I rest my eyes upon this flower
Peek into the unfurled petals
Breathe in the soft orange glow
The flower softens
Brings a smile
to my face
glow in my heart
Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
_ Chief Seattle, Letter to President Franklin Pierce
Swami Durgananda says, that the heart center is where “the inhalation comes to rest, beneath the breastbone, four to five inches below the collarbone” and allow yourself to be in this heart center and as you breathe in an out “let this center soften and widen ”
Feel what its like to be embraced by your own heart. If it feels awkward, try again and again until you feel kindness and compassion towards yourself.
May is National Mental Health Awareness month and National Meditation month.
If you put either of those in your search browser, there are a lot of tips on how to meditate and how to recognize and raise awareness of mental health issues. There is a lot of information on both meditation and mental health because they have deep rooted histories.
If we want mental health issues and related manifestations to be addressed we can take action by reducing stigma attached to getting help for mental health conditions. We can advocate for research and funding so people can access better resources for maintaining their mental health wellness. We can remove perceived and actual barriers to getting help from skilled mental health counselors , therapists, psychologists and other health care practitioners. A person does not need to have chronic mental health issues to get help. It can be situational and short term. Mental health disorders can stem from physical ailments; they can be masked by substance use or come as a result of substance use; Mental health issues and traumatic experiences can be related as well. Support others to reach out to professionals if they need help. If you need help, you matter and your mental health matters. Reach out to trusted loved ones and your doctors, the crisis line in your area, and health care professionals.
We know there are benefits of meditation and when used in conjunction with other wellness oriented therapies people can maintain physical and mental wellbeing for longer periods of time. Among many of its benefits, meditation can reduce stress and increase resilience. There are many different forms of meditation, and so like with everything else, no one type fits all. You can tailor it to your needs. Whether you choose to meditate for 5 minutes or longer, by walking, lying down or sitting, in the morning or at night, guided or on your own with a visual, it is an act of self care. Giving yourself time and space to quiet your inner self and the noises of the outer world can be a gift to yourself and others
There are many ways to recognize our shared humanity.
For me it’s being present to life. Present to my experiences and bearing witness to others experiences.
Knowing that although you and I walk on the same planet, we have different experiences.
We can all experience joy and sorrow, love and fear, poverty and wealth, isolation and connection in any given moment. Because some of it may be an actual way of life and some of it a mindset.
Kindness and compassion ease suffering and regardless of our circumstances we are all worthy of being loved.
Each of us is part of the larger universe and we are connected in a million ways.
Doesn’t happen much around here, so when it snows I enjoy the beauty of it all. It’s simply breathtaking to watch the snow fall so lightly and quietly.
To stand in the falling snow, to walk with only the slightest sound on an otherwise silent day.
To behold the beauty of each snow flake.
It’s a different story on the roads. Cars in ditches and people stranded. People seeking shelter, warmth and food.
So I take in the beauty of the snow and remain mindful of the dangers on the road. Mindful about those needing help, and struggling in the cold.
Snow days are beautiful and they give a reason to slow down, help out, connect and appreciate each other and nature.
We have a 14 year old Tibetan Parakeet we adopted a couple of years ago. He came to us injured and couldnt go back to the home he had been living in. His wing was broken and after his wing healed he needed to regain muscle strength to fly again. We were going to find him a different home but instead we decided he could stay with us.
He has his cage and the gate remains unlocked and he enjoys coming out and going back in as he pleases. Although he is not learning any new words that we know of, he has a few phrases he uses with us.
One of them is “Can you hear me?”
He keeps asking the question as long as we are in the room and until we respond.
So he gets the response, “Yes Dewey, I can hear you” or some variation of that. He is usually satisfied with that and starts doing other things. We go through this interaction everyday. He prefers a certain tone of voice and his name in the response. Anything different and we are back to his question.
Listening to someone is a gift to them and if we truly hear them, it is also a gift to ourselves.
Deep listening builds connection and understanding
Listening and being heard can be transformative