Just a drop

Rumi_Ocean Drop quote w tag

Wrapping up a week at the beach with some wisdom from one of my faves. I grew up close enough to the ocean that it was a regular part of my life. That doesn’t stop it from amazing me every time I lay eyes on it, though. It contains more than the eye could ever see, and shifts from turbulent to peaceful and back again in moments. You can hold it briefly, but never contain it. You can choose to ride with it, or fight the current for your own position. It can lap around your toes, or carry you from one reality to another.  It is always stronger than it looks.

The ocean holds millennia of wisdom, secrets, trials, victories and epiphanies. It is science, mystery and magic. It is peace and it is peril. It is each of us, and all of us, in every drop.

Giving capacity

Yung Pueblo_Understand Self to Give quote w tag

One of the great benefits of mindfulness is that it introduces you to yourself, just as you are, in this moment. It can also be one of the challenges of the practice, if where you are right now is a tough spot. The only way past anything (really) is through it, though, and mindfulness can also help you learn to abide the discomfort of passing through negative thoughts or emotions – and also help you let them go on the other side.

With this self-knowledge, awareness and compassion, we become better friends to ourselves, and as as result, more capable of offering any of these qualities authentically to others.

It’s complicated, but it’s also that simple. It’s also a good reason to make self-care a part of your regular routine. When you dip into your reserve tank, then you’re about to have nothing left to give. You don’t have a light on your dashboard, though, so you’ve gotta pay attention to know when you’re about to run out.

The math makes perfect sense, when you think about it. In every case, you can’t give what you don’t have within you already. And the world can only offer you what you have the capacity to receive.


Monday Moment: Love wins

Love Wins_Andrea B Coan

Last week was a difficult week in the US. Again. There was the similar pattern of tragedy, “thoughts & prayers,” and outrage that has become achingly familiar. But then, there was something else.

Where the outrage usually simmers into resignation and hopelessness, there were voices. Not only the usual voices of exaggerated political dichotomy, but the empowered voices of victims and survivors, speaking on behalf of friends and loved ones who couldn’t be with them, and wouldn’t be again. Yes, there is anger, frustration, and indignation. There is also something much more powerful than any of those.

Underlying all of the cries for justice and angry tears, there is love. Love for those who were taken away. Love for those who survive with lifelong scars of many kinds. Love in text messages sent down the hallway, and across town. Love in opened doors and selfless protection. Love in memories, and tributes, and at long last, in the flicker of hope ignited by real change on the horizon.

All experiences in life can be distilled down to two emotions: love or fear. Only one, however, is the antidote for the other. The antidote for everything. In the face of crippling fear, our next instinct is love. I’m scared; I love you. I’m hurt; I’ll help you. I’m in danger; I’ll protect you. When we are frozen with fear, the few things we are capable of doing are those that are rooted in love. Selfless, ego-less, fearless love.

If there were an emotion meter hanging over that tragedy that unfolded last week, and so many others like it, I am sure it would have registered plenty of fear. But above all of that, it would have flown off its own charts measuring the love being felt and expressed in every corner of that building.

Love is stronger than fear, and everything that fear breeds. Hate, greed, self-interest, the illusion of separation. No matter how fierce the battle, or the sacrifices made in its name, there is always only one triumph. Choose it now, and be on the winning side. There is only one outcome. Love Wins.

Photo credit: Andrea B. Coan