so earlier in the week i was going through my old childhood books and came across roald dahl's the twits, the story of two horrible folks who were once beautiful and nice but grew uglier and nastier as the years passed. the idea of someone literally being transformed on the outside by their internal thoughts and actions fascinated me when i was a young girl.
once in a while i'll hear someone say something off the cuff about a mutual acquaintance or see a rude comment towards a friend on social media and i just can't help but think why? while we are busy thinking we can do something better, comparing ourselves to others, leaving negative comments, precious moments of our lives are ticking away.
there is a principle in yoga called ahimsa. it's broad meaning is that of non-violence towards any living creature. it's very easy to think 'well, i don't hurt cats so i must be doing pretty well' but then i think of the things i sometimes say or think about myself or others and it makes me cringe. every thought we have is woven into the fabric of our life, we can spin cobwebs or spin gold. our choice. roald dahl was on to something with his story from thirty years ago. and now, in the brave age of the internet, when people are free to have interactions with others without leaving their homes, it seems even more relevant. i envision an anonymous person behind the computer typing unconstructive things about people they don't even know and wonder what that person looks like inside. are they the same people who are unpleasant in everyday life? are they conscious of what is coming out of them? maybe they suffer from depression, in which case, help is necessary to come back from a joyless place. at any rate, it is hard not to imagine the lady from the twits typing the cruel words. life is too short to not put one peaceful thought in front of the other. if one can make an ugly habit, one can break it. i caught myself thinking some unpleasant things about myself today and refocused on the word ahimsa. if i practice this towards other, i must practice this towards myself. non-violence in thought and deed. one thought in front of the other.
"if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely." - the twits
even though i don't always have good thoughts shooting out of my face like sunbeams, it's a worthwhile goal, no?
image: andy goldsworthy