Helpful wisdom, compassion and care for you

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2020 Best Reads

2020 Best Reads

Though I read LOTS of nonfiction in this pandemic, antiracist, wildfire year, two exceptional novels are my top favorites. All of the winners have truly broadened my understanding of the world and the reach of my heart.

With thanks and love to our book club of 2 (my BFF and me), the Tenley-Friendship branch of the DC Public Library, and Politics & Prose bookstore—here they are, my top 12.

Walking into joy

Walking into joy

At the end of the day, when I haven’t an ounce of energy left and I’m emptied out like a seashell (and yet dinner is still to be made), I have a habit of going walking.

No, it doesn’t make sense. So I ignore my thoughts, which say, “Go lie on the couch with the excellent book you are reading,” and instead grab my key and just go.

Walking, I’m open like a Mason jar to whatever will come. All 6 sense doors are awake and alive: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, and mind. And I would also say, heart. When robins stand stiffly alert at my approach, staring at me bravely right in the eye, I look back with eyes filled with love. Tenderly, I bring the lilac bloom closer, smelling with rapture, one hundred percent present.

Light on the path

Light on the path

All of a sudden, there’s a before and an after. The biggest pivot we’ve ever made. We’re reeling, falling through space, searching for a limb to grab, for ground under our feet.

That’s been my experience during the past several weeks. Was it yours?

Best 2017 reads (second half)

Best 2017 reads - LoveJo

Here’s the first half, in case you missed it.

Hmmmm…. I am, as you can see, quite keen on memoirs. And whatever the genre, I am drawn to hope, luminosity, intuition and creativity. I’ve found these varied titles to be nourishing. We need hope in this world!

Blessings!

Blessings! - LoveJo

My beloved Meditation teacher and friend at the Center for Mindful Living here in DC, Karolynn Coleman, who has studied Buddhist psychology for 30 years and trekked all over the Buddhist world, often shares these several beautiful verses at the end of our 30-minute meditations. She combines the words to an old Irish blessing, “The Long Time Sun,” with several verses of John O’Donohue’s gorgeous poem “Beannacht,” which means “blessing.”

How about a gift… for you!

How about a gift… for you!

Here’s a thought: give yourself a gift.

I just gave myself a birthday gift of a daylong retreat, “Cultivating an Inclusive Heart,” with Sharon Salzberg and Sylvia Boorstein. It seemed mildly radical to take a whole day to myself at the very start of December, the busy month, the month of giving and giving and giving and giving.

Due to my health challenges, I’m a little protective, even apprehensive, about overcommitting. Would I manage the whole day okay? Or would I be so tired I would have to come home? (And why, by the way, was I trying to sabotage my desire to go to this retreat?)

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