The readings for January 22 and 23 tell us about two of the wondrous gifts of life: play and love.
We need to play so we can rediscover the magic all around us. Flora Colao
I didn't have time to post about yesterday's reading in Diane Mariechild's Open Mind, but this one sentence links to it. We were told to let our feet touch the earth, feel the earth, be held by the earth. (Although, as my sister texted me, January on the east coast in 30-degree weather may not be the best time to try this.) This sort of experience, just being in the moment with playful intent or without agenda, is something that seems hard for us Westerners to do.
I don't know about you, but I could find a lot more time for play in my life. For me, what keeps me from play is pain; for others, it may be work, or raising a family, or taking care of an elder. Yet I have the means of play -- immediate, always ready and always pleased when I make the effort -- in the form of my little dog, Sierra.
What do you do to bring play into your life?
I used every gift God gave me. The gift of love is the greatest. Janet Collins
I try not to say or even think things like, "there are people I know that I cannot stand," and "they are terrible people." My way of living in this world departs from Collins' in that way. So I focus on the first two sentences, which I have quoted above: using every gift God has given me; knowing and living in such a way that I affirm always that love is the greatest of these gifts.
This I can do whether I am in pain or not, as I wrote in my post of January 6, I can remember to perform even the most mundane of tasks with love. It may be hanging the laundry or cleaning the bathroom or sweeping the floor or making dinner. It's a conscious choice, and one that I do not always remember to make. But when I do, I am more at peace, more in tune with my world and myself; less judgmental and less prone to spike into anxiety; more merciful with myself and others.
It's a spiritual practice, really, and thus becomes a pain management practice as well: when I am calmer and moving more slowly and feeling kindly and patient toward myself, it is easier to allow myself to rest between tasks. I am less stressed and so not quite so much in pain.
I love the Buddhist concept of "equanimity." I have posted about it before, here and in other posts that you can find if you click on the word in the Labels column to the right. To me it seems that when I practice equanimity I am much closer to being the loving person I long to be.
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Carol D. Marsh
- With a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction degree (Goucher College, August 2014), I am looking at a new phase in my life. From 1992 to 2009, I served as Founding Executive Director of Miriam's House, a residence for homeless women living with AIDS. I left this position when Chronic Migraine Disease overtook my ability to do my job. Now I hope that a writing career will both accommodate the migraines and give me a creative, productive outlet. And soon, September 4, I will launch my Inkshares author page in a bid to hit the 1,000 pre-order goal in 90 days. The book I want to publish is "Nowhere Else I Want to Be," a memoir of ten of my years at Miriam's House.