Yoko Ono’s ‘Acorn’ has provided readers with the ‘Cleaning Piece’ and the challenge is simple; there are five ways to help clean your spirit and as the new year dawns, we thought that there’s no better time than the current to incoprorate that into our lives as well.
We all have one situation in our lives that disguises kindness and compassion as a burning coal that we stay as far away from as possible. We don’t reach to grab it, don’t aim to hold it, we see it’s dark amber and we steer clear of it; knowing it’ll only burn us if we get too close. As we avoid the kindness and compassion that’s disguised, we often find ways to fill those voids with anger and disdain, often without realizing it at first. While some people think anger or frustration are hard emotions to channel, they’re actually the easiest. When a day starts off on the wrong foot, within hours we’ve all but given up on any sort of good coming from it; it’s a steep slope that takes one second of miscalculation before we’re rushing down it faster than we’ve fallen before.
With our backs turned to the burning coal, we miss the light it provides and that light might be enough to make us realize that we could, in fact, stop the coal from burning and disguise what’s beneath it. We miss the way that a little bit of positivity and some encouragement can do more than change the way we look at those around us, it can change the way we look at ourselves and open windows of opportunity and light to shine in our lives in ways we didn’t think possible.
I’ll be the first to admit that when I feel hurt – I get angry. It’s something that’s incredibly unbecoming and something I’ve worked on as of late, especially lately. Anger is an emotion that is truly only harmful to ourselves, we hold in anger and we feel worse about everything, we give off anger and we show lesser versions of ourselves, we swallow anger and we get burnt – it’s a cycle that harms us more than the people or the things that we’re angry at. Speaking negatively, that goes right alongside anger. We speak ill of someone else, but it truly shows more about ourselves than it does the person we’re speaking negatively of. If we use things that our friends or family told us against them, it paints us in a worse light than the one we’re aiming to paint them in and if we continue to only highlight the bad in people we once also saw good in; we’re showing how easy it is to throw off our inner peace, and that’s something we should never give anyone else the right to touch.
As I found myself struggling with the aforementioned, a friend of mine sent me a challenge and at first, I looked at it, shut my phone off, and laughed. It seemed not only impossible but like something resembling weakness. The more I thought of the challenge, the more I realized how much I could benefit from it, and how much a lot of other people could too. The thing is, we all house anger in our hearts and none of us are perfect; we all say things we don’t mean and we do so in moments of raging anger knowing we’d never do them, or act upon them, but we say them nonetheless – and they have an effect on us. The challenge is meant to stop that, it’s meant to make kindness and compassion the first things to jump to instead of anger and disdain.
There are five pieces in Yoko Ono’s ‘Cleaning Piece’ and the first one I saw was the third, so while this challenge will be done a bit out of order, all five will be covered here.
Three days. Three days of saying nothing negative about anyone. As I planned this I felt like I may end up being very silent for the first three days, but I did some ‘practice’ rounds over the course of the last two weeks and I found out; I had a lot more to say. I had things to say that were actually worth saying, and listening to. So maybe three days wouldn’t be all that bad, right? The challenge officially starts today, so I suppose we’ll see. Three days. Three days turns into forty-five days. Forty-five days turns into three months. After three months a feeling of change and quite possibly, gratitude is to be expected; not just within but outside too. If you can see in a person, something good where you only thought there was bad, then you’ve opened yourself to the ability of unearthing positivity even when it seems impossible – there’s no greater gift to one’s spirit than that.
This challenge is something that will be documented here, once a week, so if you feel like joining in too, let us know how it works out in your own lives and we’ll talk about it. There’s always time to be nice, there’s always space to be kind, and there’s always a diamond in the rough. Here’s to the journey that proves that.