Posts Tagged ‘Compassion’

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve ridden on a horse, and I’d never been in the ring working with a horse before recently when I participated with a group of colleagues in a one-day equine therapy program run by Talley Hutcherson at the Shalom Institute in Malibu.  It was an amazing, special day, and I encourage anyone who is interested to pursue it; they also have a ranch in Burbank, which is easier to get to, but perhaps less “away from it all.”

I am experiencing some challenges in my life these days, as everyone is to varying degrees, and I connected with a horse named Lindsay whose wisdom and compassion I hope I will always remember.  One of Lindsay’s gifts was the experience of peace – deep, in-your-bones, peace.  I hope to go back to the ranch to visit, actually, if not for more classes.

The human teachers were also very gifted, and I continue to absorb some of their insights:  we are all doing the best we can in this moment, and to envision love and light around difficult people and situations.  Compassion starts with being compassionate with ourselves.

I was never one of those teenage girls obsessed with horses, although some of my friends were, and although I do bring back horses from time to time for people as power animals, I had never fully understood their allure until now.  I have now fallen in love with a horse and her wisdom.

© Lynda Skeen

© Lynda Skeen

© Lynda Skeen

© Lynda Skeen

Read Full Post »

A few weeks ago, I was in a bad car accident that could have been much worse.  Turning onto Melrose from a side street, I waited a beat when my light turned green, and honked my horn at a truck as it barreled through the red light.  Thinking it was then safe, I pulled into the intersection.  But a second car ran the red light and broadsided me on the driver’s side.  I remember screaming as I saw the shadow of the car plow into me, and I remember noticing the car pull over to the side of the road a block behind me in my rear view mirror, but I don’t remember how I got on to the other side of the street, or other details of the accident.
By the time I finally got my wits about me enough to get out my car and to see that I was actually ok, the driver of the other car had taken off.  No other witnesses had stopped to take his/her license plate, and the security cameras that actually were able to capture footage of the accident weren’t able to pull the plates either.  The police and some very helpful coworkers sat with me and made sure I was ok until my husband got there, putting ice packs on my neck and reminding me to breathe.  X-rays and cat scans at the emergency room that evening showed everything really was ok on my end, but I was given a prescription for some painkillers for the soreness they warned me I would have over the next few days.
I’d never been in a car accident before, other than a couple of small fender benders, and didn’t know what to expect.  I braced myself for the soreness and bruising, which did come, but was very aware that things could have been a lot worse, and was (and am) incredibly grateful that I got out of it relatively unscathed.  Clearly I still have work to do here on the planet!  My car, however, wasn’t as lucky.  It was old and had very low mileage, and when the insurance company decided it was a total loss, we had to take out a loan to replace it, something we weren’t financially prepared to do, but again, I am so grateful we were able to do it.
Over the following couple of weeks, the image of the other car plowing into me looped through my head at random times throughout the day, especially as I was falling asleep.  I’d never experienced this kind of PTSD before, and am actually grateful for the experience as it broadens my compassion and understanding of it.  From a shamanic standpoint I knew to look for soul loss, so I did some of my own work around that and had some other practitioners working on my behalf as well. The sooner you can collect your scattered energy, the better.  I did find some soul parts that were still at the site of the accident, and another practitioner found some smaller parts that were still there a few weeks later.  Having them returned to me was very helpful, as was looking at the security footage of the accident, breathing breathing breathing deeply and saying prayers of gratitude as I watched it.
Something else that was a lovely surprise in helping me process the accident was Neil deGrasse Tyson’s TV series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, a follow-up series to Carl Sagan’s 1980 series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage.  I loved this series for a lot of reasons, but the final episode was especially powerful, particularly the segment expanding on Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot” 1994 speech at Cornell University.  As Tyson quoted from his mentor’s speech, the on-screen visuals pulled back from earth farther and farther back across the universe, until earth was indeed just a “pale blue dot.”  Instead of belittling life on earth though, the brilliance of the speech was its ability to be humbling and empowering at the same time, to highlight in a very dramatic way our short life spans and place in the universe, as well as our choice of whether to treat each other with kindness or cruelty.  It also helped put me put my accident into perspective – not to belittle it, but to put it into a broader picture.  As I feel when I am connected to Spirit in other ways, watching Cosmos filled me with awe at the breadth and mystery of the universe, and reminded me to not take everything so seriously or to even pretend to think I understand it all.  (check out Sagan’s speech is available on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wupToqz1e2g and on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pale_Blue_Dot).
I’m happy to still be on our beautiful planet earth, with all you other beautiful people.  May we treat each other with kindness always, never knowing when our time here will be over.

Read Full Post »

It’s important to pay attention when we notice animals behave in unusual ways.  The same with the weather or our moods or anything that is out of the ordinary – that is often how things that don’t have an actual voice speak to us.

This morning, my husband noticed a possum walking around our yard – not just for a moment, but taking its time, checking out the compost pile, the hedges, the fence, before finally disappearing into the bushes for its day in the dark.  We know we have possums, that’s not what’s unusual, even though we live in Hollywood.  What’s unusual is seeing them in daylight, especially for an extended period of time, as they are nocturnal critters and generally only come out at night.

I’m paying attention to this, and checking in with Spirit to see if there’s anything in particular I’m supposed to learning or hearing.  It might be that we just so happened to see a possum strolling our yard in the daylight, but my sense is that in a broader sense something not usually seen is about to come to light.

The point is, we need to pay attention to our environment, to what’s normal and what’s unusual.  Spirit and the other life forms we share the planet with are constantly communicating with us, whether it’s just to say hello, or to give us a head’s up about something bigger about to happen.  When we notice something unusual, ask yourself what is it that’s unusual?  Close your eyes and sink into your heart.  Feel the metaphor of the experience.  Invite the other beings in your life to offer their wisdom and counsel.  You don’t need to white-knuckle it alone through life.

Have a beautiful day filled with awareness and Spirit-filled surprises.


p.s.  Just a couple of days after I drafted that post, new things did indeed begin to come to light for me.  New layers of understanding and insights on issues going back to my childhood came at me suddenly and intensely from many angles – over a game of chess with a friend, a phone call with a family member, and during otherwise normal workday interactions.  Even though I thought I’d had my eyes open, I was still blindsided – our weak spots can be like that.  Sometimes we scrunch up our eyes, sometimes they’re filled with tears, sometimes they’re filled with wonder, sometimes we can’t see because we’re looking too directly into the sun.  May we be compassionate ourselves as the layers of ourselves surface for recognition and evolution.

Read Full Post »

There’s a proverb that says, “I complained about having no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.”

I love how this puts our personal concerns into perspective, reminding us that no matter how bad we think we have it, someone else is worse off than we are.  But the more I sit with it, the more it actually bothers me.  Am I supposed to find comfort in the fact that someone doesn’t have feet?  And am I supposed to forget about the fact that I need shoes?

I think the point is we have to take care of ourselves (it’s ok to have shoes if you have feet!) as well as realize we’re not the center of the universe.  We can’t let service be an excuse to not deal with our own issues, but we can’t let our own issues be an excuse to ignore what’s going on with the rest of the world.

We are all loved by Spirit and deserve compassion.    May we find balance today between loving ourselves and others.  Don’t forget about others, but don’t leave yourself out.  We are all connected.

Read Full Post »

Just because someone gives you something doesn’t mean you have to keep it. Whether it’s a holiday present you don’t like (regifting is a wonderful thing), an heirloom piece of furniture from a great aunt that doesn’t fit your lifestyle, an attitude about the way the way the world works that doesn’t resonate with you, a way of seeing yourself that doesn’t feel loving or true, or a second helping at dinner when you’re not hungry.

You can be gracious and still honor your own free will.

Release, with grace and compassion, what no longer serves you.

Give yourself that gift.

Read Full Post »

Today, let me remember that nothing stays still. Let me remember that the wheel keeps turning. That no matter what phase things are in, it won’t last forever. Let me acknowledge and honor all the directions and the gifts that they bring.

Let me breathe in the air of the East, the air of newness, of spring, of fresh beginnings.

Let me bask in the fire of the South, of the heat of summer, of things as they come to fruition.

Let me rest in the gentle waters of the West, in the cooling down phase of autumn.

And let me honor the deep earthy resting winter of the North, the time of pause between one thing and another.

No wheel is made of just one spoke. No trip around the sun is made of just one season. No day is just one position of the sun. No life is just one expression of a face.

And let me acknowledge and honor this ongoing cycle of impermanence with a heart full of compassion and love for all beings as we move through this mystery together.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: