Dear Friends,

 We hope that you are safe and well.

 Today's Meditation is a reflection by Carrie Newcomer on "How We Shift the Balance." Often we wonder what we can do to make a difference. She suggests some little every day things that create a different spirit in our encounters with each other.

 We invite you to join us as we commit ourselves to working tirelessly to end systemic and structural racism in our society, in the church, in healthcare, in the workplace--wherever it shows up so that everyone may come to have more abundant life. May this meditation nourish our contemplative-active hearts and sustain all of us in action.

In the spirit of our philosophy of co-creating community and our awareness that the Spirit speaks through each of us, we invite you to share your meditations with us as well. We truly believe that it is God's economy of abundance: when we share our blessings, our thoughts, our feelings, we are all made richer.

We hope and pray that you find peace, healing, hope and the infusion of joy in your life!

With our love and care,

Jean and Ron

MEDITATION 778: Carrie Newcomer reflects on "How We Shift the Balance"

How We Shift The Balance

Small things that make a big difference - add yours

Carrie Newcomer

Sep 14

Today I’m remembering my dear friend Ed. He was the kind of person that thought everyone he met was a Buddha, someone who had a fascinating story, a person that had important things to teach him. He asked questions and sincerely listened to everyone, really everyone —dearest friends, family, working colleagues, waitresses, chance meetings anywhere. When he passed of cancer a few years ago the family had a Quaker style memorial where anyone could stand up and speak if they felt so led. The room was full and overflowing, hundreds of people showed up. Close friends and family spoke, but also the doctor’s receptionist, and the waitress at the lunch place he’d frequented, the UPS guy, neighbors. The common thread that pulled through all the comments was some version of “ in his presence I always felt seen, felt like I was somebody, like I mattered - and without saying it expressly that they shared something well…holy.

Traveling has become harder these days, long delays, even more unexpected detours than ever. In at home communities are experiencing labor shortages, supply chain problems, weather that is too hot, wet, humid and generally concerning.

I was reading Nadia Bolz Weber’s substack post today. A while back she put out the question of how to shift the balance (ok, she phrased it “how not to be an a**hole” to her reader. I’d love to share the same kind of idea with with you and hear what some of things you do to create a kinder world, small and large things you do to shift the balance.

So here are a few of the small ways I try to remember to do my part. I know that being present and interacting can feel risky when our cultural model is to stay buried in our smart phones or stay in our own bubbles of concern. These are simple practices that are best if they are sincere :-). Can you add to these?

Call service folks by their name, look at them like the important human beings they are and express real gratitude for their work.

Carry a book or knitting with me everywhere so that if I have to wait in an office or airport terminal, I have something I love to do.

Let someone that is wrangling small children, or appears to be running late ahead of me in line.

Smile at people (and critters) I encounter. A calm smile and nod is like a cool breath of water on a hot day.

Think of a delay as a change to practice being present, noticing, saying a prayer, sending out compassion to others around me and self compassion to myself.

Meet the truck driver and carry the packages to the house, thank them.

Make tea or have a pitcher of cold water for folks that work outdoors - cookies also go a long way.

If on a walking trail, sincerely reflect something charming that delights you about their dog “oh my gosh, what great ears” or “wow, she has the best eyebrows”.

Question - How about you? I’d love to hear your ideas and experiences.

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Photo by Andrew Thornebrooke on Unsplash