Orlando On My Mind

Today I pause and offer my presence for Orlando.

For those who are dead and making their journey 'home'.

For those still fighting for their lives and those sitting close.

For the family and friends whose loss we try and comprehend.

For the family of him—the young man with the guns.

For those who survived and were graced more life. Their journey to process what they tasted, touched, heard, felt, saw, and smelt. 

For those at polar extremes and sides, trying to find ground, grasping for control, and casting nets.

We cannot divide and separate, nor is it wise to add to the fire. We must multiply in compassion and new ideas. And delete our ego and strong propensity to define 'others'.

I worked for seven years in college mental health. And hands down, the most terrible days, were those following public shootings, specifically on other campuses. There's just no making sense of this, and something needs to change. 

I believe authentic change starts right now, within you, and your immediate circle of influence. "Be the change you wish to see in the world" were the words of Mahatma Ghandi. Be that love right now. Be the cure, kindness, conversation, and courage. Reach out to someone. Turn in for silence, prayer and meditation. Light a candle. Chant. Sing. Cry. Bow down to your Divine. Or raise your hands and shout to the heavens and Gods for strength. 

The vulnerability and pain that arise with the flames of these events is real. Fear and powerlessness emerge and often suffocate your sense of normalcy and safety. It's totally acceptable to feel whatever you're feeling right now. Be mindful of your words and actions however. Perhaps you approach movement with a simple test: will this help or hurt right now?

For those in the immediate circle and waves of Orlando's shooting, my heart opens wide for you. And breaks with each breath. I'm sending peace, light, love and music your way. 

Today and tomorrow, even this entire week, don't underestimate, minimize, and cover up your response & feelings. Especially as information continues to permeate from the wealth of connection we share. You don't have to go through this alone. Call a friend, a family member, a co-worker, or a professional. Even consider sharing with a neutral stranger in mindful steps and a considerate attitude.

Share your experience. It's not going to hurt you and it might really help someone else.

The most helpful things I've done so far include, meditation, soaking in hot water, yoga, crying, talking to my close friends and family members, a short nap, an extra cup of coffee (with cream & sugar), burning candles, listening to music, dance breaks, sitting under my avocado tree, painting, the sunset, and chocolate. 

All my love to your mindful week!

Pema Chödrön

"Only to the degree that we've gotten to know our personal pain, only to the degree that we've related with pain at all, will we be fearless enough, brave enough, enough of a warrior to be willing to feel the pain of others—we will discover that their pain and our own pain is no different."

The weight in my heart and mind has found deep comfort from these thoughts by Adyashanti:

  • Encounter difficult things from a state of openness
  • Bit by bit you learn there is a capacity you never knew was there
  • There's a 'You' who has no difficulty, even when you're having difficulty
  • With Grace, there's a great smile of well being even in the midst of incredible grief and loss