just be it It’s about the work involved in establishing a dedicated practice to feelings of a bigger belonging through practices aimed at increasing feelings of compassion, gratitude and forgiveness
November, 2018

Oxford Dictionary Announces ‘Toxic’ As 2018 Word of the Year

Saturday, November 17th, 2018

The origins of the word ‘sin’ come from the concept of ‘missing the mark’. So when do we miss this mark? It would seem we miss the mark when we cause harm to ourselves, others, and the environment. When we place concern for our special interests over the harm caused to others, we miss the mark. The core of most spiritual traditions arises from a deeper awareness to the connection of all things. When we can wake up to a ‘bigger belonging’ we’re more careful. We can retreat into our smaller belonging from fear and greed or expand into larger circles of belonging from the felt emotion of compassion and love. When we ‘wake up’ to infusing our actions, thoughts and emotions with a deeper consciousness that periodically smashes the illusion of our separateness, our actions cause less harm. The wake of our life is not so destructive. We leave a gentler footprint that hits that high mark of love. When we sever our sense of belonging, our actions, thoughts and emotions can be toxic. Where our sense of belonging stops is where our violence begins. The root of ‘to heal’ is found in the word ‘wholeness’, to wake up to our sense of oneness.

Toxic was chosen for 2018 because it was so frequently used to describe poisons governments used against humans, the toxic impacts of industry on the air we breath, and the apparent rise of separateness in our cultures as we respond to accelerating changes in technology, climate and global interactions. No doubt, these are very difficult times where multiple options must be explored to determine which actions will best steward the situation and the future of our children. Our options close when we harden to our opinions and beliefs. They expand when we can sit together in silence and briefly touch that space of expanding belonging before we begin to speak.

It’s my hope that the word for 2019 will be ‘stewardship’ or ‘nurture’. As we face impermanence and rapid change, will we come together? Can we move from persuasion, defensive listening and nonproductive debate to dialog? And if we can’t bring ourselves to dialog, can we at least sit together in silence, aiming together to hit the mark, accepting and stating that we don’t know everything? Toxic is that which harms, moving us from health to a lack of ease in living (dis-ease). Can we move to a higher vibration of stewardship, expanding our circles of belonging or will we let fear and greed feed the illusion of our separateness. Will we feed fear and greed, negative thoughts and emotions, and consequent actions that are toxic to others and our environment? Or will we recognize the tremendous gift of our very being and the responsibility we have to nurture others and our planet as ourselves, forever sensitive to impact? Infusing our ‘doing’ with the core of an awakened ‘being’, we are more careful, causing less harm and hopefully contributing to our healing rather than to the wounding.