This morning I felt like Rick Mercer walking down the graffiti alley of rants. Rants, for me, are moments when things and thoughts have accumulated to a point where they come out of one’s mouth as a kind of hip hop litany. Between the verses, I said to Rod that I felt like I was searching for the step ladder to climb out of this puddle which was shortly followed by the words that I also felt like I was in a glass test tube turning 365 degrees….seeing it all.
It’s good to have a hip hop rant, of sorts, when the pressure cooker’s temperature is rising too quickly. A nice melodic string of words to describe the things that are, whatever they are, frustrating, unacceptable…..and then take a nice long pause and deep breath.
As I finished sharing, I looked over my shoulder and saw one of the books I brought with us to Playa, and it struck me as perfect timing. After practicing our 12-Day Meditation of Treasures over the new year’s threshold, we were wondering what new daily awareness and meditation we would take up besides our sitting meditation. And then I saw it:
Tiny Buddha’s 365 Tiny Love Challenges.
When I began to read this book of challenges, the words felt too prickly for me, too literal and I so needed space and room to breathe. So I turned the exercise of reading the challenge into finding a word that would describe the gesture and disposition for the day’s contemplation, in order to practice “bringing dignity to the ordinary,” the beloved mantra of my heart.
The word magnanimity came to me, on this day of January 12 where the challenge was: how to put others before one’s self, and thus the practice began. Bringing both the Tiny Buddha’s challenge and the word together into a mindfulness practice. The first task was trying to speak the word, then looking up it’s meaning, finding the synonyms and antonyms and thus opening up a wide, wide space to experience both the challenge within the word and the word within the challenge, which in reality for us will be a type of walking meditation, a conscious, mindful, heartfelt gesture in our day, as we move through it and live it.
Such a delight for both of us to feel the limits and rants of life, and then feel the expansive ways in which to change ourselves, while perceiving new ways of looking at things, situations and people. What a delightful opportunity to hold open the space to practice changing ourselves through the presence of a larger awareness and gracefulness of that which is magnanimous, or whatever we discover on this journey of being and becoming ever more generous and kind….one word at a time, one practice, one day at a time.
I decided that I could jot down the words, definitions and inklings we pondered together, right on the page of the book and suddenly it came alive. We’re so excited and grateful to carry this into our day and ever so excited to discover tomorrow’s jewel of a word, challenge and practice.
Life is so beautiful when it moves and dances within us and around all of us.
Such a gift to be alive with each other
practicing and changing our ways of being humanly kind and loving
yes, bringing our dignity to everyday lives.
Jillian RoseMary LaBelle Sophie