Some wise humans once taught me:
awareness without compassion = awareness hell.
This little phrase really says it all, right?? You can be self aware and perceptive of all the ways in which the world needs to change, but if you don’t have compassion for others and for the pace in which growth is occurring for each and every one of us….kind of feels like you’re stuck in an angsty awareness tar pit, right?
Do you feel like you’re in awareness hell right now? Does it maybe kind of feel like the whole country is? How about the world?
With information coming at us from every crack and crevice of the internet these days it feels more challenging than ever to turn off the switch or even process what the heck it was we just saw that made us so enraged, or left us feeling so unheard. Personally, my fight or flight response has been feeling a wee bit more strained these days and I know if I don’t take a moment to regroup then I could really get wrapped up in the addictive drama. We are truly in an unprecedented time of growth and expansion of consciousness, and each one of us is feeling the growing pains.
Despite the strains you might be feeling from the immense amount of growth you’re experiencing there is one thing we can take as a solace, and that is we’re all doing this together. We are growing together. The extra psychic sensitivity you’re feeling? It’s because we are moving into a moment where we are more connected to each other than ever (and I’m not just talking about the internet).
Whenever I see anyone posting about being an empath, or an extroverted introvert, or is just plain more sensitive to their environment than others… I have to chuckle a bit. We have a tendency to think we’re so special, don’t we? Lordy, we love our labels. Of course, we are all empathic creatures and we are all sensitive. To believe that I have abilities that make me different than my neighbor, well… feels a lot like a path to suffering and disconnection. The whole “no one gets me” conversation. There’s really no time for that anymore (just take it from mother Earth).
Even as our culture faces lesson after lesson of reckoning with our mistakes and we work to see each other’s perspective we can’t forget that we are all still children looking for love and to show love. Even the most docile child will sometimes throw an ugly tantrum, but with some compassion and quiet listening, the tantrum will subside (I’m directing this at myself too, of course).
It’s one thing to be aware, and quite another to be compassionately aware. When we connect more deeply with each other we connect more deeply with ourselves. So flash that smile at the stranger serving your coffee today. Ask someone how their day is going. Recognize that your disagreeable yet politically vocal relative is much more complex than infuriating statement they just made on that flat, one-dimensional social media platform. Today is a great day to connect more deeply with your neighbor, and in return - yourself.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
What's inspiring me this week...
Deepak Chopra's podcast: Infinite Potential
I’m a little late to the game here but my husband alerted me to this podcast and the interviews are great. There’s something special about the podcast platform that really gives you the chance to get to know the personalities of those you’ve been following in other formats! Deepak has a great sense of humor and it comes through in his interviews. I even enjoy listening to him read the advertisements.
I realize that most of you who read this newsletter are female identifying, but here's something pretty amazing for the dudes! I often wonder where the support is for men these days when it's such a taboo for men to self-evaluate, be emotional, seek support, etc. Turns out there are some great organizations out there doing the work, and this one is accessible throughout the country. A blurb about their mission:
"We believe that emotionally mature, powerful, compassionate, and purpose-driven men will help heal some of our society’s deepest wounds. We support the powerful brilliance of men and we are willing to look at, and take full responsibility for, the pain we are also capable of creating – and suffering. We care deeply about men, our families, communities, and the planet."
Eleanor Davis, Illustrator and Cartoonist in Athens, GA
I just discovered this artist's work after spending some time at the Lyndon House art gallery in Athens, GA. She works with numerous publications included the New York Times, New Yorker, The Guardian, National Geographic, etc. She has published a few books and has a new graphic novel coming out soon. I really love this illustration of hers "Snakes and Pears" that's available for purchase through the Lyndon House. All proceeds help to fund the Lyndon House Arts Foundation's many art programs.
Snakes and Pears by Eleanor Davis