Peace and Gratitude,
I don't know how your new year is starting off, but for me, this year is off to a frightful start. A tragedy in my Oakland community ended the month of January, and I am feeling the affects. It has spilled over into every day, every week and now month. It is hard to get over shocking news, sad news, and death feels so final. Somehow, we keep going. Even with thoughts swirling of how and why, and again, of that person's short life and all of us who are left to pick up the pieces, however small a part we played, somehow feel responsible.
By having compassion, I think all things are possible. It first has to start with ourselves. Being good to ourselves might sound selfish or self-centered, but really, by accepting ourselves (warts and all) and being gentle, we learn to be gentle and accepting of others. It sounds so simple doesn't it? It really is a matter of breaking down the habitual patterns that we carry with us and learn to live in a more spacious place. A place of acceptance and possibility, rather than fear and ignorance.
When I first started meditating several years ago. I was struck by the simplicity, yet I immediately felt results (not a very Buddhist term, but hey!). I noticed feelings more often, and felt softer around them. I didn't feel the need to jump! and react to every feeling, but just noticing it and not pushing it away. You might say relaxing with it. Being Ok with it. Curious about it. Before meditating, I would stuff it in a hole so deep, it would come out later in a loud and curiously angry statement of some kind. No wonder. Half the time, I didn't even know I was doing it.
When we can slow down, look, listen~really listen, to what our body is telling us, our mind follows accordingly. Those soft little whispers of should I do that or should I not, start to get louder. Should leaves our vocabulary. IS, is the new word that replaces it. Just being, in the moment, showing up for your life, whatever that means, without judgements of good or bad can leave us feeling calmer and with more energy to do the things we need to do and be there for those that need us in tough times.
With Compassion and Peace,