How people treat other people continues to be where I pay close attention. A person’s packaging may look all polished, but those inner character qualities matter most of all. Cultivating an internal radiance of courage, kindness, and intellectual humility carries lifelong credibility.
Excerpt from Abundant Heart: Thoughts on Healing, Loving, and Living Free

I remember being with a group of extraordinarily wealthy individuals. I had been invited to a gathering of friends in a beautiful home with a spread of delicious food displayed. Yet, I quickly noticed how a married couple treated one another and their friends. The contempt spoken publicly between these two individuals created a thick grey cloud even as lovely music played in the background and lights twinkled on the back porch. An openly sour marriage infused the party as the wife, meeting me for the first time, persisted in spewing unkind remarks, now directed at me. I chose to remain silent as I experienced an unhappy, brittle woman with flawless makeup, hair, expensive clothes, and jewelry. My heart understood her unresolved pain. I walked into another room to be with other members of the gathering.

I remember being on a cruise ship surrounded by disgruntled, coiffed passengers waiting impatiently in line for their breakfast. The cranky passengers openly expressed their dissatisfaction while the wait staff happily served them with radiantly gracious demeanors. I felt drawn to the servers, curious to know what kept them in their anchored place of unflappable kindness.

I’ve also walked into rooms filled with a dreadful smoldering in the air among the people gathered. I wondered when the explosive interaction had taken place, or when it might happen, and how quickly I could get to an exit. The red carpeting outside the room and chandeliers on the ceilings inside momentarily fooled me into believing pure celebratory happiness flowed among the glittering guests.

Openly ugly behavior from people tends to repel me no matter how blingy their outfits happen to be. Silently seething energy wafting around a room of people clinking glasses and eating on fine china cues me to be on high alert.

These days I’m fortunate to spend time with people filled with optimism and loving-kindness even as they grieve deaths and change. We look very different in how we dress, our skin color, and our heritage. What bonds us together seems to be a deep respect for one another born from honoring our different perspectives, the challenges we have lived through and overcome, and the wisdom each of us has gleaned from life. Our biodiversity of packaging and insights creates a delicious, delightful, and moving experience. Our uniqueness happens to not threaten anyone at the table or on our Zoom calls. I see these as signs of emotional and social maturity inside each of us and with one another. Listening deeply as each person shares a humorous personal story, a current challenge, a heartbreak, I can hear pieces and parts of my own direct experiences of events and other people I’ve encountered on my journey.

I learned long ago people exude energy whether they have tattoos, piercings, or pumps. I learned to see people beyond their packaging and notice how they interact with themselves and other people. Sometimes I’ve been fortunate enough to experience people over time and in different settings to observe what character qualities emerge.

Finding the place of “Namaste” where your Essential Self (character qualities) honors the Essential Self (character qualities) in another person can be life-giving.

Maybe you struggle to face your own inner insecurities and outward sarcastic snipes at other people. You might have the bandwidth for the darkness in people because you have made peace with your own. You notice you can sit compassionately, patiently with other people’s complaints, unhappiness, and stubborn righteousness whether they are behind prison bars or at a lively bar and grille. Others of you may find yourself wanting to transmute your own darkness, to alchemize internal grit, and become a person who touches the hearts of each person you meet with compassion.

You might be someone who knows you must move toward internal and external goodness because you are drawn to the light, want to become this little light, who can shine radiantly out into the world.

Your inner courage to live true to our core values can become your most enduring asset. Your unfolding character qualities, your energy presence speaks volumes and can create a lasting impression.

Have you noticed quietly joyful people who exude positivity from deep within themselves? Don’t you want to stand next to them, bask in the glow of their energy field? Wouldn’t you enjoy becoming a person exuding peacefulness?

Maybe you already are that person.


The founder of Cherish Your World, Laura Staley passionately supports people thriving by guiding them to a holistic transformation of space, heart, and life. Laura is the published author of four books including Live Inspired which reveals the brave and deep work of self-discovery and her new book of short writings and poetry Abundant Heart: Thoughts on Healing, Loving, and Living Free where with her characteristic grace and candor, Laura shares thoughtful-sometimes comical reflections on healing, loving and living free as inspirational pathways for experiencing a soul-centered, fulfilled life.