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Life affirming and daunting. A principle and cherished daily ritual. This act alone transforms me in the moment – every time!

How you can find the joy of witnessing within yourself and tap into this gift of connecting:

Below are groups of people most of us see daily in New York City. This is precisely where I practice and hone my craft. Resulting, in guaranteed moments of civilized connection. In the literal moment. I feel better internally, emotionally, psychologically, and physically. You can as well. Here is all you need to do. (please refer to last paragraph)

· Ready Willing and Able aka Doe Fund

· Grocery delivery men from Food Emporium and Morton Williams

· Homeless and their possessions

· People who hand out flyers on the street

Ready Willing and Able aka Doe Fund

1) 20 years of saying hello witnessing and engaging with the Men of Ready Willing & Able aka the Doe Fund. These are the men that wear blue jumpsuits and pick up the garbage that is in the cans on the street and bag it for pick up.

By pausing to simply say hello and sometimes more i.e. thank you, have a good day to these men. I Lisa, have experienced the instantaneous joy of their gratitude 100% of the time magnified back to me. This is a remarkable return on an investment. No one speaks to these men. So many of us are dismissive and do not even see them.

These men are still constantly shocked when I approach them and they say “who me?” Can you imagine saying hello to strangers each day and have them be shocked that someone would acknowledge their presence! Each time they respond with “a sincere and touching thank you”. As we walk away from one another we find ourselves smiling.

2) The Food Emporium and Morton Williams Delivery Men. These men deliver our groceries in every kind of weather. Rarely do they have an umbrella and or the proper coat in cold weather. No one ever speaks to them and they are poorly tipped. The same men have been with these stores for many years. These men have a radiant and searing smile. One that evokes a breath of energy and life that you can see and feel half way down the block. Smiling and saying hello to these men. Is an instant light into my soul.

3) People Who Hand You Flyers On The Street. Did it ever occur to you that these people are simply doing their job. They are not trying to intentionally infuriate you. By being rude and dismissive to these people you are the only one who is getting upset.

Try saying “no thank you”. You will instantly see them either say thank you and or smile.

4) Seeing Grace Within The Homeless:

Homeless packing up their personal possessions and placing them into their cart. They look and touch their items as longingly and lovingly as we do ours at home.

When we walk by the homeless. We often either say to ourselves thoughts of self-preservation and simultaneously unbecoming sentiments of what we see.

I find momentary grace by saying hello. It is incredulous and poignant how frequently I receive a thank you back.

5) Buddhist Concept of Witnessing is not proactive it is passive. Here are the gifts that both you and the recipient receive at the same time equally.

a. The act of being silent when someone is speaking. Your role is to be silent emotionally and physically. This is aka the art of listening.

b. When the person finishes speaking. Your present to them is to NOT express your opinion and voice. Just say thank you or be quiet. You both will feel refreshed and in grace.

c. This is not an effortless gesture. We, are wired and taught to express our opinion as an act of respect and validation to the other person. This is not always appreciated or what the other person deserves from us.

Giving yourself the present of witnessing:

All you need to do is right here: The key to your success. Before you step out of your home or office. Make a conscious one second thought to yourself to be aware, see and interact with people on your way to wherever you are going.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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