July 2017: I am on an Alaskan cruise with my gracious, loving daughter. It was her gift to me. A few days before I left the cold sore virus emerged on the left side of my upper lip. By the time we met in Seattle it had spread into the crease of my nose and up to the edge of my left eyelid. That side of my face was swollen and tender; the sores harsh and angry-looking. I knew I would return with few pictures that included me! Vanity be damned; Alaska here I come!
My body required more rest than usual yet I was able to participate in everything important to me…like our whale watching excursion! The following are my brief notes from that experience. I hope you can catch the Essence of the experience.
Humpback Whales – a few minor sightings at first and , almost at the end, one huge Humpback gave us its face, its hump, its power and grace.
When the head emerged straight up, the pleated folds of the underside showed white against its skin and I felt chills running through every cell of my body.
Just the, I would not have traded that moment for any other. I felt myself a privileged Soul.
My thoughts later:
Present & Aware in Every Moment
I am Enough
Good morning! Here I am with another quote from Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, The Art of Communication. The title of this blog is also the title of one section…though I added the question mark. The chapter answers my question of course and the passage below is a beautiful summary of his teaching.
Please breathe this in and be willing to sit with what he is saying. What we breathe into and embrace diminishes our resistance and makes life easier, more gentle and loving.
We all should learn to embrace our own suffering, to listen to it deeply, and to have a deep look into its nature. In doing so, we allow the energy of love and compassion to be born. When the energy of compassion is born, right away we suffer less, when we have compassion for ourselves, we can more easily understand the suffering of another person and of the world. Then our communication with others will be based on the desire to understand rather than the desire to prove ourselves right or make ourselves feel better.
I also believe that this level of understanding allows me to support others as they deal with their suffering. That support may at times be material but, most of the time, it is most powerful if I support another in their journey of embracing and understanding their suffering so that they develop compassion for themselves. This allows them to expand more fully into True Self, transcending definitions and expectations of what life “should” be.
Be blessed today, dear hearts, for you are loved.
Are you content with the state of your life, your family, your world, our world? If not, I invite you to think on these things:
What am I doing to enhance peace in my own heart and mind?
What am I doing to create peace within my family? Am I expressing love and understanding? Am I owning my “stuff” rather than behaving defensively?
Do I contribute to peace in my world (family, friends, work, church)?
What am I doing to find peace with those around me who may look, feel, think differently than I do.
I was thinking about the Golden Rule the other day. When I was growing up, all of us, no matter what church we attended, were taught this simple truth:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
As I walked and thought about this, I realized that this is something worth exploring. It feels powerful to me to evaluate what I am experiencing in light of what I am thinking and doing rather than focusing on what someone else is not doing or might be thinking.
If I want anything in life to be better, the best first step is to look at my part in the situation or relationship. Am I honestly doing my part? Am I showing up? Am I?
It is said that love covers a multitude of sins. There are many ways to look at what this means.
For me, a few immediate meanings come to mind. One is that, when I love someone, I recognize and accept the way they move through life. It may not be my way, it may appear difficult or unreasonable to me but I love the person and I accept them as they are.
The much deeper meaning, for me, is that I love myself enough to recognize that I often fall short of being the human being I would like to be (to fall short of a goal is the actual meaning of the word “sin”). When I am not yet as whole, loving, and compassionate as I desire to be, Divine Love steps in and loves me and others.
Divine Love transcends my humanity, my circumstances, my frailties. Divine Love covers it all and finds Its own expression in and through me, in spite of it all. Oh yeah 🕊🙏🏻📿💖
It’s OK to be OK, even when life is a challenge, even when life hurts…
People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar. (Thick Nhat Hanh)
Trusted teachers have both taught and reminded me over the years to set an intention at the beginning of each day. Intention is a powerful energy that guides our thoughts and actions throughout the day, reminding us of the truth of who we are. Below are a few examples of intentions I have found to be supportive of my journey.
I live from the Peace of my Soul.
I Am All That I Am
I manifest the love And compassion of the Divine.
I am Peace Itself.
I Am Love Itself.
I am One with All That Is.
I like to write my intention for the day on a small whiteboard in my kitchen. Seeing it helps me to live in the moment and to be aware of my thoughts and my behavior. Few days pass that fail to bring me opportunities to live my intention fully. Sometimes the circumstance affirms the truth of my intention; other times my intention guides me into higher awareness of my own patterns. This awareness elicits either gratitude or the desire to shift what I am thinking or doing.
May your intentions be clear, true, and powerful. Namaste. Peace dear hearts.
The Buddha said:
Everything is changeable, everything appears and disappears; there is no blissful peace until one passes beyond the agony of life and death.
I am, quite frankly, perplexed by those who demand that life at any cost is a higher, or more desired, outcome than a peaceful death.