As we move deeper into cold and a flu season, I find myself thinking about the word contagion. It comes to us from the Latin con, meaning “together with,” and tangere, meaning “to touch.” So contagion means, quite beautifully, “a touching together.”
It feels, therefore, a bit unfair to this word’s etymological roots to use it most often to talk about contamination. Sure, we can become infected with cold germs, but touching together can have positive effects as well. Dis-ease may be contagious, but so is ease, a word from the Old French, meaning “comfort, pleasure, well-being.”
All of us have had the experience of being brought down by another’s negativity. We have also been buoyed by a joy freely shared. A necessary step on the path of spiritual growth is becoming aware of this energetic level of interaction and living from it.
We begin to notice how certain people and activities affect us. We recognize, for example, that hours of mindless TV feel bad, and that gossiping leaves us somewhat sullied ourselves.
We also become more sensitive to the effect we have on others. No longer satisfied with merely not behaving badly, we begin to intentionally work with subtler energies.
We notice what’s emanating from us in any interaction, what we’re adding to the mix. And we learn to shift it when necessary, with our allegiance firmly placed with the highest good.
In an online course, meditation teacher and breath worker Julia Mikk, describes this as “becoming a force field of good will.” Reminding us that we “cannot solve anything by making it wrong,” she encourages us to recognize instead that a “vibration of unconditional love can touch what you see and inform it of possibilities of wholeness and completeness.”
Imagine, for example, a tense moment with some fellow humans, a disagreement perhaps. First, you notice. Voices are strained, your breathing constricts, muscles tighten a bit.
Then, with all you’ve gained from spiritual practice, you begin to alter the flow, first in yourself. You breathe fully, relax your shoulders, ask for guidance. You welcome the vibration of harmony into the situation, and then engage in whatever way feels appropriate, doing your part to bend dis-ease toward ease.
Will everything magically change? Perhaps not. But then again, maybe so. Julia suggests that relating in this way can awaken the "inherent divinity” present within each moment and any interaction, no matter how tense or difficult.
Ultimately, though, the outcome is really not your concern. Your task is only to be a force for love, choosing it over all else.
The Christ whose birth we’re celebrating this week was, by all accounts, supremely adept at doing this. His very presence was vivifying, and those who touched together with him were lifted out of turmoil and pain.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if, in the coming year, we enacted the deeper message within the Christmas story by allowing the love in the manger of our own souls to flourish? As that love is set free, we will be offering our essence to a contagion, both precious and powerful.
Contagious love, a touching together that touches us all together. Hallelujah, and have a blessed New Year!
Here's a link to Julia's online course, Sacred Self~Mastery. I've just finished this 10~week walk and found the weekly didactic material combined with daily guided meditations and journalling to be quite effective in incorporating spiritual principles more deeply into my life. If your journey has you stepping off the mainstream western path~~and I assume it does if you read this blog!~~you might find this delightful course to be of benefit.