From Compassion to Action

by OlgaBarroso |

Sometimes, feeling compassion is not enough. We have to act on it.

In a time when trends come and go and you are struggling to keep up, compassion may seem like the least practical trait to have.

There are times in which our circumstances may seem suffocating and make us feel like we are struggling to keep afloat. Many people experience their own life as if they were not an active member of it, giving up their will and power to choose.

We are constanly being fed. Whether it is marketing, books, vibes, relationships, food, social media or thoughts, we are in a constant feeding mode.

When we were little babies, we had no choice over what we were fed with. We had no understanding or insight whatsoever that helped us guide our actions, so we relied on the better judgement of whomever was in charge of our meals.

Most adults are able to make choices about their own lives, but how is it that we still choose to suffer? Why do we choose to feed on that which makes us feel disconnected?

Yoga teaches us that we are all part of a whole and that whatever we do, it echoes and affects that whole.

Self and Other are concepts created by our mind as a conventional notion to better communicate when it comes to ordinary, everyday perceptions. But what happens when we internalize those notions to a degree of misleading our understanding of truth? We tend to get caught on these concepts and the duality of self and other, good and bad, trendy and not trendy, you and me, animal and human, us and them. Through the practice of yoga, we learn that our goal is to realize our true nature, that which is based on love and compassion.

Our choices are not just “choices”, they are steps into realizing who we truly are. When we truly understand that our feeding trends are transforming us, we start shifting our focus on this duality and start living this yoga or union.

We have the power to choose whether we want compassion in our lives or not. No one has stripped you away from that. When we realize that our true nature is loving and compassionate, we have no desire to attatch ourselves to suffering anymore. In order to have love, compassion and peace in our lives, we need to offer it to others first.

Vegetarianism (veganism) is a choice in which compassion is ever present.

In order to transform our world and our lives, we need to touch the source of real strength and power. That source is love, unconditional love. Understanding alone is not enough to transform us, love is needed. Intellect alone is not enough to change our world, we need to transform ourselves into a compassionate being, but we need to act on it.

The way to act is to decide.

My dad used to tell this cautionary tale all the time, that really stuck with me. It was about a man telling the story of a combat between two wolves to his grandchild. One of the wolves was made up of regret, fear, hate, greed, self-pitty, ego and arrogance. The other wolf was made up of peace, happiness, humility, compassion, faith and kindness. The child was rooting for the “good” wolf, when the man got up and started walking. The child was very confused and said “Wait! Grandfather, which one will win?” The man answered “The one you feed”.

In words of Thich Nhat Hanh “Compassion is a source of powerful, boundless and wise energy. This is the energy that will move us to act”.

Compassion and non-violence – ahimsa-, can be cultivated in the smallest of acts, making every single breath a compassionate choice.

The practice of compassionate living and consumption is a powerful practice we can apply and encourage in every aspect ouf our lives.

Vegetarianism is compassionate consumption and a way to actually practice what we, as yogis preach: Lokah Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu- may ALL beings everywhere be happy and free.

Our choices to eat, drink, dress and live compassionately are the key to a healthy and peaceful life. Acting, thinking and speaking compassionately are a true political statement that scream way louder than words that you have a choice, and no matter what, you are an active member of this wholeness. No one has more power than you to change the world. To end our struggles we must learn to overcome regret, worry and fear and start living through love.

Compassion IS action. Your choices are matter. Which wolf are you feeding?