Have you noticed how the interactions you have in daily life are affected by your own state of more or less presence? Of course you have!
If I begin my day with meditation and leave the house feeling present and grounded, I notice how my heart is available for human encounters that on another day might be mechanical, hurried or even non-existent. Non-existent in the sense that my routine hello, how are you and thank-you are actually not human. In a state of presence, I smile, make eye-contact and enjoy a moment of connection with the person who hands me my coffee and then surprising interactions often follow. I’m sure you have had this experience.
I think of it as my personal field that can affect others- and they can affect me because I am open and receptive.
Here is an early example of a personal field:
The other day I was walking down the busy city sidewalk when I noticed a man ahead of me. He was pushing a walker and from behind I could see that his body was very twisted and his way of walking was to step forward with his right foot and then drag his left foot behind him. His progress looked painful but was surprisingly speedy. I felt this man touch my heart.
A bit later, as I was walking back to my parking spot, I saw the man again. This time I caught up with him and spoke, feeling unsure if it was appropriate but wanting to connect. I said something like “I admire you. It must be hard and here you are out and about”- yes, potentially very cringeworthy.
He motored on, answering me over his shoulder in a loud voice with a huge smile on his face, he called out “Today is a Good Day!”
What a gift I received in that moment. The shock of seeing his joy and optimism was so contrary to my assumptions, it was like a bolt of awareness that life can be joyful in any body, in any circumstance. And a reminder of the preciousness of life.
I keep a beautiful book where I write out my favourite poems and make small drawings. The book I have now is almost full after several years worth of writing. There is an ancient Sanskrit poem I accidentally (?) wrote out twice over the years.
Look to this day for it is life the very life of life.In its brief course lie all the realities and truths of existencethe joy of growththe splendor of actionthe glory of power.For yesterday is but a memoryAnd tomorrow is only a vision.But today well livedmakes every yesterday a memory of happinessand every tomorrow a vision of hope.Look well, therefore, to this day.
If we remember to connect to the preciousness of life and of this day, our personal field will include an openness and sensitivity that we will carry with us into the world. We will be open to giving and receiving blessings such as the one that beautiful man gave me. “Today is a good day!”
I realize my thoughts may seem irritatingly positive. Many days are on the surface “bad days”- and not just our hair. But the truth hidden in this man’s message is that our pain and suffering need not stop us from being grateful and aware of the preciousness of today.
What is your experience of your personal field and its impact on what you give or receive?