By CML Staff
As has become our tradition in January, the CML community of providers is beginning the year with a word to describe a personal focus in 2021. As we did last year, we invite you to contribute to the discussion by posting your 2021 word on our Facebook page, along with a sentence of two about why you chose it for your focus this year.
SANGHA [ suhng-guh ]
In Pali and Sanskrit sangha means “bring together.” We often translate it more simply as “community.”
The essence of sangha, for me, points to bringing together and being together in a particular way. Meeting each other -- and ourselves -- with presence, honesty, and kindness. Sharing and allowing. Seeing our sameness, honoring our diversity, experiencing our interconnectedness. Out of this can flow a wisdom, compassion, and belonging we can trust.
While I have always cherished and found great comfort in togetherness, the distancing and divides of 2020 have shown me the refuge I take, the peace and freedom I find, and the insights I gain in what I know as sangha. And so, to sangha in 2021 and beyond.
ANGER & GRACE
Below is a description of the words anger and grace from Mary Anne Radmacher-Hershey.
The two words in combination serve as a source of power for me.
My anger is justified within me simply because it exists. Its expression may need to be to no one else except me. In fact, sometimes, this is the best expression. Words spoken in anger are rarely productive. Words in anger examined personally are revealing and instructive. I freely express my anger to myself, then if needed, I will offer the results without apology.
There is a place of safety which I create for myself. In moments of confusion, at times when I feel overwhelmed, I step into my own circle of grace. It is in this place I converse with myself and see any situation with greater clarity.
I read the description of Courage from J. Ruth Gendler's The Book of Qualities. She writes "Courage looks you straight in the eye. She is not impressed with power trippers, and she knows first aid. Courage is not afraid to weep and she is not afraid to pray, even when she is not sure who she is praying to." This is the quality I seek in myself and others; exactly what (I believe) these times call for.
My word for this year is unhurried. Several weeks ago, the planets aligned and I was able to brush my teeth, brush my hair, wash my face, and even put on moisturizer (!!) without anyone needing help or attention.
As a mom of two boys, one a gigantic 8-month-old baby, that little moment was a cherished anomaly. I realized that unhurried moments of self-care are urgently needed in my life.
Faced with the temptation of what may be happening with my family while I'm working, or what I need to do at work while I'm with my family I find myself hurrying through my life just to get to the Next Thing.
This year I am going to try to slowly, unapologetically, unhurriedly take care of myself in small moments through the day. Even moisturizing!”
It’s my nature to be hopeful. I do have hope for all of us in 2021. Hope is in moments. Those moments can occur spontaneously or I can actively create them. One way I do that is by perusing a recent masterpiece “The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and The Horse” by Charlie Mackesy.
If you need a little more hope throughout your year, because the pages are full of it, I highly recommend picking up a copy. This book will bring you many moments of hope along with a peaceful smile.
2020 really threw me out of my natural rhythm. I was trucking along, with a pretty good idea of where I was headed, and how to get there, when the pandemic and a couple of other personal challenges hit. As we all experienced, life and plans became a big cosmic game of “pick-up sticks”.
At first, I resisted these changes. But, once I surrendered (my 2018 word) a bit, I found that last year provided an unequaled opportunity to re-examine all the things I was so darn sure about.
This year, I intend to continue to challenge myself to think outside the box about myself, my life, my relationships, and give myself permission to try some new things and experience myself in some new ways. And to listen to what I find. The cocoon is tight, but I feel some wings forming.
I chose this word because Covid-19 is proof of our interconnectedness – it doesn’t care who you are…! Furthermore, we must begin to heal our Nation by understanding that when all is said and done we are inexorably interconnected.