Loving Kindness

Kindness is a process

Today as I left the grocery store, I pondered the life of the guy who was bagging my groceries.  Always quick with a smile, greeting, and a “How are you doing?”  He seemed to be cheerful on any day.  I thought to myself, how much I have changed since starting to practice yoga, not changed physically, although that has happened, but how much I have changed in my thoughts.  Before yoga most of my thoughts were about me:  

Was I having a good hair day

            My body image

            How I was going to get ahead, business, and in life

            If I had any aches or pains

            Money worries, how I was going to eat, take care of myself

            How others viewed me

It is well known that the practice of yoga will make you a kinder person from when you started yoga.  There are a few “enlightened souls” that are already here, working tirelessly to make the world a better place.  I think most of us lean towards myself, that is we think about ourselves more than others.  It’s not that we are selfish, it’s just a protective mechanism that helps us survive, and there is nothing wrong with that.  

As I learned the philosophy of yoga, and saw how much I could affect my future, by doing kind deeds, I began planting all the seeds I could.  And that is how I arrived at today, worrying about the guy bagging my groceries, pulling loads of carts into the store, always with that smile and greeting.  I finished putting my groceries in the car, and took that cart all the way back into the store, just so he wouldn’t have to round it up like the other carts.  This really small gesture unknown by anyone else really, (unless you are reading it now!) was a tribute to how much yoga changes you and your thoughts to make this world a better place.  I’m pretty sure that the Paula before yoga would have left the cart by the car, or in one of the stalls in the lot.  

I never practiced yoga in the beginning, for some other person.  I practiced for myself.  To take care of my body, my mind, and nourish my spirit.  How ironic that your journey begins thinking about yourself, and changes you to care for others.  What would this world be like if everyone practiced yoga; and started to care more for others than themselves?