In Tenacity Notes #191, August 26, 2013, I announced that I had decided to walk the Path of Love. Immediately, there were many delights along the way, joy was my companion in life, and I was grateful that I had chosen to walk this Path. It was easy.
There have been challenges, too. When I am assiduous in my practice, the challenges light the Way as much as the delights do, and I am grateful. But my assiduousness is sporadic, and there are times when I awake to the knowledge that I have strayed and am struggling in the brambles, bereft of joy, far from the Path.
But, and this is thanks to my episodes of assiduous practice, when I do realize that I have strayed from the Way, a conscious breath can set me right. And so I return, again and again and again, to the Path of Love — the walking of which, I continue to learn, is easy when done with daily practice.
Is “unconditional acceptance of all others” an achievable goal? I have trouble even imagining such an accomplishment!
Whew. Time to get out the string to tie on my finger.
I will move in the direction of unconditional acceptance by remembering, over and over, that that’s where I intend to go.
I’m in Apple Valley, MN for several days.
We got here just in time for the lilacs and the flowering trees. A balm.
(Yes, that’s my home in the photo.)
I have some open time, so if you’d like an in-person reading, get in touch.
After Memorial Day we head up to the Iron Range, where we’ll spend the summer. I’ll be available for readings there, too.
And as always, I’m available via phone. Happy Spring!!
There is no past. There is only now.
There is no future. There is only now.
My wife’s nephew has a serious physical disability, and he recently had a medical crisis. People said things like, “It’s so sad that he has to suffer.”
But here’s the thing — I have never known him to suffer. Simply stated, he does not interpret any aspect of his life as suffering. He is a joyful person, a joyful spirit, and his life is simply his life, and living is his joy. Debra sees this in him, and she connects with him in his truth — love and joy are their common experience.
Others are so committed to their belief in suffering that they can’t connect with the truth of who he is. Looking at him with long faces and sad sympathy, they never see the love and joy he radiates.
Debra’s nephew is a powerful example that love and joy are real, and suffering is an illusion.
Practicing appreciation isn’t necessarily about looking for and finding things to appreciate. Rather, it’s being aware, in the moment, of the things that please you. Practicing appreciation is noticing those things, and noticing the pleasure they bring you. You don’t have to search out something to appreciate — simply appreciate what is already there.
The breeze on your skin; a purring cat; birdsong; chopping an onion; listening to Bonnie Rait (or Nat King Cole, or…) making sauerkraut; getting into bed at night; waking in the morning; stars; sun; people; a particular person; smells; tastes; breathing; seeing a tree, a leaf, a flower; taking a nap; reading a good book; petting a dog; completing a task. Notice that thing, and notice the pleasure it brings you.
Then you can notice that one of the things that gives you pleasure is noticing the things that give you pleasure! Take just a second to feel all the pleasure. Receive it!
That’s one way to practice appreciation.
Then, once you’re appreciating all the things in your day-to-day life that bring you pleasure (so many!) you can experience the ecstasy of gratitude. These daily gifts of pleasure! Oh joy!
By the way, how’s it going with generosity?