Rise Up Reflections October 2015

Thanks for stopping by my Rise Up Reflections October 2015. There are some wonderful gems here in many of the questions that are posed for each day of the month. Thanks for visiting.

Rise Up Reflections October 2015. colorful fall leaves on old picnic table
Harvest Table

OCTOBER 31, 2015: What vulnerabilities in others awaken my greatest impulse to be of service?

Part of me feels uncomfortable with this question. To me it reads as if I gain or otherwise have my needs met precisely because of the vulnerabilities and hurts that others are suffering. But knowing of the deep centeredness of Gratefulness.org, I know they didn’t write it to mean that.

But there is also a kernel of truth in reflecting on this question the way I interpreted it. In fact, I have thought about this many times over the years. As a youth advocate/social worker for 31 years before retiring, I made a living by attending to the deep hurts and suffering that my clients had to live with. I loved my work, mind you, very much, and for many years the pay was lousy but I stayed with it because the work, though very hard sometimes, was also enormously rewarding and fulfilling — for me in particular. And there’s the rub. In my heart I know that some of my very best work down through the years was with people in crisis, caused either from personal/social dysfunctions, or from accidents and acts of nature, etc. And having received trauma and disaster relief training, I was ready for this work and found it especially rewarding to me personally, professionally and oftentimes spiritually as well.

My bottom line has always been and will continue to be that I am attending to that of God in each person I meet at their moment of need. Whatever impulse I may feel or whatever my needs are should not be the reason for my reaching out to others who are vulnerable or needy.  – Kevin Lee | www.risethisday.com.

OCTOBER 30, 2015: What communities bring me energy and joy? How can I help them thrive?

First, my family is like a community, because our three daughters are all married, live nearby and we’re blessed with six grandchildren in our lives. Secondly, I’d have to say my Quaker Meeting in Westport, MA. We’re small in numbers but big in heart and centeredness in our faith. Third, would be my rowing team buddies. We’ve been rowing together now for 14 years and counting, on the water 2-3 times a week. That is such a blessing!

Oh, but a shout out also to Gratefulness.org! That’s the program that inspired me to start answering their Daily Question and to bring my responses into my site here at Rise This Day. Do check them out….wonderful resources and good people behind the programs, too.

OCTOBER 29, 2015: What can I look at with fresh eyes today?

The season is changing rapidly here in New England (end of Oct.) and the colors of the trees, first brilliant, are now almost barren after a windy, rainy day yesterday. The light is changing too. I find myself thinking about my place in life, feeling grateful for being alive and for having my health.

OCTOBER 28, 2015: What does it mean to live wholeheartedly? Interesting, because I just finished writing a piece at Rise This Day.com about “Minding our Heart.” Here’s the link.

OCTOBER 27, 2015: My body is a miracle of art, science, and mystery. What is it teaching me?

To take care of it. To exercise it , replenish it with decent and nutritious foods, and to  embrace the present moment because it is possible that it may be my last. One never knows.

OCTOBER 26, 2015: How can/do I honor the interconnectedness of all life?

My respecting all life actually. By not swaying from my pacifist views as a Quaker, by being more open to new immigrants than many people in America seem to be.

OCTOBER 25, 2015: How is where I live a blessing?

I life in a place and part of the world where food is plentiful, where personal freedoms are the norm , where “heat” and “cooling” arrive at the click of a switch, where no bombs fall and where I and my neighbors have the luxury of fretting over  the damage done by winter moths to the hardwood drives around our properties. That, in itself, is all a 100% blessing.

OCTOBER 24, 2015: How/when has someone given me time to be “broken” and waited, patiently, believing in my ultimate wholeness?

Truthfully, this has not happened to me yet….but one never knows when a “yet” might appear. I have had serious back issues, and left eye problems that left me in a lot of pain. During the worst of the times I surely appreciated the loving care, and patience, of my wife who helped to recover.

OCTOBER 10, 2015: What is it that I no longer need now?

I swear the Gratefulness.org site that is the source of this daily question has been walking around inside my head and knows me too well. I have an area in our basement with tubs of mine that are stacked to the rafters! Getting down there to weed through my stuff is on my bucket list…but not today!

OCTOBER 9, 2015:  What splendor could I appreciate more fully today?

Having recently completed Level One of Miksang photography, I think focusing my gaze and “flash of perception” in our backyard is in order.

October 8, 2015: What if I asked each person I encounter how they truly are? And listened?

Generally, perhaps because of the work I have done for 30 years, when I ask how a person is I usually play close attention to their response. But if they ask me how I am doing, I know that I need to remember, once I have finished sharing, to ask the other person how they are doing also. There have been several times when I was aware, sometimes hours later, that I neglected to ask the other person I they were doing, and deeply regretted that oversight.

OCTOBER 7, 2015: If I could give up the need to be right, how would I be happier?

This one doesn’t resonate with me much, except to say that what I have been striving to do more recently is listening longer to those closest to me without and to try not to respond immediately with another angle or viewpoint on the matter being discussed. Though I don’t set out to prove I’m right with some kind of response, I think that there’s always a chance that a needing to be heard is also closely connected to a need to be right. So I’ll need to think about this more.

October 6, 2015: What are the most basic things, which I really think about, for which I am truly grateful at this very moment?
A safe and welcoming home, my family, financial security to enjoy this stage of my life, opportunity to be of service to others and just being alive!

October 5, 2015: What does generosity mean to me and how do I practice it?

To me it means being present to those around me, whether they be physically nearby or in relationship with me even electronically. Everything for simply listening, offering support, holding a door, or anticipating another person’s moment of need, however minor that may be all come into play under my understanding of generosity. Sometimes being generous financially happens too, though far less (for obvious reasons) than being generous by simply caring for others.

October 4, 2015: Who have I known for a very short time who has had a big impact on me?

This is interesting. I had to think about this for a bit. But now, having completed Level one of Miksang, I’d say that the program itself, and what it teaches, more so even than the people within it, will likely have a big impact on me. But we will see with time.rope on cleat-1

October 3, 2015: For what is my heart yearning?

To truly make Rise This Day a valuable resource to others.

October 2, 2015: What are some of the places that I have called home and have truly felt at home being there?

Our Quaker meetinghouse in Westport. Being almost anywhere with my wife. Being on the beach too!

October 1, 2015: What really matters most to me?