An Interjection

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Hello friend readers!  Want to share this from my morning Facebook feed… A video about Donald Trump that made me think.

Forgive me, I have not yet learned how to embed video into posts; here is the link.

And my thoughts:

Wow, this really paints a different picture–positively stymies me. As I watched, I remembered all the other things I have seen and heard him say–so inconsistent–mind-bogglingly so–with what’s presented here. So we will have to wait and see. And do everything we can as individuals to hold his feet (and those of all of our elected officials) to the fire.

I am extremely skeptical about his character (so extremely). But if this video truly represents it (OMG so skeptical), and he can manifest it in the next four years (***starting by calling to his supporters to stop committing assault and battery in his name***), that would be the best case scenario.

I will pray for his better angels to prevail. I know many of us believe he has none. But if we write him off forever now and oppose him for its own sake, we risk throwing away a unique opportunity to learn and connect.

In the end I would rather have given him the benefit of the doubt and been disappointed than thrown him away and wish I had been more generous.

Because I want to live generously. It’s better for my health and happiness, and I think it’s the better example for my kids. I can do that and be skeptical and pragmatic at the same time.

God help us all.

On Community

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NaBloPoMo 2016, Letters to Patients, Day 10

To Patients Who Feel Alone Sometimes:

Who holds you up?

Day 2 post-election, it is still positively surreal.  Monday night I saw Facebook friends post passionate, emotional, sometimes desperate pleas, urging their friends to vote one way or another.  I also saw friends acknowledging the long, strange trip, looking forward to the next chapter, expressing both relief and trepidation.  A cloud of separation hung over my heart as I read some of my friends’ words then. 

Something inside urged me to contact a high school classmate.  We did not know each other well back then, and we didn’t always like each other.  But I always felt a mutual respect.  She does not post about politics; I do…a lot.  I know we differ in many of our positions and views.  I also know her to be thoughtful, kind, ethical, and just.  I know she has a lot going on in her life right now.  Our Facebook friendship has grown the past few years, and more and more I feel a cosmic connection.  I am meant to know this person again and better, in this later phase of life.  So I messaged her privately, just to tell her I was thinking of her.  I sent hope, and wishes that we could sit down over tea, somewhere cozy, and share our lives—slowly, thoughtfully, kindly, lovingly.  Turns out my little message helped hold her up yesterday.  On this day of anxiety and tension, hope and uncertainty, this long-distance connection gives me strength and peace.  It reminds me of a recent article by the Dalai Lama on our need to be needed.

I’ve said and written so often that I’m so grateful for my tribe(s), the communities that surround and support me in everything I do.  When I see patients, I make it a point to ask about emotional support networks. They don’t have to be vast or deep.  They just need to be strong and reliable.  No matter what our station, our illness, our cultural origin, or our political leaning, we live longer, healthier, happier, and easier when we connect with others.  It can be many, often, and deep.  It can be few and intermittent.  It just has to be meaningful and enough.

Lastly, supportive relationships function best when they are also reciprocal.  I don’t mean quid pro quo.  I mean mutual, shared, communal, uncalculated support.  I ask patients, “Do you have enough people you know you can turn to, people who will be there for you, in times of personal crisis?”  I want so much for you to answer without hesitation, “Yes, definitely, no question.”  Then I can relax about your health.  You (all) got this.

On Setting Intentions

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NaBloPoMo 2016, Letters to Patients, Day 9

To Patients Seeking Bearing and Beacons

Set your intentions for the day.

In the aftermath of the election…  I feel an intense need to self-soothe and focus.

A wise friend recently introduced me to a morning practice that has impacted my days in wonderfully tangible ways.  He describes a 5×5 grid which he pencils in his journal each morning.  He fills each box with a word that he wants to hold in intention for the day.  For each word, he meditates on its meaning, then what it would feel like.  Then he meditates to feel it and live it already.  Throughout the day he then recalls the words and their sensations.  He started with a 2×2 grid (four words), then gradually increased it to 5×5.

I have had 9 (now 10) presentations to prepare between mid-August and the end of this month.  My practice continues to grow.  The kids’ schedules and activities multiply proportional to their heights.  Learning this anchoring method from him has been a Godsend for focus and grounding, and I am so grateful.

I started with 3 words, and have practiced inconsistently (this appears to be a pattern for me).  But each day that I take time to determine the words and sit with them a while, I notice a remarkable steadiness throughout the day.

Patience.  Compassion.  Focus.  Love.  Empathy.  Ease.  Generosity.  Equanimity.  Joy.  Fun.  Peace.  Forgiveness.  More Love.  Connected.  Center.  Openness.  Curiosity.  Engage.  Movement.  Lightness.  Ground.  Calm.  Acceptance.  Non-judgment.  Happy.

It’s really amazing:  Just a few minutes in the morning are all it takes to frame my mind and resolve my heart.  I feel steadfast as I walk out the door.  I go about my day and forget.  Then, in those unfocused moments, the words rise to conscious awareness and I remember, reset, and re-center.

Maybe you’re feeling a little unsteady now, also?  Give the Word Intention practice a try.  It can’t hurt.  It costs a few minutes of time.  You can start with one word.  You can write it on your hand.  There is no such thing as cheating, only seeking and centering.

Best wishes and peace to you.