For my son and his wife who lived in the beautiful land of Aotearoa, for all my friends there, and for those that lost a loved one, my heart is heavy and I am sorry for such madness.
My heart has an ache today, not unlike all the other days that came before it whenever I was made aware of some senseless act of violence. It is hard to fathom the depth of hate and cowardice that it takes to shoot people in prayer, just like it is hard for me to fathom any act of senseless violence. We humans are so fragile, and yet we treat one another with such disregard. Anger is everywhere, from the person that flipped me off last week while driving, to the man who is supposed to be the President of our country, a nation founded on FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY. He calls out hate and further instills this madness of white supremacy, as do many others similar to him. My heart is broken. Where are we going my friends? Hopefully we can move ourselves into a place where we live the personal reality of peace, from which point we can become peacemakers. Our individual energy will then be able to align with the realities of other peacemakers, generating a wave of goodness throughout the world. This is how the phenomenon of faith within our awareness joins with others and becomes a great agency of transformation that creates a new, peaceful reality. We can continue to shift this energy and create a new peaceful reality, remembering that there is no separation among us and that we all belong to each other.
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. ~ Mother Theresa
A kind word is like a fire in winter, it warms the soul.
So often we travel through life existing on the surface of everything, rushing here and there, always busy. It appears the aid of technology, which has been heralded as an advantage to save us time, has made this situation even worse. We are harried, worried, and stressed humans living in this 21st Century. What if we pause for just one moment in our day, and remember to say something nice to someone? Ask the checker at the grocery store how their day is going, and be prepared to listen to their response. Compliment a total stranger. Say hello, hold a door open; the options are endless when it comes to kindness. When we practice kindness and generosity, it also helps us to become more resilient. When we cultivate generosity, it allows us to see things more easily, to accept change, and to accept the truth of the present moment. Look what one woman was able to do when she opened her heart; she was able to warm many souls.
Standing Tree Yoga ©
Life is easier on those days when everything seems to run smoothly, from that perfect cup of tea or coffee in the morning to the hum of everything falling into place with ease as the day evolves. Yes, on those days it is easier to smile, keep a positive outlook and to fully bask in the light. We see only the good in most everything. What happens on the other days? What happens when we have to go without, without the comforts of our home, or any home for that matter? When we have less money to purchase food, when someone we love leaves this earthly realm. Where do we go when things get dark? Are we able to sit comfortably in the darkness allowing it to wash over us? Or, do we resist kicking and screaming? It is important to have some things in place to assist one when darkness settles in, be it a physical outlet, meditation, friendships, faith and so on. Any one of these actions can help settle the mind and the soul, guiding us forward into the light once again. For some, it is almost impossible to get there without the aid of medication, and that can also be the way. What is important is that we each figure out how to arrive back into the light and be able to adjust to the darkness when it materializes. Where do you stand in moments of challenge and controversy? I am attempting to be a healthier human being each time that I encounter challenges, sometimes I fail, and sometimes I do a better job of not being completely overwhelmed. Find your balance and you will find greater contentment wherever you might be standing. In yoga, we learn some powerful grounding postures in our practice; perhaps you might enlist one of those to help ground you back to your center. Standing Tree, the name of my yoga business, is one of my favorite postures! I have used it many times to calm my body and mind. I invite you to try it today and find some balance.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Looking back over 2018 I can see, as I am sure we all can, things I have done mightily wrong. I can also appreciate the fear I hold for this coming year stemming from many things, not the least of which is the leader of our country and what he is creating in the world. One could write forever on the wrongs this man has done, but I simply cannot live in fear of the future. Rather, I am holding onto the simple prospect of becoming more aware. I will endeavor to be more mindful, to look and see things from a point of awareness. My greatest wish is that collectively we as a world will also unite in a more mindful way, and yes that wish extends to our president as well. I am not misguided in understanding that for him, as well as many people, this concept most likely won’t be attained. It isn’t that all cannot reach the goal, just that some simply will choose not to move in this manner. I, however, will hold onto my hopes and dreams and wish that the coming year be filled with magic, dreams, and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you are wonderful. Create some art, write or draw, build or sing. Live as only you can! I hope somewhere in this next year that you surprise yourself.
And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been. ~ Rilke