by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
I had a great discussion (via the Zoom conferencing app) with friends recently that encouraged me. They reminded me that if I want to change my environment, I must first change my heart.
This year has challenged the best of us; pandemic restrictions and their toll on wellness, our nation’s clear divisiveness, and the economic and physical suffering for our entire planet have brought the reality of our shared troubles in this world front and center.
My discussion with friends illuminated my need for pausing to uncover what this situation is teaching me and how it can serve me to change something in my life, my perspective, and my actions. Taking responsibility is a strong catalyst for making things go more smoothly and improving or finding meaning in a problem.
We shared how our daily rhythm with self-care and personal growth efforts help us see solutions more readily when facing turmoil.
Our world mirrors us. It’s sending a clear signal we need more effort toward growing ourselves, overcoming our negative impulses, and taking care of our mind, body, and spirit. Taking care of ourselves allows us to be better for those we care about and build peaceful, prosperous communities.
A GOOD ENDING LEADS TO A GOOD START
How we end things this year will lead to what kind of start we’ll have in the new year. We cannot avoid the sufferings of our world. Burying our hearts and trying to ignore or deny the fierceness of our collective challenges creates nothing.
But we can make the causes for future victory and look forward to the new season of spring by facing ourselves and our challenges with courage and compassion. Doing this with perseverance brings hope into our hearts.
BEGIN WITH A SMALL SHIFT
It can happen with a seemingly small, insignificant shift in our hearts.
Facing relationship issues or communication problems?
Redirecting my heart toward finding an outcome best for everyone—can help move the dialogue in a more positive direction. When we strive to put aside our ego and our feelings for the greater good, a miracle happens: we create a bridge!
LOOK FOR A NEW WAY
In this weird holiday season when many of us are unable to hug our loved ones, especially heart-wrenching for our elders, those grieving a loss, and those struck with Covid-19, we’re given a beautiful opportunity to find the value and potential in this situation.
Creative solutions arise from limitations and even problems. Humans are innately creative. This skill or process is not reserved exclusively for artists. We each have the power within us to look outside the box to find a new way or a new perspective for this unique moment in history. This practice of gratitude lifts the heavy heart and brings its own reward.
When we can’t see eye to eye with someone, for example, we have the chance to look for the best in that person as valuable and good, instead of equating the worth of that person with their behavior in the moment or argument.
Difficulties—again—are mirroring exactly that we need to change something in our lives for the better. And to use them as a springboard with that intent.
REMEMBER THE KEY TO VICTORY
The point is that you and I can transform anything. Don’t get discouraged by this year’s depth of problems for us and the rest of the world. Instead, remember that how we face each moment right now becomes the cause for the seeds of our bright future.
Remember that the key to any struggle is perseverance. Let’s look to the new year of 2021 by first taking care of our spiritual wellness. Then, let’s set new goals and move forward toward our new victory.
Transforming our hearts first will lead us to improve ourselves, the situation, and encourage those around us to find hope. Our ability to win over our struggles becomes our mission for empowering others to do the same.
During this pandemic holiday season, I will be taking care of myself including mind, body, and soul. I'll be planning for the 2021 new year.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you.
This week, some of my group members gave video presentations about grief support during the holidays. Click here to join the group and see these comforting tips.
by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
This is part of my series of creative posts to encourage you during this pandemic and through the inherent challenges we all face as a result. I hope you are doing your best to stay at home as much as possible to socially distance yourself and protect others. Since you are at home more than usual, I've created music, poetry, and nature videos (starting with this one above) as meditative therapy for you.
If you can get outdoors--while keeping safely distanced from others--the fresh air and healing power of nature immersion will improve your mood. Everyday, get some movement for your body as best you can to boost your wellness.
If you can't get outdoors, or you just want to relax or de-stress for a moment, this nature music video will help elevate your mood and keep you calm.
Watch my video above (click the PLAY button and have your speakers or headphones on!) and experience the healing power of nature immersion and soothing piano music.
The video includes nature photos taken in my hometown of Lexington, Kentucky. I've been strategically taking my 80-year young mother to local parks, careful to avoid crowds of people during off-hours. Walks through these parks and my bike rides inspired me to snap photos to celebrate the rise of spring.
As hard as it is now with everyone focused on lowering exposure to the coronavirus, nature still moves ever forward with its jubilant burst of blooms and color. Life goes on, the ebb and flow of good times, prosperity, and wellness reminding us that the cycle will continue.
Let's use nature's gorgeous vibrance as encouragement to weather this new challenge with the hope of new growth and deeper meaning in our lives.
My original piano music in the above nature video is called, 'Simply You.' I composed this piece for my late friend, Linda. Her down-to-earth manner and ceaseless optimism moved me to compose this music as a tangible representation of her positive influence on me and others.
Her friendship was one of simplicity and authentic expression. She was able to always look squarely at reality and find something positive out of even the worst scenario. I feel this is a fitting piece for our shared struggle through pandemic 2020.
Dark times reveal who we really are. May we be 'simply ourselves' as we use the current difficulties to polish our better selves. Let's use this time to forge stronger courage and compassion.
Let's emerge from this tumultuous season like spring blossoms, with our greatest energy to transform this poisonous situation into medicinal value. Our successful response depends on our individual wellness and inner strength. May my music and nature video be a catalyst for yours.
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