Shadow Work

Trying to restore

our emotional health

can be exhausting,

particularly if

we have neglected it.

No wonder

people

sometimes choose

to numb

their pain.

It takes courage and energy

to dig deep

and let emotional

wounds heal.

We can heal

only if we know

what the wounds are.

Our bodies hold onto

emotional hurts,

sometimes for years.

There are many ways

to help

the healing process-

prayer,

meditation,

silence,

yoga,

reiki,

and therapy-

that

strengthens the body

along with the soul.

Some call this SHADOW WORK.

LivingLinesReflections

Good Enough

After decades

of trying

to be perfect,

to make things

perfect,

GOOD ENOUGH

is more comfortable

and

more realistic.

It makes me

more patient

with myself

and

with

others, too.

Perfection is

an impossible goal.

GOOD ENOUGH

isn’t

settling.

I am still

learning

that.

LivingLinesReflections

Lock Down

Remembering

being

in New York City

on 9/11

where for more than 24 hours,

the bridges and tunnels

shut traffic going

in and out

of Manhattan Island.

Remembering

during

the week

of the

Boston Marathon

 being

“locked down”

at home

for 14 hours,

Hearing France’s borders

being closed

after the

horrific attacks

in Paris,

emotions

cascade.

Fear,

horror,

and

kindness.

Think

of

those who

didn’t run away

but went toward

the wounded

to help.

Flowers, candles

become altars

to express

sorrow

and

community.

We

know

even more clearly now,

we are all

in this together.

Locking down our feelings

doesn’t work

for us.

We are connected

in our humanity.

Near and far

reach out.

Social media

has its place.

We need physical

connection.

Reaching out

in the darkness

helps

to heal

wounds that

don’t go away.

Your Way

There are many

ways

to

lead

an Examined Life.

On your own

or

in a place

which gives you

space

and

silence

to contemplate,

observe

and

learn.

Moment by moment

awareness

examined

at the end

of each

day.

Maybe a day

or several days

to

Be

not

Do.

Do

you

have

a

way?

Milestones

Tomorrow

is

my birthday.

Decades declare milestones.

At certain ages

there can be

the realization

that there are fewer

years ahead

than

already lived.

Mid-life

it is called.

Demographers

and cultural observers

 now offer

more gradations than

young,

middle aged

and old.

Early middle age,

middle age

late middle age.

At what point

does your category

become early old age?

Are you in

middle old age

and when

really old age?

For some,

lifespans

extend into the ninth and

even tenth decade.

When Social Security

was made available

at 65,

people weren’t

expected to live

much beyond that.

For some,

there can be

many decades

beyond

that mark.

How to live

these years,

whatever they are called?

Wisdom

offers

the suggestion

to shed

as we age.

Things,

images of ourself,

expectations,

hopes,

dreams,

disappointments.

Shedding

seems to say

that

growth stops

at some point.

Adults

we are.

Approaching

this birthday,

I am beginning

to understand

that letting go

is a better perspective

of what no longer

serves me.

Traveling

lighter,

I

hope

I

am

Growing

Into

Older

Age.

Learning,

growing.

Shifting gears,

slows me

to follow

the Inner Light

to savor

each moment,

each friend,

loved one

and stranger.

Sometimes the

Light

offers

a clear path.

Sometimes

intuition

brings

me on the path

I cannot

see

in this moment.

Praying Together

Of all the gatherings,

prayers spoken,

during Pope Francis’s visit to Cuba and the United States,

the 9//1 Interfaith Service

lingers

as the most memorable.

Pope Francis

asked God to

“look on us,

people of all faiths and religious traditions,

who gather today

on this hallowed ground,

the scene of unspeakable

violence and pain.”

During the

interfaith service,

Iman Khalid Latif

Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove

alternated words of peace.

More pairs followed

two Hindu women,

two Buddhists,

two Muslims,

a Sikh father and daughter

and a Protestant

and Orthodox Christian.

The Pope sat in the middle.

and followed in the program.

“God judges us according

to our deeds,

not the coat we wear”

were the words

in Punjabi and English

by daughter and father Sikhs.

Cantor Azi Schwartz chanted in Hebrew

a prayer to honor

the 9/11 dead.

The Eight Beatitudes

were read in the the

ancient Greek

and then in English.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,for theirs is

the kingdom of heaven.

The service was

finished with the Pope

offering a gesture of peace-

a handshake,

an embrace

or a bow.

The Young People’s Chorus of New York City

more than 60 teenage

boys and girls

wearing different colored scarves-

sang

“Let There Be Peace on Earth”.

Glancing around the room,

several members of the

interfaith audience

suggested the faith leaders

stay in the room.

“Lock the doors”, said one, “until the

group

figures out how

to achieve world peace.”

Do Unto Others

While the focus

is on the multitude of

Republican candidates,

Bernie Sanders,

Senator from Vermont,

who distinguishes himself

as a Socialist,

spoke to a

leading evangelical Christian college.

He spoke of

Common Ground.

His faith

is Jewish.

“I am far, far

from a perfect

human being,

but I am

motivated by a vision

which exists in

all

of the great religions-

in Christianity,

in Judaism,

in Islam,

Buddhism

and other religions-

and which is

so beautifully and clearly

stated in

Matthew 7:12.

“So in everything,

do unto others

what you would have

them

do to you,

for this

sums up

the law of the prophets.”

“That is the

golden rule.

Do to others

what you

would have them do

to you.

It is not very complicated.”

Not exactly

a campaign slogan

but

a

compass

to live by.

THOUGHT LEADER

Thought Leaders

are especially

important

during times of

Disruptive Innovation,

a concept

used in

this time

when things

aren’t working

and ways of thinking and doing

must be changed.

Since Pope Francis was chosen,

he has become a

powerful

THOUGHT LEADER.

From his first moments

Pope Francis

showed his

humility

asking for us

to pray for him.

He chose

simple garments,

comfortable black shoes,

paid his own hotel bill,

moved into a

simple apartment.

During Holy Week,

he washed the feet of the poor,

not all Catholics.

He told priests

to be merciful and compassionate

 towards those who are divorced

women who have had

abortions.

When asked about homosexuals,

he replied,

“Who am I to judge?”

Smiling,

he loves everyone

and in return,

he is loved.

The rules have not necessarily changed,

but the

TONE

has completely.

This change in tone is

Francis’

greatest achievement,

and it is HUGE!

In this

political season,

candidates

could learn

because Pope Francis

is an astute politician

in the best sense of the word.

As a South American

he sees the entrenched Vatican

as needing to be cleaned up,

finances and favoritism,

swept out.

Reflecting

compassion.

the tone,

the message

is that God is a God

of LOVE,

not JUDGMENT.

The Church’s role

is to make God

accessible.

Coming to the United States,

his first trip to North America,

he will speak

at the United Nations,

address Congress,

say Mass in Madison Square Garden.

Popular entertainers will

engage people,

using their words and music

to

open up people’s senses

to the music of their hearts.

Disruptive Innovation.

Bring it on!

Active Awareness

Perhaps

you have heard the expression

“If you want to hear God laugh

tell him your plans!”

Lives spent

multi-tasking,

making calendars for

planning ahead,

electronic devices

tracking our whereabouts

through

satellite GPS,

may call

for some TIMEOUT.

There can be so much

to do

in a day,

a week,

a month,

I realized

I needed

to find a perspective.

This is now

my mantra:

“I no longer

make a plan

for myself,

but respond

to the things in my life

that are part of

a pattern

or a plan

I cannot see.”

On the surface,

these words may sound

passive,

but they remind me

to strive for

active awareness.

While I may not

be

in control of events,

I can be ready

to respond.