If you're not on my list or, in case you missed Monday's Quote (or, MQ, as my assistant and I call it) or, if you just don't remember it, here it is:
Life isn't about becoming somebody else...it's an equation:
"When you know better, you do better" Maya Angelou
"It's about befriending who we are already" Pema Chodron
And, the best place to begin is a book title from Pema:
Start Where You Are
Pema Chodron is an American Tibetan Buddhist. She is an ordained nun, has written several books and is the director of Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, Canada. I love her wisdom and simplicity. I remember feeling relief when I read the words, "start where you are" (I've since seen others credited with that same phrase. As I've mentioned before and as the Bible states, "There is nothing new under the sun", yet until we hear or read it, it is new to us.) To me, those simple words meant I didn't have to beat myself up about thoughts or behaviors or lack thereof from my past. I could start right where I was and one of the best ways to do that was to treat myself as a good friend, in real time.
Maya Angelou had a difficult childhood in Arkansas. In addition to experiencing racial prejudice, her parents divorced and she was sent to live with her grandmother. At the age of eight, after returning to live with her mother, she was raped by her mother's boyfriend. Her uncles killed him in retaliation and the traumatizing incident caused Maya to become mute for several years after. She wrote over a dozen books during her lifetime and my favorite line is the one I shared this week. Just like the comfort I felt when I read Pema's book title, I relaxed and felt reassured when I realized that it wasn't that I was failing at handling life (when I "should" have known how). I simply did not know how to manage certain (many) challenges. Over time, fortunately, I've become better equipped to meet more and more of what life tosses our way. For that I am grateful.
A mindful approach to living means getting out of the past and stop beating ourselves up for all the "mistakes" we think we've made. It also means not projecting to the future and being freaked out because we're not sure how we'll make everything perfect. When we embrace the lessons that beautifully come our way and tuck their wisdom into our hearts ... When we practice profound self care and accept ourselves as the divine beings we are ... then, we can welcome the idea that we are magnificent. This is what I wish for you.