Today, feel Love actively tending to whatever feels vulnerable in you, with great kindness, compassion, and unconditional care.
Today, feel Love in the very deepest parts of your being. Feel love at the very center of your cells. Feel love at the very center of your molecules. There is nothing so buried or hidden that Love cannot reach it--no memory, hurt, pain, or fear. Love can permeate it all, with powerful and transforming gentleness.
In a story in the Bible, Mary sits at Jesus' feet to listen and learn while her sister Martha bustles about taking care of household tasks and grumbling that no one is helping. Jesus says that Mary has "chosen the better part." Today, remember to feel Spirit, Life, Love coursing through all your activities. Focus on the ones with the most spiritual payoff--ones that feel rich in learning and love and renewal and kindness and joy.
Today, before making any decision or confronting anyone, feel the presence of Love embracing you and all other parties. Love cherishes you all deeply and specifically and unconditionally, touching each of your deepest needs. If you cannot yet rest fully and confidently in that Love (and still harbor fear, judgement, or self-justification), give yourself more time before making the decision or having the conversation.
It is okay to feel moments of joy, even when you are surrounded by great suffering. To feel joy is not to be selfish or to neglect the world's needs. Joy is evidence of the presence of Love, Spirit. Joy is a gift to be appreciated. Joy has transforming powers.
Our Maker has given to us the ability to hear and recognize the voice of Spirit. It is an innate capacity. It cannot be blocked by fear, our history, other people's opinions, or the busyness our clutter of our own minds or schedule. Today, be still and listen. Know that Love is dawning, in it's own way and time.
Today, give yourself a break from opinion: about what you should be doing differently, about what others should be doing differently, about politics, policies, family members, and the rest of the endless list.
Being thoughtfully and analytically engaged in our lives and communities is important, but we need regular breaks from constant analysis, judgement, and efforts at improving ourself and others. Today, let go. Accept your life as it is. Rest and relax and renew in that space. True wisdom and a better sense of what truly needs your attention will be born in that space.
Today, consciously release the voices of self-criticism and feel the presence of Spirit sitting in their place. Be active, diligent, and kind in this process.
Today, do everything just a little more slowly than you intended, letting Spirit inhabit your moments. This is your real work.
Take time to notice Spirit moving in your body, giving you life; moving in your conversations, creating connection, understanding, love, and learning; moving in your work as the manifestation of Spirit in the world; moving in your thoughts, giving you wisdom and discernment.
My sister gave me permission to share her inspiring Facebook post.
3 Lessons From 3 Months of Illness
For a shy Facebooker such as myself, this is a lot to put out there. But now that I’m nearing the end of my 3 month adventure with viral meningitis, I feel compelled to share what I have learned from the experience:
1. LESSON #1: I have the most spectacularly wonderful friends and family.
This is going to sound like an Oscar’s speech, but it has to be said: Eternal gratitude to dear, loyal Heidi, and to Shannon, Rob, Kim, Lisa, Tim, and anyone I may have left off the list, for cooking for my kids, cleaning my house, bringing me home cooked meals, taking my kids to school, buying me groceries, and keeping me in merry company, not just for a week or two, but consistently and cheerfully for a full 3 months. Huge thanks to Rich, Matt, Scott and Sarah for entertaining my kids and getting them out of the house when I could not, and for hanging out with me even when I know I wasn’t any fun. And to my faraway sisters Tarn and Tori for gamely entertaining my multiple queries (in the affirmative) about whether I would ever get better, and for always, always making me laugh. And of course to my colleagues at work who had to pick up an awful lot of slack in my absence. And to the Academy.
2. LESSON #2: My kids don’t need SuperMom…they need me.
My kids are just as delighted (probably more so) with Jell-o and whipped cream for Valentine’s Day as they are with my usual 4-layer, ganache-filled, heart-shaped cake extravaganza. They are just as happy (probably more so) hanging out on the couch explaining Minecraft to me as they are with an elaborately planned weekend getaway adventure. I believe that my children, so naturally gifted in the art of living simply and joyfully in the now, have been gently calling upon me, their mom, to stop running furiously toward the unattainable goal of “keeping it all together” and to join them in the present moment. Boys, I accept your invitation with gratitude and joyful anticipation.
3. LESSON #3: I can…and must…slow down if I am to be of any use to anyone.
Turns out, if dishes are piled up in the sink, and Legos are scattered across the floor, and I don’t manage to fit in a hearty session of strength training and sprints before the kids get out of bed…well…nothing. Nothing happens. No impact…on anything that matters. I’ve been striving so hard for a misguided vision of perfection that it made me sick. So what will I reach for now? What is my new measure of success? If I can shrug in earnest at the dishes in the sink; if I can relish those sharp, colorful evidences my kids’ creativity dotting the landscape of the floor; if I can give myself the gift of an extra hour of sleep; if I can slow down, take the pressure off, forgive myself…that will be success I can celebrate.
Tarn Wilson is the author of the memoir The Slow Farm and numerous essays. You may read more of her work at tarnwilson.com.