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I feel deeply saddened.  I have been going about life, but feeling the rawness of emotions arising.  There seem to be no words.  Perhaps that is a blessing, so that I can simply feel.  I can feel grief, sadness, uncertainty …  Though my faith is being tested, I still have trust in the human heart.

What can we do?  What can I do?  Perhaps I can pay attention to how I feel, to how and where separation arises in me, where biases take strong hold.  I can begin to notice here and now, in widening circles, within marriage, family, friendship, community.   Can I honestly recognize where deep and lingering barriers arise in my own heart?  Can I find the courage to have uncomfortable conversations with my children, my husband, my family and community?

Fear is so deeply rooted and it crosses many generations.  I see this in my own family.

Love is also deeply rooted and in some way what allows us to be here in this moment.

Today I will sit, reflect and feel.  I will listen and have conversations at home, with friends, with anybody who is willing.  Maybe slowly we can uncover action that feels skillful.  Maybe by recognizing our fears, we can gently begin to move into and through them.  Maybe we can remember how to honor each other with the dignity we so deserve.  This is not something that can be done once and forgotten.  In fact, we will likely forget often and so we must take time everyday if we can.

“I consider we are all the same as human beings, mentally, emotionally and physically. In order to ensure a more peaceful world and a healthier environment we sometimes point a finger at others saying they should do this or that. But change must start with us as individuals. If one individual becomes more compassionate it will influence others and so we will change the world.” Dalai Lama


6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Margaret Pedroza #

    The other day a student in my class asked me if teaching yoga was my contribution to world peace. To my surprise, without thinking I responded that world peace was not a possibility because we live in a world of duality.

    Thank you Sheila for your openness. Sometimes these words help me sustain attention on discomfort. Sometimes I use chocolate to avoid discomfort and on a really bad day, a few drinks. All my love, Marg

    “Do you want to know my secret? I don’t mind what happens.” Krishnamurti

    If I can stop one heart from breaking,
    I shall not live in vain;
    If I can ease one life the aching,
    Or cool one pain,
    Or help one fainting robin
    Unto his nest again,
    I shall not live in vain.

    Emily Dikinson

    Days when it all gets too heavy
    I drift away to the sea
    Or where the sunshine filters through trees,
    And strip away my clothes,
    Let go of everything I own,
    Everything I hope to be,
    Everything others have hoped for me,
    Till I feel some connection
    With the earth and sun,
    Some profound contact
    with the sky and water.
    I lie for hours almost motionless,
    Laugh at ambition
    Know that most pain
    Is the by-product of my plans,
    The weight of my expectations.

    Then for a time I am free again.
    I can feel my smile
    In my hands and my knees,
    Spreading over my cheeks,
    Softening my face,
    And warming my groin.
    I walk slowly and talk slowly,
    Move with the trees,
    Feel the grass growing up my legs,
    The wind blowing like my very blood,
    My body flowing with the planet.
    And for a time I know
    I am rooted in the earth,
    That nothing will take away my life
    Unless I give my heart
    To those who have never kissed a tree
    Or made love with a soft green hill.

    James Kavanaugh

    Before you know what kindness really is
    you must lose things,
    feel the future dissolve in a moment
    like salt in a weakened broth.
    What you held in your hand,
    what you counted and carefully saved,
    all this must go so you know
    how desolate the landscape can be
    between the regions of kindness.
    How you ride and ride
    thinking the bus will never stop,
    the passengers eating maize and chicken
    will stare out the window forever.

    Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
    you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
    lies dead by the side of the road.
    You must see how this could be you,
    how he too was someone
    who journeyed through the night with plans
    and the simple breath that kept him alive.

    Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
    you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
    You must wake up with sorrow.
    You must speak to it till your voice
    catches the thread of all sorrows
    and you see the size of the cloth.
    Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
    only kindness that ties your shoes
    and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
    only kindness that raises its head
    from the crowd of the world to say
    It is I you have been looking for,
    and then goes with you everywhere
    like a shadow or a friend.

    Naomi Shihab Nye

    July 8, 2016
    • Thank you Marg. Perhaps world peace seems far off, but yes, we can begin with our own hearts, in our own small ways .. It can ripple outward. Love & gratitude.

      July 9, 2016
  2. Lynn McKee #

    Sending you love Sheila, hugs and kisses and sweet comfort. You have shown compassion and kindness to me in our every interaction. In my mind and heart I surround you with that same soft caring, acceptance and love. Ever grateful for you, and for the vulnerability and humanness you share so generously. Much love.

    July 8, 2016
  3. Clearly you were experiencing strong emotions when you wrote this moving piece. I was hurt over the weekend by a comment made on Facebook, I was surprised at the level of hurt I felt, out of proportion to the importance of the person to me. I do think that there are times when we need to retreat back within ourselves and allow ourselves time to heal. When we have done so then we can decide if it is appropriate to have a difficult discussion. The main lesson for me though is, every moment is precious, we should decide where to spend those precious moments. Developing an inner relationship with ourselves through solitude may be even more important and precious at times than our real and virtual relationships.

    August 2, 2016
    • Yes, I agree. I have been reading some of Parker Palmer’s writings very much in line with your thoughts. You might enjoy his work as well.

      August 7, 2016

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