I took myself out to dinner tonight. I was walking home from yoga and something told me to turn down 18th St., so I did. Moments later, I found myself sitting at a table outside facing a park, drinking a glass of rose, eating sea bass with roasted peppers and gigante beans. For the first chunk of time, I was really dancing with the magic of the present moment. And it was a combination of reading poetry, people watching and remembering how beautiful it is how different we all are, small chats with the surrounding tables, looking up at the clouds unsure if they’re about to rain, feeling the warm breeze on my face, taking in this sweet moment around me.
And then the next moment came and I found myself between two tables. New people at both. The table to my right was occupied by two male friends sitting and enjoying a burger and bolognese over two beers. One friend was telling the other friend that he wants to move soon. Other friend tells him that he’s been saying this for years – what’s holding him back. He gives this long list of excuses. One thing after the next of the things that are allegedly holding him back from doing what he knows he wants to do. For years he’s been wanting to shake up the routine and go south, but here you are with your same friend, at the same table, in the same neighborhood, in the same place in life. Your dreams exist as nothing more than just a thought in your head. Your reality has stayed the same and somehow the stories you’ve been telling yourself feel true to you now. Somehow you’ve allowed your thoughts to become beliefs and so you sit stuck, laying back, pointing at and talking about that dream of yours. Always contracting, never expanding.
And then the ladies on my left. It was two female friends coming from yoga just to sit and have a glass of wine. There wasn’t a single dialogue they had in which they weren’t talking about another person in a bad light. Just straight up complaints after complaints about what she said about him and what she texted her saying about this and that. With little disclaimers tossed in there to make them feel better about themselves. “I’m not saying I don’t like her, sometimes she’s a bitch.”
What happened to kindness? What happened to compassion? What happened to feeling honor for our truths? And our boundaries? What happened to remembering that we’re all going through the same things and that we need each other now, more than ever. Where did we get so lost? How did we get here?
Please, spare your breaths on dissecting other people’s lives. Please, save your breath for exploring your own temple of your body and mind and heart and soul. Please, save your breath for talking about the sweetness of life and all of the work you’re putting into creating your own masterpiece. Save your breath for talking about ideas and sharing experiences and sharing those raw honest beautiful truths directly from your heart. Meet every single person you encounter with kindness. With the mindset that every single person is doing the best they possibly can with what they’ve got. Remember that everyone is here for different reasons and it is not your place to discuss stories about what he said or she said and why you think she said it.
Take a breath. Remind yourself that we are all the same. We are just put in different bodies with different stories to tell. And the more you can receive these stories and share your story with an open heart full of love, the more you begin to see this pulse and ribbon that connects us all. And your kindness and trust for the world begins to out shadow the doubt and ego and competition.
And suddenly you begin to know that there is more than enough space for all of us to dance as our highest selves through this life. Constantly learning. Constantly growing. Constantly moving between doubt and clarity, love and fear, yes and no, afraid and brave. So please, don’t be one of the people at these tables. Please. We need you right now. As you. And we need you with an open heart of love. And we need you more than ever. And you do, too.