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It Begins With Me

I wish I could take away challenges and misfortunes and iron out wrinkles in foreheads.

I wish I could heal the sick and ease discomfort to the worriers.

I wish I could green the arid earth and provide water to the parched.

I wish I could ease global uncertainty and lighten hearts.

I wish I could right every injustice and lift disparity.

I wish I could but I can’t.

I believe challenges help me learn.

I heal my pain when I can and ask for help when I can’t.

I observe my worries and address them with gentle respect.

I feel my fear and know I can handle it.

I catch my victim mentality and take action to change my point of view.

I hold strong boundaries as my infrastructure.

I am honest with myself.

Living in truth brings health to my body, mind and heart.

I choose kindness in every action and do better when I can’t.

I survive my challenges. I am a good problem solver.

I advocate for my highest and best good.

I learn something new every day.

I share wisdom from life experience when asked.

I choose to focus on the present and can always find my way back.

I advocate for my highest and best good.

I choose acceptance over resistance.

I choose to pause and listen rather than assume.

I choose full responsibility for my actions.

I choose to be present in my body.

I choose to love me.

It all starts with me. I have my undivided attention.

I acknowledge unity of all sentient beings.

I feel the energetic web of life.

I am a willing participant.

I am not alone.

I am resilient.

Love is resilient.

I am love.

It comes when the door to my life is being pushed in by uninvited guests who arrive unannounced and find me unprepared. I can try to push back and lock the door or let them in to discover their purposes and find a way to welcome them. Are there things for me to learn from them? Can I become stronger because of them? Illness, disasters, prejudices elbow their way into my comfortable existence; I can’t ignore them or wish them away. They are taking up space where strength and resolve and kindness belong. They are stealing my energy and wearing me down, but I can reverse the effects of their arrival by acknowledging their existence, reducing their power, and moving them slowly back out the door. I can reach out beyond my sheltering space and invite in the light, embrace the work before me, roll up my sleeves, and clean up the cobwebs of darkness disturbing my peace. It is the rest of my life’s work, and I am up for the task.

Participants’ Reflections:

  • Meditating was a little hard. I loved the reading. It reminded me what I learned from my sponsor. When I feel bad about myself, to sit down and write ten good things about myself. What I was hearing was a list of affirmations about you. I took them all to heart. I loved them all and they give me a great deal of strength in my heart to keep on going. It was a beautiful list of powerful affirmations. Scheduling a vaccine has been an emotional roller coaster. When I finally got my appointment, all of a sudden everything is okay. I thank you for these affirmations and reminders. I am strong and everything is okay.

  • I found the affirmations very comforting today. I lost someone to Covid yesterday. He had been on a ventilator and it’s wild because he got his first shot and then he got carefree. He got sick four days after the shot—no underlying conditions. It makes me drop back down into my vulnerability and be grateful. I’ll re-read the affirmations. They are good for my grief right now.

  • When you named the affirmation about acceptance and resistance, I hadn’t thought about resistance as being the opposite of acceptance. What’s in the middle between the two? It’s important to acknowledge the existence of this unwanted guest. I’ve been reading Pema Chodron’s latest book, Welcoming the Unwelcome. She writes about a practice of welcoming the unpleasant, feeling it and then having awareness we’re not alone in welcoming in the unpleasant. Somehow that makes a difference to know we’re not the only one in that kind of situation. I don’t feel stuck in the process once the unwelcome guest is acknowledged.

  • Acknowledging the challenges and putting them on the table instead of under the table or rug makes it easier to deal with the challenges and brings clarity for next steps.

  • It’s interesting how different things speak to different people. In the reading, what jumped out was pulling myself back to the present. In the meditation, I had a rope and I was literally holding on and pulling. It was a good image to hold onto. It reminds me, when I’m drifting off, there’s a way to come back and be present. Thank you.

  • There’s no way anyone can stay constantly connected because it’s life and we’re human. The key is to find our way back to our center again and again. I do a guided meditation with Kenneth Soares and he describes climbing up a mountain until we reach a wall of rock that seems unsurpassable. Most people would turn around, but he guides me to pause, breathe and then realize there’s a tiny little path over to the right that I can take. Once on that path, it leads me downward. I trust as I go downward as it’s not going up the mountain. Following the path down leads to steps up the mountain. It gives me chills to think about it because it is pausing and listening within when I come to places where I don’t think there’s any answer.

  • Thank you for spending time with us today. Thank you for bringing your tender hearts. It is so hard to say goodbye to loved ones, and it doesn’t make sense why they leave. There is a greater sense to it. We will at some point understand. They are not alone. We are not alone. I hold that belief and it helps me walk through the day step by step. Be gentle with yourselves. Have a good day.

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