As some of you readers know, I was a shoemaker for 15 years, and for 7 of those years I taught shoe repair at Minneapolis Technical College. During most of the time I was at MTC, I practiced emanating the energy of love.

There was a table in the lunchroom, a round table, where several instructors would gather every morning for coffee break. It was a lively group, and we did a lot of joshing and laughing. A couple of us also did a lot of challenging people’s assumptions about race and gender and class. It was always an invigorating 20 minutes. I felt fortunate to be part of such a interesting and entertaining group.

Some weeks after I left that job, I saw one of the instructors from the round table. I asked him how everyone was, and told him I missed those morning coffee breaks. He said that they had not met at that round table since the day I left. He said, “without you, there was no reason to meet.” I was flabbergasted.

I didn’t practice emanating love in order to be liked or even in order to be a good person. I did it merely because it seemed like a good idea at the time. Now, when I look back, I can see how profoundly that practice informed and shaped my experience at MTC.

Let me be clear. I didn’t practice being a loving person. I practiced emanating love.

I think that if I had practiced being a loving person, the effects would not have been so profound. I would have acted like some idea I had of what a loving person acts like. I might have made a list of the attributes of a loving person, and tried to embody those attributes. There’s nothing wrong with such a practice, but can you see that those attributes are details? Instead of practicing being a loving person, I practiced emanating the energy of love, and I let the details take care of themselves. As indeed they did.

Give it a try, practice emanating the energy of love. I wonder where it will take you?