Silence is essential. We need silence, just as much as we need air, just as much as plants need light. If our minds are crowded with words and thoughts, there is no space for us.
~Thich Nhat Hahn
Recently, Parkinson’s Disease became a part of our daily lives. The symptoms were present before we knew about the diagnosis. So really, Parkinson’s had already become a part of our lives before we became aware of it. As other conditions were being ruled out PD (Parkinson’s Disease) was becoming more prominent. Here it is in our lives. James, my husband, has Parkinson’s. There is no cure for PD but there are medications and therapies to help cope with the disease.
As we learn more about Parkinson’s, we realize a lot more still needs to be done. As long as research continues there is hope for a cure. Hope and action have to go hand in hand. We are learning to accept Parkinson’s disease in our lives and still finding ways for James to keep the full impact of the disease at bay for as long as we can.
We have been educating ourselves about PD. Books, research articles, webinars and podcasts, anything to learn more about this disease. To learn how to live with it, to keep advocating for research, for supportive care, to understand PD, to prevent it for future generations. The whole gamut.
If you want to learn what Parkinson’s Disease is…here is a short video from the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
March 21st is advocacy day for Parkinson’s Disease.
Even if you are not personally affected by the disease, but are an advocate at heart, for science, research, eradicating diseases, then please ask your congress members to increase awareness about PD issues
Your support means a lot.
Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Over and over again
To the practice of mindfulness
To focus on whats here
Whether unpleasant or pleasant
Challenging or easy
Make the choice daily
To embrace what is happening and
Then let it go
We have genuine friendship
when it is based on true human
feeling, a feeling of closeness
in which there is a sense of sharing and
I would call this type of
friendship genuine because it is not
affected by the increase or decrease of
the individuals wealth, status, or power.
The factor that sustains that friendship
Is whether or not the two people
have mutual feelings of love and affection.
Genuine human friendship is on the basis of
human affection, irrespective of your position
Therefore the more you show
concern about the welfare and rights
of others, the more you are a genuine
The more you remain open
and sincere, then ultimately more benefits
will come to you. If you forget or do not bother about others.
Then eventually you will lose
your own benefit.
H.H. THE XIVTH DALAI LAMA
On January 1st, Iceland started enforcing a new law where any employer with 25 or more employess, is required to pay men and women equally for the same job. This law makes Iceland the 1st country in the world to make it illegal for men to get paid more than women.
In the United States women are paid on an average of 80 cents per dollar that a man earns for the same job. The gap is higher for women of color. In Europe women earn 84 cents on every dollar a man earns for the same job. In India women earn 25% less than men.
Hearing about wage equality in Iceland gives me hope that someday equal pay will be part of the norm. Per the World Economic Forum, In the U.S. we should reach economic gender equality in 2059. Globally we wont see economic equality until 2133. Because it will have taken many people to have advocated for the right to receive equal pay, I sincerely hope that in 2133 people rejoice and celebrate as economic inequality becomes a thing of the past.
In the present, however I am happy knowing that in 1 corner of our world, in Iceland, the government has recognized the value of equality in pay. The message on the surface is that men and women will get paid equally. But deeper than that are so many other factors that make this a monumental shift. With equal pay, life for so many will be transformed. Now that it is happening in Iceland, perhaps other countries won’t want to be left far behind and might catch up. A cause for healthy competition.
I am grateful for other healthy shifts taking place as well and I am mindful that they did not happen overnight. Whether a personal shift in perception or a collective one, it all leads to a better world. Wishing everyone a blessed year and liberating shifts of perception. In John O’Donohue’s words:
May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.
To Bless the Space Between Us
When I was a kid we celebrated Christmas with family friends. They came over to our home for Diwali and we to their home for Christmas. I also attended a catholic school and we celebrated Jesus Christ and enjoyed nativity plays. This was in Calcutta, India.
When we immigrated to the United States, our traditions changed a bit, but we continued to celebrate both Diwali and Christmas with family and friends. We had friends who celebrated Eid and Hanukkah and we celebrated along with them.
My husband and his family are Celtic. We have continued the tradition of celebrating Diwali and Christmas. We have also in recent years celebrated Hannukah because part of our larger family is Jewish.
So for us, ‘happy holidays’ start sometime in October and seem to continue to the end of December. We feel blessed to live among and be a part of diverse family. We are grateful for this life experience of having faith in our deep rooted traditions and comfortably belonging in each other’s beliefs. Practicing loving kindness towards all has been a natural inclusion.
At the root of all the holidays we recognize the true spirit of peace, happiness, love, kindness and wishes for everyone’s well-being.
Wishing everyone a harmonious Christmas today.
Fran Peavey, in her book Heart Politics talks about an experience she had at Stanford University. She was walking on the campus one day when she came up to a group of people carrying recording equipment. They were recording a male chimp who was loose and a female chimp on a long chain. The scientists and spectators (mostly men) were trying to get them to mate. Every time the male chimpanzee approached the female chimp, she whimpered and backed away, to avoid his advances. Peavey says as she watched this scene, a wave of empathy swept through her. In the next moment, the female chimp, yanked her chain out of the male chimps grasp and walked through the crowd of people standing directly to Peavey, and took her hand. Then she proceeded to take Peavey back into the circle towards the only two other women there and joined hands with 1 of them. The 3 of them then stood together in the circle. Peavey says the chimp had formed her own support group.
This story affirms how we instinctively seek support, look for cues of safety and have the deep need to be seen, heard and recognized. Paying deep and focused attention to others allows us to be attuned to their experiences, creating space for the person to feel seen and heard. As Peavey stood there, feeling empathy for the chimpanzee, the chimpanzee sensed this support and found her safe space.
Listening deeply to others requires stepping out of our own constant inner dialogue. When we listen and attune our inner selves to the other person we also reduce the gap of separation of “us” and “them”.
“One of the deepest longings of the human soul is to be seen” ~John Donohue