Never Too Small to Make a Difference
Did we really just complete 2018? The speed of time takes my breath away sometimes, and I find it becomes harder and harder to process it all.
Each New Year's Day I spend time reflecting on the previous year. Take a moment and reflect with me, won't you? I'll offer my list below and I hope you'll take a few minutes today or within the next week or so to reflect on the major events of 2018 for you. Here are a few that top my own list:
- My dear Aunt Barbara died. She was the last of her generation so it holds another layer of mourning for me.
- I contracted a very painful condition that lives on in me and has caused me to completely rethink pain and how to treat it and live with it, as well as finding ways to be in choice with it. It also led me to health professionals that I resonate with and trust – something I've lacked for the past 6 years.
- The political and real-life divisions between the people in my country have become even more apparent to me. This is something I mourn, and I search daily for opportunities for healing.
- I've achieved a kind of balance in my life that I'm savoring – balance with work, intimacy, friendships, and spiritual community.
- In late 2017 the Me Too Movement launched. It has had a profound effect on me: first in understanding my own life experiences; and second, in witnessing the resulting systemic effects that have rippled across our society.
- In 2018 I found multiple support systems and people locally who share my values, and after living in California for nearly seven years, I feel roots growing and my needs for nurturing and care explode.
- Finally, the ongoing despair and upheaval in the world has had me in the grips of hopelessness more than a few times this past year, wondering if I'm doing enough or loving enough or being enough.
My inner jackal is telling me I'm being selfish or too self-involved by writing these things out. That expressing my list of simple woes and celebrations is too small for what's needed in our world right now. The other day, in fact, I was talking to a few friends and celebrating my life and I felt shame about it – as if feeling happy meant that I wasn't evolved enough or thoughtful enough.
Michael Brown, who wrote the book, The Presence Process, says that "Joy is feeling all our feelings."
So I'm here to say for myself and to you that it's okay to be happy. It's okay to be sad. It's okay to be scared. It's okay to be at peace. Being able to say those words is a result of many years of personal work, including living an NVC consciousness that has allowed me to tap more easily into gratitude. That's worth celebrating.
I'm reminded of one of my favorite quotes from the Dalai Lama: "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito."
With that in mind, I welcome 2019 with an open, loving heart. I welcome it with all of me doing the best I can to live peacefully in my daily life, knowing that, like a mosquito, I have an impact. I have value.
And I hope that in the coming year the NVC Academy and our programs will be one of the ways you find nurturing, love, learning, and care.
I leave you with one final quote from The Dalai Lama: "As you breathe in, cherish yourself. As you breathe out, cherish all Beings."
A warm hug,
CNVC Certified Trainer
CNVC Certified Trainer and Co-Founder, NVC Academy
p.s. You may also now read Mary's monthly letters on her blog!