Heart-Full Moments – October 2017

A monthly feature of “Listening with Heart”, sharing wise words, meaningful things read or good things found, to help warm your heart.

Healing in difficult times, Compassion, hope and kindness

It has been a very challenging and difficult month with many national and international disasters occurring. Earthquakes, hurricanes, mass shootings, detrimental leadership, fires, and utter human loss and indignities have been suffered by many and ripple affected many more. Anyone with a heart who cares about humankind has felt the devastation that has been so widespread and touched many. Here I offer some gentle wisdoms and insights that I’ve come across in October, that have helped to soothe the heart-felt wounds, and that offer hope and healing.

  • “By definition, not everyone can accomplish extraordinary things. The rainforest needs saving, poverty needs ending, and diseases need curing, but why not start with what you can influence right now—the world’s little daily hurts that, through the cycle of pain, create big problems? But this is our bias, made dramatically worse in recent years by social media: to overlook or even look down upon the ordinary. And yet, it is the ordinary, everyday flow of life that is so difficult to navigate in a way that does no harm to ourselves or others. Indeed, daily life presents our most obvious opportunity to change the world around us—to end the cycle of pain.”-Joshua Kauffman, Tiny Buddha blog – Simple Wisdom for Complex Lives
  • On Serenity: “Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.” -Thomas Szasz
  • On Aging: “The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected” – Robert Frost
  • Someone who really cares about and gives back to his community – Marshawn Lynch
  • Brother Steindl Rast – A grateful day video – lovely! 5 minutes
  • “Come, friends.
    Come with your grief.
    Come with your loss.
    Carry all the pieces of your heart
    and come sit with us.
    Bring your disappointments
    and your failures.
    Bring your betrayals
    and your masks.
    We welcome you no matter
    where you come from
    and what you bring.
    Come and join us
    at the intersection of
    acceptance and forgiveness
    where you will find our
    house of love.
    Bring your empty cups
    and we will have a feast.”
    -Kamand Kojouri
  • “When Mexico City was rocked by a powerful earthquake, people ran out into the street as the buildings they were in collapsed. Devastation was everywhere, but so was kindness amid the disaster.” – Emily Green, NPR
  • “When I encounter pain, particularly as it relates to anxiety, grief, and family conflict, I try to remember to ask myself, “What is there to learn here?” By asking this question, I take myself out of the role of victim and into the role of an empowered learner…. What if anxiety is not something wrong with you but just part of the path?” – Melissa Renzi
  • “Why should I be hated for something I cannot help be?” -Theo EJ Wilson – TED talk – in the way he (a black man) identified with white supremacists.
  • “Keep inviolate an area of light and peace within you.” – Corazon Aquino
  • “Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to allow humor to lighten the burden of your tender heart.”
    -Maya Angelou
  • “ Mr. President, the way to honor the White House is through compassion and dignity, and being above the fray, not causing the fray.” ⁃ Steve Kerr
  • “It wasn’t as she had planned. It was perfect instead” – Byron Katie
  • “Often my life has become richer from the things I didn’t plan or want.” Lauren Selfridge – who also has a podcast titled “This is not what I ordered” – see ThisisnotwhatIordered.com – for people living with chronic illness
  • “In the quiet moments when the hurt is hard to bear, may love become your shelter and may the beauty of precious memories be your comfort.”
  • “When I was a boy and I would see scary things on the news, my mother would say: ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother‘s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.“ – Fred Rogers
  • “The experience of having power makes us less accurate in reading suffering on the faces of strangers and emotions in static photos of facial expressions. Powerful people are less able to take the perspective of others; they’re quicker to confuse friendliness with flirtatiousness. This is the empathy deficit of people in power, one found in many kinds of studies.” – Jeremy Adam Smith & Dacher Keltner in article: ”The Psychology of Taking a Knee”
  • “What do you do with the mad that you feel
    When you feel so mad you could bite?
    When the whole wide world seems oh, so wrong…
    And nothing you do seems very right?What do you do? Do you punch a bag?
    Do you pound some clay or some dough?
    Do you round up friends for a game of tag?
    Or see how fast you go?It’s great to be able to stop
    When you’ve planned a thing that’s wrong,
    And be able to do something else instead
    And think this song:

    I can stop when I want to
    Can stop when I wish.
    I can stop, stop, stop any time.
    And what a good feeling to feel like this
    And know that the feeling is really mine.
    Know that there’s something deep inside
    That helps us become what we can.
    For a girl can be someday a woman
    And a boy can be someday a man.” – Fred Rogers

  • “Never apologize for showing feelings. When you do so, you apologize for the truth.” ~Benjamin Disraeli
  • “Grief and gratitude are kindred souls, each pointing to the beauty of what is transient and given to us by grace.- Patricia Campbell Carlson
  • “People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light within.” – Elizabeth Kubler Ross
  • “The curious paradox is that just as soon as I start to accept myself as I am, that’s when things begin to change.” – Carl Rogers
  • “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.” – Albert Einstein
  • Cal Fire – prepare to evacuate before fire hits
  • “There will be something, anguish or elation, that is peculiar to this day alone. I rise from sleep and say: Hail to the morning! Come down to me, my beautiful unknown.” – Jessica Powers
  • “And yes, the world does mercifully go on. As I write this evening, it goes on past local catastrophes like the unimaginably destructive fires raging just east and north of us. Plus the devastating hurricanes lined up one after another this year. It goes on past political leaders, so uncaring and seemingly untethered to reality. It goes on past global tensions that threaten millions. And it goes on past loved ones like my younger sister who is gravely ill. Yes, it simply goes on. This is not gratefulness for the hurt, grief and losses we suffer, but rather for the opportunity to grow heal and reconnect to our selves, to others, and to the great other.   But how do we hold all these things at once? How do we keep from simply turning away, numb and desperate? There is a tool and practice strong enough for such times. It is gratefulness practice. And no, we cannot be grateful for any of the things I just mentioned. Let me be clear. We simply cannot be grateful for such difficult and fierce things in this world.  Over time, however we can begin to tease up to something I call paradoxical gratefulness. This is not gratefulness for the hurt, grief and losses we suffer, but rather for the opportunity to grow, heal and reconnect to our selves, to others, and to the great other. It allows our heart to open more fully even as it shatters and breaks into ten thousand pieces.” -Dale Biron
  • “Courage isn’t about making the fear go away; it’s about acting in the face of fear.” As Susan Jeffers put it, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”
  • “Your heart has loved you since the beginning.”– Nayyirah Waheed
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda has raised over $20 million to benefit recovery efforts in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria devastated the island, with his song ‘Almost like Praying’. See his story and donate here.

If you or someone you love needs help dealing with stress, anxiety, loss, depression, please contact me for a therapy appointment.

For more ideas on how to bring more calm and less worry into your life, click here for a free email course on Mindfulness.

Listening with Heart
Cindi Rivera, MFT
Marriage, Family Therapist
(510) 482-4445

Leave a Reply