Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Kindness is Your Easter Miracle

There are many ways to think about the Easter story. It’s less important whether you interpret the events literally or not and more important how you apply the lessons of Easter to your life.

Here’s one way to think of Easter, one among many no doubt.

The time leading up to Easter is a week of introspection, turning inward and reflecting on what is essential to you. You often do this by looking back at where you have come from, and remembering the threads of Life that lead you to this time. It may be more or less than a week of introspection. For some people, winter is a season of introspection. For some, the four weeks leading up to Easter are weeks of introspection.

Good Friday is a choice, after a time of struggle, to leave behind all that is squashing your spirit; that includes drama chasing, self pity and the false delusion of surface things. While introspection can be painful, the choice to put your self limiting beliefs to death is easy because you realize that they are not serving you or making you happier. In fact, when you roll away the stone, there’s nothing there. In the light of awareness, your old beliefs are seen for what they are; that is, just changing ideas with no substance.

Easter is the dawn of a new day. An enormous weight is lifted and you are ready to start afresh by ruthlessly prioritizing what is essential to you. In the Northern Hemisphere, Easter coincides (roughly) with warmer weather and less layers. This, along with the reappearance of colors and new growth, becomes a beautiful metaphor for the new version of you that is ready to shine and be of service to the world.

Here is an Easter exercise to clarify what is essential to you-

Don’t answer the questions. Just read straight through, and you'll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.

4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

The point is, while these things are significant, they haven’t impacted your life in any essential way.

Here's another quiz.

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with

The point here is that the people who make the biggest difference in your life are the ones you connect with personally, often in the most ordinary ways.

The new you, the awakened you, now effortlessly manifests kindness in the world. You make the biggest difference in the lives of others just by being there with and for people. You don’t have to perform miracles or break records. Just be there. You don’t have to rise from the dead. The most important thing you ever do will be to make another person’s life gentler, even in one moment. Your kindness is the greatest Easter miracle.

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