Listening to a report on poverty on NPR this morning got me to thinking more deeply about the difference between compassion and empathy. The report included research on the impact of compassion and empathy in the presence of suffering. Read More “Week 646: Compassion and Empathy”
This guided meditation invites you to settle into the core steadiness that is always present, that is never disturbed, and that is a resource you can lean into during challenging times. Using the metaphor of “becoming a mountain”, you have an opportunity to directly experience the qualities of steadiness that can be found in a mountain, experiencing yourself as a mountain. Here’s the YouTube version…
I had a conversation recently with a friend who was agitated and highly distressed about the current political situation in the U.S. As I listened to them, I found myself wondering if they were aware of the qualities they were radiating into themselves and into the environment around them because of the intensity of their agitation. This got me to thinking about the power and importance of cultivating an awareness of the frequencies with which we resonate from moment to moment.
One of the practices I follow as best I can is to notice the tone and quality of my internal state and how that translates into what energy and qualities I radiate into myself and my environment. This doesn’t mean ignoring distress. If I feel grief and need to actively allow it to process and move through me, or if I feel outrage and need to act on behalf of what I want to support, that’s important too and can happen without generating additional activation.Read More “811th Week: Tracking Frequencies, Avoiding “Adding Logs to the Fire””
Continuing with a recent theme, I’ve been thinking about what practices can offer support during a time when so many sources of distress, uncertainty, suffering, and fear are in our personal and collective atmosphere just about all the time. As I pondered our current collective situation, solution-focused therapy practices came to mind. In solution-focused therapy, clients are invited to place an emphasis on noticing things that go right in their environment, relationships, and everyday lives.
With this in mind, I’d like to offer a practice around noticing what’s going right. When we are able to do that, we perceive the world through a filter more focused on wholeness, where there is room for everything—for what causes discomfort and distress and what offers support, optimism, hope, inspiration, and enjoyment. All too often, it seems to me, we can become caught in a focus on what’s negative or destructive and forget that there are also positive and constructive things going on in our world.
A mundane example related to the situation with my feline housemates that I described last week is not only a recognition of the pain and distress caused by surgery but also a recognition of the blessings offered by medication that reduces pain and the slow “bouncing back” of all concerned.
And so, for this week, here’s a practice to play with. As you do, please track where you find yourself not wanting to shift from problems to what’s going right. It can be very illuminating to discover how loyal we can be to what causes us distress and our culture tends to discount, if not negate outright, positive actions and events happening locally and around the world.Read More “857th Week: Noticing What’s Going Right”