Come Alive

little-book-of-mindfulnessI keep learning lessons riding the train to work. Yesterday I was reading The Little Book of Mindfulness when a man sat beside me and said, “What are you reading?” I told him it was about meditation and relaxation and he asked me to share what I was learning. We got in a beautiful conversation about relaxation and the importance of seeking inner peace. People around us were listening in, nodding their heads in agreement. We really connected. The interesting part is that this man was a bit disheveled, had a speech impairment, and I judged him to be needy. Once we interacted, quite the opposite was true. He was on his way to volunteer to spend the day with patients at the VA Hospital. He was very self aware and wise.Why do I judge? He talked about the Byrds’ song Turn, Turn, Turn and the line where the Byrds sing “I swear it’s not too late” for peace. Serendipitously, I had just copied down the following quote from the Little Book of Mindfulness: We think we cannot bring about world peace. But think of this: Each person creating peace in themselves and with those around them can only, eventually, bring about peace in the world.
And here’s another great quote by Howard Thurman from the book: Don’t worry about what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that. What the world needs is people who have come alive.
There’s a great Ted Talk by Kio Stark about  how we should “push past our default discomfort when it comes to talking to strangers and embrace those fleeting but profoundly beautiful moments of genuine connection.” I love meeting people on the train. They help me come alive.

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