It's hard to stay positive and hopeful these days. It seems that there's so much suffering--the oil spill, global warming, wars, genocides, illness, poverty. What's to be positive about? But I think it's important to stay hopeful. Not head-in-the-sand positive, but fully present and at the same time full of hope. Hope breeds happiness in everyone we touch. And happiness breeds kindness. So how do we do this? We've been terribly educated in this department.
You might be
surprised to think of yourself as poorly educated.
Relative to most humans throughout history, the people reading this
interview probably represent a vastly more educated group than most
here's the thing. Our education has been seriously lop-sided. It's
how to function on the surface of our days--how to read and calculate,
succeed in a career, how to drive a car, how to figure out our taxes
good things to know for sure.
things were left out, like how to
relax into and enjoy the texture of life on earth as a human being; how
wise life decisions; how to get along with each other; how to keep our
open especially when they hurt; how to love and forgive ourselves; how
live with purpose and meaning; how to let go--of our children, of people
we love, of our own bodies as we age; how to see beyond this world into
realms of reality; how to ponder the great mysteries of existence and
with a fearless spirit.
I didn't learn that in school. Did you?Not having this education has not only diminished our personal lives. Every problem in the world can be traced back to two people ill-prepared to know how to live together, to know how to take care of each other, how to live lightly and consciously on this earth. So doing spiritual practice and healing psychologically is not only something healthy for ourselves. It is also significant for the people in our lives, and for our whole human and non-human family. Your own healing contributes to the whole.
That reminds me of the advice we get every time we board a plane: put your oxygen mask on yourself before you try to take care of others. Healing the world begins within ourselves. Your book, Broken Open , is a great way for us to explore that process. Thank you so much for talking with me, Elizabeth. It's been a pleasure.
Part one of my interview with Elizabeth