Every Day

I was talking with my son earlier about something I’m working on self-improvement-wise that he is invested in – which is very sweet and means a lot to me. I was telling him about something I did today toward that self-improvement mission, and I heard myself say to him, “One day at a time. That’s how we make change happen.”

And I was struck by my own words – not because I’m so wise and brilliant, but because while I know this intellectually, I also know sometimes I get so overwhelmed by the big picture of change that it’s crippling.  And even though I often live by (and encourage others to live by) the notion of “one hour at a time, one minute at a time if necessary,” for some reason it just struck my ear, mind, and heart differently today.

I think that was because it lifts up two things: the importance of a renewed daily commitment to change (which requires not only discipline but mindfulness and, to a certain extent, open-heartedness) – and it also offers up the chance to stop at the end of each day and acknowledge, “Hey. I did that. That was good. That felt good. That helped. Look at that. That happened today.” And it’s not about self-congratulations but rather encouragement, possibility, and hope – and again, mindfulness and being present to what happened that day.

I’m not Catholic, but I was very struck by Pope Francis’ words about peace in 2013: “True peace is not a balance of opposing forces. It is not a lovely ‘façade’ which conceals conflicts and divisions. Peace calls for daily commitment”.  I think it’s that same notion that moves me about effecting change.  And yes, certainly, as we’re working for change – and working for peace – working for anything that deeply matters to us, we hope and trust that over time, some behaviors will become intuitive and become part of our daily actions and feelings.  But if we want to grow, we have to keep revisiting what we strive for, what moves us, what we seek, how we seek to be part of this world.

Let us strive be present: to ourselves, to others, to the world around us.  And even if we don’t have it within ourselves to effect that change each day, if we’re still in touch with what we seek, that’s something very worthwhile.

May we find ways to show up, in whatever way we can, even in a diminished capacity, even just for a moment, and be present, one day at a time.

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Showing Up for Yourself.

One of my favorite yoga teachers once asked us, at the beginning of the practice, “How will you show up for yourself today?”

I think that’s a really important question we often forget to ask ourselves. We get so caught up in the whirlwind of the “shoulds” and the “must do’s” that we forget to to show up for ourselves, be present to ourselves, to support ourselves in the midst of the whirlwind.

Today my body said “STOP,” and I listened. I’m under the weather, sinus infection, nothing serious, but my body is really weary, and I can tell that is making my heart and soul extra weary. The way I needed to show up for myself today was to STOP and just be.

I love this in terms of a way of phrasing what it is to be open-hearted, but I think it can put unnecessary, unfair pressure on us if we read it as “everything is ok” or “find joy in every moment.”

Sometimes showing up in the moment is showing up for ourselves like we were meant to be there. It’s ok to show up for ourselves like that’s the thing that needs to happen right now.  Because sometimes it is the thing that needs to happen right now.

Please take care of yourself. You are a gift to this world. We need you here.