Compassion Break

GIF by Maori Sakai

I come bearing metaphorical flowers for you in case you need them. I'm sneaking this post during a literal break from my Sunday Gerontology class. We have about 15 minutes. Today, part of our class centers on hearing the voices, regardless of age, of those who have different forms of cancer. Hearing their fears, confusion, hope, loss, thoughts, anger,...well everything. So, yes a necessary, and yet a somewhat heavy class. Heavy, in part because this brings up some stuff for me.

Incidentally, I was asked the other day how my meditation and mindfulness practices were going and how I've been able to show up for others during this time. I thought both were/are wonderful questions that I've been reflecting on since I was asked. My cushion is in front of my altar. So as of right now, my 'practices' sometimes look like me sitting and requesting one of the following: "Please help." "Please guide me. I feel lost." "Please help me hold space for others." "Please help them feel seen, heard, and understood." "Please give me clarity." "Please help me stay true to myself." "I know you're not Spectrum, but please don't let me have wifi issues today.😅" And then I get up and go about my day.

GIF by Maori Sakai

I think these requests capture my response to those questions...the uncertainty I feel...the confusion I feel...sitting in and with the discomfort of not having any answers...cultivating compassion, grace, and patience with myself when all I see are my own imperfections and flaws...and I guess trusting in the process, learning to trust myself and those I'm in relationship with.

I probably wouldn't have come to the last conclusion if someone I serve didn't share the following statement with me, "I hope you know what you do matters." And well after we ended that call, I cried haha. I can be extremely severe with myself, so their words caught me off guard since I never expected to hear that. So, I did shed tears of joy, meaning, fulfillment, gratitude, and purpose. May we have these kind of tears. Often. Often. Often.

Well, below are some words that felt quite fitting as I took these past weeks to get grounded and to be in community with others. I've also shared resources below that have been shared elsewhere that might be helpful. Again, thank you to those who continue to offer these resources. 🙇🏽‍♀️

This isn't a fully formed thought, but as I see the world opening a bit more...I'm telling myself I don't want to lose some precious things, people, practices, etc. that have done more for me than words can capture...thank you to those who've been creating spaces to build community (in all its forms) with others, especially during these times. What a gift you are especially to many who are grieving and mourning for multiple reasons, some reasons that are quite clear and others that may never be shared. Thank you. 🙇🏽‍♀️

"Taking Care of Ourselves"

If you are unable to take care of yourself, how can you take care of anyone else? How can you take care of the person you love? When you are here for yourself, when you have established some basic order and peace within yourself, then you can take care of the person you love. It could be your son, your daughter, your partner, or your friend. But if you are not able to be here for yourself, it will not be possible for you to be here for them. That's why you must come back to yourself.

-Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Someone shared this ☝🏽 in one of the programs I'm in. When I first watched it, my eyes began to water haha. I can't wait to start watching the series! Also, Estelle is one of the people singing!😍

Take a moment to think of just
Flexibility, love, and trust
Take a moment to think of just
Flexibility, love, and trust

Here comes a thought
That might alarm you
What someone said
And how it harmed you
Something you did
That failed to be charming
Things that you said are
Suddenly swarming and, oh

You're losing sight
You're losing touch
All these little things seem to matter so much
That they confuse you
That I might lose you

Take a moment remind yourself to
Take a moment and find yourself
Take a moment to ask yourself if
This is how we fall apart?

But it's not, but it's not, but it's not, but it's not, but it's not
It's okay, it's okay, it's okay, it's okay, it's okay
You've got nothing, got nothing, got nothing, got nothing to fear
I'm here, I'm here, I'm here

Here comes a thought
That might alarm me
What someone said
And how it harmed me
Something I did
That failed to be charming
Things that I said are
Suddenly swarming and, oh

I'm losing sight
I'm losing touch
All these little things seem to matter so much
That they confuse me
That I might lose me

Take a moment remind yourself to
Take a moment and find yourself
Take a moment and ask yourself if
This is how we fall apart?...

And it was just a thought, just a thought, just a thought, just a thought, just a thought
It's okay, it's okay, it's okay, it's okay, it's okay...

 

And in honor of Spring! 🌱🐥❤️🦋🌈

 

"Let Your Heart Bloom"

In the springtime, thousands of different kinds of flowers bloom. Your heart can also bloom. You can let your heart open up to the world. Love is possible-do not be afraid of it. Love is indispensable to life, and if in the past you have suffered because of love, you can learn how to love again.

-Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Resources:

  1. Asian Mental Health Collective
  2. Bystander Intervention Training to Stop Anti-Asian/American and Xenophobic Harassment (I signed up for a session in April and they're free! But one can donate too.)

Volunteering

  1. Compassion in Oakland

Donations

  1. Red Canary Song - "A grassroots collective of Asian and migrant sexworkers organizing transnationally." 
  2. AAPI Community Fund

Readings

  1. #ASIANS4BLACKLIVES - Structural Racism is the Pandemic, Interdependence and Solidarity is the Cure
  2. Stop AAPI Hate (readings and reporting)
  3. Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ)- (also readings, reporting, resources and more)

 

Well, see you in two weeks. 👋🏽 (I'm entering the last month of the semester! Eek! Wish me luck and good luck to you too with whatever you're working on! 🤗) As always, please take care of yourself and I hope you can find community so you don't have to bear the weight of the world on your shoulders alone.🙏🏽

Plus life can be quite fun and filled with laughter, play, and joy amid challenging times. Hope you find these folks and I hope they find you. 

Take care,

-Sandy from the Underground Galaxy ✌🏽❤️🏋🏽‍♀️🌝

* 📸 image of roses 🌹🌹🌹 by Christina Deravedisian*

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