Your life, your very personality, is defined by how you act with others. The more conscious you are of your interactions, the more in control of your life you are.
In order to be conscious of how you act out in the world, it helps to be conscious of how you act internally. Start by noticing how your breathe when you don’t try to alter it. Notice the difference in your breath between when you are watching TV and when you are agitated. How deeply do you breathe? How fast or slow do you breathe? How does it feel in your body? What muscles engage?
Then you can start to notice your body posture. How do you hold yourself when you are happy? How do you hold yourself when you are sad? How do you hold yourself when you are angry? How do you hold yourself when you are scared? If you change your posture when you are having an emotion that you don’t like, does the emotion change? Experiment with this.
Once you can be mindful of some of your internal processes, it’s easier be mindful of how you act with others. People will be aware of your behavior changes, and that will translate, for them, into you having changed. You will be seen in a new light. Hopefully the people in your life will appreciate that; if they are not, it’s probably best to shift who you associate with anyway.
If you are pursuing a Spiritual way of life, your interactions would be best guided by the concept of service. One of the most powerful prayers or affirmations is “May I be of maximum service and may I enhance every situation I encounter.” Even if you don’t have a solid concept of a Deity (and, really, that might be for the best), when you say this as a prayer, it helps reprogram your brain so that you have a new guideline to hold yourself to and act on. If your focus in on being of service and on enhancing the situations in your life, you are automatically thinking and making decisions on a higher plane. Just imaging how much your breathing and posture will change!
Where is your focus? What are your priorities? What do you use as a measuring stick in your daily life?
This post is part of a series called Monday Message, based on that day’s reflection from 365 Days to Enlightenment (authorized versions are currently out of print, working on a new edition). Check back next Monday for another one! You can also sign up for the Daily Message on my mailing list if you’d like to receive a new reflection every day. I also often post them to Instagram, if that’s a medium you enjoy.