A few months ago I began writing a monthly column Sharing Space for our Sai Maa Arizona community newsletter. Below is my next month’s post which I feel will serve those of you reading my blog. Please let me know if that’s true for you.

I recently attended an evening program at Landmark here in Scottsdale that David Cunningham led for Forum graduates, families, and friends. As usual, David entertained while bringing home powerful distinctions that helped everyone to shift their perspectives about themselves and their lives, including me. One such distinction is seeing others as opportunities for us to be. Not just to be, but to be generous, loving, joyful, forgiving, all of those states of being that makes us happy, that are expansive, that are an expression of who we truly are and are meant to live our lives.

This view has invigorated and enriched my approach to interactions, my relationships in the moment with others. Of course, I’ve gained the perspective from teachings, practices, experiences, deep-down knowingness, that we are one, we are not separate, we are interrelated and influence each other constantly through our thoughts, emotions, words, and behaviors. At the same time, I have a new “take” on oneness, coming from an appreciation of how others in my life are possibilities, catalysts, springboards, for me to be the best of who I can be, the highest of who I am. Also, in my love and devotion for Maa, I can see others are opportunities for me TO BE MAA.

David added that those who are the most challenging to be with (i.e., those who push our buttons), are the greatest opportunities for us to be loving, all those qualities and energies that are based in love. I invite you to think of one person who really challenges you, and remember how you have been, or are being, when you see that person. Are you reactive, angry, resentful, or are you loving, forgiving, open? Dig down and really feel what it feels like within you when you’re with this person. If your experience of yourself falls more into the latter category, realize that you’re doing this to yourself, you’re creating this state within you. Who you are being is not because of the other person; you are the one creating yourself!

I offer you another invitation: Choose that one person again, and when you see that person (or create an opportunity to see that person), experiment and play with this new perspective of seeing that person as an opportunity for you to be … to be the best of you, the highest, loving, generous, forgiving, any other qualities and states of being based in love rather than fear.

Related to being in community, when you’re with community in whatever form that takes, see everyone as an opportunity for you to be … let’s say in this case, to be open, intimate, authentic, creative, loving, in the heart, radiant (energetically) … add whatever else comes to you …

David brought up another point that we create a context and shape our environment when we share who we are, who we are being. Therefore, in addition to being this new you when you’re with others, share who you are, your perspectives on yourself, others, the circumstances, and let this sharing enrich even more the opportunity for you to be, and for others to be with you.