We don’t choose our cards, but we choose how to lay them down.
This week, I will focus on what I can do with the life I’ve been given, as opposed to pining for another set of life circumstances. I will not dwell in the past as a form of rumination or as a source of frustration, anger, resentment or shame. I will make of the present what I can and leave tomorrow for tomorrow, knowing I cannot determine the future any more than I can change the past.
This week, I will neither count my blessings in a misguided act of nostalgia that separates me from the present, nor will I tally the ways in which I perceive the world has failed me. I will remain committed to doing what I can from this position — from where my forty-one years on earth have led me. I am here, now, and I will act like it.
Image Credit :: Time to Dance, by J.Sutt
Pullquote Credit :: Christopher Howell
Part of doing something is listening. We are listening. To the sun. To the stars. To the wind.
This week, I will focus on listening without judgment, both to myself and to others. When I feel myself ascribing a quality to my own thoughts, feelings and actions, I will gently move into a space of observation. From this position, I will be able to watch what I am doing without judgment, ridicule or condemnation.
I will also turn my observation outward and meet others with the same generosity and acceptance. I will listen to others with full engagement of my heart and mind, and with the knowledge that we are all connected. To listen to myself in this way is to listen to others. To listen to others in this way is to listen to myself.
By committing to this work, I hope to not only hear the world better, but to see it — to perceive it — more deeply.
Image Credit :: Ear Sculpture, by Colin Mutchler
Writing Credit :: Madeleine L’Engle
The loud will take care of itself, and everyone will be able to say / What happened in that direction. But who is looking / The other way?
For the next week, I have decided to work on undoing my habituated thoughts and energy by responding in a way that challenges my typical reactions in certain situations — namely those in which I believe I can touch on greater compassion through such opposition to my own ingrained responses.
When I want to speak loudly, I will speak quietly (or remain silent). When I want to rush, I will take my time. When I feel stressed, I will seek to act from a place of calmness and peace. When I notice myself thinking unkind thoughts about someone, I will find a kind thought to think about them instead. When I get caught up in my own suffering, I will remember the suffering of others and how that suffering, taken as a whole, is always greater than my own.
Image Credit :: Mustard and Oak — Inverted, by John Morgan
Poem Credit :: Some Extensions on the Sovereignty of Science, by Alberto Ríos
If gold coins are anathema for an ascetic, what about words / that like lust tangle thoughts?
For the next forty-one days, I am practicing silence in an effort to step away from the tangled thoughts engendered by the spoken word. That’s one day of silence for every year I’ve been alive. Many times, when I speak I feel unheard anyway, which leads to a sense of being unworthy, unloved and misunderstood. I don’t know what will unfold in these days of silence, if anything. I suppose the point is not for something to unfold, other than the experience itself.
Image Credit :: Shhh, by Grey World
Poem Credit :: Black and White, by Uma Gowrishankar
:: Walking in Peace
these are the ways to walk and speak and shift each glance
This week, I will focus on my footsteps, using each one as a way of focusing on and committing to compassion, kindness and mindfulness. Whatever pace I am walking at and wherever I am going, I will make this commitment to greater awareness and generosity. No matter how hurried I feel, I have time to make peace part of every step I take.
Image Credit :: Footprints in the Sand, by Just Taken Pics
Writing Credit :: (Soma)tic 1: Anoint Thyself, by CAConrad