Welcome to Following the Whispers blog
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.
“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf
“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Telling the Truth Tuesday -Compassion and Communication
On this, the first day of 2013, I want to share a story. I was on a plane from Boston to Albuquerque, heading home from our Christmas holiday. My hubby had the window seat, I was in the middle, and the aisle seat was empty as we waited for passengers to board at our stopover in Chicago (it was Southwest Airlines).
A very tall elderly man asked if the seat was vacant and I said yes, a small voice inside going oh no. His hair was greasy, his clothing rumpled and disheveled and he simply looked grumpy. He proceeded to seat himself, his knees pushing into the seat in front of him. Clearly, he did not have enough leg room. I had two carry-ons under the seat in front of me, with about six inches to spare on the right side. I'm short, so leg room is not a problem for me, but my knees are an issue. If I keep them in one position too long, they really start to ache.
Shortly into the flight, this man's left foot made its way to the six inches of room I had in front of me to stretch my leg. I was extremely irritated, but didn't say anything. His elbows were also invading my seat space. I shoved a little. He grumbled an apology, and then five minutes later, the elbow was back in my space.
I stewed for awhile, working up a good mad. But something happened. Something I didn't do consciously. Suddenly I felt compassion well up inside. I turned to the man and said, "I realize you don't have enough room for your feet, but I need to stretch my leg out as well."
"He said, "What am I supposed to do?"
I said, "How about we shift positions every so often. You keep your feet there for awhile, and when I need to shift, I'll tell you."
We worked it out for the rest of the flight. Turns out he is a writer of children's books. One of his books has sold 34,000 copies. Need I tell you I was a bit envious. We talked writing and publishing for the next half hour or so. He even gave me a great suggestion for the novel I'm working on.
Compassion and communication. Now, he could have told me when he sat down that he needed some additional space and asked if it were all right to put his foot in my space. He didn't do that. And I, rightly so, some would say, could have been irritated and angry the rest of the trip, making us both miserable.
I am so grateful that a compassionate spark ignited in my soul in that moment and that negative energy shifted.
What a lovely way to begin a new year - I think compassion will be my New Year's resolution, along with finishing that darn first draft!
How about you?