by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
With all the tragedies going on today in our troubled society, I think that one of the most important things we can do to make the world a better place is to become happy.
Alongside developing our potential and reaching our uniquely personal dreams, encouraging others along the way to do the same can only make things better.
I think that world peace begins not only at home but essentially from a much more focused space—within each of our hearts.
EXAMINING MY RESPONSE
For me, based on my Buddhist practice and using its humanistic philosophy as a guide, part of my journey to experience absolute happiness is doing the work to overcome my prejudices and judgments. My starting point is examining my response to the tragedies, corruption, and polar opposite ideologies in the world around me.
DOING THE WORK IS KEY
Now that I especially and clearly understand that there are many perspectives opposing mine, doing the work to respect others is both transformative and key to improve my happiness and become part of the path to a more peaceful society.
UNITY VERSES DIVISION
I want to be a force for unity, not division. I want to base my actions on respect for life—not on judgments about behaviors or actions. Rather than promoting disrespect and divisiveness, I want to learn to fully and deeply listen—with the spirit of respect and toward unity.
I'm not saying this is easy. For me, at least, this inner work is both grueling and requires my greatest efforts to resist responding to external challenges with my negativity.
START WITH BEING A PART OF THE SOLUTION
But I want to be part of the solution. That means I have to self-reflect and master my mind toward the goal of happiness for myself and others.
I’m learning that I can only be part of the solution, contribute to unity, and lead with mutual respect if I have done my work on myself. This translates into more self-care.
SELF-CARE FUELS POSITIVITY IN THE WORLD
Doing what it takes for me to be at my best allows me to view the challenges of today’s troubled community with greater compassion, energy, and wisdom. We can listen, act, and contribute in a more positive way when we first tackle our individual needs.
A MICRO-PERSONAL TO MACRO-COMMUNITY APPROACH
There is much work to be done through social services, economic recovery, and improvements through policies on a larger scale.
Those conversations and movements are necessary and must be viewed from long-range and incremental efforts. We each choose the causes that mean the most to us and where we feel we can make our impact.
WHERE DOES REAL IMPACT START?
But I hold firm the idea that the real impact comes from grassroots, life-to-life connections, and initially, within one heart at a time.
How can we be part of a positive solution or contribute to a more harmonious society without first addressing our individual wellness?
Consider what we bring to the table if we have fully cared for and maintained our inner condition. Imagine the impact across diverse viewpoints when we initiate honest, earnest work toward our personal character as a starting point.
We can be part of the greater goal for peaceful existence when we first start from within our hearts. This kind of self-care approach emboldens our spiritual and mental strength, positions us toward a greater openness to authentic listening, and being a positive influence on others.
What are your thoughts?
Recommended Content Toward Improved Self-Care:
Looking For A Silver Lining In Pandemic Life?
What Are Ways For Nurturing Creativity And Inspiration? Part 1
How To Feel Spring Emerging From Your Heart
Creativity Brings Comfort, Courage, and Hope
What Self-Care Has To Do With Creativity
Set Your Positive Intent & Inspire Yourself
MY NATURE-INSPIRED PHOTO ESSAY SERIES:
Keep Looking For Moments Like These To Celebrate & Appreciate
How To Use Difficulties To Inspire Appreciation & Creativity
What Kind Of Intent Is In Our Heart?
How To Use Nature To Reinvigorate Your Spirit
How To Nurture Yourself For A Positive Impact On Your World
How To Open Your Heart To Find Beauty Within Suffering & Loss
How Do You Find Hope To Create Positive Value?
Belief In Your Own Creative Vision
How To Connect To Ignite Positive Power
by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
My podcast (check it out here) and blogs sometimes feature various creators about their creative process. Like many creators, I feel creativity is as natural to me as breathing air. I cannot live without it.
As a creative person, in sync with my brand's overall theme of nurturing creativity and inspiration, I'd like to personally share something from my creative side with you.
In interviews, I often ask creators what inspires them. Here's something that inspires me.
This reminds me of The Wizard Of Oz behind the curtain, furiously spinning those wheels to keep things afloat. But honestly, if you pull back the curtain on me, you'll find me most naturally immersed in writing words or music, or doing something visual with nature photos as a way of daily creative expression.
Today, I'd like to share one of my poems with you. Through my poem below, I share some of my personal inspirations; my Buddhist practice, and my mentor in faith--writer, poet, peace leader Daisaku Ikeda. Ikeda's writings have and continue to be an enormous source of encouragement for my life and my creative flow.
I wrote the following poem as a kind of appreciative reply to my mentor's incredibly wise, compassionate, generous guidance.
In the poem I share here, I refer to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. This is about my battle against my weakness and toward bettering myself as a more compassionate, stronger human.
As a practicing SGI Buddhist* for 34 years, the concept of 'human revolution' is part of my daily practice. It equates with a polishing of the self toward becoming the best person I can be.
This poem expresses the process of and responsibility for developing the Greater Self. Most specifically in regard to fighting against negative tendencies, and toward deepening faith in both myself and the good in others. Especially when it's hard to do so.
Thanks for letting me share with you in this personal way. I hope you enjoy my poem:
Listen to the podcast here.
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COMING SOON: Watch this space for new ebooks, products and courses for nurturing creativity and inspiration!
In my INSPIRATION blogs, you’ll find ways to overcome obstacles, reach goals, and experience more joy in the moment with spiritual awareness and inner transformation.