the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.
Sometimes we live life completely indulged in our own situations, stuck in our bubbles. We can be so oblivious to what is going on around us; so oblivious to the life that the person next to us may be living.
I like to people watch sometimes (that may or may not be weird) but I often imagine what the person next to me on the bus or train may be going through, what their day has looked like and what their troubles may be.
When I imagine myself in another persons’ shoes its easier to overlook their flaws. It’s easier to shake off the rude person at the cashier or the person that pushed you while making their way through the crowd because well, maybe they’re having an off day.
I’m able to think of my particularly tough days and extend some grace.
And while this doesn’t make their behavior inexcusable it does allow me to see beyond and not linger on a particular offense.
It’s important to honor the fact that people are fighting their own battles and navigating life just as you are.
The question is….
What are some ways in which we can navigate through life when it comes to social interactions and interactions with ourselves?
And while that question doesn’t have a definite answer, because I believe that each person’s answer is different according to who they are and the balance that they themselves find, it is important to live out this journey that leads to proper and healthy communication, compassion and overall connections.
In his book “Ways of Being” author, poet, professor and backpacker Miguel A. Rodriguez invites us into his own journey when it comes to his experience with and within himself as well as his experience with others. It is an insight on the way he has been, currently is and wants to be while simultaneously telling his story.
“Ways of Being” unpacks the experiences of a young latino from the Bronx as he travels the world to learn of love, joy, resistance, community, God and himself. Each poem was individually written within a different part of the world and gives us direct insight into his thoughts, feelings, experiences, and overall process.
“Ways of Being” comes from the idea of Community Agreements; the ground rules set by people in order to feel comfortable and be themselves within a social groups.
Some of the “rules” or community agreements that are often set are actually the names of the chapters in his poetry book.
In these chapters of his journey through different parts of the world and different parts of himself, Miguel manages to teach us that part of the journey of understanding yourself is understanding how to deal with your emotions while also making sense of the world/people around you as well. It takes real courage to step out of your own “ways of being” and into someone else’s.
So arm yourself with courage.
Be an active listener.
Provide space for others.
Believe people are trying their best.
For more information on Miguel’s book please check out www.timewithmiguel.com
or just Order Here
I loved getting through this book. Not only are you able to dive into Miguel’s journey but it’s also very relatable and REAL. You can FEEL the struggle, the heartbreaks, and I found it very easy to step into his shoes. What I love the most is that he doesn’t necessarily hold anything back, he talks about the good, the bad, the ugly and isn’t ashamed of his ENTIRE story. There’s so much power in that.
Don’t forget to grab your copy!
Here are some of my personal faves from his collection of poems, Enjoy
(P.S Yes I am one of those people that like to highlight and/or write all over their books)
*I am Tree
*Crisis Theory 2012