Tag Archives: loving kindness

Speak softly. Step gently. | 52 Acts of Grace | Week 47


One of my mother’s favourite sayings when I was small was “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

She held her own counsel, seldom vying from the path of kindness towards others.

Yesterday, my sister and I met with my mother and a transition worker to talk about next steps.

Since her fall and subsequent operation in December, she has not recovered well. She started out strong, defying the doctor’s predictions for her recovery.

And then, she had a set-back. Something pulled in her left hip/leg where she’d had the surgery to repair the break, and now, the pain is constant and she can barely move that leg.

The trauma of losing her mobility, of having to move from her current residence which is a light assisted living situation to a more intensive long-term care model, is heart-breaking.

And still my mother persists.

She continues to speak softly. She  still has only sweet words to share with everyone.

We could all use a page from my mother’s playbook.

Speak softly. Step gently.


A chant for Peace

It’s still there.

The conversations. The disbelief. The fear. The uncertainty.

Dang. I thought by breathing into it that it would all just go away or at least settle down into a quiet little burble.

But it keeps frothing up, calling out to be acknowledged, asking to be heard.

Uncertainty does that.

It’s the thing about life, at any time. We want to know the future is certain. We want to know it is predictable.

To a certain degree we can. Feel confident in its certain appearance. Feel certain in its predictability.

Yet, when massive upheavals like Nov 8th’s election result appear, the future feels less known, less certain, less predictable.

And fear rises.

To offset fear, I must always choose to breathe into the moment. Always accept that what is, truly is, instead of giving into my disbelief that it could be so!

And so, I breathe. And share in my wise friend Leigh’s loving-kindness meditation. It is a prayer for peace to begin within me and within everyone around me — those I fear and those I love. They are all the same. Deserving of prayer. Deserving of loving-kindness – no matter my judgments, fears or apprehensions, prayers for peace are my road to peace within and all around me.

Leigh’s Loving-Kindness meditation

Chant for the first 10 minutes for yourself:

  • I am filled with lovingkindness
  • I am well
  • I am peaceful and at ease
  • I am happy

Chant for 10 minutes for ________________ (in this case Trump)  

(As Leigh explains it:  I began it as an affirmation, the way I said it for myself.  Something in me instantly began to fight and I started crying again.  I realized I needed to chant it to the more prayerful form in which it is usually spoken… I could feel my heart expand and I realized saying the chant for someone, while it may or may not also help that person, is something to do for your own peace, to clear your own heart.)

  • May (fill in name Trump)  be filled with lovingkindness
  • May  he be well
  • May he be peaceful and at ease
  • May he be happy

Finish with 10 minutes of chanting for _________________ (in this case Leigh chanted for America — for me it was our leaders).

  • May America be filled with lovingkindness
  • May she be well
  • May she be peaceful and at ease
  • May she be happy

Repeat often throughout the day. Keep repeating. Keeping settling into the prayer to allow grace to enter and let fear and uncertainty go.

Do No Harm | 52 Acts of Grace | Week 19

acts of grace week 19 copy

It is easy to justify our actions and words when we’ve behaved poorly, been mean, rude, cruel to another. In fact, it often feels better to blame another so that we don’t have to be accountable. All we have to tell ourselves to make our bad behaviour less potent is say, “It’s not my fault. It’s their fault. If they hadn’t ___________, or if they would just _______________ then I wouldn’t ______________.”

And we all do it.

Blaming our actions on someone else’s doings, however,  is just another way of staying unaccountable for ourselves. It takes the sting out of our not living true to our principles, beliefs, integrity.

Let go of finding fault for yourself in someone else’s actions and let being kind, doing no harm be your guide. Ask yourself, is my response creating more of what I want in my life? Will this get me more joy, happiness, love, peace? If it won’t, then ask yourself, What can I do differently?

It’s not that you’re making someone else’s bad behaviour okay. It is never okay when someone does things that hurt or harm. Behaving badly because they did is not a good reason for living life outside integrity.

You can still hold them accountable for their behaviour and be accountable for your own by not blaming them for your poor responses  — and when we are 100% accountable for how we behave, and focus on Do No Harm we create a better world.

And we all deserve a better world!

Create Kindness | 52 Acts of Grace | Week 16

acts of grace week 16 copy

Ever think the world is just too crazy and running out of control? That anger and hatred and intolerance are running rampant no matter where you look?

Create kindness.

The only way to overcome hatred, anger, intolerance is to be the opposite. Be kind. Be loving. Be considerate. Be positive. In all ways. In all things.

And the more kind and loving you are, the bigger your ripple of loving kindness in the world. And the more people experience your ripple, the more people will be encouraged to create their own ripple of loving kindness until the whole world will be awash in loving kindness!  Now that’s a vision worth holding.

Create kindness today and watch the world around you change, one simple act of loving kindness at a time.


And a chant for loving kindness to inspire your day.

I Dare You!

Like steam exploding from a bag of just popped, fresh out of the microwave, popcorn, there have been moments in my life when the only answer to address the issues burbling to the top of my consciousness has been to enter therapy.

The only way out is through.

Several weeks ago, when I stood in front of a mob and felt the heat of the anger they hurled at me burning my skin and searing my psyche, I had the courage to turn my back and walk away. It was all that I could do.

Walking away took me out of immediate danger. In walking away, I claimed my power to decide what is welcome, and what is not wanted, in my life.

The challenge with the deeply buried feelings and emotions that awoke through that encounter, is that they do not have separate from me feet to walk away. They are part of me. They have a voice calling out to be heard.

To find peace, I must listen and give them a safe space to be heard.

It is the gift I give myself to clear away vestiges of unease, voices from the past, spaces of discord lurking unknown, unseen until they rise up, in my psyche.

When the student is willing, the teacher appears.

My inner yearnings, my left-over from childhood trauma feelings of unease are all teachers.

To ignore them, to push them back down discredits the voice of truth that is saying, “Here is the door to freedom. Open it. Let me speak and be heard so you can walk through into the light of knowing your truth fearlessly in the now.”

Creating a safe and courageous space for others to explore their value, their worth, their sense of wonder at who they are, was why I started an art studio in a homeless shelter years ago. It was an act of giving through which I received the gifts of connection, friendship, meaning.

It was why I created a studio in our home so that I could explore my creative expression and release my inner yearnings to be free in the safe and courageous space of my studio.

It is all part of the journey, part of the process, part of growing, learning and becoming me.

Being in therapy is the same kind of gift of a safe and courageous space, only this time, I am gifting myself the space and place to speak up, explore, and discover my sense of wonder and awe of who I am when I let go of carrying messages from the past that do not fit my life today.

There is a part of me that wants to run way, to retreat, to go back to sleep.

But I will not. Cannot.

Truth is calling me back. Freedom is drawing me out.

We all encounter moments when we have to make a choice. To stand and fight. To retreat and hide. To hold ourselves in loving kindness as we walk confidently into the unknown spaces of our psyche willing to listen, feel, know the truth within.

The psyche is an amazing place. It holds memory. Thoughts. Feelings. Emotions. Ideas. It is permeable. Resilient. Strong. It can bend with one thought, leap in one breath, fall in one word. It holds us together. It can tear us apart. It connects us to today, and gives us courage to look into the past and see into tomorrow. And always, it holds us in place. Always, it keeps thinking, knowing, feeling, being what it is. Our friend. Our foe. Our greatest strength. Our weakest link. Our essence of being who we are, however we are, no matter what we are.

My psyche is calling me to let go so I can fly free.

I am heeding its call.

What about you? Are you willing to transform your thinking to set yourself free? Are you willing to take a journey into the unknown to discover all you know about being you?

I invite you to explore your options, or, as my inner child would say, I Dare You!