What I’m mulling over right now.
I am feeling out of sorts about my desire to move back to the States. Honestly, the gun violence, the indignant intolerance toward people who are not like us (Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric), the 2 party political stalemate…it’s frightening to me. And, I’m torn. On the one hand, I feel isolated and family/friend-less in Germany, where the customs are different and the language barrier makes things difficult. I want to return to the States. I mean I’ve been ranting about it for years. Literally. But at then same time, I don’t know if I want to raise my daughter in that mentality and culture (of gun violence and indignant intolerance).
Then I remember that I am my daughter’s most influential teacher, and I have to model what it is I want her to learn about relating the world. And when I recognize that, I know that I need to be joyful and grateful, more compassionate and connected. Because, when I exist in that space, I am happier and I feel a greater sense of purpose guiding me. Suddenly, I’m not overwhelmed by the situation in the States. I’m not depressed about everything. Joy and gratitude and compassion and connection form my happy place. It’s not a glass of wine. It’s not a TV show. It’s not buying something I don’t need. It’s not ignoring reality. My happy place is embracing life and being more loving toward every being on this planet.
Which reminds me of a currently popular FB post. It’s a Holiday To Do List written by Kate Dalebout of TheBeautyBean.com. While she wrote it specifically for maintaining sanity/ensuring self-care during the holidays, I think it works independent of season. It’s a To Do List for Life, in my opinion.
Courtesy of Kate Dalebout of thebeautybean.com
Best podcasts I’ve listened to:
I listened to each of these podcasts twice this week. They both resonated in powerful but different ways.
The Evolution of Medicine. Are you a health care professional (doctor, nurse, therapist)? Have you ever seen a health care professional? Have you ever been sick? Have you ever been well? Do you belong to a community? Do you want to be your best self? If you answered yes to any of these questions, LISTEN TO THIS PODCAST. It is about the shifting and expanding the focus of medicine from disease to health. It is about healing the whole self and how we do that. It is an inspiring and transformational 45 minutes.
Relating Wisely with Imperfection In this podcast, Buddhist psychologist Tara Brach talks about reducing the often automatic snowball cycle of anxiety, anger, and/or self-judgment that many of us find ourselves in from time to time. When you start to experience one of these non-productive thought patterns, Brach suggests going through these 3 steps.
- Name the feeling. “Right now, I feel anxious.”
- Note the physical manifestations of the feeling. “My heart is racing. My breathing is rapid.”
- Be compassionate toward yourself. Think about what would you say to your child if he or she expressed those feelings, and tell yourself the same thing. “Self, you’re going to be okay. Breathe deeply. Take 5 minutes to decompress.”
When you are able to become more cognizant of what you’re experiencing when it first happens, before you engage in the habitual cycle, you can better deal with the experience.
I have a book entitled “Shit Happens So Get Over it.” It’s a small book of quotes (related to the title) and I sat and read it during my meditation today. Here are some funny and inspiring quotes to tell yourself when life is difficult.
There are days when it takes all you’ve got just to keep up with the losers. ~Robert Orben (speechwriter for Gerald Ford)
Since the house is on fire, let us warm ourselves. ~Italian proverb
Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats. ~Voltaire (French philosopher)
A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery while on a detour. ~Anonymous
If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere. ~Frank A. Clark (American politician)
If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. ~Anne Bradstreet (poet)
Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall. ~Confucius (Chinese politician and philosopher)
The necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude, and perseverance. ~Samuel Adams (American statesman and philosopher)
Those are my musings. What about you?
- What did you listen to or experience this week that inspired you, motivated you, or helped you on your path?
- What mental state do you inhabit that brings you happiness and purpose?