Today, recognize Love as our parent. Love is the source of affection, wisdom, guidance, inspiration, comfort, stability, courage. This parent has always been with us--and always been with those for whom we feel responsible. Good parenting, therefore, is not dependent on human effort or skill. Today, rest in that parent Love which embraces you with joy--and feel it present in the lives of others.
Today, err on the side of kindness toward yourself.
Sometimes we need higher standards, higher expectations, more work, but today give yourself gentleness. Talk to yourself with kindness. Lower your expectations. Celebrate your virtues. Give yourself the kind of kindness, in worlds and actions, you would a dear friend who was suffering.
In After the Ecstasy, the Laundry, Jack Kornfield advises us to let our spiritual practice touch every part of our experience and our lives, to leave nothing out.
"When we look at the spiritually unattended areas of our life, we often find in them underlying judgment or fear. We may believe that body, or relationships, or future planning, or money, or sexuality, or family, or community, or politics is 'unspiritual,' dangerous, ugly, a trap. This fear puts up walls, isolates our heart from living, divides the world so that part of it is seen as not holy. Our experiences of realization remain compartmentalized and unfulfilled . . . It is in deep and honest listening to whatever has been feared or left out that our freedom will be found. And if we don't choose to look, that which is unattended will come find us; the lost parts of ourselves will present themselves, knocking ever louder if we don't listen to their cries."
Today, feel Love attending to every area of your experience.
An old friend used to say to me, "Be right sized." By this, I think she meant, don't be grandiose. Recognize and honor your limits. Don't imagine you have control over that which you do not or take on responsibilities which are not yours. On the flip size, don't be smaller than you are. Own your authority and sphere of positive influence.
In his book After the Ecstasy, the Laundry, Jack Kornfield quotes a lama, reflecting on his spiritual journey after he leaves his seven year silent retreat in order teach:
"For years I thought spiritual life was about some special state of perfection or enlightenment. It is really about releasing attachment. LIfe doesn't depend only on what you do. The big illusions we strive for, whether in the world or in our spiritual life, turn out to be false. When you learn to let go, you find a tremendous faith in the ground of all things, that which is true before and after all our plans."
Today, recognize all the privileges in your life: home, transportation, food, books, movies, people to love, and the opportunity to be of service with your unique combination of qualities. Today, walk around in the wonder of this. Let it melt your sense of restlessness or any mindless tendency toward unnecessary complaint or gossip.
Tarn Wilson is the author of the memoir The Slow Farm and numerous essays. You may read more of her work at tarnwilson.com.