Let Go and Begin Again

Can we cross the bridge into a brand new day full of light?

In meditation practice we are taught not to worry when the mind wanders. It is often said that the most important moment in your practice is when you realize your mind is wandering and you come back into your body and find peace in the present moment. So, the mantra is, “Let go and begin again. Let go and begin again.” We learn to realize that it’s OK if we get lost… Simply notice and come back to balance. In contemplating this idea in reference to our current situation, we could see this time of pandemic in the same way… For now, we might feel lost and need to practice coming back to balance, over-and-over, as best we can.

I don’t know about you, but the level of fear and worry I’ve been experiencing has sometimes been overwhelming. I have occasionally been afraid for myself, but mostly I’ve had to fight debilitating worry for my family and for the world. One day, when I was changing my grandson’s diaper, I reached for a second butt-wipe and a huge rush of emotion came over me. I was overtaken by sadness for the people who might not have any butt-wipes at all. That might sound silly, but the feeling was very powerful. In that moment, as my nervous system got all charged up, I had to refrain from following the stream of fear all the way up to panic. I recognized the moment as an opportunity to take a deep breath. I let the energy of fear pass through me as I sat quietly breathing and feeling gratitude for the beautiful, healthy child I held in my arms.

We talked about fear last week and said, “Don’t fight it and don’t feed it.” This idea takes me back to a book I read many years ago… In “Dune” by Frank Herbert, there is a powerful passage called the Litany Against Fear which was said by the people when they were in peril…

As we search for meaning in this experience, we might contemplate the possibility that we are undergoing a powerful Transformation on the Earth. In a Reading in late March the Angels said, “One of the greatest vaccines that is happening right now is Compassion.” They talked about how we are being forced into deep emotion while feeling and showing Compassion for ourselves and others. We are being shown the cracks and flaws in the old systems… the cultural systems at large, the systems within our own homes and families and even the systems inside our own hearts and minds. It’s as though the virus is showing us what we’ve been missing, the things we’ve forgotten and so much that we have taken for granted. What have you learned is truly important to you that you have taken for granted in your life? These are good things to learn even though it has been a tough way to learn them! As we have said before, this medicine may be tough to swallow, but God is present here, dear people. There will be new Light in the darkness.

Even though we might feel lost right now, eventually our isolation will end and we will return to life in a whole new way. Let us look forward with gratitude as we come to a new moment of balance. Can we imagine Compassion as vaccine and Love as antiseptic? Can we cross that bridge into a brand new day full of light? Perhaps we will see this new way as the first moment we can truly, “Let go and begin again.”

Please try this at home.

I welcome your comments or private messages so I know if I’m hitting the mark for you and where you would like this blog to go next.

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Tapestry Spring!

I don’t know about you, but I really need to focus on something beautiful right now and this year I have certainly had plenty of time to notice just how gorgeous Spring is! I’m counting that as a blessing. I wrote this poem at this same time of year in 2010…

Please try this at home!

I welcome your comments or private messages so I know if I’m hitting the mark for you and where you would like this blog to go next.

If you would like to receive my blog posts and other announcements in your inbox, please sign up by clicking in the upper right-hand corner of my website… WherePathsCross.net

Can We Hold This in an Open Palm…?

Blessings to you. How are you today? How is your family? May we all stay strong and healthy. Amen

So much has changed in a week… Now most of us are staying home as much as possible. We’ve all seen the curves showing us why that’s important in order to slow the virus down so the medical system can keep up. We have moved very quickly from, “Make sure you wash your hands.” to “Is this really happening?” to “It’s here and it’s real. What do we do next?”

It’s an interesting time to have a new blog and it’s difficult to know what to write that might be helpful in this strange experience we are all having together… apart. I realize that all I can do is what I have always done… what God called me to do 25 years ago… Share my story and hope that something I say will ease your struggle and help you on your Journey.

As many of you know, I’m a depression person, so my primary focus this past week or so has been to stay centered and balanced, since those things are sometimes not easy for me. They are especially challenging in these trying times. I have to be constantly mindful, because when depression takes over, little else can get in until it passes. I also have to remember not to go into fear about the possibility of depression, because that can put me over the top and cause me to become a bit manic. It’s a defense mechanism that is often helpful, until it’s not.

I’ve done a pretty good job staying balanced… Making sure to feel my feelings and breathe through them, not deny them. Holding gratitude for our many blessings, even in the face of some fear. I have reminded myself that acceptance of “what is” usually helps me cope better. Once we accept “what is” as simply that… “This is what it is.” …we can move past the parts we cannot change and free up energy for what we really can affect. This is where we find opportunities to pick up our power and actually do something helpful.

Accepting “what is” can be really tough though. (You’re listening to a Recovering Control Freak right now, so I know what I’m talking about.) We spend so much time trying to change “what is” into what we want it to be, what we wish it was. It seems obvious, but I’ll say it out loud… No amount of wishing this was different will make it different. I’m reminded of the 12-Step Prayer… “God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can and the Wisdom to know the difference.”

That leaves us with the question, “What can we actually do?” We’re in an interesting place with regard to this question, because one of the most important things most of us can do right now is… seemingly nothing. We have been asked to stay home… To hibernate, so to speak. For some of us (fellow extroverts raise your hands!) this is a big ask! It helps to remember that staying home is something you are doing for the Greater Good. Staying home will help you stay healthy and it helps everybody else stay healthy too. Staying home is not really doing nothing! It’s actively not spreading germs “all over hell and Georgia” as my Grandma used to say.

These things we are experiencing right now can be made gentler if we think of them as acts of caring and compassion. At first I was resistant to staying home. Even the phrase “social distancing” felt oppressive to me. It felt wrong. I had an attitude that said, “I’m tough. I can go out there. I can take it.” Then I realized that, by going out unnecessarily I could make somebody else sick. Or I could get sick and bring that to my family.

If we learn nothing else from this experience, we are learning how interconnected we all are. It’s funny, because Spiritual people talk about interconnectedness all the time and we are often called wacky and woowoo. But this is a secular example of how interconnected we really are and we are ALL feeling it!

If you are staying home, begin to see that as an act of compassion for yourSelf and for everyone out there. If you are on the front lines, one of those people who has to go to work right now, we thank you! We will pray for you. This is another way that those of us who are staying home are not really doing nothing… We are holding space for you to stay well and strong as you do the work that’s necessary out in the world right now. May God Bless you.

Here is some of the wisdom that has helped me in this past week…

This is from Mark Nepo: “Perhaps the washing of hands can become a modern sacrament, a holy ritual by which we hold ourselves and our global family in the deepest regard. Perhaps the slight bow of love and respect can replace the handshake as a holy ritual that will lessen our fear while sharing our love, so that we can bear the uncertainty together.”

I really love this from my Facebook friend, Jaime Meyer: “Take the opportunity to remember that Mother Earth sends us medicine all the time, and there is medicine in this experience, though it may be difficult to comprehend, and unpleasant to ingest. One part of that, for me, is that we are being taught how clearly interconnected all life is, and that core idea is probably the number one change of consciousness that our species needs, and is beginning to grasp and work with.”

As my dear friend, Jess, said to me this week, “Can we hold this in an open palm… Can we view it through curious eyes?” There is that lovely word again… Curiosity… Becoming as little children. How we choose to view this and how we respond to what is happening will affect our own experience of it. Remember… Too much worry can weaken the immune system. Don’t forget to breathe. Reach out when you need to.

How are you today? If you need somebody to talk to, please email or message me. We’re in this together and I’m right here.

May God Bless us every one.

Please try this at home.

*Curiosity (See Yoga Life Lessons post from 3-7-20)

One of my greatest outside supports has actually been my meditation app, 10% Happier: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics

The 10% Happier podcast, which you can find through the app, has a piece about Parenting During the Pandemic

10% Happier is also giving FREE 6 month memberships (or for the duration) to all healthcare workers on the 10% Happier app. Email Care@tenpercenthappier.com or click on Caronavirus Sanity in the app.

You can also go to 10% Happier Live on YouTube (scroll down for episodes) at 3:00 Eastern Time (2:00 CST) every weekday for a live gathering that includes a wealth of information and a short daily meditation with some of the leading meditation teachers in the US.

#10percenthappier

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I welcome your comments or private messages so I know if I’m hitting the mark for you and where you would like this blog to go next.

If you would like to receive my blog posts and other announcements in your inbox, please sign up by clicking in the upper right-hand corner of my website… WherePathsCross.net