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I’ve been all over the map lately: disbelief, rage, hope, despair, calm, frustration. I’ve also been watching myself go there. Paying attention, being mindful of the ways in which ego drags me around by the scruff of the neck, pokes me for reactions, cackles with glee when they’re big ones. Working this way with my own thoughts helps me remember that while I can't control external events, I can still use my faculties to notice my internal experience. And sometimes that brings me a measure of equanimity.

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this is a pile of laundry

remember the value of

work, mistakes, growth, mud, sweat, wrinkles, stains, carelessness,

accidents, time, getting dirty because you participated in life.

separate the darks, the brights, and the whites

remember the benefits of critical thinking, sorting, analyzing, categorizing, reading labels.

turn the dial to the right setting for this load

turn the dial to the right setting for every load,

listen quietly for what is called for in each moment,

avoid self-recrimination and pointless blaming,

invoke realizations, gentle awakenings,

realignments without judgment.

pull the dial to start the flow of water

remember: it's not going to fall into your lap.

you have to pull that dial, or press that button or whatever.

y...

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Within us all, there is a capacity to live our lives for the benefit of all. Call it the divine spark or the awakened mind, Buddha nature, whatever--we all have it. Everyone in prison has it, everyone in rehab units, housing projects, yes. But also everyone in Congress, in the Senate, everyone on Wall Street, everyone in Trump tower (yes, everyone). And everyone in between. Did you feel yourself close down somewhere in that list? That's where the juice is.

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Yes, we all that this divine spark, but we have to value it. If you had never seen a picture of Martin Luther King, Jr. and all you had was the image above--how many assumptions would you have made about that man?

This is my point. We have to imagine this divine spark in everyone, watch for it, cultivate it as though our life depended on it. Because it does. Instead of gorging ourselves with evidence to the contrary, we could take the road less travelled...hunt for sightings of this divinity in each other, the way Martin Luther King, Jr. did--calling out the best in us, and doing so using the greatest force of all: love.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." So where are we now? If we are somewhere between shock and shame, disbelief and depression, it's time to snap out of it. This is a moment of national "challenge and controversy" like no other. Let us increase our tolerance for discomfort so we can actually accomplish stuff that matters. Let us find ways to follow Dr. King's example to serve the greater good. He walked one the hardest road to walk: the road of love. On August 27, 1963, millions marched on that same road. Let's keep our feet on that road every single day.

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I had to hear it for myself. So I youtubed “Donald Trump hot mic” and pressed play. My reaction was both shocking and sobering. I thought, “He’s bragging, probably exaggerating. It’s not that big a deal. Everybody take a breath. This is just…normal.” I rolled my eyes at the media.

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Prayers for everyone affected by the mass shooting in Orlando. "Don't look away. The World is calling. Don't look away. It calls for you." It calls for you to stay with the beauty and the challenges of this world, and still somehow love it. To know that we all, everyone, even those very close to us, are lost. And to put our arms around the whole grieving mess of it, feel compassion, and breathe with it.

12 Don't Look Away by tinalear

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