Week 33 – A letter to an unhappy follower on Facebook
This morning I posted a picture of Poupon coveting the catnip I brought in from the garden. I shared my gratitude for the herb that causes him to leap and spin under its spell. It creates much-needed laughter in our household these days.
Later today I visited my Facebook page and discovered that someone posted a question under the photo, wanting to know if I was indifferent to the violence that happened in Virginia since I hadn’t mentioned it in my post.
Of course I’m not indifferent, I wanted to write back, don’t you know me by now?
Sometimes I make the assumption that people who have been with me for a while know who I am, but we all know what happens when you make assumptions…
So Bert, this blog is for you.
There’s so much I could say about Virginia, the state of our country, and the state of our world. And believe me, not a day goes by when I don’t want to post some kind of reaction to the madness that fills the news on an hourly basis.
But there’s an intention that’s guided my work for nearly three decades:
I’m in the business of raising consciousness. Period.
I don’t choose my audience and I don’t discriminate. I want as many people as possible to wake up, to take themselves and their needs seriously, and to care so much about their inner lives and living with integrity that they feel compelled to make sure others have the same opportunity. All change begins with the individual. That’s why my first priority as a writer and teacher is to walk my talk. I’ve dedicated my personal and professional life to self-care because I’ve desperately needed it myself. I spent too many years pretending to be somebody I wasn’t. I’ve withheld the truth to keep the peace. I’ve avoided being direct with others because I was conflict phobic (and still am sometimes). I’ve sacrificed my health and wounded important relationships because I worked too much. And I’ve given to others at the expense of my own needs thinking I was being generous when in fact I was, at times, acting with hidden motives. Not pretty, I know, but true.
Here’s the thing: Self-care is good for the planet.
From years of personal experience, as well as coaching great men and women, I’ve come to understand that selfishness – the honoring of one’s soul – leads to selflessness – the desire to respect and value humanity and an intolerance for violence and destruction.
When we care deeply for ourselves, we naturally begin to care for others – our families, our friends, our greater global community, and the environment – in a healthier and more effective way. We tell the truth. We make choices from love instead of guilt, obligation, or hidden motives. We stop judging and we start listening. We don’t take sides, we build bridges. And we cut people some slack when they push our buttons because these are difficult times for those of us who choose to be awake instead of asleep.
What happened in Virginia is reflective of a level of consciousness that could destroy humanity and I’m doing my part to change that.
So thank you, Bert, for asking, and for being with me for seven years. I hope you’ll stick around.
I have a sneaking suspicion that what I’ve done up to this point in my career has been preparation for something even more important, so stay tuned.
Video of the Week
Here’s an inspirational video to motivate you to be brave (beware of language at the beginning). You can watch it, here.