“Peace around you starts with peace inside of you”
Do you wake up in a great mood and then as the day progresses, you encounter those people that burst your bubble? Maybe it’s your grumpy teenager at home or your boss at work that starts out reminding you of a deadline instead of saying hello. I have a teenage daughter at home and at 5:30 am when I pop my head in with a smile and some sunshine to wake her, she is not always so pleasant (slight understatement there). Just maybe these challenging encounters can be a challenge to rise up and resist the urge to let ourselves be sucked into their mood. I have a few techniques that I am excited to share with you. These are actually scientific keys that encompass just one of the almost 200 threads of knowledge and philosophy that encompass Yoga. Although it is only one thread, I know that adopting the teachings of this one thread can have transformational effects in your life. Sri Swami transcribed the Patanjali sutras (threads of knowledge), and he describes the four keys as friendliness, compassion, delight, and disregard that are used to unlock the four types moods or personalities observed in the people you will encounter in life: the happy people, the unhappy people, the virtuous and the not-so-nice or downright wicked. Keep in mind that moods change so you can encounter a person who moves in and out of the four moods. I will expand on these keys here and share ways you can practice these strategies in your own life.
We may not be able to control people or our situations, but we can adopt ways to aid us in maintaining peace of mind in all of life’s circumstances. You might think that it’s impossible to always feel at peace. Sometimes the people that we are surrounded by daily can bring up emotions and reactions that might feel beyond our control. When you adopt these practices and use these keys as you encounter the four types of moods that you are encountering with people as mentioned above, you will enjoy the power of knowing just how to react and maintain your peaceful and happy day. And who doesn’t want a happier and peaceful life? When we have harmony and happiness inside of us, we can expand the good and share it with the world.
In my own experience, these simple keys have unlocked a better outlook on life and helped me cope with the people and events in my life that are not always joyful. I hope you remember these keys and recall them whenever you encounter these four personalities. If you make it a habit to try them out while at work, school, the gym, or in line at the grocery store then soon enough it will become second nature to you.
This is the key to dealing with happy people. Someone once said that “a smile is worth a thousand words”. When we meet happy people; those people that give us a genuine smile or greeting, a compliment or kind words that exude an easy-going nature and good vibes, we should respond by using the “Key” of friendliness. All the simple gestures of kindness and happiness should be sent right back to that other person. You might think that this should come quite easily and naturally, but there are those people who might go out of their way to make happy people unhappy. Certain people may become jealous when they see someone who has achieved success in their career and is enjoying the good life. They might try to drag others down by bad mouthing them or discrediting their accomplishments, even when the words are not the truth. This will only serve to disturb the inner peace of the person who is dishing out the negativity. Being genuinely happy for others and having the goal to surround yourself with friendly, happy people is a sure way to feel joy and inner peace. And what do you do when you encounter those negative, unhappy souls? Read on and have compassion.
There are many unhappy people in the world and compassion is the key to dealing with these types of people. We never know what the person in the car next to us is going through. They may be heading home after a 12-hour work shift to care for a dying family member, or they could have an illness, or be buried in debt. Or you may encounter that person with the fake smile that brags about how great their life is, what kind of car they drive or always is dripping in expensive clothing labels trying to impress. You know they are not truly happy and like to act like they are better than others. Have compassion for they don’t have true joy in their hearts. A smile, a kind word or offer to help that grumpy person bring groceries to their car just may make their world a little brighter even if they don’t show it. Choose to eradicate negative thoughts about other people and choose not to judge them but to have compassion. Your goal is to keep your mind and yourself well and peaceful.
Delight is the key that works in the lock with virtuous people. Those people who have the highest moral standards, they are upstanding citizens and have the highest levels of integrity and trust. Feel gratitude in your heart that there are people in the world that are virtuous. These are the people that set examples for others to follow and that there is always room for improvement in everyone’s lives. Seek to follow in the footsteps of the good men and women that set examples for future generations and make a difference in the world.
Just as there are good people, there are lastly the not-so-nice or wicked people and we must not let hatred grow in our hearts. Use the key of disregard for the wicked in the world. We should not judge as maybe there was a time or two in your own life when you might not have been the nicest person in the world. Again, we don’t know the circumstances of their life, and some people are beyond help and for whatever reason, choose to be mean and unhappy.. To maintain our own happiness and peace of mind, we must disregard these people and not pay them much attention. Focus your attention on the good.
Most people carry their car keys with them at all times or have them nearby. Think of these keys as being in your pocket all the time. You can pull them out whenever needed. As you meet different people in your life, practice awareness of identifying the type of personality you are dealing with and what kind of key you will use in your interactions and dealings. You will soon start to notice a transformation in your reactions and feelings. You now have the strategies that were used for thousands of years by the most revered thought leaders and masters of Yoga philosophy.
I wish you a peaceful journey.