I recently bought this handmade ceramic piece from a cute local gift shop.
The growing popularity of yoga has helped to bring “Namaste” into our mainstream culture.
There are many interpretations of the word, but many yogis and instructors have a common
description that Namaste means “the light in me honors the light in you”. While in India we
learned that it’s also the customary courteous and respectful greeting to begin with
(and often to end with) when meeting friends, family, or strangers.
Why am I telling you this? Well, coincidences are cool and worth sharing, but simply put: I want to make
a connection here and share a few observations about our culture and theirs. It’s not profound,
by any means, but it is significant.
Because of the context and meaning that I had for Namaste before we left, it was interesting to use
it to greet the people I met each day. I don’t often get to exercise the ever-so deliberate practice
of pressing my palms together at my heart, bowing my head slightly towards another, and to say
such a significant word with such a powerful meaning. I essentially said “the good in me sees the
good in you” to every person I met the 10 days we were in India. It was such a moving experience.
It brought me to such a place of mindfulness and being in the moment. I felt it was a very “centering”
experience. Now, magine if we practiced such mindfulness and such a show of respect every time we
greeted someone here. Somehow, our “hello and a handshake” just doesn’t measure up.
Now it’s time for some real talk it also called awareness to undercover judgments or criticisms that
I found were imbedded in my day-to-day thinking. Instead of “the good in me sees the good in you”,
I found I have been coming from a place of “the not-good-enough in me sees the not-good-enough
in you”. Whoa. I had no awareness that this is where I had been coming from until I was guided to do
it differently. I have always heard that we can’t love or understand others until we love and understand
ourselves. That hits home more now than it ever has. We are human. We are always changing and our
capacity for love and understanding grows more every day.
That’s an experience worth sharing.
Respect and mindfulness are key, foundational themes in our business. They are integral pieces of fair
trade principles, and they are important to our supporters and humanity at large.
Thank you for your practice in mindfulness and for “Being The Change”.