Our gut holds the mixed-up emotions. “I want to be this too.” Comparison. Withholding. Competition. Scarcity.
Our heart shows up pure. Inspired. Grateful to experience the other and learn from them. Curious how they embody what they do. Delighted in what you see. Desirous . . . yes. But mudita is at the core of heart centered admiration.
Mudita is Sanskrit word for unselfish joy. This beautiful Buddhist practice is cultivated when we can experience another’s happiness and blessings without envy. Its foundation lies in our ability to see the abundance of life’s blessings, regardless of whether they shower us or others.
This can feel like an unnatural place to land when we’ve been conditioned to believe in the scarcity of a hyper-competitive world. I have two suggestions to find mudita.
Last night my meditation teacher shared his grounded response to whatever life delivers, “Right now, this is perfect.” If that is a hard sentence to form, try “imperfectly perfect”. It’s a trusting, neutral place to receive our present moment and those of others in their own journeys.
And then there is the opportunity to admire up close, rather than from afar. The more distance there is between you and your admiration, the more space there is for your gut and head to get involved. A few examples: when you are eyeing up a woman’s shoes, give her a compliment; pay attention to the ease with which co-worker accomplishes a task and tell him; when you observe a friend starting a new chapter in life, articulate what inspires you about their momentum.
Recently I received an email about an art exhibit. The artist’s work drew me in so deeply I decided to reach out and let her know. And here’s where the beauty of mudita unfolds. We talked, connected, and became inspired to offer a class together! Life blossomed.
Withheld admiration is not just wasted energy, it’s life force stopped in its tracks. During this new spring season, tune in and let your heart deliver fresh energy to others by sharing all that you admire and love.