Day 159 – It’s all about Attitude!


Zencast 159 – Loving Kindness – Part 3 

It’s all about attitude, whether negative or positive. The attitude you have is the attitude you receive. The attitude you have dictates the world you find around you.

This is not to say that you should go around smiling and repeating positive mantras while watching your house burn down. The attitude you have can reflect the situation you find yourself in, but it will also dictate the following moments of your life.

For example, I used to have an attitude of cynicism about the world around me. I didn’t believe there were that many good people out there because I didn’t believe I was good. My inner attitude reflected in the world around me. This in turn led me to live a life that attracted negativity. My attitude manifested itself in the negative situations I ‘found’ myself in.

However, one day I realized that life didn’t have to be this way. I made a choice to believe that life could be different as long as my attitude towards it was different, and the minute my attitude changed my life began to change in tandem.

I’m not saying bad things no longer happen to me, but simply that when they do I have an attitude that allows me to learn from my experiences. This then means that I find more positivity in my life because I see the positivity rather than just the negativity.

I can even look back on the worst times in my life and see them for all the good they brought me. For example, I used to feel so victimized, used and abused by the relationship I had with my ex-boyfriend. I didn’t ever think I could find positivity in the experience. I thought I’d always have a negative attitude to all that I suffered at his hands. However, over time (and I’m talking A LOT OF TIME!) I now see that along with all the other changes practice has brought to my life, it has also brought with it a more positive attitude to my experience. I can see now that if I hadn’t gone through that terrible relationship I may never have gotten to a point in my life where I realized that my own worth can never be judged or decided by someone else. I am worthy as I am, no matter what anyone else thinks, and for that insight I am thankful.

I could live the rest of my life hating and suffering over what I went through, but my new mindful attitude means I will no longer suffer over the past, but simply learn from it and be thankful for the lesson.

This idea of having enough self worth no matter what anyone tells you brings me back to Metta.

May you be happy.
May you be safe.
May you be healthy.
May you be peaceful.
May you give love and receive love in return.

If I am worthy of love no matter what, then so is everyone else on this planet no matter how difficult I may find them (this includes my ex and it takes a lot for me to admit that!). Therefore what use is all this loving kindness if I only practice it for myself? While beginning with myself is a good starting point for Metta practice, it must move on and embrace others around me. We are not on this planet alone. We’ve got to cultivate enough love to spread it out over the whole population. What else are we here for if not to love?

With so many people just struggling to survive everyday, it’s no wonder that loving kindness is often the last thing on people’s minds. That’s not to say that it’s not on anyone’s minds, there is a huge amount of positive attitude flying around and if you look hard enough you’ll find it. However, it can be the first thing to be placed on the back burner when there are bills to pay, bosses to please, families to take care of, dinner to cook, and the multitude of other tasks that take up our daily lives. Yet, even a couple minutes of Metta practice everyday may just be the practice we need to help us survive the lives we find ourselves juggling.

Everyone could use a little more loving kindness in their lives, so why not start with yourself and spread it outwards? In this crazy world that we live in today it seems love may be one of the best things to place our trust in and many people are working hard to get this point across:

There’s a mindfulness conference in NYC at the end of August. Wish I was still there to sign up. Should be interesting.

Then there’s the great work Mary Gordon, the founder of Roots of Empathy, is doing:

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I LOVE that everything the children wish for the baby is Metta. Simply beautiful! Here’s a bit more information about the video.

If we don’t have empathy, we don’t have anything. Here’s to loving kindness!


8 Responses to “Day 159 – It’s all about Attitude!”
  1. Lee says:

    That baby in the video clip is funny. Reminds me of my 8 month-old neice, she’s really dangerous when it comes to reaching for glasses. She’s already broken like 2 pairs of her mothers glasses, so she wears a special beater pair around here that’s ok to mess up. When she reaches for mine I just laugh and back away

    • Babies are so great. I can’t wait to get back to my new baby niece. I just love how serious she is and felt so much relief when Mary said that we work so hard to wear a mask for others. Crazy how I never saw that in such a way as she portrayed with a baby.
      Good work for the reflexes backing away from the baby LOL!

  2. I really enjoyed your take on lovingkindness. I hadn’t heard of Mary Gordon and will be checking out more from her. Thank you for tagging my post, as well.

  3. Cyndi says:

    Well said! Attitude / Perception is everything, and it reflects in all that we do. If more people showed empathy, this would be a much more productive and pleasant place to exist. It’s starts with the individual and the more individuals who practice it, the better off we’ll be.

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