Monday, September 28, 2015

Shadow and Light

The Mystery within...
I watched in fascination as the Earth’s shadow gradually darkened the moon’s bright face last night. I wondered what part of earth’s geography belonged to the slow growing darkness that was eclipsing the moon’s reflected sunlight?  What landforms and people existed in that growing shadowy space?  Were famine and violence there?  Carl Jung in his wisdom said:  “Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness of other people.”  And I felt the opportunity that awaits us all in the power of reflection.

I also felt a little sigh of relief that Pope Francis was now safely back home tonight.  He came and looked upon us with God’s eyes bringing Peace, Love, Joy and Compassion and an example to emulate if we wish to bring the same to others.    

What if we could all know the power of reflecting on our shadow?

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Hidden God

The Mystery within...
“Whoever does not know God hidden in suffering does not know God at All.”  Martin Luther.

“Prior to hardship a heart may be proud but honor comes only after one has been humbled.”  Proverbs 18:12

Pope Francis comes to talk to Americans.  I believe he will ask us to look with God’s eyes on those who suffer, suspend all judgment, and act with compassion. Can we be humbled?

What if we could all see God in another and our suffering?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Who Needs Trouble?

The Mystery within...
I have been wrestling with a financial scare these past few months.  It’s the kind of worry that comes with a sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach and concern for the future.  Through frugal and thoughtful living I have generally felt financially secure—a feeling I now have hope will return.  But there is grace in this current uncertainty.  It comes with a sense of deep empathy for the many who experience the insecurity of inadequate food, shelter, and access to medical care.  I am now aware of deep gratitude for my new knee, relative good health, house and car.  How easy it becomes to take these blessings for granted.  And my mental mettle is being challenged and exercised as I work to solve my problem.  I am also experiencing genuine kindness from others who offered helpful facts and advice.  Sharing their knowledge and concern makes me want to be truly helpful to another someday.  So who needs trouble?  I think we all do to some degree to grow our empathy, realize gratitude for what we have, exercise our brain in working to problem solve, and be a benefactor of genuine kindness. 

At yoga this morning, where I go the stretch and soften my stress, I half seriously asked if we could work on memory.  I was astounded at the eloquent mini lecture our wise instructor gave as we worked to both soften and strengthen our bodies.  He relayed four things we can do to help our memory:

1.  Exercise our large motor muscles—such as in bicycling.  Exercise our fine motor muscles—such as in keyboarding, or playing a musical instrument, or even computer games.  

2.  Mobilize heartfelt love and compassion. 

3.  Have concern and empathy for the other. 

4.  Do deep diaphragmatic breathing to oxygenate our tissues and brain and potentially connect us to our Energy Source.

I’ve had my share of past troubles.  Where I would be without them?

What if we all had a good mix of trouble and help to work through our problems, grow gratitude, empathy and kindness and work on our memory too?

Monday, September 7, 2015

Being Human

The Mystery within...
Sometimes it’s not pleasant being human.  My gremlin within reared its ugly head this past week and made me feel really crummy.  I was making a quick stop at the grocery store to pick up a few things and standing in the less than 20 items checkout lane.  The woman in front of me had only two items but there was a very elderly couple in front of her who had several bags of groceries, and now with pains taking slowness, the wife was handing over a handful of coupons one by one.  My demon within mumbled quietly, “What the hell.”  The woman in front of me with the two items turned and looked at me so I said, “This is a limited items checkout lane.”  To which she replied, “Oh, I didn’t even notice that.” 

Instantly I regretted my words and my impatience embarrassed me.  Less than two months ago I was in that same checkout lane with a cart full of groceries because I didn’t notice the 20 items limit.  When I offered to move to another lane two women behind me said, “No, you can stay.  We don’t mind.”  Standing there having those groceries rung up, I remembered yet another check out experience when a very elderly woman was painfully slow with her purchases and payment.  After she left the man behind me said empathically, “We’re all going to be there someday.” 

Now, adding to my embarrassment was the elderly and weary looking checker who had also overheard my mumble.  She forced pleasantness as she checked me out but I suspect she wondered if I had any empathy at all.  Hopefully my dark feelings can become a sacrament of shame and will give me pause the next time I feel impatient.   

What if we could all use personal embarrassment to tame our  gremlin within?