From the Sanctuary:
There is value in getting to know ourselves deeply and sharing that with others. Not just what we do, but who we truly are based on the joyful human beings that we are destined to be.
I never stray far from loving mode, but when I do, I intentionally seek my way back quickly because I like it there best. Realigning this way I believe is an intuitive gift that we all possess, but I had to develop my own unique way to reclaim the process. The other evening I found myself a bit crabby without knowing quite why. Busy work, honking drivers, trashed kitchen, half-finished laundry in the washer. Sometimes it’s a compilation of those little things. Perhaps it was just wanting face to face conversation with my son and his girlfriend who were preoccupied with their phones. Figuring out the reason for my deviation from harmony was not as important as my desire to recover it.
Abandoning my chores and my disposition, I put down my dish towel and stepped out into the sanctuary of my screened in porch. It was a warm evening and I remembered that my small Amish table was still stored in my spare bedroom closet, so I retrieved it and placed it in its summer position between two patio chairs. It seemed empty, so I poured myself a small glass of wine and set it on there. Now it looked complete. I sat down, took a sip and a deep breath and began my process. I was unable to focus right away, even with the approaching sunset because of the sounds of loud cars and motorcycles, so I closed my eyes and began what I call my gratitude grip exercise. I did a recollection of encountered blessings since the day began…the fun moments, smile-provoking exchanges, the friendly people at the pharmacy and grocery store. I celebrated that my son’s girlfriend made dinner and that spilled into a pool of appreciation that she also does his laundry, keeps him in line and loves him as much as I do. Soon my breathing slowed, the loud noises quieted and my attention shifted to the sounds of the birds in the trees, the soft swishing of my creek, my cat gently pawing the insects on the screen. When I opened my eyes my psyche was able to take in the beauty before me. The faraway trees were in 3D against the setting sun and the one closest to me had fresh leaves popping out from their brown bud covers. New life. The colors all around stood out on the landscape, bright green grass, yellow daffodils and every shade of orange in the sky. Smiling and renewed inside, I was ready to begin my loving kindness meditation.
For this I use a combination of tools I learned from a holistic healer through a guided meditation circle, tips from a fascinating book called Love 2.0 written by a scientist who studies love and my own spiritual energy work. This simple technique involves calling up memories and thoughts of people (known and strangers) and sending them peaceful, joyful wishes. Putting them in the light, holding space for them, whatever the choice phrase, it’s customizable. I started with my son’s girlfriend. I breathed deep, beckoned the memories, called out the loving thoughts for her and smiled. That conjured up visions of my son, so he was next, then my daughter, and so on. No two meditations are alike. I never know quite where things will go, but it always ends at the same place, back to my familiar loving self. Guaranteed.
Most of the time I am able to do this in the moment in any situation or location, but this night I am glad that I took the extra time to revel in the loving kindness. My family, friends and the world got an extended dose of blessings, most of all me. It was late by the time I went inside and finished the chores, but I did them all with a clear and joyful heart and went to bed in harmony.