"Please do what you need to do
to protect your peace today."
~ Austin Channing Brown
Did you notice something unusual about this week's post?
Yes! I have the exact same photos as I did last week . . . and that's not how I usually roll. However, my world looks very similar to last week: weather, moods, and energy levels still fluctuating.
Overall, I'm feeling a bit like the daffodils and irises in my yard. At times, experiencing glimpses of vibrant growth, ready to bask in the light. Other times, staying grounded and hunkered down in order to protect myself and consolidate energy.
On Monday, I heard an episode of NPR's Fresh Air featuring Sam Waterston. Mr. Waterston was being interviewed about his decades long success as an actor. However, in answer to the first question, Mr. Waterston spoke at length about how wrong it seemed to be talking about his acting accolades when there's so much happening in the world of far greater import.
This caught my ear because it encapsulated the juxtaposition of daily life for so many of us. Spring is here. Covid restrictions are loosening. Yes, I do have real struggles; but, sometimes, my daily "challenges" include things like: Do I have time for a haircut before my yoga training trip?
And yet, there is so much suffering. There is so much that deserves our energy, our attention, our creativity, and our commitment.
"No problem can be solved
from the same level of consciousness that created it."
~ Albert Einstein
Happy Spring, everyone! 🌷
How are you doing in this change of seasons? We've just had our Equinox, honoring the balance between darkness and light, and that's something I'm still thinking about.
I have to admit, these past few days (weeks?) I don't know if I'd describe myself as feeling balanced?! 🙃
The word "balance" connotes a sense of equilibrium and calm. But, my internal self feels a bit more like the weather we're experiencing: bright, blue, warm, and sunny one moment; dark, gray, cold, and rainy the next.
Finding the first crocuses in our yard, seeing the robins playing near our feeder, feeling the warmth of the sun . . . breathing in this moment fills my heart with hope.
A few minutes later, listening to the latest news from Ukraine, I hear the devastation, the anguish, the suffering . . . and my heart sinks.
Certainly life has always been full of contrast and complexity. Right now, it's all feeling a bit extra.
Thank goodness we are not our feelings, and there are tools to help us self-regulate and return to that blissful place of balance.
"It's not so much about finding our purpose, because it's already there.
When you protect your purpose, then is protects you."
~ Jay Shetty
Full Moon Greetings 🌕 & Happy St. Patrick's 🍀
This past week, I learned so much from you about active self care. Thanks to all who reached out and shared!
Today, I want to talk about the power of healing and the importance of protecting our purpose. Notice, I did not say, "finding our purpose," and that's thanks to Jay Shetty (if you missed the quote above, check it out now:🔝)
During a Satsang (a wisdom talk) when I was in India, a question was asked of master teacher, Anand Mehrotra: "I want to better understand Dharma. It says in the Bhagavad Gita, 'Better to do ones own dharma imperfectly than the dharma of another well performed.' Can you please talk more about that?"
"Mind your own business," Anand replied, without skipping a beat.
Laughter bubbled up throughout the room.
Anand waited for the room to settle before doubling down: "I am not joking. That is what this sutra means.”
We all leaned in to hear more.
"First keep peace with yourself,
then you can also bring peace to others."
~ Thomas a Kempis
How are you doing this week? How is your heart?
I know during times of challenge, I am tempted to reach for simple comforts and distractions. Yes, these can be temporarily satisfying and alleviate some strain. Nothing wrong with a little of that. And yet, I understand that tuning out, or busifying, or eating another round of dark chocolate, may not truly reduce my stress, nor regulate my emotions.
I also know I have to be careful to keep some semblance of balance between effort and ease. In difficult times, my energy is more readily depleted. This means my fuse becomes shorter, and I feel out of alignment within.
"You can sculpt your brain just as you'd
sculpt your muscles if you went to the gym."
~ Dr. Richard Davidson, Neuroscientist
Hello, lovely beings:
Are you excited by what Dr. Davidson has to say? I sure am! Especially in this moment. Here's why.
"For years Davidson, who is at the University of Wisconsin, has scanned
the brains of Buddhist monks who have logged years of meditation.
When it comes to things like attention and compassion,
their brains are as finely tuned as a late-model Porsche."
~ Prayer May Reshape Your Brain . . . And Your Reality, NPR
Okay. Sounds impressive and amazing, but what if I'm not a Buddhist monk with years of time spent in meditation? Can I still do anything to shift, sculpt, my own brain?
If every single one of us has the ability to sculpt our brains (thanks to the concept of neuroplasticity) that means we can continue to evolve. Wow! Count me in.
So, if we can all sculpt our brains, imagine everyone spending time shifting their brain towards peace, towards love, towards compassion?!??
Whoa! I believe if this was actually happening, we would be living in a much different world.
Learn how to help sculpt our brains and deepen peace, here.