“Send them outside!” my grandmother used to say when we’d get too rambunctous for her inside the house. We’d roll in the grass, sweep the stone terrace and weed the pachysandra. At the time I didn’t appreciate being sent outside when the air conditioned house seemed much more inviting. But today I find myself fleeing to the outdoors when life is too much with me.

In a pocket of time yesterday afternoon, the sun kissed the Earth with such benevolence that I felt compelled to grab my broom and sweep up the leaves that continue to fall from our walnut tree. There I met our neighbor who was enjoying the afternoon off from his stressful managerial position at an worldwide furniture store. His pet pig (yes, he owns a pot-belly/dwarf pig) was rooting around the ground for the last walnuts he could find. My son appeared with his soccer ball and a spontaneous game of kick-the-ball ensued between the neighbor and him. With each sweeping motion, I felt the stress of my day fall away. My motions were accompanied by the thump of the ball,  the grunt of the pig and an occasional jubulation for a shot well-done. The smell of the rain-soaked leaves soothed my soul as I realized there is great joy in sharing a moment outdoors ~ with son, neighbor and a pet pig whose presence alone reminds me that no matter how demanding our 24/7 world can be, the beauty of the ever-present moment can be ours if we awaken to it.

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The Power of Connection

September 29, 2010

Scientists have long agreed that people in community tend to live longer. In the Middle Ages the greatest punishment was to be rejected by the community, banished for eternity outside the city walls. The word excommunication really does mean just that: no longer in communication with others (or the Church, in the Catholic tradition).

If you follow Buddhist teachings, you will know that our greatest suffering comes from being disconnected from our true selves. We are, in a sense, excommunicated from the Source of All Things. So when I am in disharmony with others, I feel a deep disconnect from that Source.

It’s a jazzy feeling to be in deep communion with others because, in truth, we all stem from the same place. And while many of us live the Great Lie of being ‘outside’ the realm of our connection, we suffer as a result of this belief.

There is a reason why pure love feels the same for everyone. We are all one.

In his keynote speech last year at the Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment, Jim Carrey made a moving tribute to this connection. Since we all seem to believe celebrities more than even ourselves, take a look at what he has to say.

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Take 12 minutes to hear Ben Cameron speak on the healing properties of the arts. Happy Sunday!



What Slow Can Do For You

September 25, 2010

What’s in a name?

September 25, 2010

A recent discussion with friends at breakfast got me to thinking. Why do we use nicknames?

One of the couples said they are calling their baby daughter by her name only. They don’t believe in pet names for whatever reason. I, on the other hand, use pet names to express a closeness and contextuality.

For instance, my husband is Andreas to the rest of the world. I only call him that, thereby lumping me together with said world, when I’m either mad or other people are within earshot. Otherwise,  I have an array of names to express the situation. The same applies to him. I always know he’s about to ask me something a tad tenuous when he addresses me with ‘Babu’ ~when he had a business trip to Malta, for example, he called me that (I ended up tagging along! )

My kids have a variety of nicknames as well. To protect the innocent, I won’t, well, name them here.

Words have great power and how we choose to use them makes a difference. Just looking at all the names for God gives us pause to think about the meaning of names.

I always know when I let someone into my heart ~ it’s the moment  I find a nickname for that person. It usually unfolds naturally. My dear actor friend is ‘lovey dovey’, for instance.

Words are the ties that bind. And names matter. As Shakespeare’s Juliet so rightly said, “

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

So, what’s in your name?

In my book, everything that makes you special to that other person.

Life means growth

September 24, 2010

Deep thought of the day: If life wasn’t about growth, we would have been born adults.

Just sayin’…

Liberty Mutual has a series of great short films celebrating the human spirit called The Responsibility Project (r).I highly recommend you take a look.

This short with Danny Glover touched me in particular. Entitled ‘Second Line‘ (aka street parade in New Orleans) the film shows the viewer how we carry missed opportunities to help others around with us until we allow for the energy exchange to actually occur. In the end, the protagonist understands the power in taking time and paying attention.

Happy viewing!

The Responsibility Project

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