Om at the Moment #1: Welcoming
Not just for house guests and newsletter subscribers!
Excitement bubbles up inside me getting to share my first ever newsletter! Thinking about what I wanted to share, I knew the first thing I wanted to do was to say 'Welcome!' and share Gratitude for each of you feeling drawn to tune in to whatever it is I happen to share!
Welcome! Thank you for Being!
And then thoughts blossomed into how Welcoming extends so far beyond the initial encounter and greeting. **Enter the aha moment for the theme of this inaugural newsletter!**
Welcoming is an ongoing practice that we can
Welcome into each and every moment.
In iRest, we talk about each sensation, emotion, feeling, and thought - each thing that arises in our awareness - as a messenger. If one comes knocking on our door, might we choose to welcome it in for a cup of tea and listen to what it has come to share? Or perhaps, we only feel safe enough opening the door, but not letting it in quite yet. Or perhaps, just acknowledging that it exists even if it needs to be across the universe for us to feel safe with it. Sometimes welcoming something by acknowledging its existence can be quite powerful in and of itself, even if we aren’t quite ready to listen or engage it.
Whatever the case - might we welcome whatever it is we experience? Might we welcome whatever arises without judgement or trying to will it into being one way or another? Even welcoming any judgements that do arise - acknowledging their role in our existence, and inquiring what they are here to reveal to us as well.
Can we welcome, Welcoming?
A Mindful Invitation
Take a moment to yourself right now.
Take a breathe in. You are alive.
Take a breathe out. You are here.
Take a moment to think about how you feel when others acknowledge you, appreciate who you are, listen to what you have to share. If it helps, maybe you can think about a specific moment when you feel truly seen and heard. It can be real or imagined. Perhaps you are having a heart to heart with a dear friend, talking about an issue that has been troubling you. Perhaps you are sharing a new idea about an upcoming endeavor in a team meeting. Perhaps you are teaching someone a valued skill set that they are oh so grateful to learn about.
Sit with this moment.
What does it feel like to be greeted and welcomed by another?
How does that feel in your body?
And now imagine the opposite. What does it feel like to feel ignored, shunned, or avoided? Maybe you can imagine yourself with a friend who is on their phone instead of listening to you share something you want some advice on. Maybe you have an idea at work that gets shut down before it even gets discussed. Maybe someone writes you off as unworthy or undesirable before you’ve even had a chance to share your value. How does that feel in your body? If your experience is ignored, what happens to it? Does it go away? Does it stay put? Does it somehow change? Do you yourself change?
And then take a moment to switch back and forth between the two sensations for a few moments. Feeling welcomed. Feeling unwelcomed. Scan your body and note what you feel. From those two circumstances, do you notice a difference in how your body or your mind reacts? Do you notice a preference arise for one or the other?
Might this experiment inform not only how you treat others, but also how you treat whatever arises within your own thoughts, emotions, and beliefs? If you were a messenger, how would you like to be received? And what fosters that reception?
Why was I inspired to share this?
Full Disclosure #1: I definitely have preferences that arise in Life. For example - I much prefer to be Welcomed. And noting this preference within myself, I see the value in welcoming. As such, I have set the intention to always welcome whatever comes my way. Recently this has been put to the test as I have had to welcome a plethora of things that I frankly have judgements on and would rather they not be so. **Note that I’m also practicing welcoming these judgements, but trying to not indulge them and allow them to dictate my experience or actions by attaching myself to them.
One of these micro-level things includes a root canal I have scheduled for next week. It’s from an old filling that just didn’t take and it has caused me all sorts of problems this past year because… honestly… I wasn’t so welcoming of the reality that I have a dead tooth. But trying to ignore it and shut the door on it didn’t change the reality that the tooth has died! Treating each sinus issue that has arisen as a result, brushing it off by telling others it was just a sinus issue, has not changed the root problem of my big health issue of the moment. It only masked over what was going on.
By trying to push this problem away, it only grew worse and caused more literal headaches than it needed to. But just in going to the dentist, talking to them, asking questions, and committing to getting it fixed - I already feel a weight lifted off my shoulders. I noted fear and shame arise time and time again whenever I would think about this tooth, and now I’m just feeling grateful that I chose to give it the time and care it needed to heal. Physical symptoms are often messengers for us about our underlying health. If we ignore them, they are most likely only going to get louder and more persistent until we listen.
This scenario feels similar to what I (and perhaps you too!) can do with emotions or things that I don’t feel so comfortable welcoming. I have let frustrations with my partner fester - thinking they could just be ignored. But alas! They bubble up or get pulled out of me when it becomes clear some shadow has crept into our relationship. I’m grateful to have a partner and relationship that holds patience and creates space for discussion, progression, and healing. We would not be where we are today if we didn’t open up to welcoming things that scare us. Sometimes it can be Praise that I feel fearful of. I get too shy to accept it or I discredit my actions when others share gratitude or appreciation. I have realized that I hold fears over success. But when shutting the door to the things I wanted most in life kept feeling worse and worse, I decided to commit myself to opening up to those fears along with the successes themselves.
On a macro level, this feels like what I see going on in the USA right now. I certainly tried to will it not be so, but guess what… This is our current state of affairs! Full Disclosure #2: I have a strong belief that Everyone and Everything has the Right to Be. These circumstances made me react with a hefty amount of anger and fear that so many people took and take actions that put the lives **physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually** of so many people in danger. It has been a challenge for me to wrap my head around the driving forces of these actions. (Wishing as if somehow a simple misunderstanding is all we need to sort out to find Peace...) And I have had to sit with this. And I realized that as much as I wished everyone could simply welcome and embrace everyone else - I had to do so myself. I had to welcome the reality that people exist who don't want people of different skin colors or cultures from themselves to exist in this country, who don't want people of different religions or ideologies to exist in this country, who don't want me to exist in this country.
What does this have to teach me? To teach each of us? Well… I don't pretend to have an answer. I'm still working it out within my own localized presence of Being. But… I can say that this welcoming of things that deeply scare me to my core in their destructiveness has also opened me to welcome things that also deeply scare me to my core in their Powerfulness. Enter me putting myself out here to share myself, my voice, my practice. Exploring my own self doubts, and as they are ready setting them aside as I step into my own power and do what I will to help support and lift as many others as I can to step into theirs.
Welcoming allows me to more fully embrace all that life has to offer.
To more fully witness and engage what is unfolding.
To more fully put to use this time that I have now.
So - with that said… Welcome!!
I’m filled with Gratitude for you listening in. If you have any questions, reflections, ideas - please feel free to be in touch with me! I'd love to hear from you.
THE GUEST HOUSE
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
– Jelaluddin Rumi
Tourmaline can be a great way to ground and help you feel secure. I invite you to marvel at the variety of this multi-color tourmaline necklace, with obsidian, labradorite, and copper. Isn't Nature cool??
Questions? Comments? Suggestions?
I invite you to please follow up with me about anything! I'm going to be working on a resource page to talk more about my personal practice and things I appreciate utilizing within it. But I would love to know more about what would be helpful to you!