Compassion, by it’s very nature, requires us to be mindful. In order to be compassionate, or, to bear the suffering of ourselves and others with the intention of alleviating that suffering, we must be alive to ourselves and the world around us…
Before Clara was born, Erick and I talked at length about how we wanted to raise our children. How we would set boundaries, what kind of discipline we would use. One of the guiding principles that we decided on was to choose three ideals to shape actions in our home. Those three principles are kindness, honesty, and respect. Instead of telling Clara, “No hitting!” We say, “It’s not respectful or kind to hit others.” That way, she doesn’t have to remember rules that might seem arbitrary to her, but instead has a framework for her choices and behavior. (Please note, I strive very hard for this. It often doesn’t happen this way, certainly not as much as I wish it did!)
Erick and I certainly model respect and honesty with each other and with Clara, but really, my kindness and compassion could use some work. Especially in high-stress times, I become impatient with both Erick and Clara and although I wouldn’t qualify myself as a meanie, I’m not always pleased with my behavior- and neither is my family.
So, whether it’s year of the pig or the monkey, I do not know, but I have declared this my personal Year of Compassion, and there are so many good reasons for me to do this!
First and foremost, having Erick and Clara in my life makes me want to be the best possible version of me I can be, and I’m pretty sure I have lots of lifetimes of learning left before I’m declared perfect! Second, this totally lines up with my happiness pyramid (see it here )! Third, I believe that in order to teach, it is essential to keep learning and last, this program, by the looks of it, encourages finding your own answers, which is completely in sync with my belief that we all possess our own answers if we pay attention.
If you are curious, head over to Laura’s website and check it out. Interested in signing up? Let’s start a group! Just want to get the newsletters? Right on! They are free… Just want to live vicariously through me? Stay tuned, the year of compassion is coming at you, right here, in 2008!
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