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I Feel For You

For many years now, I have a morning practice of meditation, visualization, and reading or listening to something that speaks to me on a deep level. I do mediation so that I can quiet my mind (otherwise it gets busy in there thinking of all the things I need to do, "fix", and what isn't going as planned or attempting to prevent things from going how I don't want), visualization is where I found my joy (initially and to this day), and reading something that speaks to me on a deep level gets me excited and reminds me of what I know to be true, for me, in this life, that we are here to heal and grow.  Beginning my day this way has been a real game changer for me.  It has brought me into the present moment consistently, being here, now, day-in-and-day-out.  Today, when I was listening to something that speaks to me on a deep level, the word compassion kept coming up over and over again, which is what is prompting me to write about it now.  So, when I came back from walking the dog, I "googled it" (this is a new verb in our dictionary!). The literal definition is to "suffer together" and other ideas I read were all around the acknowledgement of another person's suffering and the desire to alleviate it.  Ooh, I thought, I love this!!   Now, this is easy to see in everyday life in all the things we do for the people we love.  I mean, sometimes it feels physically painful to see my kiddo suffer and I want to do everything I can to help, even when I know that it is her lesson to learn.  What is maybe more difficult to see, in terms of compassion, is in our everyday interactions with whoever.  When the person at the bank or grocery store is abrasive or that person who is honking behind you when the light has turned green for a millisecond, in those moments it can be challenging to find compassion.   Even more challenging than finding compassion in others, is finding compassion with ourselves.  Giving ourselves the benefit of the doubt or cheering ourselves on when we make a mistake, rather than telling ourselves we know better and could or should do better.  Recognizing that we are doing our very best with what we know and that we aren't always going to do, say or be the perfection that we strive for or we think is expected of us.What if you could understand compassion, not just for others, but for yourself too, for everyone?  It would look like not wasting energy judging others or yourself for anything, at least not for long.  Would that be something you would like to learn and implement into your life?  I would love to share one of the first strategies that I used to begin to experience compassion for others, which then turned to compassion for myself.  And, when we can be compassionate to ourselves and others, we change the emotional experience to one that feels way better.  When can we connect next week?  I would love to tell you how I use compassion while driving, even when people cut me off!Peace, Erin "the zen driver" Mac