Gifts from the Frontlines...
For those who show up...however they can for love
I learn my own critical lessons at my patient's bedside each day (which I already knew...but apparently keep forgetting).
Life reminds me as watch over them. I find this curious. Frankly, it both sucks and is lovely in equal measure. And it's, for sure, humbling.
As a hospice and bereavement chaplain, I support people who are near the end of their term here...and those who are reconciling their lives after the loss of a dear one. The edge of life and death, reminds me about how to keep my own life, well-lived by those very small and powerful habitual methods...each day.
Practicing the small powers...
I am seeing the power of dailiness in beneficial habits and rituals. Those little daily tasks that are almost automatic for us can be grand boosts to our lives taken on the whole. What do I practice daily?
In my life, I have more commonly used grand efforts, all-in ventures, and dramatic grabs at the success ring du jour. For example, my body's illusionary capacity for long hours and hard work is one, and my wilfulness in forcing and pushing things and people (ahem...usually politely) along on my prescribed path to the promised land of Secretariat-like wins.
What I practice accumulates and compounds rewards. My personality is quite a bit more artistic than methodical, so this revelation does not come naturally to me. By 'methods', I mean that I/we/you do NOT have to be original in everything, but the benefits of PRACTICING the proven and even ancient paths reap for us exponentially. I can, effectively, renew me, and not get depleted in the first place.
Focusing on my own sustainability, and modeling self-care-as-a-circle for others, I need to be wiser...and more methodical in the dailiness of my own life.
The even better news is these small ancient methods are at hand. They are both always available and simple.
Breath and death is mother to us all. Right?
Your breath is your first task, which it was the moment you were born. It was, literally, the first thing you ever did. It will also be all our last tasks on this Earth - pretty much by definition. But do we think about the quality and power of it, daily? A Good life in our /this middle passage depends on it.
Breathe like a Diva is our first method of power. This is, of course, not new information... The other usual suspects are here:
But I propose a re-framing here...
I suggest some more inspired 'habit' categories, which might help us/me think about them more creatively... yet still in methodical ways. How about these?
The good news is this innate wisdom is at hand. It may seem to drift away but it only settles in deeper. It is waiting for me/you/us, patiently in our dark, as we drop down to our heart centers or (in a more Judeo-Christian framework... to our kingdom of god within). How we fill up these categories will light up our lives - daily. Do that. (Paraphrased from Howard Thurman...). Make it your method, your new small habit. No time? Do it for 5 minutes. See where it takes you. This spark will light you up. It will breathe life back into all the days we have...
Heart, tell them what you came for
Heart, tell them what you came for
Heart, tell them what you've been daydreamin' about
- James Blake, Tell Them
Care to share your categories, methods or daily habits that inspire and renew you? We need your spark and voice because sparks begat sparks...