Friday, November 30, 2012

Conviction


Conviction. To me, it means staying true to our own path even when life is incredibly difficult, and the present moment is profoundly uncomfortable. Staying present when every drive you have is toward disconnecting and distraction. Giving up, even. There were several times this week when I just wanted to cry, and throw in the towel. What's the point? But this is it: the point is to be here. The point is to seek the truth of things, even in yourself, when it hurts. The point is to be courageous in this way. To know that it hurts. To know that you have the potential to hurt others. And yet. To keep going. To go with kindness and compassion. To remain aware of your intentions. To love yourself, even so. To accept the moment precisely as it is. Even when you are barely able to exist in your own skin. Of this I am convinced: the point is the truth. The truth is here and now. And I am capable of here and now.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks

Turning of the Gingko Leaves


Gratitude is a lifestyle. It's great that there's a holiday to remind us, but it's also a shame that we should need reminding. I remember very clearly the moment in my life when I realized gratitude was an every moment kind of thing. I was in my early twenties, and had been barrelling along, grateful here and there of course. But something shifted, and I saw the value of constant gratitude. Of gratitude for all of it, not just the things that made me prosper or feel good. I started to feed this feeling, and my life immediately became more fulfilling. I was more present and happier. And people noticed. I worked a stressful retail job, but during Thanksgiving week, I taped a big sheet of paper to the counter right beside the cash register, and at the top in bold letters I wrote "I am thankful for:" and I left some pens out beside it. I filled in the first few words, and let it take its course. By the end of the week, it was full, and everyone was so happy as they completed each transaction, reading other's gratitudes and recalling their own.

Unfortunately, I didn't keep up this practice. I let it fall to the wayside when life's stresses overwhelmed me. I would come back for periods, and then forget again. I would get caught up in the stories as we can do so easily. I would forget that the hard things were worthwhile.

Here I am eight or nine years later, and what I have experienced in the past year or two has brought me back to gratitude with a new strength and devotion. I have been so conscious of every little thing, and how it affects my life. And I have been making a greater effort to show people that I am grateful. This practice is very powerful. And it grows and grows.

My wish this Thanksgiving is that we can all embrace a lifestyle of gratitude.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Gratitude Sunday

I'll be joining Taryn this morning, over at Wooly Moss Roots for 

G r a t i t u d e  *  S u n d a y
{Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes.} 
 

This week I have been grateful for:

- Having my plants inside unexpectedly. The building I live in is being repainted, so all of my potted plants had to move inside off the balcony. Their presence indoors really changed the space, so peaceful and beautiful. My basil loved the warmth so much, it flowered. 

- I also harvested all my calendula. So grateful to have such a powerful plant working with me.

- Some extra snuggles from kids this week. They were sweet and appreciated.

- The infectiousness of joy. Being around people who are deeply joyful gives me a deeper joy as well. I love that.

- Last weekend I had an amazing and incredible opportunity- I took a kid's yoga teacher training. It was really really wonderful. I am so grateful now to have the tools to share the gift of yoga with my little loves.

 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

One State Two State Red State Blue State

In light of yesterday's election, and the hordes and hordes of criticisms, complaints, discouragement, despair and other negativities, I wrote this:

Look, this country needs a lot of things, and no one man is capable of providing those things. Each of us must contribute- wake up, tap into compassion, confidence, wonder, and an open heart. Regardless of how you voted (or didn't) or how the results make you feel, make the most important decision for this world: the one that starts with yourself, your life, your speech, your actions. Know that you have an impact on every single person you encounter. It really does start with how two people treat one another, and ripples out from there.

I want to emphasize that there are plenty of people out here in the world who are actively trying to make this place better- not just for themselves, but for others. It's incredible that we can have this network of compassion and action. I want to send out words of encouragement- now most importantly. Let's stop lamenting, gloating, contending, dissenting, and drinking celebratory shots. The time is now. It's ripe. Let's wake up. It's your turn. Elect yourself.

In Gandhi's words, be the change you wish to see in the world.