My children may tolerate spinach, long grown-up conversations and too-cold-to-play-outside days. But they will not tolerate people. People are meant to be celebrated. Enjoyed. Marveled at and learned from.
I had the privilege to stand armed watches for my country. However, the privilege to stand those watches required intensive training, strict safety practices and yearly re-qualification. I'm shocked by how many people are resisting common-sense gun safety measures.
If you're struggling -- if you're feeling out of, or the need for, control -- it's less likely that something's wrong with the object of your desires, and more likely that there's something you've been unwilling to give up in order get what it is you say you want.
By making resolutions, we attempt to make ourselves feel we are in control, that we can decide how we will live our lives. But this week, I am not feeling like I'm in the driver's seat, as a flurry of sickness and death has overshadowed the holidays.
We have no guarantee of numbers. We think our days are infinite but they are not. One will be the last. And this not the hardest part. The hardest is knowing those we cherish will share our fate; we can make no deal to change that.
In anticipation of holiday gatherings with family, frequently gift yourself with the mindful practice of sitting with the breath, appreciating the air, sipping seasonal drinks and really tasting each drop. Feast on feelings, honor each morsel of the moment.
Without change in ourselves we become stifled and stagnant; without change in the world we will not survive. Such impermanence means that every difficulty, challenge, joy, or success will, at some point, be different: This too shall pass.
The dramatic storylines actually create the drama in our lives. By focusing on future uncertainties and fabricating the details around what might happen, we get plenty of present-moment stress that fires up our cortisol levels and makes it harder to cope with the reality of our situation.
I believe each of us has an innate capacity for strength and throughout our lives, we develop -- through conditions we find ourselves in -- the skills to be secure, passionate, formidable and determined.
I think we could all learn something significant from dogs regarding the nature of not just giving, but receiving. There seems to sufficient conversation around the need to be a good giver, and appropriately so, but there is little talk about the other end of the stick.
I implore you to give yourself the grace to dream things could be different, the kindness to ask what that would mean for you, the fortitude to find out how you could realistically get there, and then have the patience and diligence to follow it though -- seeking out help when you need it
When we practice Radical Acceptance, we begin with the fears and wounds of our own life and
discover that our heart of compassion widens endlessly. In holding ourselves with compassion,
we become free to love this living world.