#darkandlight

Send Your Roots Down Into Soil That Nourishes Your Soul

Overnight my phone rang at 3 am.  It was my daughter who lives in Nashville TN.  Over the past few weeks she and her fiancé have been through a tornado which destroyed their new neighborhood of east Nashville. They have, as all of have, made many difficult adjustments to their lives due to the spread of coronavirus.  And last night – the phone call.  Their living roof caved in and collapsed on their dog crate (yes – dog inside) and all over their living room.

Strength, Gratitude, and Loving Kindness

A lot to cope with.  And yet, when I spoke to her this morning her attitude was upbeat, they had a friend helping them store some items, had saved their artwork, and prepared their home for the contractors as they pack up and head to Montana to wait out this outbreak. They are safe and un-harmed, and the dogs are safe and unharmed.  Thank goodness. The new couch is completely ruined.  That, we can handle. We are so grateful.

I was reminded of a phrase my father has shared me often when I have faced difficult times.  “God never hands you more than you can handle.”  I know this to be true.  We are all stronger than we think we are.  There will be pain and there will be loss. There will be days where it feels like the roof is collapsing over our heads and spreading dust and chaos everywhere.

We do not move through these times by avoiding the conversations, by resisting our fears, and ignoring our emotions.  Brain science and the mindfulness research teaches us that facing our fears and acknowledging our emotions is the key to moving through the stressful, anxiety ridden moments in our lives.  And there is no greater time then now to practice gratitude for what we do have and to show loving-kindness to those around us, and through meditation, to those around the world.

Important Strategies for the Days Ahead

  1. Communicate.  Call family and friends. Write Letters. Gather virtually for dinner and parties.
  2. Listen with empathy and without judgement.  Everyone is going to experience these days differently and with various lenses.  Just listen. Let people feel how they feel.  Let people share their opinion even if you disagree. Listen and hear.  “I hear you.”  “Thank you for sharing.” “I understand your feelings.”
  3. Move, Move, Move.  Everyday.  There are tons of online yoga and exercise programs out there.  I am offering a GENTLE YOGA CLASS on Tuesday afternoons from 3 pm to 4 pm through ZOOM beginning Tuesday the 24th of March and ongoing for the next 5 weeks. 
  4. Get outside and get fresh air.  Talk a walk, go for a run, or go hiking.
  5. Practice mindful meditation and learn more about “mindful living.”  I am going to be offering Mindfulness and Meditation on Tuesday and Friday mornings from 8 am to 8:30 am through ZOOM, starting on Tuesday the 24th.
  6. Practice Gratitude and Loving Kindness.

Inspiration

Here are three quotes that are inspiring me each day – I hope you find a light in reading them.

“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for extraordinary destiny.”

How can we each be extraordinary as we travel the road ahead?

C.S. Lewis

“I am stronger because I had to be, I ‘m smarter because of my mistakes, happier because of the sadness I’ve known, and now wiser because I learned.”

Now, more than ever, is the time for us to practice gratitude, to be kind, and to know we are more capable than we often believe ourselves to be.

Nick Schluga

“Storms make trees take deeper root.”

Send your roots deep into your faith and into the soil that nourishes you.

Dolly Parton

Feeding The Wolves

My father shared this quote with me several years ago:

“An old woman is telling her granddaughter about a fight that is going on inside of her. She says it is between two wolves.  One is dark: full of envy, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, superiority, and pride. The other light: full of joy, peace, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, honesty, compassion, faith, and gratitude.
The granddaughter thinks about it for a minute and then asks her grandmother, “Which wolf wins?”
The grandmother simply replies, “The one I feed.”

Which wolf are you feeding?

We all have the voices of the two wolves swirling through our thoughts daily. In every moment we choose to nourish the wolf of darkness or the wolf of light. Both wolves live inside our minds and thoughts, both a part of who we are. Our wolves grow, learn, and gain their voices from the journey of our experiences.

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