A slice of lemon in hot water can start or end a day beautifully. It does not replace my coffee or tea intake, but drinking hot water with a slice of lemon has a renewing quality of its own. Hot water with lemon is a sure way to align with nature on any day.
Aligning with nature can bring inner balance and peace. It is from this place of belonging and connection that we can take actions to bring peace to the world.
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread. Places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul ~ John Muir
If you live in the USA, I hope you will exercise your right and ability to vote in November. Please read/hear all sides of the issues you are voting for and learn about the person you are voting for. Ask questions if you are unsure of who and what to vote for. Please make an informed decision, and know that all our choices matter. Our voice matters.
I went to my local library last week and there were two women at a table, offering to register people to vote. If a person was already registered to vote, they still engaged each person with an offering of a pamphlet, website to learn about issues and reminding people to vote. I appreciate them for their volunteering and their engaged activism.
In 2003, Thich Nhat Hahn spoke to the members of Congress and highlighted the practice of deep listening as a way to reduce anger and violence, while building compassion.
He also asked people to lobby to their elected officials, saying “We have to offer them our insight, our compassion. We cannot just afford for them to be surrounded by advisers who do not have that insight, that compassion.
You can read the interview, listen to Thich Nhat Hahn via this link. Although the interview is about 15 years old it is still so relevant. Perhaps even more relevant today.
Overcome any bitterness that may have come because you were not up to the magnitude of the pain that was entrusted to you.
Like the mother of the world who carries the pain of the world in her heart,
Each one of us is part of her heart, and therefore endowed with a certain measure of suffering.
With acceptance we can hold ourselves and our suffering, with tenderness and compassion. We can hold this suffering that has been entrusted to us and allow compassion to grow. We can extend that compassion to every being and to our mother of the world.
“When the path is blocked, back up and see more of the way. We are each a mountain for the other to climb, and often our path to love is interrupted by a mishap or a problem or something unexpected that needs attending. We tend to call these unexpected things in life “obstacles.” Often the thing in the way comes from another person: a stubbornness falls like a tree blocking where we want to go, or a sadness comes like a flash flood to muddy the road between us, or just as we go to rest in the clearing we have prepared, we are bitten by something hiding in the undergrowth. Thus, in daily ways, we have this constant choice: to see each other as the stubborn, muddy, biting thing that blocks our way, or to back up and take in the whole person as we would a mountain in its entirety, dizzy when looking up into its majesty. When we are blocked in our closeness with another, we have this constant opportunity: to raise our eyes and behold each other completely, then to kneel and lift the fallen tree, or cross the flooded path, or pluck and toss the biting thing. We have the chance to keep climbing, so we might cup the water that runs from each other, so we might quench our thirst as from a mountain stream, knowing that love like water comes softly through the hardest places.”
― By Mark Nepo The Book of Awakening: Having the Life you want by Being Present to the life you have
Many people struggle on a daily basis to fit in and belong. The struggles, and consequences of these struggles manifest differently, and the truth is in order to have peace in the world we have to continue to explore what is truly meaningful personally.
To feel like we truly belong we have to have courage to be ourselves and realize that sometimes it means we can’t please others or that we won’t belong to a specific group. This will no doubt cause pain and suffering and require courage, vulnerability and resilience. However, when we try to fit in and go against our grain, we also suffer.The more we face the fears we have of being our true self,imperfections and all, we find that being ourselves can be our biggest gift to the world.
Our inherent goodness and worthiness is waiting to be uncovered at all times.
The theme for this year is fitness for mind and body. Wellbeing includes emotional, mental, physical and spiritual wellness. All of those to varying degrees influence our daily life.
It is estimated that 1 in 5 Americans is affected by mental illness. That means it is highly likely we know someone who has a mental illness. Alongside with having a mental illness, there is still stigma attached to mental health issues, making it all the more challenging for people to get help.
During the month of May, National Association of Mental Illness is focusing on Compassion, Empathy, and Understanding as ways to reduce and remove stigma attached to seeking help for mental illness.
Stigma, adds to the suffering a person is experiencing with mental illness. We have the capacity to understand and alleviate their suffering. We liberate others when we allow them to speak of their perceptions and mental constructs without fear of judgement. Compassion is the urge to alleviate another person’s suffering. When we experience compassion, we also feel uplifted. Reducing stigma to mental illness is important. Having empathy, understanding and compassion is crucial to personal and global wellbeing.
Below is a link to an interview with Thich Nhat Hahn on compassion that I hope you will watch and find thought provoking