I recently shared a quote on Facebook about reflecting on what “moods” we project onto others, especially when someone’s negativity is spilling over onto us. Working in an urban public school, and well…just being a human, I encounter this daily. I’ve spent some time reflecting on this great quote, and what came to mind is the following story. Enjoy.
I have a student who recently delivered me some seriously beautiful wisdom. This student creates “beef” with most teachers and students, and on daily basis I have to “sugar him up” to learn. I give him authentic sweetness: smiles, pleases and thank you’s, real compliments, and a sense of feeling loved and respected. This has led to a relationship (that is not always free of conflict) which has shown me that he is growing up without a father, takes care of his younger siblings while Mom works late, and lives in a school and society where people of “power” and “success” don’t look like him. This young man is a mirror reflecting a common experience of struggle, abandonment, oppression.
As I was doing my thing teaching, he interrupted the lesson, and boldly said, “Miss!! How are you always in a good mood? You are my only teacher who is nice to everyone”. My response was, “Because I practice”.
I’m learning that “being the light” for anyone who reflects negativity is not easy; however it is possible when we practice being aware of our thoughts, intentions and actions. You can choose the be the mirror and reflect back the negativity or low mood OR you can choose differently. Remember that whatever you reflect is your choice and within your control…and even if you think otherwise, everyone notices. With practice you can shine light, be happier and make positive ripples in your community and the lives of others.
Check out Gabrielle Bernstein’s vlog, Happiness is a Choice I Make, that provides some more specific guidance and inspiration on how to choose what mood you feel and reflect.