Three Reminders of Clarity and Compassion

After a substantial expenditure of energy—during times of crisis, a creative push, a pivotal choice needing to be made, a day gone suddenly topsy-turvy or just too busy, or the draining constancy of “things out of our control”—it’s easy to fall into any number of physical, mental, emotional, and/or spiritual states of depletion. Just as easily we can exhaust ourselves further by thinking this ‘feeling depleted’ is somehow wrong.

Which is what I’ve been doing to myself since The Book of Calm went to the printers almost two weeks ago. My concentration has gone subterranean, and inspiration is a barely glimpsed ghost of its former self. Yesterday I came across three quotes. The words of Omid, Nova, and Pema rousing something small and light and hopeful amongst my uneasiness—a reminder of natural cycles, to be awake to whatever is in front of me.

For now, that is enough.

“Let us insist on a type of human-to-human connection where, when one of us

responds by saying, ‘I am just so busy,’ we can follow up by saying,

‘I know, love. We all are.

But I want to know how your heart is doing.’”

– Omid Safi

“Hint: the cage is not locked.”

– Nova Knutson

“When the energy simply flows through us, just as it flows through the grass and the trees

and the ravens and the bears and the moose and the ocean and the rocks,

we discover that we are not solid at all.

If we sit still like the mountain Gampo Lhatse in a hurricane,

if we don’t protect ourselves from the trueness and the vividness and the immediacy

and the lack of confirmation of simply being part of life,

then we are not this separate being

who has to have things turn out our way.”

– Pema Chodron

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Calming Practice: Gratitude and Wholeness

“Gratitude is remembering what we love and what makes us who we are—all that nurtures and sustains us. . . .

Counterintuitively, gratitude also includes the people and circumstances we dislike or perceive as negative.

Without acknowledging these parts of our lives, we are not fully aware

of our abilities to align, change, alter, and adjust—

abilities that are vital to the enhancement of our wholeness and well-being.”

– excerpt from The Book of Calm

With awareness and curiosity awake inside of you,

begin the calming practice of offering the soothing balm of gratitude

to a negative or disliked aspect of yourself or others, or to a circumstance in your life.