If you tend to be hyper empath like me, and have a hard time listening to the news without feeling depressed, there is no better fix than the words of the Dalai Lama:
“Empathy is simply experiencing another’s emotion. Compassion is a more empowered state where we want what is best for the other person.
If we see a person who is being crushed by a rock, the goal is not to get under the rock and feel what they are feeling. It is to help to remove the rock“.
Those words touch me so much that they have become part of our family intentions. They totally changed my way of apprehending the news. As much as possible, I try to rewire my brain to take the “Dalai Lama’s way” and ask myself: What can I do to help?
There is always a way. Even a word or a smile is an action, and can make a difference. Picking up a trash that’s not ours in the street will not solve the global warming dramatic issues, but it will certainly move this huge rock a little bit in the right direction.
Easier say than done .. During our last holidays, we did a lot of beach cleaning and truth is, the task at hand was demoralizing. But the moment we swiched our brain to “moving the rock”, we felt empowered. Soon enough, the enthousiam of my kids dragged many other tourists into our trash hunting. My son was so proud of “offering a clean space for all the fishes and their friends“. We were all doing something positive instead of being a passive complainers. Even the staff of the hotel eventually joined us (the French side of me had doubts about their initial motivation, but what matters is that they were part of the team, eventually!).
In my next yoga classes, I’ll prompt my students to think about a rock they could help removing. What will yours be?