I dunno about you, but this winter is bringing some major storms. And I'm not just talking about the weather! I am reminded again and again of one of my teachers, Pema Chodron, who says: You are the sky. The rest is just the weather. Aspiring to see the sky in this winter of my discontent, I looked to Pema's teaching, Awakening to Love. The day after the election, to be exact. And every day since. Aspiring to find love in an avalanche of hate. Aspiring to find courage in a mountain of fear.
For whatever reasons, both I and a number of those whom I hold dearest in my heart have been facing a lot of "opportunities for growth" lately. Not the Mercury is in retrograde and that's why your computer crashed variety. Which, to be blunt, annoys the shit out of me - the "mercury is in retrograde" bit more than the computer crashing bit. Shit happens. Life happens. Everything happens. Let's not debate the "for a reason" bit. Let's choose to focus on the bits that we can all agree on. The difficult truth that sometimes life is beautiful and easy and fun. And other times life is challenging and scary... and if you can muster up the courage, if you can face the challenge, there is nothing more beautiful than facing your fear with aspirational love.
Thanks to Pema, I've been doing a little experiment. When I feel frustrated or afraid of someone/something, I've chosen to send loving kindness to them. And something really shifts when you can see obstacles through that lens. I haven't exactly worked my way up to 45, but I have really noticed that when I have lost my bearings and wished for a do-over, I have forgotten my practice. Every. Single. Time.
Aspirational, to be sure. Hoping to be loving and kind to all beings at all times. Choosing to believe it is possible. Knowing you are falling short. Hoping to be forgiven. Choosing to start again and again. Knowing you will fall down again. And again. Choosing to get back up. Choosing to love and forgive yourself may be the highest aspiration of all.
If we are going to wake up, show up and open up to everything that happens in our lives, we need support. Lots of support. And lots of love for ourselves and each other. This is why we practice - to be in a community, to share our joys and our sorrows, to believe it is possible to make the world a better place by aspiring to our own greatest potential.