10/07/2014 12:29 pm ET Updated Dec 05, 2014

Bouquet of Roses

Sri Swami Satchidananda spoke of roses in a bouquet whose purpose was to fill the earth with beauty and lovely fragrance. One rose alone cannot fulfill the purpose -- it takes collective action. Much like the rose, we are interconnected to each other and to everything around us. Our individual thoughts and actions influence our existence as a "whole."

Collective action influences everything on earth and each of us is entrusted with the responsibility to each other and the universe. The way to accomplish this is to raise awareness of intentional living. Compassion, forgiveness, gratitude, resilience, and building strong relationships are the foundation for living with intention.

Compassion is the ability to see our self in others and treat each other with the loving kindness that we show ourselves. Compassion is about respect, understanding, and tolerance.
Forgiveness is letting go of what no longer serves us. Forgiving is not forgetting or dismissing any trauma in the past, but, it is moving past it in order to go forward with life. Holding on to anger and ill feeling can damage our spiritual, emotional, and physical health.

Gratitude leads us away from fear (scarcity) and into abundance. A grateful heart is an open heart.

Resilience is the ability to "bounce back" if the face of adversity. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the aftermath of recent hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, and storms that have given the strength and fortitude for rebuilding and redefining.

Lastly, we are created to be in union with others. Friendships, relationships, and community foster our growth, and give us the encouragement and strength to move forward.

Intentional living requires us to continually be mindful that our life extends beyond the boundaries of our "self" and requires daily observance. I advocate beginning each day with self inquiry:

Am I tolerant of others?
What no longer serves me?
What am I thankful for?
Do I go with the flow?
Who/where can I offer help and support?

One rose alone cannot accomplish what an entire bouquet can.