Friday, December 21, 2018

Some Thoughts on Hope, Kindness and Compassion as We Welcome Back the Light!

As we approach the the end of the year and pause to enjoy the varying celebrations that take place around the world in December, including Winter Solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, my thoughts turn toward reflection and renewal. 

Ending one year and beginning a new one can be a difficult time for many, and I've seen a noticeable uptick with clients, friends and family feeling discouraged, disheartened, and frankly, hopeless.  Without a doubt, these are unsettling times, and the world seems more challenging each day.  Anxiety, depression, pessimism, a sense of feeling forlorn, disconnected, alone, hopeless, helpless, broken and even a sense of worthlessness can surface at any time, yet seems to carry more weight at this time of year more than any other, rather highlighted and brought to the fore.  Some have even said that they have feeling of utter dejection and have such a bleak outlook that they feel numb to the happenings around them.  Unfortunately, "I'm at my wit's end" and "What's the point?" seems to be the new seasonal jingle. 


In the hectic pace of the holi-daze, I encourage folks to take time for stillness, find a moment to devote your Self to acts of loving kindness (Yes! even toward your SELF!), and seek your truth in all things that come into your attention.  


It may also be helpful to focus on responding, not reacting.  The more chaotic life becomes, the more we tend to react. Try not to be triggered by the avalanche of information with which we are constantly bombarded through technology.   You might even consider leaving your smartphone at home or in the car.*Gasp*   Maybe you can even meet a friend in person for coffee instead of sending a message or a simple emoji.  Slowing down is a simple and mindful way of creating the opportunity for thoughtful response.  Certainly we all have 'stuff' going on, yet by choosing the responses that nourish and foster kindness and compassion, we can make positive changes in small ways.
  • Smile at the grumpy cashier (was she up all night with a sick child or parent?) 
  • Let the erratic driver get ahead of you in traffic (did they just get an emergency call?)
  • Have compassion for the distracted waiter (did he lose a loved one recently?)
Remember the Random Acts of Kindness movement?  Maybe it needs some dusting off as life becomes more fast-paced and frenzied.  Focus on making a difference in one small way each day. 



Additionally, as many of you know, trees have a special place in my heart and I often feel such a deep, communal connection with them in ways that I cannot fully put into words.  My inner knowing that they continually strive to be of service to humanity - despite our poor and sometimes inhospitable treatment of them -  often leads me down new and unexpected paths.  Every morning, I ask the Universe "What do I need to know today?" and, unfailingly, I am blessed by answers, nudges and suggestions throughout the day.

In speaking on the phone recently with a gifted and  oh-so-intuitive holistic healer colleague, she mentioned that she was feeling some of the same weight on her mind and spirit that I described above from other clients - a type of 'ennui' of the soul that the French poet Baudelaire would have deeply understood And she said "and I keep hearing sweet chestnut". 
Bingo! 




Other than Rescue Remedy, I don't often use or recommend Bach Flower Essences simply because I am not familiar with them.  The Universe delivered Sweet Chestnut (Castenea sativa) directly through my colleague to my clients.  Here is a snippet from the description on their website: 

"When describing the Bach Flower Essences, Dr. Bach said that Sweet Chestnut 'is the (remedy) for that terrible, that appalling mental despair when it seems the very soul itself is suffering destruction.  It is the hopeless despair of those who feel they have reached the limit of their endurance'... 

...a person in the negative Sweet Chestnut state feels completely alone, helpless, hopeless and unprotected.  The emptiness and despair are acute, yet he harbours no thoughts of suicide...

...this person fears breaking down under the stress, works hard to keep his anguish from other people, may be recognized by phrases like "I don't know what to do" or "I'm at my wit's end".  You may recognize him by the fact that no words of hope will enter his conversation because he has none...

...Interestingly, the extreme negative Sweet Chestnut state is often the beginning of a transformation into a new and much better life.  This is an emergency state - a 'dark night' for the soul - a time when old beliefs and patterns break apart and make room for new levels of consciousness, and even a new connection to God..."
(Edited from: https://www.bachflowers.com/products/bach-sweet-chestnut)

As soon as I read that this flower essence could help the current angst among us,  I placed an order for several bottles of Bach Sweet Chestnut, due to arrive in January.  Please contact me if you would like one, or you can order directly from Bach Flower Essence.  


If you find that you are still having difficulties managing feelings of discouragement, despair, hopelessness or anxiety, please reach out to us, or contact a healthcare professional that may be able to help.  DO practice nurturing self-care.
 


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As luck - or the Universe - would have it, this video showed up in my FB feed as we created this newsletter.  It comes from Roc Solid Foundation and landed in my feed from The Daily Goalcast.  The title is "On Days When You Feel Like You Can't Go On, Please Listen To THIS!"  It dovetails perfectly into the Bach Flower Essence Sweet Chestnut state described above that is so prevalent at this time. 

PLEASE WATCH TO THE END. It is only 2.5 mins long, and brilliantly done.  I believe it provides a suitable and perfect example of how we can masterfully turn around our heartache, despair and hopelessness for any situation that crops up during these turbulent times.  Click Here for the video!