Many Americans are deeply concerned about the culture of shaming and silencing that is becoming dominant in major American institutions and cities, increasingly in violent ways as seen in riots. These ideologies are also infiltrating what once were peaceable religious organizations. In this video April Lawson of Braver Angels talks with Heather Heying about Feminism, Free Speech & Thinking Freely.
The road toward Acceptance and intentional processing of deep grief.
As our friends and family know all too well, one year ago this month our son, Riley Dai, died tragically. He was 22 years old. It was an unexpected and violent death. Our family is reeling over this loss. Deep grief is what is present with me, even amid the ever-present joys of our very blessed life – ie: we welcomed three new grandbabies into our family this year, six in total, so much joy exists alongside and intertwined with this grief. Most days, outwardly, I am able to function, accomplish necessary tasks, and be attentive to our youngest child who is a young teenager. Run my businesses and answer my Call. But I had not even begun to process, let alone accept my son’s death. I know I need to and that the inward journey to do so is something I have been avoiding, with the exception of a brief stint of grief counseling early after he died. I decided that enrolling in some sort of creative program would help.
Whenever I think about what to enroll in, the “Om Tara Tu Tara” chant for liberation sings in my mind. Then, a few weeks ago, I saw a promo on social media for the “22 Day TARA Painting Meditation” – I knew instantly it was the perfect place for me to start.
The largest canvas I had here was an unfinished painting. So, I painted over much of the original painting, with some of the original paint still seen throughout.
I realize as I type that it is emblematic of where I am on my path. The life I envisioned for and with my son, the life he envisioned for himself, the dreams shared and seen in our imaginations yet never fully realized, will remain part of our/my memories of him. The future shape of our lives without him physically present is not a blank canvas, but one that will forever carry the loving imprint of him.
Each day of this meditation art program we are given a new aspect of the Tara to consider, along with a meditation, a written contemplation, a chapter in Rachael Wooten‘s beautiful book, and a video with Whitney Freya as guide. We each paint what we feel called to. We share as we wish with the others in the group. Doing so shows how diverse and unique our individual interpretations of Tara are. It is a very personal process, so evolutions of our paintings are personal as well.
Day after day. Layer after layer. We meditate. We paint. We meditate. We paint. It is cathartic, yes, and raw and opening wounds, and emotion inducing, and healing, and soothing and calming all rolled into one in this sacred space we call the canvas.
This is Day 12 of 22:
Spoiler alert: This is likely to be my only “political” post of this election season. (you’re welcome).
It is International Day of Peace. A wonderful time for us to contemplate (and plan for) how we will choose to respond to the outcome of the USA Presidential election. With that in mind:
I invite, request and beseech
every single person in
The United States of America
(and those watching around the world)
to choose now…
before Election Day;
before the votes are cast and counted;
(and recounted, and recounted again);
before the announcements are made official;
before one party concedes and another accepts;
Please choose now…
how you will respond.
And, if I may further request and beseech
that we all
respond in peace
and with peaceableness.
More than merely being passively peaceful, a peaceable person actively seeks and strives for peace. Their actions and words demonstrate and promote peace.
We may not all be happy with the outcome of the election. Indeed, there will likely be feelings of heavy emotions. But, rather than react impulsively and destructively, we can choose to respond in peace and with peaceableness.
Please let’s choose to be peaceable people.
2020 (and, for some of us, beginning in 2019)
has been a long and painful year.
Let’s be gentle with each other.
Let’s gift each other with peaceableness.
Let’s set that intention now.
And, let’s act on that intention now by reminding ourselves every single day as we approach November 3rd, that we are choosing to be the peaceable people.
Be the Change.
May it be so.
Happy International Day of Peace!
*PhotoCredit: Asheville Community Yoga
On the anniversary of his death, we gathered his family together in Maine and on Prince Edward Island.