Greetings this last Monday in March! This week, at New Thought Families, we are transitioning our focus from peace & compassion to imagination & intuition ~ yes, the “I’s” have it in April so stay fine tuned! I must say I have felt tremendous peace through turbulent times this month by seeing with a heart of compassion and by letting go & letting God through prayer. We saw our friend Keith yesterday in SF and he has come a loooooooong way! Jeremiah & I talked & sang WITH Keith; you could see the music lighting him up! Out of ICU, he played my guitar and I was able to borrow one for him from our dear folkie friend Faith who lives not far from the hospital. The gift of prayer, music & compassion is working through Keith beautifully ~ Thank You God! And thank you for all those who have been praying!
For today’s discussion and this week’s mindful matter, we turn the focus on a finned friend … a little 1 inch fish who came as a birthday present for Jeremiah last month. In caring for her this last week, we learned much about cultivating compassion. In the midst of cold, wet, windy storms, our little friend began to rapidly decline. Jeremiah had initially named her just “Beta” for her species. We plan to get her friends, Alpha, Gamma & Omega. I have taken to calling her “Theta Beta” after the brain waves I listen to, and Jeremiah now calls her “Feta”. Well, little Theta Feta Beta had stopped eating and got increasingly listless. Surely, she was lonely. As the storms raged on outside, our thermostat setting of 68 felt colder and colder. Clearly, our fish was cold. I wrapped her bowl in a blanket. I cleaned her bowl and found no traces of poop so marched into PetCo seeking a fish Dr. with the conclusive diagnosis, “She’s lonely, cold & constipated.” Our pet “Dr.”, young Shane concealed an amused smile and hooked us up with a heater and different food. Obviously, friends would have to wait. The warmer water definitely seemed to comfort her. But she still couldn’t eat. Within 2 more days, she was floating at the top gasping for air. We prayed for her in our morning & night prayers. She worsened to the point that I was sure she was dead. I scooped her out onto a napkin, was giving her ‘last rites’ expressing gratitude for her life with us, etc. and whoop! She flopped out from under the napkin! I scooped her back into the bowl and she resumed her floating position. We returned to PetCo, sought out Shane and consulted again. With no visual sign like “ick”, Shane was out of ideas until I said, “Well, we’ll keep praying for her.” “Wait!”, exclaimed Shane. He then produced aquarium salt as a last resort. We put the salt in the bowl and played our nightly music near her. The next day, she still looked like a goner but we repeated the salt & music & continued prayer. At this point, I found myself losing patience & compassion. We had been praying for her to live well or to die well. I think I started taking her dying as a personal failure or maybe an inconvenience of sorts. But as awareness is key to cultivation, I was able to see this right away and shift to unconditional Love & acceptance. Thereby, I could keep flowing this to our little finned friend. What contribution did this make to her? Hard to say but I believe it was a powerful voice for compassion & peace in our home. And yes, after the 2nd night of salt & music, we awoke to find little Theta Feta Beta actually frolicking in the bowl! She happily ate and waved her tiny fins at us in what seemed like her glee at being alive! We’re giving her another week or so and then we’ll be looking for Alpha, Gamma & Omega.
So, o.k. this is a fish tale. It’s not dealing with the “big stuff” of life’s suffering which is so vast across the planet & even in the lives of the people in our immediate family. But I offer that any & all relationships give us the opportunity to get inside & outside ourselves cultivating compassion. Yes, our world is shaped by huge events like the 3/11 tsunami but it is equally or even more so shaped by the tiny thoughts, words & actions of each of us, every day, all day. This week’s mindful meditation invitation is to see how you (can) cultivate compassion.
EnJOY our music video, Small After Small, celebrating the little things making a difference:
Practice awareness, compassion & peace with us everyday at New Thought Families! Our Play & Pray Plant Seeds Everyday March Calendar blends multi-media color & fun with mindful moments. This Friday, our calendar changes to reflect intuition & imagination for April. The Season Of Peace runs through April 4th: we have brief multi-media moments each day on our 64 Ways In 64 Days Calendar for the Season Of Peace & NonViolence.