My colleague David Robinson posts on his blog every single day without fail. Incredible! Every single day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Ok, there was one short interruption a couple of months ago when his computer died. But only for a few days! He is amazing in his commitment to daily posts.
Yet, if you ask him, he will tell you that his deeper commitment is actually to notice life happening all around him all the time, to engage with his surroundings in a deeper way, as well as to become a better writer.
This takes discipline as well as commitment. Many people don’t like that word, feeling like it boxes them in, that it feels harsh and stern. However, the root of the word discipline is “disciple.” So discipline is really about choosing clearly what you wish to become a disciple of. David has become an amazing disciple of life, a disciple of engagement with the world around him in powerful, meaningful, and often playful ways. To spend time with him is to start living in his world of awareness. And that is a gift he brings to all of us who are lucky to be around him. What are you a disciple of?
Reading David’s daily posts is a part of my early morning ritual. There is always a gift. If you are a regular reader of this newsletter, you know that his posts show up in this space from time to time because I can’t resist sharing them. And so here is a post from March 19, 2013. It’s a simple, clear invitation to choose clearly where we put our focus. Enjoy.
Etched in the mirror behind the counter of the Cherry Street coffeehouse is this thought: “Love and Kindness work everyday.” On the wall opposite the mirror, so that it reflects in the mirror, is a large bright red heart. Heart reflects heart. Kindness begets kindness.
Last week, during a difficult moment, Megan-the-brilliant told me that she silently repeated the Buddhist loving kindness meditation, “May I dwell in my heart…” After the moment passed she told me the meditation helped. Instead of defensiveness, she chose to breathe in and reflect loving kindness. Love and kindness are intentional acts, especially in difficult circumstances.
It seems so simple. What we put out reflects back onto us. Today as I rode on the light rail to my studio, I imagined the riders as mirrors of each other. I saw small acts of kindness – a woman gave up her seat for an elder, a young man helped an older woman with her luggage, a security officer made sure a tourist knew how to get a ticket and pointed her in the right direction – it went on and on.
I wonder how much of the kindness that happens around us we actually notice. It’s happening all around us all the time, but do we see it? We hear about the other stuff – the complaints, the obstacles, the abuse. I see those things, too, but less frequently than the generosities. I see small acts of kindness literally everywhere I look, yet I don’t hear people talk about them so much. I wonder what world we might create if we told the stories of acts of kindness as often and with as much gusto as we told the other tales.
P.S. If you would like to increase your awareness and ability to observe what is all around you, check out Chapter 8 of my latest book, Create A World That Works. You’ll find lots of exercises and tools to further develop your observation and awareness skills. The book is available through our website store, as well as in bookstores everywhere, on amazon.com, and as a digital book for Kindle, iBooks, or other e-readers.
If you enjoyed this blog post and found it helpful or inspiring, I invite you to subscribe to our free weekly newsletter by clicking here.