The earth plane is an enormous school, and our time here is meant to be for learning. Everything we do, and every encounter we have, can serve that purpose if we avail ourselves of the opportunity. The primary lesson here is to open our hearts and become more loving beings, awakening the true nature of who we are. The core of this curriculum is our relationships with others. Our best lessons will be found here. Yes, while we are here we are concerned with many other things as well. We have jobs, hobbies, activities and many responsibilities. These are important, but I think they fall more into the category of electives and extra curricular activities.

For the next few weeks, I will focus on our relationships and interactions with others. That includes everything from our closest relationships to chance encounters with strangers. Each one is important, and we should never underestimate the learning that can come from any interaction with another.

We are very fortunate here to have been provided with such rich and diverse learning opportunities. Take a look around and you will see a huge cast of characters all waiting to be your teacher, all waiting to learn from you, if you take the time to discover what the lesson is.

The key here is that you can’t learn from those around you if you are on automatic pilot. Too often we respond to people in habitual ways, without thinking. We talk to our partners in the same old way, we only half listen to our kids or parents, and we don’t even see the person at the checkout stand. We all have key moments or turning points in relationships that push us into awareness, and force us to look at the person in front of us differently. However, I believe the best learning can come when we don’t wait for those times, but to be fully present in all interactions. Let that become our new habit.

As we begin this series on how we relate to others, start by asking yourself these questions. How conscious are you while in the grocery store, at work or in your home with your family? Do you respond to others in habitual ways, barely aware of what has just transpired between you?

Take note, and see where you could begin to become more present.