Saturday, March 16, 2019

Letting Sorrow Open Us

There are moments when a world-weariness, a deep grief for what we human beings do to each other and the earth, threatens to swallow me whole. Sometimes distraction is the only way to keep breathing. But sooner or later I have to come back to the aching heart that both holds me and lives within me.

So, I've started this little practice when I am particularly discouraged: I decide that I will let the tragic event guide me to make ten small acts of kindness. I let someone into rush hour traffic in Toronto!  I pay for someone else's coffee or meal; I help a neighbour carry his groceries from his car to his home; I tell someone how wonderful they look today; I remember to look at the cashier, the librarian, the wait staff and really thank them for their work.

I do not expect this to change the world, and it doesn't replace collective political action where that is needed. But it keeps me going when something in me is tempted to give up on human beings. And, as I dedicate each action to the memory of those killed and the struggle of those wounded and terrorized yesteday in New Zealand, it helps me be with the enormity of the sadness.

What if every bit of heart-breaking news inspired us to be deliberately generous and kind with each other? ~Oriah

This wonderful photo from Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming reminds me that whatever we do, however we are with ourselves and each other, it ripples outward to the world.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Challenging Ourselves To Receive Pleasure

What role does pleasure have in your life, your well-being, your healing? This was the question that challenged me most listening to some of the speakers on the Explore More Summit over the last week. I realized how completely I've been socialized into seeing that which is nourishing as a means to an end- a way to create sustainable energy so I can contribute to the world, and earn what I need (including connection and belonging.)

This isn't news (about moi :-) ) but I let myself consider- What happens if we think of that which gives us pleasure as an end in itself, a way to just en-joy being alive?

So, tell me what gives you pleasure.Tell me what senses it delights. I find pleasure in a hot bath (particularly during 20 below temperatures outside) - the way the heat sinks into my skin, my muscles, my bones.

What do you do simply for the pleasure it gives? Where do you receive pleasure without reservation? ~Oriah

Visually, one of my daily pleasures is enjoying the photos like this one from Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming