Resentment is taking rat poison thinking the rat will die, the saying goes. No matter who the rats in our lives are, the tendency to stew in resentment does nothing to harm them but instead harms us by polluting our hearts.
The Tibetan practice of amplifying loving-kindness, also known as Metta Meditation – is a powerful way to open our hearts to receive our blessings. Through Metta, we take a broom to our inner sanctum, clear the air, and remember the truth of unity.
The beauty of Metta is that it erases the thin line between love and hate, as we see for ourselves how sending love to those we feel most stingy towards is exactly what brings love to our door.
Try this exercise and see if it doesn’t bring at least a little smile to your face if not some inner spirit replenishment. Oh, and maybe some wonderful manifestations in your outer world life, too!
Markers if you have some, otherwise any writing implement will do
24 small slips of scrap paper (can be cut up from paper envelopes, anything) OR 24 post-its
Step One: The Good Things of Life
On 12 separate slips or post-its, write down 12 things you want an abundance of, yourself. Don’t be judgy or moralistic, rather be generous with your definition of the good side of life. Whatever you want, you can use this exercise to admit that you want it.
So on 12 separate scraps or post-its, one idea per paper, write things like this:
Gobs of free time
Enough money to feel fully safe and free forever
Lots of time lying around in the sun
Laughing super hard until my stomach hurts
Step Two: People You Love, People You Don’t Care About, and People You Can’t Abide
On another 12 slips of paper or post-its, you will now write the names of some people.
On the very first slip of paper, write your name.
On the next 3 slips of paper, write the names of 3 people you love.
On the next 4 slips of paper, write the names of 4 people you feel relatively neutral towards, for whatever reasons. Challenge yourself to find people you genuinely feel nothing one way or the other.
- The guy who works the cash register at Taqueria El Buen Gusto
- My mailman
- The woman who works at Hertz car rental at the airport
- Brian’s cousin Mandy
On the final 4 slips of paper, write the names (or if you prefer, initials – important is that you know who you mean) of 4 people you have distinctly negative feelings towards. The more you cannot abide this person, the more their name belongs on one of these four remaining paper scraps.
Step Three: Pair People With Wishes
You should now have 12 slips of paper, each with a separate wish written on it, plus 12 slips of paper, each with a name written on it.
Pull one from each jar, & pair them together. You will then have 12 sets of Person-Wish pairs.
- Laughing until my stomach hurts – My Mailman
- Lots of Time lying around in the Sun – P.T.
- Gobs of Free time – Finnegan
Step Four: Wish It Be So!
Now for each of the pairs, write out a full sentence in your journal that creates a heartfelt wish, perhaps lengthening and adding on to richen up your wish.
Dear Source, please may my mailman be blessed with plenty of time laughing until his stomach hurts. May he find many reasons to smile throughout his day, may he find the comedy in everything, and may he laugh with his full belly and be flooded with good feelings from head to toe, filled up from the inside with joy and happiness!
Dear Source, please may P.T. be blessed with so so much time lying around in the sun, feeling good and safe in his body, replenished and safe. May he swim in the ocean, and feel forgiven, surrounded, held, and loved, just as he is.
Dear Source, please may Finnegan be blessed with gobs of free time.
I hope this little exercise helps clear your heart space today, dear reader!