Recently, I needed to get an MRI. The waiting room was crowded and as I sat there, I observed an older gentleman. He sat with his eyes closed and his hand over his heart. After a few moments, he opened his eyes, and as he did, our eyes met and we smiled at each other.
He paused for a moment as if he was going to say something to me. So, I remarked to him that I was a bit nervous about climbing into the MRI tube, and his smile was JUST what I needed to see.
Smiling again, he told me that whenever his wife was nervous about a medical test she would focus on the abundance of love in her life, and then quietly send love out to those around her. He remarked that she swore by this practice, for in doing so, she instantly felt calmer and more at ease. He went on to say that this is what he had been doing before, closing his eyes, feeling all the love that he had in his heart and quietly sending that love out to those of us in the waiting room.
Touched, I remarked that he and his wife were beyond lucky to have one another. He told me that his wife passed away a few years back, but that he always felt her presence. With that, his name was called and he wished me luck with my MRI and gave me one last smile.
As I continued waiting, I closed my eyes, placed my hand over my heart, felt all the love in my life, and quietly sent it out to those around me, both the patients and the medical staff.
And you know what? It worked.**
I felt calmer, and more at ease. More importantly, I was filled with gratitude for meeting the gentleman who shared the love in his heart with me.
Plan for the day: Send love out into the world.
**Note: Wondering about the efficacy of loving-kindness meditation?
Check out the works of:
- Barbara Frederickson at UNC Chapel Hill
- Kathi Kemper at Ohio State University
- Emma Seppälä at Stanford University
Their research shows loving-kindness meditation helps boost positive emotions long after we practice it, and has a positive ripple effect on those around us.