Friday, December 28, 2012

A gift that keeps on giving

A few years ago I spent a weekend at a Courage and Renewal workshop, and one of the exercises we did there was to list the three things we liked least about ourselves, and then list three gifts inherent in those traits. It took a while, but with thought we could begin to see the blessings hidden in the pain and discouragement.

So yesterday, when I began to flagellate myself for the greediness that always seems to surface this time of year -- for food, mostly (so hard to resist all the treats lying around), but also for things wished for and not received -- I stepped back a bit to take a look at what gifts might be lurking behind those hungers.

And I remembered, several years ago, falling madly in love with a garden buddha I saw in a catalog, a beautiful sleeping buddha with his head resting on his hand.  It was $700, and therefore not an option for me to purchase, but the awakening of that buddha-hunger has led me to acquire several other less expensive buddhas -- like the one in this birdbath outside my kitchen window, where I daily get to watch the birdies splash and drink.  The buddha-hunger also led me to a wonderful friendship with Anita Feng, who makes glorious pottery buddhas, and lives only a ferry ride away.  And the greed that lies at the root of that hunger keeps me ever mindful that the rampant greed of those wall street barons we all so love to hate is not so different from my own...

So as we approach the new year and begin thinking about the resolutions we want to make, the habits we want to encourage or extinguish, don't be too hard on yourself.  It's good to improve, but each time we falter, each way we let ourselves down, can become an opportunity to build a sense of connection with the rest of creation.

No comments: