On this day 2018.
Celebrating a year of daily cartoons.
Maybe most days when we pause and take a closer look we can also see how much we help each other along the way. What's one way you've gotten a kind of support that worked for you this week?
On any given day if we pause to take a closer look perhaps we can see just how much it's taken to get where we are. What's something you've accomplished, surmounted, or survived this year?
Even while we can and maybe need to advance our personal healing, growth, and liberation by broadening our support systems, we are maybe also and always already working on ourselves on our own to some degree. Because people perhaps generally have an innate inclination to improve, we can also exhaust ourselves, and we maybe also have to work on doing a better job of taking breaks. What's a favorite way that you mindfully check out on occasion?
We can start the process of anticipation at any point before an expected event. Anticipation in some situations can be fun and pleasantly exciting. In other situations, anticipation can be irritating and scary. Anticipation may be familiar or surprising — or both. Anticipation may show up as social pressure, self-soothing, spiritual guidance, coping and distraction, feeling one's feelings, and many, many more human processes. What is something you're anticipating? What is this experience of anticipation like for you?
Where we live is often not a simple or straightforward story. Where we sleep at night may be emotionally and physically dangerous, upsetting, and uncomfortable for a range of reasons. How we find space to be during the day may come with a whole set of other challenges that may include conflicting needs for quiet and noise, order and messiness, and retreat from work and secure livelihood. And whether we stay or leave from the same places where we live during our waking or sleeping hours — today, this week, this year, or into an older age — may come with or without choices, obligations, or forces bigger than us that may not be predictable or easy to deal with. What's one thing that helps you cope with the challenges of where you live?
We can find ourselves in any moment carrying a lot, things that are concrete with physical weight and things that are emotional and energetic with psychological and physiological tensions and forces that weigh on us. What we're holding may be heavy, or it may be awkward to keep balanced or to have a handle on. And yet at some points in time, we may notice that what seems like discrete chunks of effort is in fact also always a wholeness that is the simple and profound act of lifting our whole selves up each day, through the day, through space and time, and through our whole lives. When we notice this wholeness we can perhaps also notice that we are just here and this life is just what it is. We may be able to accept a little more about how we are here. We may find ourselves breathing a little more deeply into the truth of what is. What helps you breathe into the burdensomeness aspect of life?
Share a favorite halloween costume.
Sometimes other people can be extra scary, or annoying, or hard in a very wide range of ways, and we may just need to take a moment to ourselves to reground. What's one thing you've done this week to take a break from people?
Sometimes someone who you love very much goes to a lot of effort to give you a big party on your birthday. The party is a surprise party. The party is awesome. It is a gathering filled with friends and food and love. Sometimes the person who you love very much seems really happy about what they've created for you, and for many years after they tell the story of that party to lots of friends. They seem very happy telling the surprise part. And sometimes you hold onto a secret for a dozen years, wondering when and how and if you'll ever spill the beans. Sometimes on a Friday afternoon you give the person who you love very much a present from your mother and her partner and yourself, and you finally or suddenly or somehow find the words that numerous time you fantasized saying in some grand or wild or heated fashion. But in that moment you're just saying words, sentences shared between you and the person who you love very much. These words have little aplomb, and no thunder either. They're just words, like quiet blades of grass that just grow along sidewalks, like trees that just blow around in the wind. They're ok. They may even have love in them, a simple kind of love. Sometimes a twelve-year-old secret just comes out and is changed into something else, no longer a secret. And there's possibly just not that much more to it. Share a story of your own about anything or anyone present in your life today.
The Empty Boat by Chuang Tzu
They who rule people live in confusion;
They who are ruled by people live in sorrow.
Yao therefore desired
Neither to influence others
Nor to be influenced by them.
The way to get clear of confusion
And free of sorrow
Is to live with Tao
In the land of the great Void.
If a person is crossing a river
And an empty boat collides with their own skiff,
Even though they be a bad-tempered person
They will not become very angry.
But if they see a person in the boat,
They will shout at the other to steer clear.
If the shout is not heard, they will shout again,
And yet again, and begin cursing.
And all because there is somebody in the boat.
Yet if the boat were empty.
They would not be shouting, and not angry.
If you can empty your own boat
Crossing the river of the world,
No one will oppose you,
No one will seek to harm you.
The straight tree is the first to be cut down,
The spring of clear water is the first to be drained dry.
If you wish to improve your wisdom
And shame the ignorant,
To cultivate your character
And outshine others;
A light will shine around you
As if you had swallowed the sun and the moon:
You will not avoid calamity.
A wise man has said:
“Those who are content with themselves
Have done a worthless work.
Achievement is the beginning of failure.
Fame is the beginning of disgrace.”
Who can free themselves from achievement
And from fame, descend and be lost
Amid the masses of humanity?
They will flow like Tao, unseen,
They will go about like Life itself
With no name and no home.
Simple are they, without distinction.
To all appearances they are fools.
Their steps leave no trace. They have no power.
They achieve nothing, have no reputation.
Since they judge no one
No one judges them.
Such is the perfect person:
Their boat is empty.
Adapted from Charlie Ambler: https://www.thedailyzen.org/2015/05/27/the-empty-boat-by-chuang-tzu/.
~ ~ ~
How are you emptying your boat today?
I love you already.
500 PATRONS IN 5000 DAYS CHALLENGE
You can be part of spreading #MindfulHearts
to people's living rooms. The first 500 patrons will be acknowledged
in the #MindfulHearts coloring and activity book, Room for Living (with an estimated release in 2025).
Just $1/month pledge is a great way to say,
"I want to keep seeing new #MindfulHearts every day!"