pa·gan /ˈpāɡən/ noun
1. a person holding religious beliefs other than those of the main world religions. (from Oxford dictionary)
This is a difficult and strange time for all of us on the planet. We are all fighting a common enemy which is both terrifying and unifying. As I adjust to our new challenges and realities here from Sag Harbor, NY, near the New York City surge in COVID-19 cases, I am currently safe, well and trying to be of service. I know that my situation could change on a dime, and many are suffering so I am taking a departure from my regular posts about Compassionate Leaders to share a bit about me and a prayer I wrote today.
I respect and love all spiritual paths and religions. The search for meaning has been a lifetime obsession but I am not a devotee of any specific path or religion. I was baptized a Catholic, studied Yoga and other meditative arts, have visited countless churches, temples, ashrams, spiritual retreats and have had the extraordinary privilege of participating in traditional Native American ceremonies including Vision Quests. The more I study, the more mysterious, God is to me. Today, I am a member of a 12-step program, a new thought church and a prayer circle that is based in Lakota traditions. Over the last 22 years, my clients have generously shared their personal beliefs and have taught me how to be at peace with a spiritual search that lands you in a place with or without religion (or somewhere in between). I call myself a Pagan with pride AND honor and respect any path or label you choose for yourself.
Every day for the last ten days, thanks to my spiritual mentor, Jo Todd, Ph.D. I start my day with an hour of shared prayers where I have the honor of hearing what is on the hearts and minds of people across the country. These circles include tears from essential workers leaving their children at home, silence from the sick, sadness, grief, worry, humility, humor, and wisdom. Adding my voice and thoughts to this circle has been a source of relief and strength as I move through my day being of service to my team and clients, pivoting my own business and strengthening my connection to my community, friends and family.
I offer this prayer to you with love and with gratitude to my teachers from all faiths and no faith:
Mother, Father, God, Great Spirit,
We need help to love each other in new ways, NOW. Help us.
Help us to share and collaborate compassionately as a global community. Help us to open our hearts and minds.
Help us to share our science, best practices, people, money and supplies in a way to slow down and eliminate this virus, heal the suffering, support the grieving and prevent future suffering.
Help us lift up the hands, hearts and minds of all the people on the front lines of this crisis including health care workers, first responders, essential workers, innovators, rule makers, rule enforcers and rule followers.
Help us have the courage and patience to guide the rule-breakers back to the center so we can all work together to restore health and happiness in peace as soon as possible.
Help us to heal each other.
Help us to feed each other.
Help us to shelter each other.
Help us to employ each other.
Help us to love each other.
AND, help us to remember these lessons once this crisis passes so we can build a more compassionate world together for future generations.
Wishing you and yours hope for today,
If you need a place to go every day (or on the days when you have time) for strength and support, join me and the Compassionate Leaders Circle faculty through April for Pivot with Compassion Circles at no cost. This program includes one hour of contemplation, curriculum, and coaching facilitated by experts. Thanks to the gift of volunteer time my team has committed to this month, you can learn more or register once for all sessions here.