This lilac tree was once struggling to bloom and thrive. We moved it from a shaded part of the garden to a sunnier location. We gave it some rich nourishing soil and have continued to add soil through the years. The tree has bloomed like clockwork by the 2nd week of May every year. Last year a wren built a nest in the tree and we had the joy of seeing fledglings emerge and fly. A once fragile tree is now a shelter for other beings.
It’s not just plants that don’t thrive in some areas but do well in others. Happens to all living beings. Conditions need to be consistently evaluated. Where some beings do well, others might require help, further nourishing and enrichment. Not always easy to uproot and move but one can always ammend the situation, balance out the environment and find ways to grow.
We can make ourselves miserable or we can make ourselves strong. The amount of effort is the same – Pema Chodron
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
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
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
For a few months, I left this quote on our kitchen wall as a constant reminder:
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage ~ Lao Tzu
I believe in order to live an authentic life, we have to be vulnerable and in order to be vulnerable, we have to have courage. To be courageous, we also need to feel safe, which is intricately connected to love and trust.
Brené Brown has spent years doing research on vulnerability, shame, worthiness, connection and belonging. In this You tube clip she talks about moving past the critics, including the inner critic that don’t truly serve us.
Brené quotes Theodore Roosevelt in this talk as being pivotal in shifting her own perspective about critics. The quote is poignant and sheds light on what resilience looks like and the courage it takes to keep trying.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
We are not trapped or locked up
in these bones.
No, no. We are free to change.
And, love changes us.
And if we can love one another,
we can break open the sky.
– Walter Mosley
Stephan Bauman, in Break Open The Sky encourages readers to choose faith over fear in daily life. Bringing relationship with God to the forefront, as the vehicle, to transform a fearful life to one of liberation, love and risk. He brings his personal experience of working with people from all over the world.
Difficulties and hardships due to health, finances, relationships can all be transformative when courage, indispensable faith, trust and love are put into action. Examples from modern day challenges and stories from the Bible, together provide a perspective on how to live a life that embodies grace.
We cannot be in the past or in the future, while genuinely being in the present. This book is a reminder to let go of fears and worries in exchange for unshakable faith.
“Peace is expensive. It requires risk taking. Its personal. It makes you vulnerable. And peace always involves action. Resistance is part of the calling.” ~ Stephan Bauman
I received this book from blogging for books. The book review is based on my genuine opinion.