Hey, all! Today I want to talk about something that's very close to my heart.
It's the idea of PLUR, or, peace, love, unity, and respect. They were always principles that I strived to live by, but it wasn't until I stumbled into the world of raving and EDM that I realized the way I chose to love life not only had a name, but a vast community of beautiful beings who choose to share this positivity with the people around them.
Not everyone raves, but that doesn't mean you're not allowed to spread the love. Here are some ways to sprinkle a little PLUR dust into your everyday life.
This one might seem a little self-explanatory, but you'd be surprised at how easy it is to be non-peaceful. I don't know about you, but I tend to get — ahem — let's just say mildly annoyed at other drivers.
Okay, but you're right. I know. It's not PLUR at all to call people names, even if it's just in your head. So the next time you find yourself fighting the urge to yell obscenities from your driver's seat, do us all — and yourself — a favor.
Repeat after me. Inhale through your nose. Exhale through your mouth. And smile! Chances are, even if you don't feel like smiling, just doing the action will trick you into relaxing and letting go of that momentary anger.
And remember, most of the time anger or annoyance is momentary. Let it go.
Also, take some you time to reflect. Reflect often. Reflect on the you that you were yesterday and the you that you are today. I know it's hard, but the effort's worth it. Because the only way to really make peace in the world is to first make peace with yourself.
I think this one's by far the easiest (and most fun) part of PLUR to practice! There are so many ways you can spread some love over the world, and sometimes without even that much effort. One of my favorite ways to put some love back into the universe is telling people that I like something about them.
It can be a little bit uncomfortable, especially for me since I tend to be a little shy. But just the other night I fought the urge to admire quietly and I actually told this guy that I really liked his matching pineapple shirt/shorts and fanny pack. I know! Here are some tips that I found work for me:
Find anything you like about a person. Literally anything. It could be their hair, something they're wearing, makeup. Find something! Steel yourself. This one goes out to all my shy buddies out there. Take a deep breath and smile. Look them in the eye and just tell them you enjoy whatever it is you enjoy. Here are a few things you could say:
- "Hey friend, nice [insert thing]!"
- "Woah, cool [insert thing]!"
- Or the fail proof, "I love that [insert thing]!"
See? Super fun! It gets easier as you practice. It's also fun to try little things like opening doors for other people or trading fun pieces of kandi to different people you meet. One thing I've had on my list of things to do next time I go to a rave is to bring little packs of wet wipes, hand sanitizer, etc. You know, the kinds of things people don't know they need until they need it. After all, no one likes using porta-potties. We're all in this together!
This one's the hardest part of PLUR to achieve, I think, but also one of the most rewarding. Like I said, we're all in this together, but not just in the fact that nobody likes using stinky porta-potties.
I mean, we're all in this crazy, wonderful universe together, and we can't forget that in some way, all of us are suffering. No one's suffering is completely the same, but that's why it's so important to do our part to make the world less insane than it needs to be.
Take the time to be there for a friend who might need you. It's amazing how much just listening to someone can really help them. I'm sure they'd appreciate it.
Another cool way to promote unity? Volunteer! After all, you can't have community without unity. Ha!
Okay, I'll stop.
But seriously, you don't need to go so far as to actually be a volunteer anywhere (although that would be freaking awesome), but if you meet someone, anyone, who needs your help, then help them.
Like I said before, we're all in this together, which means someone, somewhere, will always be having a rough time with something. We need to respect the fact that everyone has their own feelings and experiences, and sometimes we don't see eye to eye.
But guess what? That's okay. If everyone saw the same way on every single thing, the world would be a pretty boring place! Don't be quick to judge people. You don't know them. And if you do, do you? Really?
But that doesn't mean just sitting by while hate happens. Having respect for others doesn't mean you can't — or shouldn't — stand up for what's right. Racism, homophobia, and just plain hate doesn't have a place among people who really believe in PLUR. I know it's tough, especially because no one expects to really encounter those things out in the world, but please, please try your best to counter those things with peace, love, unity, and respect if you ever do.
I promise, I'm trying too.
And while we practice being mindful of respecting others, don't neglect yourself. Everyone deserves to respect themselves, to know their worth, and to not take crap from other people who don't care about your happiness and well-being.
You are enough. Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.
And that's all I've got for you today! If you have any other fun ways to give back to the world, let me know. I'd love to hear :)