“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.”
Atmosphere is subtle and constantly transforming and mutating. What we may not be truly conscious of is that on the one hand we carry an atmosphere from within us, everywhere we go, and not only that, but our presence also changes every situation.
What is it that creates our individual atmosphere, our individual vibration? It is based on our individual mindset and personality traits. These inform how we handle stress and affect our decision-making process. When we find ourselves in difficult situations that demand our instant attention, it sometimes turns out that we fall back on a mindset that we either were not aware we had, or had been trying to control or hide. For example, people who are in positions of huge responsibility, often fail to act in the most appropriate or even the most honourable way, because they find that the instinct for self-preservation overtakes their sense of integrity.
All of us would like to behave with integrity, decency, honesty and clarity. What is needed is a practised awareness, based on understanding. Our attitude creates the atmosphere and it is awareness that informs our attitude. Our attitude is the foundation which gives us the ability to think and act in the most powerful way, and it is our attitude that can empower others. Many were saved after the attack on the World Trade Center, because of the attitude of those who remained calm and guided others down to safety.
We can create this kind of awareness by taking a step back, seeing the bigger picture, and recognising the physical world for what it is. The physical world is in constant flux. None of us can predict with accuracy what will happen next. If we base our awareness on this transitory and temporary state of the physical world, there will be constant insecurity. Insecurity leads to unstable attitudes and unstable actions.
The key is to be aware that we are, in fact, visitors here. We are visitors to this physical world. It is not our home. With this awareness, we can prepare for all eventualities. Daily meditating on this reality, we come to the realisation that as visitors, we cannot own anything, and therefore cannot lose anything either. We are here on a journey, the world is a gift for us to enjoy, we are just passing through. This awareness brings:
l A perception of the bigger journey, the larger map.
l A feeling of lightness, of travelling with less, of feeling carefree.
l An appreciation and attitude of gratitude.
l An understanding that there is nothing to lose, nothing to own, no-one is a possession.
l A sense of taking care of what we are temporarily holding, like a trustee or a custodian.
This is the spiritual perspective. If we are visitors here, on a journey, then we must have a home. Our home is the primary atmosphere. It is an extremely nourishing atmosphere of unconditional love, a safe and sweet place. We all have a deep reference point for the qualities of the home, the peace, the love, the sense of belonging. That is why we constantly search for it here in the physical world, which is not our home. We have lost the true awareness. All the world’s a stage… We are here playing roles and have forgotten it is a play. Or it is as though we have gone on holiday, and at the beginning are enchanted by our new experiences, but as time has gone on, we have become so enthralled by the place we have forgotten we are visitors. We have become so absorbed in the play or the holiday destination, that we make decisions based on the attitude of belonging here. We have become the role we are temporarily playing.
We need to step back into our spiritual awareness. Because, in that awareness we have all we need. Within us is the peace, love, joy, sense of belonging and pure feelings that we need. This attitude can empower others. When we see someone in distress, if we too become distressed, we feed that atmosphere, we trap that atmosphere and extend its duration. If we have a powerful attitude and awareness, we can change the atmosphere in moments and bring calm and solace to the one who is distressed. People love to be around those with this awareness. We are empowering the self and others, and everything will conspire to assist us, based on this premise. Meditation or yoga based on this awareness and understanding can transform any atmosphere.
“It is with the power of yoga that you can make the atmosphere peaceful. Yoga is the only way for you to give the world the inheritance of peace. You remember the home and the Supreme Friend in order to spread peace throughout the whole world.”
From the teachings of Rajyoga meditation
We always have the option of reminding people around us of the primary atmosphere, the home of all souls. The art of transforming the atmosphere is within us all.
Sarah Fitzgerald is an interior designer, English language teacher, and Rajyoga teacher with the Brahma Kumaris, in Cambridge, UK