As a teenager I remember my mother saying, "If your friends jumped off a cliff, would you?"At the time, the comment was to deter me from doing something my mother felt was unsafe or unnecessary, like staying out past curfew or buying something frivolous. I learned that "following my friends" was synonymous with foolish behavior. 

Nowadays, however, I will follow my friends over many cliffs, the cliffs of living with authenticity and bravery of action.
 
 My friends do these things (and they are fine!), so it must be ok for me to follow their example:

1. they meditate

2. they dance

3. they dance ecstatically

4. they pray

5. they practice yoga

6. they forgive others

7. they don't hold grudges

8. they smile at others

9. they keep on learning

10. they speak kindly

11. they share with abandon

12. they cry

13. they honor feelings

14. they go to spiritual retreats

15. they sing in church

16. they wear colorful earrings

17. they honor many religions

18. they go into nature

19. they often eat organic

20. they have goals, intentions, plans, talk about them and follow through

21. they write about their lives

22. they hug

23. sometimes they give up things like coffee, pizza, potatoe chips

24. they talk about their fears- not incessantly, but to be human

25. they relish the human experience

26. they practice, learn and teach tolerance

27. they travel

28. they love people

29. they read inspiring books and talk about them

30. they will admit to liking silly things

31. they are honest

32. they admit their faults and errors

33. they love

34. they give great thanks over and over

35. they forgive themselves

36. they help others

37. they ask for help

38. they hold space

39. they honor ancestors

40. they share households

41. they recycle

42. they shovel snow

43. they celebrate transitions

44. they find ways to love people who may seem grouchy or negative

45. they keep in touch with old friends

46. they gift, donate, create discounts, support scholarships

47. they believe in miracles

48. they study consciousness

49. they giggle

50. they share their soul and passions.

This list is just a beginning of the ways my friends have impacted my actions and influenced me in life. Try it. Follow your friends like these whom I am honored to follow. 

No need to jump off a cliff! 

With gratitude to my family, many friends of different walks of life and to my teachers and students who challenge me and nudge me along gently and by example.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com


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