NANCY G. SHAPIRO

FINDING CALM IN THE MIDST OF CHANGE

Finding Integrity, Following Love

March 31, 2017

 

 

"When everything seems to be lacking in integrity, you find it in yourself.

You change the world, right from where you’re standing.”

- Madame Secretary, Season 1, episode 22

 

These days of upheaval and turbulence are calling each of us to find our own integrity. Integrity comes from the Latin integer, meaning “intact, whole, complete.” It is a calling to adhere to values and ideals that bring light and possibility into the dark corners of every day, an incorruptible stance that imbues our words and actions with generosity, kindness, respect, and compassionate power.

 

My work, your work, is to find our wholeness now, to be present with all that we truly are and stand powerfully, calmly rooted while sharing our gifted innovations and healing strengths with the world right in front of us. To do this we must first turn inward with that same generosity, kindness, respect, and compassionate power. A turning inward to feel, and then follow the love for your self—the fire in your heart and belly—that then ripples out to transform the world.

 

A love that is saying, “Sigueme . . . follow me!”

 

Take some time and turn toward this poem, Love After Love, by the inimitable poet Derek Walcott (1930-2017). He knew you would be needed during these times, with your smile intact.

   

The time will come

when, with elation

you will greet yourself arriving

at your own door, in your own mirror

and each will smile at the other's welcome,

 

and say, sit here. Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.

Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

 

all your life, whom you ignored

for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

 

the photographs, the desperate notes,

peel your own image from the mirror.

Sit. Feast on your life.

 

 

Photograph by Barry Shapiro

 

 

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Calming Practice: Repeat When Needed

 

Be still, and know that I am God.

Be still, and know that I am.

Be still, and know.

Be still.

Be.

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