We can change this world with words like "love" and "freedom."

1000 Voices for Compassion

I wanted to participate in today’s 1000 Voices for Compassion, but couldn’t think of what to say. I Googled compassion quotes and found this by Rumi. “Give your weakness to one who helps.” The quote struck me like a lightning bolt, so I sat with it. What does it mean? Well, I went back to find its context. This is what I discovered.

Cry Out in Your Weakness

A dragon was pulling a bear into its terrible mouth.

A courageous man went and rescued the bear.
There are such helpers in the world, who rush to save
anyone who cries out. Like Mercy itself,
they run toward the screaming.

And they can’t be bought off.
If you were to ask one of those, “Why did you come
so quickly?” He or she would say, “Because I heard
your helplessness.”

Where lowland is,
that’s where water goes. All medicine wants
is pain to cure.

And don’t just ask for one mercy.
Let them flood in. Let the sky open under your feet.
Take the cotton out of your ears, the cotton
of consolations, so you can hear the sphere-music. . . .

Give your weakness
to One Who Helps.

Crying out loud and weeping are great resources.
A nursing mother, all she does
is wait to hear her child.

Just a little beginning-whimper,
and she’s there.

God created the child, that is, your wanting,
so that it might cry out, so that milk might come.

Cry out! Don’t be stolid and silent
with your pain. Lament! And let the milk
of Loving flow into you.

The hard rain and wind
are ways the cloud has
to take care of us.

Be patient.
Respond to every call
that excites your spirit.

Ignore those that make you fearful
and sad, that degrade you
back toward disease and death.

~Rumi

Whether you believe in one God or many gods or no god at all, this passage calls you to be refreshed when you’re tired of hearing the sad stories on the news or from the people around you. Do you rush to save anyone who cries out? Do you run toward the screaming?

Sometimes I want to put cotton in my ears and shut out all the voices of pain in my world. It becomes too much. But Rumi says it’s okay to cry out the pain and let it go. Let it flow out and let love flow in.

Once we do that, we’re allowed not to respond to every call for help we hear. “Respond to every call that excites your spirit.” This is quite a wakeup call to healers who want to make the whole world a better place. You don’t have to do it all.

“Ignore those that make you fearful and sad, that degrade you back toward disease and death.” Don’t ignore the pain of the world. Know that you can listen to your reaction and respond in love and vulnerability, not in obligation or fear. This is what being truly compassionate means.

Downward Mobility Series

Downward Mobility Series.

I didn’t know much about vision quests, so when I had the opportunity to receive this book free from Hay House in exchange for an honest review, I didn’t really know what to expect. The concept had always intrigued me a bit, though, so I was curious to see what I’d learn.

One thing I was delighted to discover is that you don’t have to leave home to go on a vision quest. I haven’t done that yet, as I’m still trying to figure out how to carve private time and space when we have two dogs and four cats to take care of; but yay, that it’s not impossible! I was also excited because I use a wheelchair outside my home, and finding an accessible place to go on a vision quest that I could afford kind of worried me.

I was also excited to find a chapter about vision quests for teenagers. It’s always good to see these concepts made accessible to and enjoyed by everyone!

I loved that Denise Linn teaches us that vision quests are about intention and whatever feels right to the individual. This makes doing a vision quest much less intimidating and far more of a reality.

Be yourself.

All you have to do is figure out who that is. Cut through all the noise, get quiet, and listen. 

Do you feel alone tonight?

“….God sets the lonely in families.”–Psalms 68: 6

When you feel that you can’t go on alone, remember this. Know that there is a place where you belong. Keep going. You will find your people–the ones who will open their arms, their hearts, and their lives to you.

thought for the day

Compassion heals the heart and soothes the soul.

Why do i write?

I write to make others think AND feel.

Filling Your Own Cup

How can you be there for people who are depending on you when you’re running on fumes yourself? How can you teach them what they most need to know when there are days you can’t find your own way out of the darkness? Sometimes you have to fill your own cup. Sometimes you have to scream into the emptiness, even though all you hear is the echo of your own voice. Sometimes you just have to know that tomorrow will come, and one of these tomorrows will bring change. It will bring hope and a reason to get out of bed and a reason WHY. You’ll understand what you don’t understand now, and that’s what you can bring to those who depend on you. You can bring them hope and a hand to hold and someone to sit with them in the darkness when they feel alone.

I was challenged by the amazing Patti Digh to get back into my writing by writing 10 minutes a day. Even 10 minutes seems to be hard, and I wonder why something I love so much and something that’s so much a part of who I am is SO hard to do sometimes. What has happened to my voice?

So finally the seemingly endless rain we’re having in Asheville in May has brought me back in touch with something inside. I’m not sure what, I’m not sure why–but the rain has triggered my sadness at the loss of my voice and the loss of my self. I’m in one of the most open-minded and open-hearted communities I know, yet I find myself at a loss as to how to build a supportive community of my own.  I long for kindred spirits, yet when they come my way, I can’t seem to bridge the gap between us. I just want some friends, yet I feel that no one truly knows me. No one truly cares. So I shut down. I stop reaching out.

My heart hurts. My soul aches. I am alone.

Last night I saw a picture on Facebook with the caption, “Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.” Thank you, Margaret Shepard, whoever you are, for giving me that last push off the cliff that I needed to take that leap of faith.

As of last night, I am open to business, to connecting, to coaching. I am here for those who are burned out and need to find balance in their lives. I am especially open to those who are frontline staff in social service/mental health/nonprofit work. Those are my kindred spirits. I know how much you give day after day, and I know how hard it can be to let yourself take in encouragement, especially when resources are so limited and you’re so used to putting everyone else but yourself first. I’ve seen it, I’ve done it–I’ve been in the field for over 20 years. Let me be there for you. You don’t need to be fixed. You need to be shown that you matter and that you can’t keep giving when you’re getting nothing in return.

I’m here in person, on the phone, by email–however it works best for you. If you work days, evenings, nights, it doesn’t matter. Here’s a hand held out for you. I hope you’ll take it!