Discovery and Wishes

I’ve been an avid reader all my life—all sorts of books from fiction to nonfiction and inspiration to The Far Side cartoon collection. No matter how many books I have, there will always be room for one more, except these past few weeks, when I’ve had to find room for many more.

It’s just one of those things where everywhere I turned there was something I wanted to read more about and so these past few weeks I’ve been gifting myself with an armload of books from local bookstores. As my pile got higher, I noticed that the subjects were all related in theme: without realizing it I had surrounded myself with biographies of individuals who fell from a place in their lives, met resistance, dealt with it, and overcame it or were working at overcoming it. These were stories of, in part, discovery, faith, challenges, courage, and strength in physical, emotional, and spiritual areas. Except, there were those Stephen King and Anne Rice novels thrown in there a few weeks ago that was pure blissful mind candy….

I can’t help but wonder if these books have been put in my path as an answer to questions I have been asking. Some questions I’m fully aware of and others I feel lurking just beneath my consciousness, stirring up the waters and tickling my dreams. Or perhaps they were brought to my attention to show me to have faith and acceptance no matter what course I’m redirected to. Either way, I am enjoying them tremendously and have already learned much with a lot more to digest.

That being said, one of the books I’ve been reading this week is from Pema Chödrön and I was reminded of the Four Limitless Qualities Chant. I’ve known about it but I was happy to be reminded of it again and I thought its showing up right now, is impeccable timing in that it perfectly expresses my wishes for everyone during this holiday season. Whatever religion you practice, whatever nationality you are, wherever you live in this world, I share and wish for you this:

May all beings enjoy happiness and the root of happiness.
May we be free from suffering and the root of suffering.
May we not be separated from the great happiness devoid of suffering.
May we dwell in the great equanimity free from passion, aggression, and prejudice.

Taking it deeper this Christmas and beyond.

Friday’s Focus—Keeping It Real Beyond the Holidays

The holidays of 2014 are in full swing with less than 2 weeks to Thanksgiving, 5 weeks until Hanukkah begins, then Christmas the week after, and finally New Year’s coming in with a blink of an eye only a week after that. Whew!

Barring natural disasters, there is no other time of the year that so much attention is given to the importance of family, friends, and loved ones and extending helping hands and kindness to strangers and those in need than during the holidays of November and December.

Volunteering suddenly goes up; donations to food kitchens rise; coat drives pop up; angel cards appear in town centers stapled to green-painted plywood trees, each denoting the age, sex and suggested gift for a child or senior in a shelter or a home; Toys for Tots bins sit ready and waiting in any given location throughout the city.

This is all wonderful and great and endearing, and it’s exactly these types of acts that help make the holidays feel special—showing and experiencing the kindness and generosity of the human heart and spirit; The way we should be with each other all year long and not just in November and December.

Let’s break through the amnesia that comes in January and continue to do something nice and thoughtful for the next person after the holidays. The calendar should not dictate when we need to offer a helping hand. Needing help doesn’t end after December and being nice, thoughtful, and considerate of the next person shouldn’t either.

Let the generosity of your spirit and depth of kindness for each other continue all year round. Coats may not be needed in June but food still is and basic necessities. Soup kitchens and shelters don’t close after April. Offering help and acts of kindness can take many forms regardless of the time of year.

Let’s take 2015 and make it the year of keeping it real. Keeping the real feelings of love, patience, tolerance, and kindness that we make such an effort to show during the Holiday Season and extend it to wherever it’s needed, to whomever it’s needed, regardless of the time of year.

Have a good weekend!

Keeping it light and singing LiLoLa [Live, Love, Laugh] all the way…

Friday’s Focus—Mwahahaha!!

Now that it’s officially Halloween and the day is still young, I already sense an undercurrent of urgency from people and businesses to start the race toward Christmas shopping. Thank goodness, to date, the celebration of Halloween has remained sanctioned as it’s own holiday and has barely been touched by the mere mention of tinsel, but as of tomorrow morning, all bets are off and the Christmas fliers will be here before the Thanksgiving turkey has a chance to defrost.

Today’s Friday’s Focus is to let yourself revel in the mysteries of the coming evening when the veils are thinnest and maybe that knock in the wall you’ve been hearing may not be from the water pipe….or at the very least, enjoy the costumes of the kids, adults, and even pets, around you and all of the creativity that went into them.

Even if you don’t like Halloween there’s still something for everyone out there, so don’t even THINK about that turkey or the garland. Relax today and roll with the candy corn.

Have a great weekend!

Keeping it light and singing LiLoLa [Live, Love, Laugh] all the way…