January 4, 2013

Love! Love! Love! ~ Marnie Oatway

Photo: Ian MacKenzie

How will you practice pure love today?!?

I just finished this brilliant book. I was struck by a specific section, so I thought I would share.

The author recalls an instance in which she encountered her five year old daughter practicing yoga on her own—creating new poses. She asked her what yoga pose she was doing. Her daughter looked her straight in the eye and said it wasn’t a pose—rather she was practicing love. “I practice everyday,” she said. A true example of “everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten,” I guess?!?

It’s true, we are fortunate to be able to practice love everyday, with anyone we come in contact with—whether it’s embracing someone close to us, or simply smiling at a passing stranger on a busy street. Easy enough, right?!?

However, it is through these everyday interactions and relationships that problems arise.

We are loaded with expectations—as to how a person should act, should be, should do. When they don’t fit this image of “perfection,” we create and practice judgement—not love. We say, “Why hasn’t she/he called me yet?” or “Why hasn’t she/he cleaned this up yet?” or “I can’t believe he/she did that?” Sound familiar? I think we can all plead guilty on this one. In the end, we feel upset, disappointed, angry, let down. Yuck!

Though we might not like to admit it, it is our tendency, as humans, to form judgements. In fact, the existence of these cognitive biases has been verified empirically in the field of psychology.

So, I guess that leaves us wondering—how can we change this cyclic pattern of human behavior?

Through the literature I have read, lectures I have attended and experiences I have endured, I have come to the simplistic, yet luminous conclusion—awareness. All it takes to redirect our tendencies to form and practice these judgements, through our everyday interactions, is to bring awareness to our behaviors. By tapping into this awareness, we can direct ourselves to act more mindfully in our engagements with those around us—whether it be the cashier at the checkout, a family member, or a significant other.

Letting go of the mountains of expectations we build and create around a person, and engaging in unconditional relationships will help inhibit feelings of disappointment, sadness, or anger from invading our bodies, minds and spirits. Integrating awareness into our everyday interactions and relationships surely won’t happen over night. However, I urge you to give it a try.

How will you practice pure love today?!?


Marnie Oatway is a lover of mountains, ocean, yoga, adventure, and ridiculousness. Currently calling the beautiful mountain town of Jasper Alberta home. Marnie is fueled and inspired daily by her roles practicing as an Occupational Therapist and guiding local yogi’s through their daily asana practice. Marnie strives to live each day to the fullest, seek out life’s adventures, and laugh daily and uncontrollably.


Assistant Editor: Sara McKeown

Like elephant I’m not “Spiritual.” I just practice being a good person on Facebook.

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