On November 1st, our Love and inspiration gathering had a powerful discussion about gratitude. We talked about how gratitude, when practiced, has the potential to be the tapestry of our lives. Everything we give thanks for leads to something else. For example, we talked about giving thanks for indoor plumbing, which led to us giving thanks for our showers, our toilets, our dishwashers, all the appliances that use water. This led to us giving thanks for those that have given to ensure water flows into our homes, which led to a discussion of how often we take things for granted. It is not until our water is shut off for some reason, albeit temporarily that we realize how grateful we are for having it and when it is restored, we are immensely grateful. How rarely do we think about all the people in this world who cannot just get up and get a glass of water? Those who do not have access to clean water? Those who have to walk for miles to even bring water to their families. It is when we stop and follow the thread that we begin to have a deeper understanding not only of what we are grateful for, but why we appreciate it as much as we do.Read More
As many of you know, the theme for March has been about being present and the theme for April is about compassion. This week, I decided to talk about something which blends these two spiritual practices together. Being still is about being present and sometimes being present means that we have to be compassionate with ourselves as well as others.
Those who know me, know that being still is not something I do easily. I am generally always doing something. However, I am intentional about taking time in the morning to meditate, sit, and be still!Read More
A few months back, I remembered reading a story about the importance of being present. It was a column in The Huffington Post by Ian Colvin, where he began with a story of a dialogue between him and his son. It started like this:
"Why were you looking down when I was skating tonight, Daddy?"
"I wasn't looking down, buddy," I answered. "I was watching you."
"But I saw you looking down, too," my son responded. "Why were you looking down?"
"Busted!" my husband laughed.
And I was busted; I had been reading and responding to work emails on my BlackBerry during my son's skating lesson.
Was I proud? No. But I was proud that I had made it home from work on time to take my son to skating; something I hadn't been able to do the week before.
Yet, what's worse, not being there, or not being present in the moment?Read More
Sometimes the greatest gift we can give someone is our presence. As I shared in this month’s newsletter, Recently, I came across a story about practicing being present in a book by Sandy Boucher, author of Opening the Lotus: A Woman's Guide to Buddhism. She wrote about the practice of being present from a Buddhist perspective. “The word 'practice' covers everything that Buddhists do in their efforts to achieve clear understanding and benefit other beings... Last week I spoke with a Buddhist friend who had just had a baby. ‘How is it caring for a little girl?' I asked. She replied without hesitation, 'It's twenty-four hours a day of practice.' She was being called upon to pay attention to, and to act with compassionate caring toward this tiny human being constantly throughout day and night. And she was attempting to do it, not by rote but, with full presence of mind and spirit. This is Buddhist practice."Read More