As the blazing fire reduces wood to ashes, similarly, the fire of Self-knowledge reduces all Karma to ashes. ~ Bhagavad Gita
1. Hang this message near your night stand: It’s not just about what yoga gives to me, but what I give to the world! Give it to everyone!
2. For one whole day, forget about expectations. Greet everyone with compassion. Have no attachment to their reaction.
Compassion (from Latin: “co-suffering”) is a virtue —one in which the emotional capacities of empathy and sympathy (for the suffering of others) are regarded as a part of love itself, and a cornerstone of greater social interconnectedness and humanism—foundational to the highest principles in philosophy, society and personhood.
3. Wear everything in your closet. Give away everything you don’t (and don’t buy more). The rule is, if you haven’t worn it in the past year (okay, depending on the seasons), you’re not going to wear it this year. Don’t hold onto those jeans from when you were nineteen. It may not happen again in this lifetime—it doesn’t matter—you are never more perfect than you are right now.
4. Pick up litter in your neighborhood. It’s good exercise, it’s good for everyone and it’s contagious! Make it a point to pick up a piece everyday! Give homage to our dear Earth who has carried us everyday of our existence.
5. Do something creative with a youngling. Paint, draw, make sock puppets, role play (yep, I said it), read out loud or simply enjoy their company. Help them to control the force and wield a lightsaber!
6. Make someone an offer they can’t refuse. A foot rub, hand massage, lend an ear, a shoulder or give a great big bear hug for no good reason.
7. Pray. Pray for every single living creature on the planet. Do it now, do it every time you remember.
8. Don’t tell lies. For one entire day, or as long as you can do it, do not utter a single white lie.
10. Spread the word. Memorize a profound quote, a mantra or poem. Share it with someone you love (this includes pets). And, don’t forget plants—give them some heart-felt attention, talk to them while you water.
11. Go vegan for 24-hours. Eat nothing that comes from an animal for one entire day (or the rest of your life!). Think of the suffering that animals go through before reaching our plates.
12. Give a special twinkle to everyone over 60. Of course acknowledging and smiling at everyone is the ideal way to go but, go on, make it a point to send some extra loving vibes and compassion to our local oldie but goodies.
13. Don’t start any fights. For an entire day, or as often as you can, surrender and lay down your sword. Treat every potentially volatile situation with complete compassion and patience and allow your inner voice of reason to be your guide. This includes thoughts when driving! No road rage!
14. Get out of bed in a good mood. Never again wake up on the wrong side of the bed. If you do, don’t take it seriously. Look in the mirror, smile and remind yourself that it’s great to be alive.
15. Get labeled a good-deed-doer. Be a service to others, volunteer locally, be good neighbors, be loving to your children’s friends and always allow your heart to be vast and spacious. There’s room for everyone and everything.
16. Don’t turn a blind eye. See someone in distress or that needs help, offer a compassionate hand.
17. Deal with your issues. Deal with your own sh*t and honor your mistakes. Own up to everything and don’t pass your crap on to your children, spouse, partner, colleagues or anyone you come into contact with. Stop the vicious cycle!
18. Don’t avoid anyone. Answer your phone. Answer your door. Make eye contact and hold your head up. No shields. Be open to others.
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Editor: Rachel Nussbaum
Photo: elephant journal archives
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