The chihuahuas in question, sometimes warm, are pictured above. Please send love to Gizmo, perched on the free library box (that got stolen, the box, not the dog), and Minnie, wrapped in a blankey—not a bad idea.
Can we stay wrapped in our individual and collective blankies until January 20, 2021?
Thanks to MB from NJ for her above quote, who, along with so many of you, shared her doorways to solace. Thanks, also, to Gizmo and Minnie, who wanted their full names used, claiming gratitude for your attention.
I know you are here.
I know somebody is here, reading and thinking and feeling with me. I sometimes hear from you.
I know some of your faces, your eyes from yesteryear, in the Forest Room of Kripalu, shining with Kripalu glee during another world, another time.
But truly, my motus oprendi is to go It alone.
Whatever the current It-of-the-moment might be.
I GOT THIS.
LET ME FIGURE IT OUT.
I’LL GET BACK TO YOU.
By the way, figuring it out is not a spiritual practice.
Reaching out, asking for help—not a well-developed muscle for me.
I realize, I was asking for help, I was asking you for your help.
In inviting you to share your doorways to solace, I recognize that I have been squeezed silent by the events unfolding around us.
So many of you responded.
Hearing your words, most prolific, most poetic, most profound, has been calming and comforting.
You did for me what I couldn’t do for myself.
You jumpstarted my internal-solace-making-machine.
Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for kicking me into gear.
So—before we launch into what you all have been waiting for, I am certain, with bated breath, a synopsis of the Famous Solace Survey you have been hearing so much about, a few words:
Synopsis it is. There were many emails, many silvers of images and words of beauty in your feedback. I did my best at giving us a taste, a smorgasbord of responses. Apologies upfront for (human) error.
And now, the cyber drum-roll, please:
I am losing my shit with homeschooling the kids. Solace looks like: go outside and start a campfire in the back yard, if the kids are arguing I also go outside. I go outside and wander around the yard, at first, I am cursing but then I calm down.
Morning practice; some days
My knee is mending well and I’m back riding my motorcycle. The weather has been great and I find solace riding a back road with the wind in my face. It’s 80F here right now and I just returned from a 90-mile ride in the country
This is an easy time to feel apart. To feel like some folks are…different. My neighbor used to have political signs in her yard all the time. The most visual and disturbing type of signs. I used to get so upset about it. But now her daughter has stage awful cancer. And she is suffering. As any parent would. So today I am buying garden signs to put outside her daughter’s window. And ironically the signs that used to bother me are gone from my neighbor’s yard.
So, I guess I find solace in still trying to be kind even when it’s hard. And building community even with people I don’t agree.
Splurging on the most expensive and best guacamole, homemade salsa and chips.
I have been drawing daily again – just quick sketches of anything and everything I see. I find I look now, look for things to draw, and I SEE differently. I see the form of the tree, the silhouette of its canopy, the way one color sits beside another, the shape of a shadow. I find when I’m absorbed in looking and drawing what I see, I can forget for a little while about the pandemic-unchecked/election-unhinged/everything-unknown, and in that break, however short, my angst is eased. It makes sense, really, because you have to pay attention, and in paying attention to what I see, to what is before me, I can’t pay attention to the other thing I’m really trying not to be overwhelmed by.
Swearing, loudly. My partner, ___, sprayed himself in the face this July while cleaning the deck at the cottage. He unleashed the loudest, most drawn out “Fuuuuuuck meeeeeeeee” I have ever heard and this has become a catch phrase in my home and with my friends. There is nothing more satisfying that a good curse session.
I find solace in painting for hours each week. Here’s a look at some of what I’ve painted since the pandemic started if you’re curious.
* Pictures Below
2 cylinders, 2 wheels, on a 2-lane road.
A cup of tea at the perfect temperature Getting a window into someone’s soul through the food that they create (and sharing mine)
Working in the garden. Pulling weeds, dead perennials, putting garden to bed.
Eating a scorching hot temperature and spice-level bowl of Manhattan clam chowder soup. Telling the truth to my fiancée when I feel so out of sorts I am going to implode or explode…. Giving myself permission to do nothing
I place my hands over my heart, press firmly and take a deep, slow breath. I get outside, and if there’s a breeze, I close my eyes and imagine the breeze blowing through and around me is the Holy Spirit infusing my whole being with life, healthy energy and hope…it’s as if it’s whispering encouragement to me and helping to soothe my aching soul.
Your weekly message arrived just before temple where I was about to chant Kol Nidrei (powerful Jewish New Year prayer) aloud as a solo before our entire congregation as I have for three years, but this time on zoom. After my husband died my rabbi invited me to take the huge risk of chanting aloud in public because he thought it would help me heal. He was right. Moreover overcoming performance anxiety and dropping down into the music brought me unspeakable and unexpected solace for which I will be forever grateful.
Going to bed early and enjoying a luxuriously slow wake-up The magic of dawn.
My two female cats with the softest fur that smells of comfort and nature and pine pitch. Burrowing my nose in their fur comforts me. (From GS)
I watched “My Octopus Teacher” recently, and that brought me a great deal of healing and solace. I read into everything she did as an example of how I can more fully live my life. Her courage and resourcefulness in living a mostly solitary life, her resilience in healing and regrowing (literally) after an attack, and her cleverness at eluding sharks were all so inspiring to me. When she was attacked, she took to her den and took time to heal. That was the most profound for me. I’ve been in my own “den” of sorts, trying to heal after a deeply painful lover’s betrayal and the death of both of my parents. If she could regrow a limb, then maybe I can heal my broken heart! I printed out a picture of her to look at as a reminder of her beauty and the comfort in having known her, if only through an exquisitely-filmed documentary.
Rest, nature, beach, the sound of the birds, time alone, my pups, the written word, music, my family, connection with friends.
Taking a shower and saying serenity prayer. Over and over until I feel calmer.
The three horses that I’ve known, loved and been partners with over the years brings me solace. I call them my Therapists, Dr. Jesse, Dr. Sani and Dr. Bowie.
And on and on and on.
Okay, I (the Editor, or Maintenance Department of my Home)
Am calling this.
I could go
Suffice to say:
You inspire me.
I am not alone.
We are not alone.
Asking for help?
This brought me solace. RBG reading the Prayer for Our Country, 2013, at her grandson’s bar mitzvah service, 2013;
Be well, be safe, (I’m adding), be as comfortably sane as possible.
I’ll share more nuggets of solace in upcoming blogs.
Let’s get through
Cultivating Solace and Strengthening Resilience—Simple Strategies for Complicated Times.
Please follow this link for more info about my October 23 zoom program,
Suffice to say—it’s going to be a wonderful time to be together. Please consider. Send on any clarifications to firstname.lastname@example.org
And what a time it is. Connect to yourself, to one another, and to our simple and sustainable teachings. Our circles are a simple and elegant form of Devotional listening, super-simple and super-impactful. They are held on Thursdays, @ 2:00 EST.
This week our Circle will be on Thursday, October 8, @ 2:00 EST.
Here is the link: http://coacharuni.com/thursdaycircles/
Paintings from AK, from Texas