What is the next best thing to being wise?
Why, to surround yourself with people who are!
It seems simple enough.
You may have heard it said, that you reflect the company you keep, so make sure that company is good.
When our friends embody the values we do, they help us become better people. After all, we want to be lifted up - not broken down or pulled apart.
Every now and then it is good to take stock of one's friends. Decide who's a keeper - and who needs to be weeded out.
Decide who energizes you and who drains you.
Decide who wants to make you a better person. That's the one you'll always want to have around.
Sometimes our friends challenge us. They make us grow. And sometimes in the process of doing that we may perceive that they have hurt us. But that was not their motivation. We may realize that on closer inspection. So cut them some slack.
Need an early summer cleaning project? Think about who inspires you. Be grateful for their presence in your life. And while you're at it, let them know!
We often hurt those we love the most.
It might be intentional, but most often it is not.
People often hurt others because they hurt. It can be a cry for attention. Who knows?
In many ways, it doesn't matter...
I saw this quote by the poet David Whyte yesterday, and it got me thinking...
All friendships of any length
are based on a continued,
Maybe it is not possible to never hurt or offend a loved one. And yet we all feel terrible after we do so...
But here's the thing: We need to forgive or ask for forgiveness, again and again and again.
How often do we have to do so? The Christian scriptures say we should forgive seventy times seven times. In other words, as often as it takes. There is no finite number that is prescribed..
So today, if there is someone you need to forgive - or someone's forgiveness that you need to request for your own well-being, why not reach out to that person? If it's someone that needs your forgiveness, perhaps they are too ashamed to ask. I know I've felt that way at times. So maybe reaching out to break the ice might be what is ineeded at the moment.
There used to be a telephone commercial a long time ago that suggested that we:
Reach out and touch someone.
Today is as good a day as any.
Last night I had a nightmare...
I can't remember the last time I had one, but it's been a very LONG time!
It was the kind that woke me up and had me terrified. The kind where you can't get back to sleep.
So, I did what I usually do when I feel like that. I meditated...
And I thought of all the good advice my friends give me.
Recently, I was talking to one of them, sharing some deep seated fears I had about doing some things I was terrified of doing, and she said to me,
"What I am hearing you say, is that you don't believe in yourself. But the person I know, is totally capable of rising to the occasion and doing all those things you think you can't do."
Later that day she sent me a meme which I am paraphrasing a bit here. It just happens that it is another mantra and affirmation. (Detecting a theme here?)
"I am strong,
I am capable,
I am enough."
When I looked at the meme closely, I noted the number of people who had "Loved" it. And it happened to be my personal angel number - that number that shows up for me every time I need a message from the Other Side. When I see this number as the time of day, or as "Likes" or whichever way it shows up for me, I stop, breathe, and get all the feels. I instantly know someone is watching out for me and trying to get my attention.
This morning, I talked my dream over and realized how silly it was. The person I was speaking to told me about an article he had just read about how weird dreams dump random things in your brain to make it and you function better in life.. Apparently, introducing randomness into an equation is something that makes Artificial Intelligence better. Who knew?
If you are feeling afraid about something you need to do and this little affirmation speaks to you, go ahead and use it! Because just like me,
You are strong,
You are capable,
and you enough!
Last night, I met with a group of friends (via - what else? Zoom!) for a monthly dose of spiritual edification, involving deep sharing, reflection, prayer and mutual support. I have come to treasure this monthly "date" on a Sunday evening.
At the end of every session, I leave my friends with a simple spiritual practice, and more often than not, it involves a mantra...
What could be simpler and easier to remember - right?
One of the mantra suggestions I gave them was this:
"Spirit, Come sit in my heart."
You can substitute God, or Divine, or Beloved - or whatever speaks to you. You get the gist.
When you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious and afraid, as many of us have felt this past year, I often recommend to my students to simply take a break.
Stop whatever you are doing - wherever you are, and place your hands over your heart.
Breathe in and out of your heart to a count of six...
Breathe in the healing and spiritual sustenance that you need. And breathe out, all that does not serve you now, in this moment...
Continue following the breath in this way for a few moments. and when you feel more relaxed, introduce your mantra:
"Divine Beloved, Come sit in my heart,"
Sit for as long and as often as you need, or repeat the mantra to yourself as you go about your day and many tasks, any time you remember to do so..
May your spirit be nourished. And may you find greater calm and peace.
Blessings my friends!
Last year, I made my last blog entry on another platform with the suggestion to throw a spear into the heart of fear, LIttle did I know then, that this was to be the cusp of the pandemic.
Little did I or anyone else know what was coming. As the year began to unfold, my mantra instead, became the following:
It has sustained me. it is changing me. But most of all, it has fed my soul.
it is part of a program I have been following and was only meant as a mantra for one week. But the funny thing is, I held on to it, and I kept coming back to it, and here I am a year later!
" I am safe, strong, and protected."
If it speaks to you, feel free to use it.
This has been an interesting year, and I will have much to share with you. After 14 years on another platform and a much more different time, I feel myself called to start something new, on a platform I don't know. But that's okay. We've all had to step out of our comfort zones. That's how we grow. And I know, despite everything, all shall be well, as my friend, Julian of Norwich wrote back in the 14th century.
Let's see where we are led!