Sit down in a quiet place, close your eyes, and breathe. Amongst the stillness, you may notice an edginess in your body, perhaps a feeling of nervous tension residing in the heart or belly regions from an unknown origin, like after having consumed a strong coffee on an empty stomach. I can feel it myself when I am still, and I see it in the people who come in the clinic each day. An underlying stress that permeates our shared field of experience. Sometimes it feels as if this field compels us toward fear and insecurity, and when that happens, we withdraw from one another and even ourselves in a way. And yet, in my daily experience of practicing in my clinic — sharing this healing space with others as they rest together in lazy-boy recliners — what I notice is that it is in connection that these feelings of fear, worry, and anxiety are quieted. I mention all this because I believe that we must work to overcome this tendency to withdraw — to think of others as being outside our sphere of concern.
Like a muscle that requires constant exercise, lest it atrophy, we must exercise the spirit of love, compassion, and care. We are so lucky to have such a dedicated, and compassionate community of people at Hemma and our neighbourhood of Fairfield. People who are quick to bring in hats, and coats, and warm blankets for people in need within our own neighbourhoods, and at the same time openly contribute and support the care of refugees coming to Canada from the other side of the planet. Remember that there are millions of ways to express this care, compassion, and love within your local community and the broader planet, and that the need does not end with the holiday season. Practice loving fiercely and frequently in this new year, 2016! Happy New Year!