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Life With Benefits

Hey, hey, hey! This my last Bloom from S Oregon for a few months. I'll be heading south and then east starting tomorrow. I'm a bag of mixed emotions this week -- sad to be leaving my daughter and the Pacific Northwest while excited to get back on the east coast. One thing I love about my cross-country drives is how it keeps me in the moment. Sometimes I fall back into memories or jump forward into what might be, but mostly I pay attention to the road in front of me and often get a lot of "downloads". Some people get their best ideas in the shower --- me, I'm inspired by the wheels on my car going 'round and 'round.

Being on the road makes me more aware of being "out there", more in the world, more visible. Along with that comes a consideration of how I want to present myself. It makes me think about what kind of ripple effect I want to begin or create. Monday's Seed asked the question:

"What do you think benefits the world more ...?

Having self-compassion or being self-critical?"

I ponder these questions, not only with regard to the world at large, but also my immediate world. How do I want this trip from the west coast to the east to go? What kind of experiences do I want to have? I may not have any control over forces of nature like wind, rain, and temperature, but I can definitely influence my interactions with whomever I meet along the way.

My impression is that, as women, we find it far easier to be self-critical. A patriarchal system "taught" us not to trust or even be friends with other women. One of the worst consequences of that is that we develop as much or more criticism of ourselves simply because we are precisely that segment of society that we've been "trained" to disparage or denounce. The terrible fall-out of that is half of society feeling angry, frustrated, and confused. Unhappy people often do not behave well and sometimes unwittingly inflict their misery on any and all around them.

On the other hand, someone who has found and embraced self-compassion, will naturally feel more kindly toward others. Because we have learned to forgive ourselves and we are always working toward improvement, we are more available to have empathy, understanding, and tenderness for others.

How does this benefit the world? More often than not, we will be met with whatever we offer. If we are harsh and find fault with ourselves, we will encounter the same all around us. Fortunately, if we are forgiving, concerned, and sympathetic toward our own short-comings, we will draw in and attract the same energy. Hopefully and most likely, this will set into motion waves of caring and kindness.

We've all been through some trying times since early 2020. As an RN, on the "front lines", I've seen and felt the toll the pandemic has taken. I have people tell me all the time that they are tired, not sleeping well, gaining weight, and feeling fearful. Because I have some techniques for getting through, I feel a deep need to "Help the Helpers". If you are a caregiver (and this can be applied to you recognizing the need for some extra care) or you know someone, please contact me. You don't have to go it alone. You can improve the quality of your life and create your own pool of positive ripples -- this is what I wish for you.

Sparkles and Love,


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About the Author




Barbara L Cummings, MS, RN

the Mindful Maven and Mistress of Meditation, is a sassy Queen-ager, mentor, confidante and trusted guide who provides people with everyday life support. 

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