An Invitation to Tremendous Kindness & Compassion

A note from Erin:

Hello, friends,

I think Dr. Estes said it well when she named the miles and miles of aching scar tissue in the world this week.

I’ve been watching part of the hearings with Dr. Blasey Ford this morning andhooooo, it’s intense. I have a chill I can’t seem to shake, despite the relatively warm weather and my blasting heat under my desk.

After the wave of #metoo earlier this year, now the #whyididntreport stories are flowing freely. And there are of course thousands upon thousands of unspoken ones.

I remember in the days after #metoo (about which I have my own stories), walking into a cafe where I meet a dear friend once a week, and I was looking around at people, from the bright young baristas in their 20s to the white-haired women at another table, thinking “you too?”
It’s pervasive.
It’s utterly awful to acknowledge.
What Eugene Gendlin wisely said in regards to our inner lives is equally true of our outer circumstances and comes to mind today.

“What is true is already so.
Owning up to it doesn’t make it worse.
Not being open about it doesn’t make it go away.
And because it’s true, it is what is there to be interacted with.
People can stand what is true, for they are already enduring it.”

Here we are, invited to stand what is true. We are enduring it.

And while we are, I want to make an invitation to us.

To embody tremendous kindness.
To embody our best version of unconditional, brave friendliness.
Toward the wounds, inner and outer. Toward the awkward compensations around the wounds. Toward the difficult histories we and others bear. Toward the doing our best to work with them, often with very little in the way of support.

As we interact with others today, let’s amplify kindness in the world. Let’s make a giant rippling wave of it – a tsunami of generous, warm compassion.

Perhaps expressed silently with a smile, by letting someone merge in traffic, by holding the door as if there’s all the time in the world, or with the simple compassionate wondering of what might be true in someone else’s inner life, and not assuming we know.

If you’re someone with aching scar tissue in your own body, mind or soul today, please be extra gentle with yourself. Extra kind. We are with you.

As Rob Brezsny wrote, “Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is my hero. May her epic courage catalyze a turning point in the inevitable dismantling of rape culture and the rigorous healing of toxic masculinity.”
Whether she’s your hero or not, whether you’ve tuned to this high-stakes situation or not, please join me in the wish for an end to rape culture and for the rigorous healing of toxic masculinity. May it be so.

May the poems shared below nourish your heart.

 “So let us pick up the stones over which we stumble, friends, and build altars.
Let us listen to the sound of breath in our bodies.
Let us listen to the sounds of our own voices, of our own names, of our own fears.
Let’s claw ourselves out from the graves we’ve dug.
Let’s lick the earth from our fingers. Let us look up and out and around.
The world is big and wide and wild and wonderful and wicked,
and our lives are murky, magnificent, malleable, and full of meaning.
Oremus.
Let us pray.”

Padraig O Tuama, excerpted from the wonderful OnBeing podcast

 

“For Someone Awakening To The Trauma of His or Her Past:

For everything under thesun there is a time.
This is the season of your awkward harvesting,
When the pain takes you where you would rather not go,

Through the white curtain of yesterdays to a place
You had forgotten you knew from the inside out;
And a time when that bitter tree was planted

That has grown always invisibly beside you
And whose branches your awakened hands
Now long to disentangle from your heart.

You are coming to see how your looking often darkened
When you should have felt safe enough to fall toward love,
How deep down your eyes were always owned by something

That faced them through a dark fester of thorns
Converting whoever came into a further figure of the wrong;
You could only see what touched you as already torn.

Now the act of seeing begins your work of mourning.
And your memory is ready to show you everything,
Having waited all these years for you to return and know.

Only you know where the casket of pain is interred.
You will have to scrape through all the layers of covering
And according to your readiness, everything will open.

May you be blessed with a wise and compassionate guide
Who can accompany you through the fear and grief
Until your heart has wept its way to your true self.

As your tears fall over that wounded place,
May they wash away your hurt and free your heart.
May your forgiveness still the hunger of the wound

So that for the first time you can walk away from that place,
Reunited with your banished heart, now healed and freed,
And feel the clear, free air bless your new face.”

 

― John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

May you be held in kindness and beauty today and always,
Erin

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Erin

By training and profession, I am a somatic educator. Over the past 25+ years I have trained in and taught modern dance, tai chi, Indian and Tibetan yoga, yoga therapy (specializing in back pain). I completed a 4-year professional Feldenkrais training in 2007 and a 3-year Embodied Life training in 2014. I also study and work with somatic meditation and the profound practice of embodied inner listening known as Focusing.

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