnected?

Yoga teaches us that we are all part of a whole and that whatever we do, it echoes and affects that whole.

Self and other are concepts created by our mind as a conventional notion to better communicate when it comes to ordinary, everyday perceptions. But what happens when we internalize those notions to a degree of misleading our understanding of truth? We tend to get caught on these concepts and the duality of self and other, good and bad, trendy and not trendy, you and me, animal and human, us and them. Through the practice of yoga, we learn that our goal is to realize our true nature, that which is based on love and compassion.

Our choices are steps into realizing who we truly are. We can discover more of our strengths and prosper through choosing to help others grow, choosing to speak our truths, and choosing to be kind. When we truly understand that our feeding trends are transforming us, we start shifting our focus on this duality and start living this yoga or union.

We have the power to choose whether we want compassion in our lives or not. No one has stripped you away from that. When we realize that our true nature is loving and compassionate, we have no desire to attach ourselves to suffering anymore. In order to have love, compassion and peace in our lives, we need to offer it to others first.

In order to transform our world and our lives, we need to touch the source of real strength and power. That source is love, unconditional love. Understanding alone is not enough to transform us, love is needed. Intellect alone is not enough to change our world, we need to transform ourselves into a compassionate being, but we need to act on it.

The way to act is to decide.

The following is a tale that has stuck with me from my childhood.

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

In words of Thich Nhat Hanh “Compassion is a source of powerful, boundless and wise energy. This is the energy that will move us to act”.

Compassion and non-violence – ahimsa-, can be cultivated in the smallest of acts, making every single breath a compassionate choice.

The practice of compassionate living and consumption is a powerful practice we can apply and encourage in every aspect of our lives.

By seeing past the tip of our nose we move from small mind into BIG mind. Moving from "me, me, me", to we. Understanding that by helping others through compassion, not only do we help others grow, but also ourselves. As yogis we preach: Lokah Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu- may ALL beings everywhere be happy and free. For this to become a reality it starts with your compassion.

Our choices to eat, drink, dress and live compassionately are the key to a healthy and peaceful life. No one has more power than you to change the world. To end our struggles we must learn to overcome regret, worry and fear and start living through love.

Compassion IS action. Your choices are matter. Which wolf are you feeding?

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