Tip: Click ‘listen in browser‘ (below) so that you can look at the whole artwork (above) during this visual meditation.

Artwork “Vessels in a Storm” by Jan Porcellis, courtesy Yale University Art Gallery.

This meditation is somewhat different to the others in this series. I see it as a bit of a “New Year” special, recorded on the Eve of 2017.

Like you I’m sure, I wish for a joy-filled and satisfying 2017 for ourselves all our loved ones. You might also be hoping this is a year in which you have no regrets.

Instead, how about a year in which we are safe to notice and accept all our emotions – to have gentle curiousity about our inner reactions to life around us … without any pressure to “fix” others or to “escape” or “reject” our own feelings and needs.

I reckon expecting life to be smooth sailing is bound to add suffering to painful experiences.

So, rather than wishing you a “storm free” 2017, I wish all of us the courage and gifts of “drawing closer to ourselves” (as Pema Chodron puts it), “surfing the inner storm” (as I heard Raphael Cushnir describe it), and the very practical “self-empathy” that Marshall Rosenberg taught.

As 2016 closes, I feel such gratitude for the people who have inspired me to practice self-empathy.

  • To my empathy buddies: Penny and Ed, and to Karen and Chez for connecting us via NVCmelbourne.
  • To the writers and teachers who planted new seeds and possibilities — including Brene Brown, Mary McKenzie, Miki Kashtan, Dian Killian, and Kristen Neff.
  • To my husband Joel and our precious son and daughter who have shown me over and over again that “human beings are really only ever saying one of two things: ‘please or thank you'”. (Thanks to Marshall Rosenberg for that perspective on communication and conflict – it has given me hours of curiousity and growth this year!)
  • To my sisters – for your many gifts to me of unconditional belonging and support, nurture and inspiration and shared reality each making sense of things in our own unique ways … I am blessed!

Wishing you a safe, courageous, compassionate, curious and creative 2017!
Retrospective