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Soul Musings/Day 7: Widening Our Circle of Compassion

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Embrace the whole of nature in it’s beauty. Photo: Dewitt Jones

Widen our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”  Albert Einstein

Humans daily separate themselves from the rest of creation.

Causing endless suffering in our monumental forgetfulness.

What if the beauty and mystery of nature ceased to exist?

And we found ourselves in a black and white world.

Our senses shrinking to nothing.

Left staring endlessly into a void.

Reminders of the coupling that brought us such beauty.

Illuminate the vibrant intimate structure of all life…..

……that without embracing we are nothing.

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Inspiring New Possibilities, Living From the Soul of Life While Co-creating Well Being of Body, Being, Heart and Planet….One Breath At A Time

Soul Musings is a 31-day practice for the month of December immersed in deep listening to what is emerging and unfolding day by day.  Eight sentences with occasional resources to explore more deeply.

Each post, invited by Soul, allows the words to emerge unscathed from prior planning, editing, or censorship.  Dwelling in uncertainty and dipping a toe into mystery this union of words is an attempt to resonate within an innate way of Being…. returning “home”.

To receive daily posts simply sign up for this blog and you will be notified through e-mail.  In addition there will be daily posts on the blogs below.  Thank you for being part of this practice with me!

Gaye Abbotthttp://www.GayeAbbott.com

OTHER BLOGS:

BreathingSpaces

WildlyFreeWoman

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Simple Acts of Kindness

bluebonnets, flamingos, and a truck

Thank you to “Two Cannoli” for taking this great picture (The bluebonnets have particular meaning as they are wild here in Austin, Texas!) and for understanding that it only takes a second to notice an act of kindness done to you….or be aware of when an act of kindness can be offered to another.

That means we have all the time in the world to offer and receive acts of kindness.  Do you think the world would be a different place if we committed not only to doing something that scares us every day, but also to notice when kindness has been offered to us and openly appreciate it, as well as be aware of when we can offer a simple act of kindness to another.

Sometimes the best are when you are least expecting it, or those secret ones where you will never know who the agent of kindness was!

Each of us knows how it feels to receive an act of kindness.  It could be as simple as someone letting you onto a crowded road, a smile passing on the street,  or going the extra step to offer service above and beyond what is expected.  Over the past few days I have been the recipient as well as the giver of acts of kindness.  I am particularly aware of them as a grand leap was taken last week by quitting a job and choosing instead to immerse myself in my own business.  A somewhat stressful time yes, but because of this giving and receiving of kindness I am particularly aware of how very blessed I am!  That has taken my attention!

The day after I quit my job I took myself to the nearest office supply store in order to get a new business calendar (no I don’t have a smart phone etc – I actually do it the “old fashioned way”) to plan and vision on.  This store is a chain store and often times you don’t expect the type of service you might find in a smaller privately owned establishment.  However, within the space of the 10 minutes I was in there I was asked by 3 people whether they could help me find what I was looking for and smiles were exchanged each time.  The crowning glory was the check out woman who first apologized for my having to wait for a minute or so and then while she was checking out my purchases we exchanged a very personal and loving dialog.

Her smile was huge as she said to me, “it is good to see you back again.  I just saw you 2 days ago right?” and when I said no she told me “you have the kind of face everyone wants to remember!”  As I shared with her that I had just quit a job the day before and was heading into being my own boss, she gave me a high 5 and said “don’t give up!”  A few more comments were exchanged and then it was time  for me to leave the register.  I looked in her eyes and thanked her for her attention, service and kindness and we both felt the love exchanged between two complete strangers.

kindness2Then yesterday it was my turn.  I was doing my regular lap swimming and no one else was in my lane.  Near the end of my time in the pool I looked up and there was a father with his young daughter about age 8 or so.  I asked if she wanted to share the lane with me.  At first hesitant she jumped in at her father’s urging.  I watched her swim beside me and noted that she was an amazing swimmer for her age.  When I got back to the end of the lane they had changed to an open lane so that the father could be beside her.  As her father jumped in I called out “your daughter is a great swimmer”!  He didn’t hear me, but she did as she kick boarded her way down the adjoining lane.  The smile and thank you she gave me were brilliant!

Today it was time to receive and give as I was given service above and beyond the norm when a computer at the local Fed Ex store would not print my documents.  Then I was able to give a simple act of kindness by stopping by a local herb/vitamin pharmacy to purchase some natural products for a very dear friend who has poison ivy creeping all over her body and drop them off at her house.

Though this has been an incredibly challenging post trauma growth period for me over the last week these simple acts of kindness given and received have reminded me that this is what life is about.  Our connection with others is always there.  We always have the choice to expand our awareness outwardly in a way that says “I care” and “I appreciate you”!  The opportunities are limitless!

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WEBSITE:  www.ResonanceWithLife.com

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www.BreathingSpaces.net
www.WildlyFreeWoman.com

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http://resonancewithlife.com/daily-breath-book/

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http://resonancewithlife.com/natural-wealth-course/

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Being Generous to Ourselves

Dear Gaye,

Your last post reminds me of the words of one of my teachers who once said to me: “It’s good to be generous to others, but you must remember to be generous to yourself!”

Perhaps this year’s New Year’s Resolution might be to follow that advice? Often we find it easy to be generous to others. We take pleasure in giving, but find it hard to be generous to ourselves. We tend to be our own worst critics, pronouncing judgements (usually negative ones) on all sorts of things, from our waist-size to the size of our bank balance.

Sometimes it’s just in our casual reactions, like saying “What an idiot I am!” under our breath when something goes wrong. Other times it can mean talking ourselves out of an opportunity. I figure we’ve all done this.

Being generous to ourselves means not talking like that any more: or, when we hear ourselves making a self-judgement, committing to taking it back each time. I find it easiest to talk to myself (sometimes even out loud!) in the third person when I hear myself say/think something negative like this. “Stop that!” I say to myself. I then overlay whatever it was that I just said with a statement of its opposite. The quicker I take action on it, the better.

Being generous to ourselves isn’t a selfish thing. It’s perhaps an essential ingredient in helping others be generous too. As above, so below. As within, so without.

Not a bad starting point for this year’s journey along the path of Natural Wealth…

Enjoy your day!

R.

WEBSITEwww.ResonanceWithLife.com

Making Connections

“My hope and wish is that one day, formal education will pay attention to what I call “education of the heart.” Just as we take for granted the need to acquire proficiency in the basic academic subjects, I am hopeful that a time will come when we can take it for granted that children will learn, as part of the curriculum, the indispensability of inner values: love, compassion, justice, and forgiveness.”  The Dalai Lama

Dear Gaye,

I love the story in your last post. What a great reminder to us all that it’s when we engage with others that real magic happens!

Imagine how different our world would be if the daily news covered tales like this, focusing on the millions of instances of people connecting with each other that happen every day, rather than all the doom and gloom. I really don’t think it would take long for a big shift to happen: a shift from fear to faith.

I’ve just relocated back to England (for a while) and have noticed how wary people are of each other here in comparison to Southern Ireland. Like you, I tend to chat with people, giving them a smile and engaging in whatever topic pops into my head. It always leads somewhere interesting.

The other day I was in a long queue at the post office. In front of me was a young mother with her small boy, of maybe 6 or 7 years old. Hanging around in queues is deadly dull for small children (I remember it well!) and he was getting bored, singing “Let it snow!” louder and louder to get attention. I bent down and started chatting with him. Do you think it’ll snow this Christmas? Yes, I hope so: that sort of thing.

Then I realized that his Mom was looking at me with alarm. Her eyes said: “Who is this strange man? Why is he talking with my son? What does he want?” I looked her right in the eye and simply said “It’s ok, I have three kids of my own,” at which point she softened and we carried on chatting, all three of us, whilst the queue got shorter. We didn’t have the spectacular results that you and your artist friend did, but a moment of fear was transformed into a few minutes of connection.

And that, to me, is what this time in our evolution is all about: transforming fear of difference into moments of connection. Yes, we’re all unique, but we’re all pretty much the same underneath, with 99.99% of our genome being shared by each one of us across the globe.

By nature, we are all one. And we know it. Put a group of two year olds in a room and leave them to it and they get on just fine, no matter what color, creed or social background they’re from. We’re genetically predisposed to connect.

It’s only later, when we go to school and start to listen to what our friends and parents tell us, that we start to see others as different. They myth of separation begins to kick in and pretty soon we start making judgements that set “us” aside from “them”. And that’s where the problems come in. Squabbles over differences lead to arguments on a minor scale, wars on a major one.

We’re heading towards Christmas, a time when we direct our attention towards giving and sharing, when we’re encouraged to display our innate sense of empathy. I wonder, though, whether each of us can make a commitment to bringing that sense of empathy into every day of our lives, sharing a smile, offering help whenever we can, doing what we can to bridge the perceived divides?

I think we can. It doesn’t have to be in huge, grand gestures (although those are just fine too!). We can all do a little bit, each day. And each little bit mounts up. And the shift begins.

For me, there’s no such thing as separation. What I feel, you feel. What happens to animals, plants, to the earth itself, happens to me too. That’s the beauty of it. We’re all in this together.

Namaste,

Richard.

WEBSITEwww.ResonanceWithLife.com

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Compassion As A Force of Nature

Dear Gaye,

A quick aside for you.

One of the 13 Laws in our forthcoming course Natural & Divine Wealth is the Law of Compassion. Compassion may not be something most people associate directly with wealth, but for me it’s one of the cornerstones because it helps define who we are.

With this in mind, here is a simple tale.

This week is school half-term and I have been spending time with my children. We are lucky. The house here is in a valley that is owned largely by a single farmer. His fields are dotted with cattle and sheep and the children are safe to roam around anywhere they like (as indeed I was when I was a boy many moons ago). It’s wonderful to have that freedom in today’s world, to see the kids trek off into the wilds without a care in the world.

Two days ago my thirteen year old daughter came back from a walk on her own to say that she was concerned about a young lamb that had escaped from the field in which the rest of its flock were. She had tried to help it get back, but had not managed. So, the three of us (myself and my two daughters) headed off up the valley to see what was what.

When we got to the field in question, we could hear the distressed bleating of the lamb before we saw it. Walking on, we saw that the creature had indeed got itself stuck outside the field. In fact, it had somehow managed to wedge itself between a high, hawthorn-covered bank and the wire fencing of the field. Worse still, its head and neck were thrust through one of the squares of the wire mesh.

As we walked up to it, it struggled and bleated frantically. I asked each of my girls to stay calm and to pull the top of the wire as far out (towards them) as possible. I then leaned over and gently, but firmly, manoeuvred the lamb free of the wire. But it was still on the far side, tightly wedged into the tiny space into which it had somehow crawled.

Getting it out proved none too easy. Hawthorns are spiky and dense and the hedge grew right up over the top of the fence. After some effort, however, I managed to get both hands underneath the lamb and lifted it out, popping it back down in the field on the near side, where it ran off to join its mother and twin, seemingly none the worse for its experience.

I’m sharing the story with you for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, it is an example of taking action. When my daughter came back from her walk we could have just sat around saying “Oh well, there’s nothing we can do, maybe the farmer will go up there later?” Instead, we took action right away. This is a good lesson for all of us in our quest for wealth: not to hurry, but to take action in good time: not to pass the buck, but to take responsibility (a key to freedom, in  my opinion).

Secondly, there was a good lesson for us all in the rewards of non-resistance. As soon as the lamb realised we were there to help, it stopped struggling and became totally still, making the job of lifting it out much easier. It followed its instincts and moved into trust. Its reward was freedom (see last post for more on this).

Thirdly, the experience filled all three of us with smiles. As we walked back home, the daughter who had found the lamb in the first place said how good she felt about what had just happened. “That was better than all the Christmas presents I’ve ever got, Daddy!” she said happily.  It’s a moment we will all remember.

Compassion is a great force in nature. It is part of the fabric of the universe itself.  Without compassion, life has little meaning, no matter how materially wealthy we may be. Money is simply energy, an indicator of whether we are walking the path to Divine Wealth or not. It does not in itself give us fulfilment.

With compassion flowing in each breath, however, we meet the magic that defines us for who we truly are: beings for whom life is immeasurably richer when we empathise with others; caretakers capable of giving love to each and every living thing when we choose to do so. The rewards are high, for in feeling compassion, in showing our empathy to others, we become instantaneous recipients of both.

The trick of course is to create balance, welcoming wealth in all its forms: love, health, money and perfect self expression.

So, with the image of the three of us smiling as we return home across the fields, I leave you to enjoy your day!

Much love,
Richard.