Saturday, March 31, 2012

The power of a word

A word, when used repeatedly, can be very powerful.  I'm not talking about a written word, or even a spoken word.  I'm talking about a word that keeps showing up at the oddest times and in the strangest places.

Earlier this year, as I read the weekly wrap-up on Roots of She, I was struck by something Liz Lamoreux said in her post Heal Your Heart  In it she explains how at the end of each year she chooses a word for the following year to "be a companion that brings me back to center amidst whatever beauty and uncertainty await."  But what really struck me was when she said, "I love how choosing a word invites me to let go of having resolutions I might or might not keep, and instead gently pushes me to look forward with self-kindness and think about how I most want the next year to unfold."

Having already decided that I would not make any resolutions this year but rather that I would do a 2012 Wish List, this really resonated with me.  And I did have a word last year.  However, I did not pick that word for myself... it picked me.  It kept showing up all the time, in different places and situations and, in the end, it sort of characterized my year.  My word last year was paradox.

This year I'm sort of tempted to pick a word.  Yet I find it's more revealing when the word picks me.  Already there is one that has been circling, almost as if enticing me to follow it.  I will have to wait a bit, however, to see if it is the right word for my year.

For now, though, I feel like I need to keep the word compassion close by.  I don't know exactly why, it just feels like something I need to do.  Whether it's me or others I need to be more compassionate with is yet to be seen.  For now I will try to make compassion my daily mantra.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The connections that sustain us

We are all connected.  This I know is true.

Yet there are some connections that help us grow, they sustain us through the hard times, and encourage us when we're unsure of ourselves or the path that we're on.

These connections may be well known to us - family, close friends - or they may be people we meet by chance, authors of books we pick up for no particular reason, or people we've never met but who are ever present in our lives.

Whatever the connection may be, it is important to honour it and cherish it, for these are the connections that help us become who we are meant to be.  We cannot do it all on our own.  We need those who surround us to show us the way and gently guide us along that way. 

Feeling ever so grateful for my own connections, and keeping those I love close in my heart today.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Oh-so-welcome Spring

It's been a long, difficult winter.

Well, maybe not weather-wise - I think we've just had one of the mildest winters on record - but for me personally.  Had it not been for my wonderful family and the love & care of dear friends, I'm sure things would have been a lot worse. 

Today is the first day of Spring, and as I put on my runners and headed out the door for my first walk of this new season, I could feel that change was in the air.  I've been saying it for what seems like forever, but now it's true, really, really true... it's time for me (yikes!) 

It's been said that I have a big heart (by Terri, mostly) and that big ol heart of mine finds it really difficult to turn away from people I care about, even for a moment, to concentrate on myself.  However, now I think it might just be inevitable.  I know I've said this before, but now it really feels like I'm running on empty, and that can't be good for those around me.  So maybe it is time to make me my priority. 

So as the warm air of the day dissipated, and the evening ushered in cooler, fresher air, I made up my mind that, at least for the next little while, I am going to be the most important person in my life.  I will start by living whole-heartedly, doing whatever my heart tells me to (that's usually what works best for me) and I will embrace all the goodness that comes my way (without questioning it!)  I will be more aware of the beauty in the sunrise and sunset, listen to the sweetness of the birds as they call to one another, and not take any love that comes my way for granted.  I will look for the goodness in each and every person I meet and be grateful for everyone that crosses my path, for everyone has something to teach me. 

So, I'm off!  Wish me luck!!  And if you don't see me for a while, know that it's for a good reason :D

Sunday, March 18, 2012

We are so alike, you and I

But it is in our weaknesses that we most resemble each other.

This is strange to me because we come from different backgrounds, different eras, and have had different upbringings.

Yet we are so alike.

Is this so that I can see my weaknesses reflected back to me in you and you can see yours in me?

Or is it because in this way we connect and can help each other overcome our weaknesses?

I don't know.

All I know is that we are so alike, you and I, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

They're back!!!

A sure sign of Spring... the Canada Geese are back!! 

I saw and heard them high in the sky above me this morning. 

What a beautiful sight, and what music to the ears. 

All of a sudden my heart felt lighter than it has in ages, and I knew it would be a good day :)

Wishing you all a wonderful start to Spring!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

We teach what we most need to learn

I truly believe that.

I didn't always believe that.  No, actually what I believed was quite the opposite.

Sounds a bit arrogant when I put it out there, but what I believed was that what I knew would truly benefit others, like I had some of the answers; not all of them, of course, but some.

However, it was in trying to help someone very dear to me heal that I discovered a need in myself, a part of me that needed healing.  It was quite eye opening because the more I tried to help her, the less I was able to, but the more I found I was actually helping myself.  The more I turned to work on myself though, the less I found I had to give to her.  This was quite dismaying because I felt like I was abandoning her. Yet something amazing started to take shape.  As I learned how to help myself I became stronger, more whole, and it was from that base that I was able to see more clearly.  I saw what I had been doing, as the Buddhists would say, unskillfully, and I saw that what I thought she needed was actually what I needed. 

Now I believe that we need to help ourselves first.  Then, with what we learn about ourselves, we are better able to help others... but only because we've been there and have done the work ourselves first. 

And so I've decided to take a new direction.  Enough immersing myself in others' pain, in their struggles.  It's time now for me to start listening to my own heart.  And listening to the cues I get from others... instead of thinking I have the answers.  I will let go of trying to find my happiness in others and look to myself for happiness.  It will no doubt be a long, slow uphill climb, but I'll be a better, happier person for it.  And I know it's the right direction to take.

Thank you Terri, for being my greatest inspiration in this journey I'm on, and for opening my eyes to the possibilities that actually lie within me.