Archive for November, 2010

Forgiveness and Compassion

November 29, 2010
posted by Admin

On Thursday morning I attended a United Nations celebration of the one year anniversary of The Charter For Compassion honoring Karen Armstrong. As you may know, I was invited by my friend and partner, Fred Luskin. I sat and listened carefully to all of the speakers. The theme that stood out in my mind is this: Forgiveness and compassion in the abstract doesn’t work.
Forgiveness and compassion cannot just be ideals that we try to attain, but rather they must be practiced in a daily way. When Fred spoke he referred to the Forgiveness training program as a model for interpersonal healing through forgiveness which is very much a part of compassion. Fred explained that forgiveness is a central part of the cultivation of compassion because forgiveness brings us back to our heart, the seat of compassion.
Our practice must begin by loving and being patient and kind to the individuals that are closest to us, those we live and work with daily. If we are to take forgiveness and compassion seriously, we must allow ourselves to become vulnerable with those we live with. Becoming vulnerable naturally brings about honesty in a relationship. Honesty is a magical energy that purifies our minds and souls. Honesty allows us to be real with those we love and therefore, we live more truly in our own skin!
I feel strongly with Forgiveness and Compassion when it is rooted in living, struggling, suffering people because that is who we are! “World peace must rest on the solid foundation of love between individuals.” Gandhi. It is this individual focus which makes forgiveness and compassion more believable to me.

Losing a pair of earrings…

November 22, 2010
posted by Admin

I lost my favorite pair of earrings. They were gold leaves connected to a single beautiful real pearl and anchored by a tiny clump of jade. They were so pretty and handmade by an artist in SoHO…therefore a one of kind piece! My husband bought them for me on a spontaneous, romantic jaunt to the city. At first, I thought I could locate them, somehow, but as hours passed, the truth of the matter had settled in and I was heart broken. Then, within twenty four hours, I had lost my inhaler and my favorite black golfing jacket. Again, I searched and searched and again to my dismay, I couldn’t locate either. So, I resigned myself to re-order the inhaler and to skip on the jacket until I play golf again, sometime in the spring. Disappointed and despairing, I was angry at myself and unable to “let up” on myself, at all. I turned to my piano for comfort. Practicing only distracted me; as soon as I finished I was in my sad, sorry state of upset. I told myself that I was careless; I didn’t care much about my things; I didn’t pay attention to the details in life. It may sound dumb, but I was heartbroken over these losses. I understood that I was much more attached to objects than I had realized.
Later that weekend, on an unusually cold Sunday morning, when my body was tired and I didn’t want to relinquish the ease and warmth of my bed, I had a strange, out-of-the-box thought. A tiny voice in my head said “Pat, the first part of your life, you collect and the second part, you let go!” Realizing that I was clearly into my second half of life, I was titillated by this thought from beyond my consciousness. I pulled myself to wake up more fully. I felt a tug of war go on in my mind: One end there was the ghost of fogginess; the other end serene clarity!
During the day I contemplated on the idea of “letting go of things,” I experienced myself as less confused and more still inside. It is time to “not collect” things. It is a time to be open to other ways of comfort other than what I have known.
Knowing that I take everything to an extreme, I asked myself, does that mean food should no longer be a comfort? Should I put myself on a diet purchasing beautiful romantic earrings? Should I sell my golf clubs? (You know, the clubs that went along with the lost jacket) These questions were enough for me to run to grab my inhaler, which as you will recall, I have lost and need to replace. Calming myself down, I realized that it means something simpler. Something that is like self-forgiveness, you know…where the mental attitude is one of taking myself off the hook of perfection and materialistic neediness. Instead of anxiously moving in the direction of control; move in the direction of letting go! Releasing! Giving in! Not having control over every detail. It is time to let go of different objects and expectations that I carried around the first half of my life. That in the tiny ways that life reminds us, letting go is the process of seeking peace!

Forgiveness at the United Nations!

November 13, 2010
posted by Admin

I (Jed) was transformed four years ago at a conference on Forgiveness presented by Fred Luskin, Ph.D. I took an instant liking to Fred and found his work simpatico with my philosophy of life. I learned a great deal about the method and details of forgiveness from Fred. I had an instinctive feeling that I was at the beginning of an important journey.
I hunger to share this journey with you and others. Once I studied and learned the forgiveness methodology, I presented forgiveness with Fred. Out of this friendship, we formed The Forgive for Good Center for Forgiveness Education and have been training others to teach Forgiveness to their communities. We now have in operation a certified forgiveness training program and have proudly graduated three classes. Today, hundreds of psychotherapists from various disciplines have incorporated this forgiveness methodology into their clinical practices.
On a personal note, I have found that when I forgive, anyone even for the smallest offense, I am significantly healed and the world feels more open and accepting. Forgiveness has not ended my suffering, but it has enabled me to ease my mind and body, so that I am not dominated by past, personal hurts. For me, forgiveness leads to compassion for self and others and eventually to Peace.

Recently, Fred called me to let me know that he had been invited to speak on Compassion at an event called The TEDPrize@UN which will celebrate the one year anniversary of the Charter for Compassion. This event will take place on November 18th, from 11a.m. to 1p.m. at The United Nations and will be broadcast on a special Webcast.
I felt honored that Fred would invite me to this event as his guest. I am so grateful to be a part of this momentous work. I want to share this with all of you! I hope you will get a chance to view the Webcast
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments about it.


Feeling overwhelmed?

November 7, 2010
posted by Admin

OMG! It has been almost three weeks since I have blogged! I have committed a grave sin. I know that in order for a blog to get acceptance from you the reader- visitor, I must blog like my life depends upon it! However the truth is that I am overwhelmingly busy. First, there were all of these family obligations…you know the kind that if say “No can’t make it!” you may never see that person again. Then, the computer and billing system failed! Can’t have a business without those two things working properly! Then, our beloved, Vicky, who takes care of every practical detail in our lives, took a surprise trip to her native country. Yikes!
What do you do when you are so overwhelmed that you can hardly function without worrying every second? (With the holidays coming up…this is an excellent question.) It took me awhile to figure out the answer.
The Answer is Breathe!
That’s it…that’s the answer! Breathe!
BREATHE! Inhale and Exhale! Slowly! One deep, long, slow breath at a time! Don’t worry you are not going to fall into a hypnotic state or lose your edge! Just listen to your breath. Breathing in and Breathing out!
What does this have to do with feeling overwhelmed? Breathing forces us to slow down and BE in the present moment! It just does! If you take 5 breaths …say inhaling and exhaling, one complete breathing cycle, breathing 5 times a day, throughout your day….starting with waking up and ending with going to sleep at night and you actually pay attention to the feeling of breathing….Your life will begin to feel more manageable and it is this feeling that will help you tap into a sense of being thankful that you are even alive!