Several years ago, I switched from having New Year’s resolutions to having a New Year’s mantra. For 2012, I chose the mantra “We are all One.” Focusing on this mantra during my meditation or remembering it when meeting others has helped me with my shyness. I was a painfully shy child and teenager. I am still shy.
I envy friends who greet everyone they meet with an open acceptance and an open heart. These friends are, in fact, much more extroverted than I. And I could leave it at that, “poor introverted me.”
But, I like to follow the road of envy. Envy is often a road that can lead to places in the psyche that are in need of some work. As I followed my own envy, it lead me to my insecurities and suspiciousness.
Because of my insecurities and suspiciousness, I often greet new people with an internal feeling of icy separation and judgement. I observe my brain habitually make up stories about these folks. My brain does this to try to make sense of the separateness I feel from strangers.
One of the stories my brain makes up is putting folks into categories–”better” or “not better.” If my brain decides that someone is “better” than I, I become very shy and tongue-tied. When my brain judges that I am “better” than the stranger, I feel much more relaxed.
Focusing on this mantra through this year has helped me remove some of the made-up separateness I feel when meeting strangers. Now when I find myself in social situations, my mind reminds me of my mantra, “We are all One.” It helps my brain move from a place of cold suspicion and judgement to a much more open, receptive, and relaxed position. As I breathe into this feeling, better/not better, self/other, brain/mind merge into Oneness.