Thursday, June 7, 2007

Dancing In The Now

I've been doing some revising of my book on day caring grandchildren. (Yes, a writer's conference is a good thing.) I'm having trouble with the first chapter. The later ones seemed to come out better, but I keep returning to the beginnings of the book, rehashing what I want to say.
As I sit here and rehash what I want to blog about this morning three things with big steps are dancing around my brain.
  1. Empathy
  2. Stress
  3. Be Here Now

Maybe I should arrange them---Stress, Empathy and Be Here Now. Or, should it be Stress, Be Here Now and Empathy? Or Empathy... Oh, what's the difference, they are all energizing concepts, yep, even the-- Stress. The stress makes the other two possible and empathy, well it's such a neat thing. In the book "The Common Thread," by Martha Manning, the concept of empathy is compared to a thread in a patchwork quilt. "It winds throughout the lives of generations of women, influencing the quality and intensity of their relationships. To empathize is to try and put oneself in someone else's shoes to get as close a match as possible to the way she feels." The book sites many examples of how this can be done, even though we rarely walk in the same shoes of another. We learn empathy, by relating to the feelings we may have had in a similar situation somewhere in the span of our lifetime, but we can really rarely say to another person, "I know how you feel ."

Here's the round-up on Stress; a factor causing mental or emotional strain or tension. What's stressful for you may not be stressful to me, but that doesn't negate your feelings. The music of this circle dance my head is choreographing today is called, "Be Here Now." I know, that's a title of one of my hippie books from the seventies, but it's a good 'catch all bag' for the other phases that help to remind us to 'center' and stay in cadence with our lives. One I especially like, (I found it at the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren link) is "Mindfulness refers to keeping one's Consciousness alive to the present reality. It is the miracle by which we master and restore ourselves." Thich Nhat Hanh
My coffees cold, the clock is ticking and it's time for me to get off the information highway. Another day is starting where I can practice--- getting this dance right. I know it's inevitable that I 'm gonna skip a turn, twist or beat... but then that's what makes me want to try again and again and again maybe.... Oh! to have that sense of floating on the wings of life's song!

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