This is the time when reawakening is being demonstrated all around us as nature so magnificently displays how the cycle of growth is there for us all to share and be inspired by. The white candles of the horse chestnut trees are more beautiful than ever for me this year, following a cataract operation that has given me clear long-distance vision. It is my own personal miracle given to me by a fellow human being. He is a talented, committed surgeon who uses his skills with energy and enthusiasm. This seems to be an inspiring analogy for how we can live our lives, seeking to use our own personal abilities to enrich the lives of others.
When we shift our attitude from a place of, what can I gain from this, to one of, what can I give to revive a society that needs reawakening as to how we can all be a part of increasing emotional richness for everybody. We can all be embraced by the warmth and appreciation that comes when we seek to give generosity of spirit to others.
All this links with the need for us to demonstrate our strengths rather than” fight for the right to be weak.” The new book by Stella O’Malley FRAGILE explores why fragility shouldn’t be a badge of honour. “If you tell your children: ‘You’re fragile, you can’t bear very much,’ of course they’ll be in a very weakened position when something does happen.” O’Malley says when a patient tells her, he or she “has anxiety” she asks them to reword it to “I feel anxious”; it is “too reductionist”, she believes, to imply that anxiety is a state so permanent that there’s no hope of exiting it. O’Malley’s message is, instead of being strong defending your fragility, use that powerfulness to take on schools, companies, politicians to improve things for everyone. I agree with her wholeheartedly and that is why I challenged the NHS failure of care when Luke died. We all need to learn to cope with all aspects of life, however challenging or dull. This is a key skill that is lacking in many of the digital generation. We need to teach children to cope with frustration and boredom and maybe remind ourselves as well.
Stress is the root of almost all our problems – cutting back stress could change your life says Dr. Rangan Chatterjee who has been a GP for more than seventeen years. As stress mounts you react to everything in a disproportionate way. You see problems where no problems exist, because stress causes you to use the emotional part of the brain, the amygdala. Your brain is on high alert to danger. It’s like you want to run away from your life. When you feel like this, it is time to realise you need to manage your life differently. Walk in a quiet place, meditate, play a musical instrument, be with people who you feel valued by, use less technology. It isn’t about eliminating all stress; the right amount can be energizing so you can show how good you are at something. Too much can burn you out.
“The heart is like a garden. It can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love. What seeds will you plant there?” Jack Kornfield
On Monday 13th May it will be Luke’s birthday; I will be posting more words and a photograph.