I bet some of you thought I forgot that I was going to start my Meditations from the Mat experience yesterday. Well, you were totally WRONG! I did it, but in doing so I realized that I needed that special pastel note card time to focus my thoughts before posting here.
So, everything has a beginning, even journeys that you've been on before. And, especially books with introductions. Seriously? When you want someone to get started on something, don't put one more hurdle in front of them; just start with Chapter 1. Or, if you must write an introduction, just call it Chapter 1. If I ever write a book I won't be writing an introduction, or, as my friend Sarrah suggested to me, I will secretly hide it after Chapter 3 just to throw you all off balance!
Well, since I am a thorough reader, I have read and did read again the intro to this book which basically explains that this book does not have all of the answers. Instead, Gates will now be my partner during my journey inward....less of a Shaman and more of my shadow walking along side me for the next 365(plus intro) days.
At the beginning of each day he presents a quote, verse, song lyric, reading, etc to set the tone for the day's meditation. Intro day was about an ideal that most of us hold: make the world a better place. So, my meditative practice yesterday was on the image of backpacking. When I backpack or camp or hike or do any of those naturey things I always practice the "pack in; pack out" philosophy and try to leave little to no trace of my having been there. When I take my kids to play places I try to leave it in the same, if not better, condition than we found it. So, meditating on the image of backpacking left me feeling grounded, but also sad and missing the mountains. I will be taking my family camping at the end of September to help with that whole in my heart and to celebrate my birthday. In the meantime, I have come up with four ways that I plan to make the world a better place.
1. Bring my children up with love and kindness so that they may be better people than we are. Keep a close and open connection with them while teaching them to give back, love and respect others, and to try to leave the world better than when they received it.
2. Give to others around me. Give respect and share my talents and gifts in life. Donate time, money, resources and compassion.
3. Support sustainability of the world around me. Don't support bad business practices. Recycle. Buy local and organic foods. Patron small businesses. Support the arts, education, and other qualities I value.
4. Educate by recognizing the possibilities in others and exuding the best of me. To lead with LOVE always. Love of myself, of what I do, of the life I live, and the world around me.
If you had to come up with a way to make the world a better place, what would you do?
And if you're wondering about the video at the top, that was the song that popped into my head when I started this post. It was a random song that has been banging around in there since I was 17 and my brother found a random techno cd in our yard and we just stuck it in our pick-up and played it once in awhile. Because that's what white kids in Iowa do for fun.