The Light Touch

Why is it two people can say very similar things, but one comes across as much more appealing than another person? Instinctively we warm to the light touch, we struggle when things get ‘heavy’. This may sound quite vague, but some people and situations give a vibration of ‘heaviness’. A ‘heavy’ vibration comes when we are very serious, intense, judgemental, fearful, anxious and tense.

A ‘light’ vibrations comes when there is a feeling of friendliness, non-judgemental, calm and maintain a sense of humour and perspective. When we live in the moment, there is a natural spontaneity which gives a feeling of lightness and joy.


When we are very judgemental, it creates a ‘heavy’ atmosphere. The other person feels guilty or defensive; there is a feeling of superiority or inferiority. If we avoid judgement, the mood is lighter. When there is a feeling of superiority or inferiority there is tension because people become defensive or seek to justify their position.

Do not judge,
But love and be loved,
If you want to be really happy.

– Sri Chinmoy 1

Smile vs Non Smile

As I write this in airport lounge, I see a young child with a T-Shirt saying ‘Smiling is Really easy’ – it certainly made me smile. To grimace as you say something makes the atmosphere ‘heavy’. If you smile, you can convey so much (you could say get away with so much more). It is almost an unspoken signal to say – “I’m on your side. I like you, whatever I’m actually saying” It is worth bearing in mind that an email conveys non of this human emotion and human signals. It is very difficult to make emails light; they can easily be misunderstood. If you need to get a delicate point across do it in person.

  • The easiest way to lighten a heavy situation, is just to smile and make people laugh.


“Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.”

– Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching

Similar to the concept of non-judgemental is the ability to accept people and situations as they are. Acceptance enables us to go with the flow, rather than fighting against the tide, we accept the situation as it is.


The easiest way to lighten up a situation is to not take ourselves too seriously. Don’t think we alone have all the right answers. Be willing to satirise ourselves and make light of what we say. Rather than being forceful and trying to change people, let them make their own choices and work out best course of action. If we have a feeling of indispensability then we will create a heavy atmosphere, if we are sincerely humble, it will be much more harmonious.

Avoiding Conflict

Sometimes, we can face a challenge in a confrontational way. Perhaps someone suggests an idea, which we don’t like. We could respond by very vigorously saying why they are wrong and why it won’t work. Needless to say this is a ‘heavy’ response. In most situations, this is not necessary. Rather than meet the situation head on we can say. ‘Very good, let’s see what you can make of it.’ – people often suggest impractical ideas. There’s no need to tell them, just let them work it out for themselves it doesn’t work.

If it really could create problems, you could suggest things like

  • ‘it has some good ideas, but I wonder how Mr X would respond?’
  • Perhaps you could consider this.


Silence before you speak.

We have to trust our inner wisdom. If we say the first thing that comes into our mind, we may soon regret it, and once said we can’t take it back. If we give chance to consider an appropriate response we will feel in our heart what sounds a good way to proceed. If we think, speak and act from this inner source of wisdom then we will be more in tune with a harmonious action.

Giving Rather than taking

Don’t look at every person and situation to see what you can get from it. Give what you would like to receive yourself. The power of giving


Don’t complicate things, keep it simple. Don’t always be trying to justify things or create added complications. Simplicity has a great beauty and power. Tips for simplicity.


photo: Tejvan

  1. Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, Part 36, Agni Press, 2004.