Ahimsa is a Sanskrit word that translates roughly to Non-Violence or doing no harm. When we begin to practice ahimsa we choose to walk compassionately through this life. We understand our interconnectedness and make a conscious decision to show up in this world in a gentler and more peaceful way. So we ask, what are ways we can begin to bring ahimsa into our everyday lives?
Intuitive Eating: When people first begin to explore ahimsa often the first thing considered is what we are eating and the impact that it has, not only on living beings but on our planet. We consider how some of the animals we eat are treated while being raised for food. And maybe we aren"t ready to go full vegetarian or vegan, but we start to make more conscious choices. We take time to honor the things that we eat, making a conscious effort to eat things that bring our bodies health. Eating things that bring us joy, not shame or guilt. It"s a process where we begin to eat in a balanced and intuitive way guided by this idea of bringing health and energy to our bodies without compromising the world or other living things in the process.
Supportive Self-talk: The way we speak to ourselves creates the environment of our mind. Our Self-talk influences our perspective and the way we feel towards our Self, our life, and our body. When we speak to ourselves in harmful ways we hold ourselves emotionally captive by our expectations and personal judgments. This in turn can make it easier for us to speak or act this way with others. Knowing this, we can take time each day to change our inner dialogue, finding kinder ways to encourage and support ourselves. Taking time for growth and reflection, finding ways to nourish our inner world one mindful thought at a time. Mantras and affirmations can be a part of our tools to accomplish this. "I forgive myself when I make mistakes because I am learning!"
Mindful Communication: Our words are powerful, they have the ability to transform the Self, the world, experiences, and others. The way we choose to speak about others can show more about who we are than it does about the person we are speaking about. Hate speech and violent words can fuel hate crimes and violent acts. When we speak negatively about others we are consciously choosing to hurt them, to tear them down rather than build them up, to separate rather than connect. Each day we should make the decision to communicate in healthy and compassionate ways. By choosing the words we share about others and choosing to not engage in harmful gossip and speech, we are showing others and ourselves that there is another, kinder way to live in this world. Turning down the opportunity to speak harmfully of others begins to heal the separation that has been created by drama and societal encouragement of judgment and hate speech.
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