The most precious gift of all is time.
I work for someone who perpetually has no time, at least not for me. Given he pays on time and we don’t have much more than a working relationship, I find only a bit of sadness for someone whom I think highly of who, from what I know has a life is so full of ambition and striving that any communication ends with his being busy.
It is the attention we offer others that shows our care.
I know Tara Brach talks of how the pet we own is so special because, well, we love it and it loves us and because we spend time doting, we know our pets—like my two kitties who remain endless company to me and who love me unconditionally.
Yes, I think the pendulum of happiness swings between the attention of kindness we give our self and what we give to others. And I know if I am not kind to myself, I find it hard to be gently with those around me.
For if I am flogging myself whether with action, attitude or words, where does that leave my heart and spirit? How can I offer to another what I have yet to give to myself?
I know some of you think well yes, I can beat myself up in one moment and love my friend in another. I can berate my actions and embrace my child.
But I think if we put on our wizard’s hat and look at the cauldron that is life we find that we don’t have much left to give when we don’t give to self. As we all know, the more we give the more we have to give.
I recently realized that though I don’t berate myself with words, I was living in the shadow of my own judgmental attitude. I stepped away from much of what I love because it became yet something else I should do. I left yoga. Writing became difficult. Everything day in and day out fed the drive to survive.
And in the vacuum of that drive lived a sadness and a loneliness under the roof of shame. For if I was worthy, if I was a better person, I would not have the problems I have. If I was a better teacher, I would make more money. If I was a better writer I would have more readers. If I was a better person, I would have more friends who called me.
So today I sit with my candles and kitty and Ani DiFranco. I invite yoga on the mat back in my life and engage yoga off the mat with how I feed my heart by listening to the likes and loves of what my heart needs.
No one said life is easy or simple—yet, I can think of no good reason, given I have my health, meaningful work and place to sleep and food to eat, to live with anything but joy.
So my word for 2014 is inspired; I am inspired to live fully and give my all.
Tell me if you like, what inspires you?
For me, it’s my friends, family and students, yoga, writing and my two lovely kitties.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: flickr Creative Commons