My hero this year was ME. What I was able to accomplish and withstand this year (the past few years really) is pretty amazing. I was my own champion, protector, advocate, defender, guardian, angel.
When I first read this prompt, that’s the answer that immediately arose, but I laughed and kept looking. I thought, “how arrogant would it be to answer I’d been my own hero?” and kept contemplating the prompt. I was thinking about people who have supported me in the past few years, and Rachel Cole and the book club I did with her came to mind, so I checked my calendar, unable to remember if that was this year or last. That led to looking at my schedule, seeing all the things I’d done in the past year, specifically yoga teacher training and getting a new puppy and trying to figure out what was wrong with Sam, along with everything else that I do, all the other difficulties.
I carried myself through this year. I provided support, made sure I had the help I needed, was my own soft place to land. Sure there were lots of people who helped and loved me, but I was always there, through it all, ready to do whatever was necessary — I never abandoned myself.
Reverb14 prompt: “The hectic pace of our lives can make it difficult to remain connected to the things and the people that matter the most to us. We get wrapped up in our work or our busyness and connection falls by the wayside. How have you created and/or sustained connections in your life this year?”
I have regular dates with friends. I make sure to spend the time face to face. I’m very selective about who these people are, and I am uplifted by our time together. They are smart and funny and kind. However, as an HSP introvert who is very busy, I don’t have the space or energy to give this to very many people. And yet, I have many other relationships that are very real which I sustain through technology both old and new — letters, phone calls, texts, emails, Skype, social media. These connections are a different flavor, but just as real — for example, my connection to a sangha through the Open Heart Project.
With my tiny family, I make sure my evenings and weekends are typically free so we can spend that time together. I’ve also had to learn to sustain a connection to those I’ve lost or see very rarely, and that has taught me that even if you never see them again, the relationship and the love remains as long as you remember, as long as you keep a place in your heart for them. Things like metta practice and prayer, simply taking a moment to think about someone and send them love maintains a connection.
We ache and bleed and suffer when we wish things were different than they are…and we don’t even realize that the thing that is really keeping us from healing is that we are simply not accepting things as they are, but we are still wishing things had happened differently, or not happened at all.
You will come across things in your life that just feel wrong, things that make you feel heavy or confused or wobbly or sideways. Something deep inside you will feel unsettled and you will know that you want to move away from that thing or that situation or even that person … Be willing to walk away from things that feel wrong.
Jill, if, way down deep, you can even slightly comprehend that time is an illusion and that space is just a stage, then it shouldn’t take much of a leap to realize how safe you are, how much magic there is, and most importantly, that there must exist a super-consciousness with wishes and dreams all its own, that include you.
11. Wisdom from Geneen Roth:
Ask yourself if what you are telling yourself is true. Is it true that your body is ugly? Don’t answer so fast! (I heard you!) Ask yourself to what and whom you are comparing yourself? To a younger version of yourself? To a 20-year-old or an actress who works out three hours a day? Your body is the piece of the universe you’ve been given, the place where love and joy and grief happen, where happiness unfolds. Do you really want to keep believing that it’s a horrible, ugly, lumpy thing? Do you really want to keep punching yourself like that? (Call me psychic, but I have a feeling that the answer is no.)
When you stop telling yourself stories about your body, about your eating, about your life, you stop having to eat to fix how awful you feel because you stop feeling awful. Then and only then can you actually figure out what is really true. What you really want. What you really feel. What you really believe.
Ask yourself what would happen if you stopped the incessant chatter about how lumpy or stretchy or ugly your body is. What would happen if, instead, you thanked your body for taking you this far. For schlepping packages and bearing children and making love. Then listen to it carefully to see what it needs.
14. Let’s make some magic in 2015! Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead 2015 workbook (FREE), one of the practices I gift myself during this busy time of year. She’s also offering a FREE 5-day email class to help you figure out your word for 2015, Find Your Word.
It was wonderful to be among many thousands at the rally last night, even under such brutal and tragic circumstance. Right now it feels like my practice is all about awareness: increasing my own awareness of the people in this world who I habitually ignore or fail to see. We each have massive blind spots, and the first step in transformation is accepting that we live in a world where so many people remain unseen and unheard, and simply developing the courage to look. May all people feel seen, heard, and valued.
21. Pine Ridge Holiday Project. “There is still time to provide a little holiday cheer to the people of Pine Ridge. We have plenty of names of elementary and junior high aged children. You can also send donations for firewood to be delivered to families and elders to help keep them warm and toasty. Please email email@example.com and let me know if you prefer to provide simple gifts for children or if you would like to make a donation for firewood. Thank you for your kindness and generosity! Chris and Julie.”
22. In related news: “Please consider donating $110.00 for a cord of fire wood for a family on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. It is already freezing up there. A small group of Lakota gentlemen cut, deliver and stack the wood…so this provides income for the wood cutters as well as warmth for a family. Here is the link to Village Earth to donate firewood (tax deductible).”