Welcome to 2021! I’m celebrating the possibilities of this New Year and I hope you are too. Just this afternoon, I led a group of NVC enthusiasts from around the world in a 20-minute meditation to welcome in peace and healing to all living beings. It was utterly soothing to me.
Please feel free to take 20-minutes and listen to it now.
Tensions have been high in my life, and I know I am not alone. I feel a kind of rawness inside, and a longing to replenish my emotional and spiritual tank, so I have added one more new thing to my daily spiritual practice: 30-minutes of Yoga before my morning sit. I’m somewhat amused by how something so physically challenging for me has become part of my spiritual practice – and yet my internal call to keep it up is strong…
And, I have deep trust in my internal call.
I know peace is not possible if I do not hold peace in my own heart. As His Holiness the Dalai Lama says, “We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” And so I am committed to focusing on filling up my emotional and spiritual tank, knowing that it is my contribution to myself, my loved ones, and anyone I come in contact with.
This is me taking responsibility for my contribution to the world.
It comes with a reminder in my head which asks over and over:
Mary, do you want to contribute more anger, resentment, and disconnectedness to the world, or do you want to contribute more connection, peace, and compassion?
It is a moment-by-moment choice.
Sometimes I meet the moment in ways I am satisfied with… and others – not so much. Just last week, after 50 minutes of Yoga and a 30 minute sit, I was in my car at an intersection and I nearly flipped off someone on the street who was using a megaphone to loudly speak to a young man who was wearing a mask while crossing the street. I heard him say: :
“Take off your mask. Be a man. Don’t believe the lies!”
It is so easy to place blame on others and to see their actions as wrong, isn’t it? The so-called bad person changes depending on one’s perspective.
Yet, I so firmly believe that all actions and words are in service to needs. The man with the megaphone was possibly wanting choice, freedom, shared reality, and respect. The young man wearing the mask was possibly wanting respect, safety, choice, and care. My needs were for care, respect, safety, and shared reality.
Each of us chose behaviors in support of needs. Sometimes, like my own desire to flip off the man with a megaphone, our actions become tragic expressions of unmet needs. Tragic because it is entirely unlikely I could meet my needs for care, respect, safety, and shared reality if I flip someone off! Can I still have compassion and love for myself, even when I respond out of integrity with myself? Even if I had flipped off the man with a megaphone? Even when I am so raw inside?
Yes, because I know that if I don’t show compassion for myself, it will be one more way that I am contributing greater dis-ease and dis-connection to our world.
My mantra for 2021 is this: I am for compassion. It means compassion for myself and compassion for others. It is a practice, not an end point. It is about taking full responsibility for the ways I contribute either peace or divisiveness in my world. And it is most certainly about humbly embracing my humanness.
I am for compassion. What will you be for this coming year? Whatever it is, may you experience many moments of joy and peace throughout 2021.