Ferocious Compassion

Ferocious Compassion

Whether you’re cozying in for winter, laying on a beach soaking up the sun or somewhere in between, I’m thinking of you today. 

Over the weekend I was in Madison, Wisconsin on a book tour. 

I was so excited for this. My first book tour got highjacked by my broken leg, surgery and long recovery-so this time around I couldn’t wait to get the show on the road.

The lessons of impermanence are almost daily right?

We had a gig at a book store near State St. lined up for Friday night, January 17. It got canceled last minute due to a snow storm and icy roads. Many people were signed up in advance so I was really bummed. All the excitement, all the prep and then zero. 

After the let down, there was acceptance, then moving on. It’s winter in the midwest so not a shock right?

My husband and I changed course and ended up having a beautiful slow dinner at a restaurant near the Capitol with a glowing snowy sky to gaze upon. It was one of those wintry cozy nights where you cocoon in and surrender.  We sat slowly, savored the night and just enjoyed being in those moments together. 

When Sunday rolled around the weather cleared and we were off to gig number 2 at a sweet little coffee shop called Common Ground. As people started milling in I suddenly realized this was a first. I’d never actually spoken to people in real time about my book, A Heart of Gold

I was giddy at the thought of which direction to go in with my talk. Should I read one of my personal stories, a lesson or a meditation? What would generate the most connection? What did people need to hear? 

Then it hit me. Once everyone arrived, settled in and I was on the stage I realized that the best approach is to just teach compassion. And to teach it ferociously. 

Why? Because it’s time to not light step around it anymore. 

Compassion and loving kindness are gonna save us. We need to wholeheartedly get on board. Right. Now. 

I began with an embodied meditation. The feminine needed to emerge and chill:)

During the meditation all of the guests relaxed. I saw shoulders drop, jaws relax and a few tears roll down cheeks. 

Sometimes people think a book about loving kindness is light, airy, peace and love. No doubt those are great aspirations but I’ve realized long since I wrote the book that it’s a big topic that requires big work.

What I noticed as I read and afterward answered questions is that women need so much permission. So much direction, compassion and fresh ideas to take care of ourselves. 

I know firsthand that most women tend to be so hard on themselves. It’s an epidemic.  

We’re not always sure we can change and try new things at any age. Many women tend to approach problems from a masculine point of view. We’re inundated with it. And it takes big  bravery and energy to shift that elephant into the spotlight. 

Even women who say they teach feminine leadership struggle with how to teach it. Many live in fear of what might happen if they try something new. So instead they’re using their voice but still using masculine ideals of logic, academia and structure. 

I believe all women have this feeling that they have to hold onto their hard fought identify so much, that it’s suffocating them. That what used to work just doesn’t anymore but we need a new model and we’re not sure what it is. 

Being hard on ourselves and overefforting is a habit. And I wholeheartedly believe habits can be changed or ended. 

So in order to move into a place where we can consider all this, let’s just sit down and notice. 

Notice when you’re doing too much, when you can just ask for help. Notice when you hide away because you’re tired but the best thing might be to connect with someone instead of hiding. Notice how things look and feel. Harsh, uncomfortable, unkind? 

Go ahead and start noticing more and more. 

It’s in the noticing that compassion arises. And like a sleeping lioness she will rise up and she will roar. 

More on this soon. 

xoJane