Excerpt from a small, vinyl, dark-blue diary I kept when I was in fifth grade: It’s weird but when you walk into a room of people you can feel the air. The air is a color and a texture that you can see and feel and it’s how people are feeling. But what’s really weird is you can change how they feel if you concentrate really hard.
I believed this at ten, and I still believe it. Emotional energy is invisible, but it’s real, and with focus and intention, you can shift it. When we were in our twenties, my sister and I used to go to parties together. Sometimes those parties would feel flat and dull, not fun. My sister and I would look at each other and murmur social overdrive, social overdrive, and then throw ourselves into the scene with the goal of putting everyone at ease and making everyone feel connected and happy.
Before every class I teach, I silently breathe in and out and vow to meet the participants where they are, not where I am. With intuition and insight and deep intention, you can lift up another human being. Or a roomful of them, or a nation. The trick is channeling not anger and bitterness –no matter how despairing the situation–but love and kindness. Something that Hafiz, who lived and died 700 years ago, knew well.
With That Moon Language, by Hafiz (translated by Daniel Ladinsky)
Everyone you see, you say to them,
Of course you do not do this out loud;
otherwise, someone would call the cops.
Still though, think about this,
this great pull in us
Why not become the one
who lives with a full moon in each eye
that is always saying,
with that sweet moon language,
what every other eye in this world
is dying to hear?