Archive for the ‘Curiosity’ Category

Years ago, I had a breast lump aspirated and had to wait a few days for the results. Those days grew my compassion as I wandered about the grocery store and streets of town wondering what kind of news others might have recently received that had them seem so disconnected or disgruntled. I remember saying to myself, “You never know who just got a frightening diagnosis, word of someone’s death, or lost their job.”

My results were benign and I was greatly relieved. With the relief came a loss of memory, for compassion. Some of it stuck, but the frustration I felt with others on the road, in the shopping aisles returned. Old habits die hard I guess, but they do eventually die if we persist.

It’s also true that we never know who just received great news and is celebrating. When I am not feeling so great I can wonder about another’s happiness and even envy it some. Compassion teaches me to hold both the joy and the sorrow in the same cup.

Lately, I’ve been feeling compassion in a way that has me realize why I’ve found it so difficult to be with in the past. It’s not particularly comfortable.

I cried the other day as I watched a woman standing on a traffic island receive money from a stranger passing by in a car. She checked the bill several times, pocketed it and shuffled wearily back to her position.  I wondered about her, what journey she’d been on, what brought her to this point. It’s so much easier to judge than be curious. To be curious, to wonder, includes feeling into what might be happening over there. I don’t like feeling that. It hurts.

I cried yesterday when I saw a young guy being clueless and projected that he was not well educated, not particularly conscious (I don’t really know) and I thought of the world and humanity. I cried for the human condition. We try. We really try. I don’t like thinking about it. I don’t like how it feels. It hurts.

I cried today when a Jerusalem Cricket gave up the ghost. Spider bite? Age? I don’t know. All I know is that it hurt me to watch it wiggle all of its parts as its brain gave its final hard-wired instructions. I don’t like death. I don’t like losing people. I don’t like thinking about losses that will come. It hurts.

I’ve built a lot of protection between me and the pain I feel in the world. I’ve got rules, assumptions, avoidance techniques and no lack of judgment that create a wall around my heart. It’s not that I don’t care. It’s that it hurts so much to feel it. And, feel it I must, beginning with my own stuffed-down emotions. As the heart cracks open, the ability to be with a full spectrum of emotions grows and I can still cry, but I don’t make it into another brick in my protective wall.

(If you are interested in growing your emotional capacity, keep an eye on Lucid Living. They are up to some amazing work and I’ve grown tremendously from my experiences with them.)

Karen Caterson (who writes a fun blog, by the way) shared this on Facebook today. I hope you’ll take the time to watch it and that it touches your heart as it touched mine.

Copyright (c) November 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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Dawdling unrule #1 is to travel in un-straight lines; in squiggly-wiggly lines.

Dawdling is about the journey rather than the destination.

It’s free-form travel: the scenic route.

It’s the flight of the butterfly dancing from flower to flower in the least efficient manner. They appear to be fascinated with their amazing new wings. I imagine them thinking “Look at my beautiful wings. How did I get these? Look at me dancing. Oh, there’s a pretty flower, yummy. Ooh that sun feels good. Think I’ll stretch out my wings for a good sun-soak.”

"ah" (Kathy Loh)

"ah" (Kathy Loh)

Dawdling is hither-thither travel. The beginning and end points are where we start and where we are when we decide we’ve arrived.  When I dawdle, I dream, I float, I stop, I backtrack, I am curious and I investigate for no good reason other than because I am attracted.

It’s not that there is no destination. It’s just that the destination does not overshadow the journey.

OK, let’s just say it…We can live life in the fast lane, super efficient, always focused on the destination and, in the end, we will be able to say we were, well, efficient and productive.

We are all headed toward the same final destination. I don’t know about you, but a straight line to death is not appealing to me. If I’m going there anyway, I’d just as soon enjoy the journey. I want to exercise my wings, take in the sweet nectar of life and soak up the warmth of the sun. I want to stop and spend time with you, with the tree, with the lizard on the porch.

There’s straight line efficiency and there’s energy efficiency, my energy.

My energy is depleted by fast-track living and busy-ness competitions. I am happy to lose that game. To those who embrace that mode of life-travel, I say “You win! You can be busier than me. Knock yourself out, because you will.”

My energy is restored when I dawdle. I feel alive and I have a deep desire to know that when I reach that final destination common to us all, I fully engaged with life along the way.

It’s just too darn beautiful here to miss out on that.

We are all too beautiful to miss out on each other.

If you are not sure how to dawdle, find a butterfly and follow it for awhile. I guarantee you, the butterfly will teach you all about it.

Dawdling is the path of Love and Love is the Great Mystery.

Will you dance with me there?

 Copyright(c) June 2009, Kathy Loh, All Rights Reserved

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