When times get tough, like they are amidst global chaos, loss, and uncertainty, there is nothing like the practice known as metta or maitri by the Buddhists. This training in how to make friends with ourselves is my go-to in times of stress, fear, and depression, but it is one which strengthens our sense of connection to the world and brings benefits at any time. The practice of lovingkindness increases feelings of warmth, safety, and belonging unlike anything else I know, it is truly as close to a cure-all as we can get when it comes to meditation.
There are at least 18 science-based reasons to practice loving kindness meditation. I borrowed heavily from the amazing work and research of these folks to write a meditation for practicing loving kindness in a very gentle way that helps in times of stress and radical uncertainty. The life of a human is full of struggle and chaos, lovingkindness can help us deal with it.
The way we design our societies affects our lives. Duh. It's such a mundane concept that we forget about it.
In the modern world of cement boxes and flat paved expanses, our buildings actually make us sick (see: sick building syndrome). As an architectural designer, I get frustrated when I see politicians and activists trying to "save the planet" by creating policies and programs, I feel we are missing out on the actual root of the crisis. Those actions are important, but how can we solve the problem of overconsumption and depletion when our cities and towns reinforce our habitual urge to dominate nature, instead of protect it?
Something I really enjoy about sunsets is not watching them.
No, wait, this makes sense, let me explain.
Around 4:30pm sunlight is starts to dance on the ceiling of my apartment, reflecting off of the pool downstairs. Through the large french doors on my western wall, dappled golden light starts to pour in through the leaves of the mango tree dancing outside. If it's a good day, at this point I will recognize that it is time to go outside to commune with nature and move my body up to a spot on the hill in the cow pasture where I can see the horizon.
Funny enough, leaving the house has gotten a lot more enjoyable since my new hiking boots got broken in and actually started feeling comfortable. What's weird is that no one ever told me I didn't have to have uncomfortable feet when I was growing up. I just thought that level of pain was normal so I didn't complain and no one noticed that cheap shoes aren't built for my feet. That should tell you something about my early experiences with embodiment.
Actually, I didn't really get excited about these boots until I put hot pink shoe laces in them. I've always projected this really serious vibe, like I needed the whole world to believe I had it together (I didn't and it did!), but it wasn't until I started digging around in my core wounding that I discovered a rainbow child inside of me who really likes to play and be silly. So, when I let myself buy those laces, it was a big step. But let's come back to this, I'm trying to make a point about not watching the sunset and you're probably starting to wonder what all this has to do with embodied reparenting.