This Mother’s Day, Keep The Cards. Free Our Girls.

One might argue that the kidnapping of nearly 300 young girls on the opposite side of the globe has no bearing on your life. But I won’t be the one. Because I don’t believe it.

When the Islamic militant group Boko Haram abducted hundreds of young girls at their boarding school in Nigeria on April 14, there was an outcry of rage and disbelief that reverberated through hills and mountains, through villages and small towns and metropolitan cities around the globe.

And the collective “NO,” that echoed across continents morphed into action with worldwide protests, including one at the Nigerian embassy in Washington, D.C.  It morphed into online campaigns and petitions  with a million signatures urging action. And the U.S. government  sending a military and law enforcement team to Nigeria to help in the search for the missing girls.

I  joined the campaign to Bring Back Our Girls. I signed one of the petitions and have been tweeting and posting messages with the blind faith that somehow, someway, it will help create awareness and shine a light in some very dim places.

If you believe as I do, that every thought is a prayer, then I am praying these girls home with every tweet and post.

I share this with you because I also believe in the principle of oneness, that we are all connected in spirit. And what is in the one is in the whole.

So, when we allow hundreds of innocents to be sold into slavery and say it’s just another day (in that country, the one over there), I think we lose a little piece of our humanity. And maybe unintentionally, we give permission to the heavens to let the inhumanity spread across continents into the ethers, and into our common psyches.

This Mother’s Day, my heart will be with my beloved son who lives away, and with hundreds of moms in Nigeria who will be grieving over the unimaginable atrocities of body and spirit their daughters are likely enduring.

 My prayer on Mother’s Day is the same one I say today:Bring Back Our Girls.meme bring back our girls

 If this resonates with you, I hope you share the message. Please use the hashtag #bringbackourgirls.

 

 If you’re interested in more thoughts on integrity, compassion and grace, particularly at midlife, read my book Tao Flashes.  Or visit me at www.facebook.com/taoflashes or on twitter @taoflashes.

Out of The Mouth of Babes

Humility is something we become well-acquainted with at midlife. Maybe it’s the first sign of wrinkling around our eyes, or the realization that we don’t move as fast on the tennis courts anymore. Or maybe the humbling happens the day we get our first AARP invitation in the mail.
 

The triggers are different for each of us, but there comes a time when we realize we are aging. Time is shrinking and we notice.

 
This can be a humbling time for many of us. But as the Tao Te Ching teaches, humility is a grace. When we see ourselves through new eyes and release old stories, even old ideas of who we once were, we paradoxically become wiser. That’s because we become teachable.
 
 

And at midlife, being teachable is an elixir. It’s the fountain of youth, the green juice that will keep you forever young and healthy.

 
So what do I mean by teachable?  I mean stretching your mind,  shuttering your ego and allowing people–particularly young people–to teach you new things.
 
 

For instance, I am fortunate to work around several spirited twenty-something year-olds who grew up in the can-do millenium, who speak technology like it’s their native tongue. Not so much for me.  I admit I’m a dinosaur when it comes to anything more than the basics of technology. And yet here I am, at midlife, setting up a wordpress website and teaching myself some of the basics of this technology so I can communicate my thoughts and share my work with the world.  My young friends have served as my guides and teachers here.

 

And twitter? Thanks to my young friend Natalie, I now know the value of a hashtag, and I understand the basics of this medium. I’m also able to recognize its beauty and potential to serve as a gateway to new information–each thread of discovery unravels another thread and another in an endless stream of knowledge. It’s exciting and humbling for me to think about how connected we all are, and what I might uncover.

 
And if I wasn’t willing to humble myself and ask someone nearly half my age to sit and be patient with me, my eyes wouldn’t have been opened to new teachers, new information, new technology.
 

So I say, become a student at midlife. Be humble and be willing to learn new things. Are there areas in your life where you can step out of your comfort zone, stretch a little, discover something new? Are you willing to become a student of life, to admit you don’t know? Are you willing to raise your hand and say to someone, or to the universe, Teach Me?

 
Be teachable and weave threads of new knowledge into your life. See what humility can create in your life.