Sunday, June 18, 2017

It's the little things.

In some of life’s most challenging times, we all can remain unsure, confused and frightened, especially when we feel alone. 
The Light we can feel against our being encourages us in these times. This is the light of compassion, empathy, listening, non-judgment, and a willingness to walk a sometimes bumpy, dark and unknown road with each other, so that we are not alone.
This can look like so many things. It doesn't have to be grand, "deeply meaningful," planned or even overt.

  • When you see someone on the corner holding a "Please help" sign (or something similar), whether you give or not, make eye contact. Pull up your sunglasses for a moment and smile. Ask the their name. Use it. This acknowledges our shared humanity.
  • Even in rushing through our work days, take a moment to smile at a co-worker. Admire (genuinely) clothing, "That's such a great color on you." Or some other thing they might be wearing.
  • Place a note in a neighbor's mail box (if you can), wishing them a glorious week. Or if you can't, leave a note on their door or car.
  • Use people's names. When you see a name tag on someone, use their name when you say "Thank you" or ask a question. 
  • Call or FaceTime, or Skype or Zoom with someone you haven't talked to in a while. Even if it's just for a few minutes. Just say "hi" and maybe set a time to talk again later.
  • Send a text to someone you care about with just smile and heart emojis.
  • When you arrive at the grocery store parking lot, and see someone taking a cart back to the cart corral, take it for them. You probably need one anyway.
  • Instead of speeding up and not letting that car who signals to merge into your lane in front of you, let them in. Breathe, smile and say "you're welcome." 
  • Say "thank you" to the maintenance/cleaning people wherever you are: a store, a restaurant, school, work, a park. They don't really get the thanks they deserve for cleaning up the places we go. 
With encouragement we can continue to lighten our fears, angst and tensions and infuse the energy of our encounters with each other with a kind of Light that inspires us to feel gratitude, warmth, joy and not so alone, even if just for a moment. 
May this day be just one of the many Lights you feel against your being that invites you to a deeper embodiment of that Light you are and the Light you give.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Light of Endings

This simple and beautiful poem of Hafez is one that has spoken to my heart and informed my life for years. What is the Light that Hafez speaks of? And how do I let myself experience it against my being?

In the past few weeks the Light that has encouraged me has come in the form of goodbyes.

Ending my job as a social worker and saying goodbye to colleagues, clients and families has offered me the chance to hear how much I have helped people, how much I have touched and changed their lives, and the chance to learn to receive gratitude.

Saying goodbye to all the beings of this place that has held the ever-deepening roots of my life has been a Light of true encouragement. Encouragement to liberate my fears so that I can really see my gifts with humility, integrity and curiosity, to offer myself in a new job as a hospital chaplain in Portland, and a new life in a new state (literally and figuratively). And with this liberation and encouragement, allow my heart to open even further with every encouragement of Light.

May we all awaken to each Light that encourages us to give to the world all our beauty.