Gratitude for the challenges …

{NOTE: If you have recently been through great pain and loss, this post may not be for you at this time. Please be gentle and listen to your inner being.}

Thanksgiving day is approaching and I’d like to offer a twist on the usual message “be grateful for all the gifts you’ve been given”. Let me begin with these lyrics from the band, Cloud Cult:

It’s easy to be thankful for the things you’ve got.
It takes guts to give thanks for the things you’ve lost.

They struck me as extremely powerful when I first heard them. As I think back on events in my life which represent loss or challenge or great pain, I notice the gifts. Here are just a few: Continue reading “Gratitude for the challenges …”

My Wish For You …

My Wish For You This Holiday Season

May you be present to your own well-being, self-care, self-acceptance and self-love. We cannot give away what we do not possess.

May you soften around a tradition you find difficult.

May you open your heart to a challenging personality.

May you realize that no one you see today is the same person you saw last time you were together and, therefore, listen with curiosity and an “I don’t know” awareness.

May you remember first to love yourself, second to be the love that you are, and finally to see this love everywhere in everyone.

Wishing you a gentle, joyful, healthy, love-filled holiday season!

Family, Friends and the Holidays

The holidays are, for many, a difficult time of added activity and expectations, an increased amount of family and friend time – or loneliness and sadness if you don’t have connections with others.

If you find the holidays challenging or stressful, read on.

If you find them wonderful, read on! You are probably the light, joy, safe space and energy needed by those around you.

The song, “The Grand Design” by Greg Tamblyn is a beautiful message about our inter-connectedness as human beings. Continue reading “Family, Friends and the Holidays”

Do you succumb to this violence?

Ease in Abundance

“There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence to which the idealist most easily succumbs: activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of our activism neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.”

– Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander

“… it destroys the fruitfulness of our own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom …” This points me to an understanding about being and doing. Continue reading “Do you succumb to this violence?”

Opening Your Presence

The holiday season is upon us. While not everyone celebrates Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, all of us are bombarded with the sights and sounds and shopping frenzy this time of year in addition to holiday parties with friends and coworkers.

Today, I would like to invite you into a practice around how you show up – regardless of your religious tradition:

Opening Your Presence

Not presents, though there may be many – but presence – the qualities you bring to your relationships. Continue reading “Opening Your Presence”