SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What do you understand by the author's exhortation that we must all mother each other? Can you share a personal story that illustrates giving up without letting someone down? What practice helps you experience leisure as a virtue instead of a privilege?
Our daughter is in a marital crisis and is seeing a therapist. She is not communicating with us despite our calling and emails. It feels like we are really being left out. As I read this reflection I see that there are some things we have to give up. One being in control of our children's live's outcomes. We want to help but at this time our daughter does not want or can't reach out. We have to "let go" and trust in the process hopeing that her situation will work out for the best.
This one deeply resonates right now. So many aspects of my life are shifting right now: personal, professional, relationships, health, meaning, etc. It's been a practice to give up - or let go - without putting down. It goes for others. And it deeply goes for myself as well. How can I love myself, care for myself, support myself during this time of major shift? How can I give up on the patterns that no longer serve me without beating myself up for having held on to them for so long? I come back to love. Love and kindness. In thought, in words and in actions.
I think we need a healthy balance between the apparent opposites: taking and giving. We are very familiar with the stressful life we have created in ourselves because of the time pressure we feel most of the time. Sadly, we do not have time to be with ourselves, to listen mindfully listen to what's happening in our body, mind and heart and in the lives of the people who are close to us. We have allowed ourselves to be caught up in the no-time cycle.We know how or we may not know how much price we have paid for trading on the fast stressful lane. There is always more to do, more to accomplish- more money, more name and fame, more power and possession. We are paying a big toll for neglecting or side tracking the other side of the doing lane-the lane of not doing,relaxing,giving time to ourselves and the folks in our life, to enjoy the bounties of nature, to reach out and offer our compassionate caring hands. No wonder why there is an increase in mental and medical diseases. They are mainly caused by our lack of giving quality time to our selves, to our families and to relate to the gifts of nature.
I have seen three generations in my relatively 91 years old life. The first generation, my generation, when we had more time to give to each other with hardly any mechanical and electrical toys to play with.Going to bed when the night arrives and waking up when the sun shows up, taking long evening walks and running around with no reason.Life was simple and easy. We had more time to give to ourselves and to others.When I entered into the second generation I witnessed the heavy impact of the industrial revolution-taking more time to do and giving less time to be.The third generation has its own world- the world of computers and social media. I take a lot of time to check my emails, text, call and face book, without facing the real person in front of me. Benefits? Yes. Losses? Yes.
I am learning how to use my discretion to make wise choices, to strike a balance between the world of doing and the world of being.How can we have a balance between taking and giving is a challenge for all of us.This challenge has given me an opportunity to live more mindfully.
May we all learn, teach and share our ways of creating and sustaining such balance wholesome balance!
To mother is to nurture and foster the other's growth. It's doing what is best for the other, not what is easiest or most convenient for the mother. It's not selfish, it's not possessive, it's not controlling. When being a healthy mother -- be it as a parent, teacher, friend, neighbor -- I encourage the other to become their own self, do their thing, develop their own interest and talent. When I do that, I don't try to get them to be or do what I want. They aren't me. I give up the illusion that they are me. I let go of trying to own them. In so doing, I'm not letting the other down, I'm encouraging their getting up. Leisure is time during which I let go of being goal-directed, let go of have to and should, and follow my interest and my heart. In leisure I am free, true to me, doing what is good and healthy for me, becoming whole and holy. Practicing such leisure helps me to experience leisure as a virtue and a privilege.[Hide Full Comment]