Admittedly, it has been difficult to consider posting about joy after Friday’s attack on Paris. But there is always, always, something for which to be grateful.
I am grateful that my intuition seems to be growing and my ability to channel and direct healing energy seems to be growing daily. On Friday, everywhere I turned, I was noticing French music, posters for Paris, references to Paris and people were talking about Paris. Even I had been thinking of Paris. When I met my friend, F-, the first thing she mentioned was Paris, and I erupted in frustration and surrendered: Ok, I said, to the Universe, more than to F-. “I will go to Paris!” I was being called to Paris and I surrendered. I had no idea why, but I would go. Just hours later, in the first hour of the attacks on Paris, several friends contacted me to make sure I was safe, in London. I stopped immediately and sent healing to Paris, to the friends and family of the dead, to all those taken hostage and to those impacted. And then I began to surround my Paris friends, friends of friends and family of friends in protection. I later learned that one of my best friends was there, and although I had not named her specifically, I am grateful that she was part of the blanket of white light that I was sending.
I know that people say that prayer does not work. They are atheists and even if we accept their contention that there is no God, I do believe that prayer and healing works. If there is no God, prayer works by comforting the one praying. Healing works because we focus our thoughts and intentions on the light in the world. Setting God aside, we change ourselves and in so doing, we change the world.
Having lived through 9/11, my panic was triggered by the news. I was grateful when all my friends checked in, even the ones that I had not expected to be there. Sending healing keeps me calm. Remaining calm limits the reach of terror. I happen to believe that sending the white light of healing energy does help others, but even if you don’t, it helped me.
I am grateful that all my friends checked in, even the ones that I had not expected to be there. I know that others cannot say the same and I am thinking of those strangers who died, and all the people their lives touched. I admit to a certain amount of selective attention, and of course I believe that black lives matter. However, when the massacres happened in Kenya, I responded in the same manner. I had friends in Kenya. I did not know of the bombings in Beirut, but I would probably not have responded in quite the same way. I would have not stopped and waited for friends to check in. I have no friends in Beirut, and maybe that is something I will seek to rectify. And yes, that means that I am guilty of selective attention because I respond most when it is personal.
I do not agree with shaming others for putting the French flag on their Facebook profile picture when they did not do the same for Lebanon. It is freedom – even the freedom of selective attention – that I value. Nor do I condemn people for jumping on a hashtag bandwagon. People need to express grief and want to show compassion. If we have forgotten to how to be compassionate to one another through genuine connection, shame will not help. Only compassion does. I am grateful that if, as a social media society, we have become dysfunctional in our emotional expressions, at least we understand what emotions we are feeling and trying to express.
I am grateful for some recent friendships I have made with thoughtful and intelligent artists. They strike me as free thinkers. I have become a lazy thinker and they challenge me to be a better version of myself. I was among the first to call attention to Paris on Facebook with my friends, asking them to join in sending light as events unfolded. It was not hashtag heroism but a sincere request from a community of friends that includes many healers. However, in the 12 hours that followed, I saw a rash of hasty posts appear. We all need to express our shock, horror and grief in some way. I did marvel at the public nature of this, given that Facebook wasn’t a “thing” in 2001. Not one to hold back on expressing opinions, I became unusually quiet. I turned off the news, I went to the art gallery and I watched what those whom I admire said – and more importantly, what they didn’t say. And I became still.
In a world of noise, I turned to art. I spent the day at Tate Modern and walked to Tower Bridge to see it twinkle at night. And for all the beauty of art, poetry, prose and music in the world, I am grateful.
Before all the sadness of the weekend, seeing so many innocent young people killed, I had the joy of seeing an exhibition of light at the White Cube Art Gallery.
When I first entered, I found the incessant clicking of this stranger’s camera to be irritating, as I tried to focus on the soundscape. But quickly, I changed my perception and decided the mechanical clicking of his camera and the sight of his lens zooming in and out was a part of an ephemeral experience that interacted with the installation.
I decided to film the moment.
Later, I learned that he was the artist of the piece, Cerith Wyn Evans, just popping by for a few minutes. His intention had been to challenge perception with his installation.
For me, it worked.
Oneness and service have combined in the last few days as I have been snding healing and light t others. When I do, I connect with those involved. I have been relasing a lot of grief – both my own and that of others. And so, in service, I am experiencing Oneness with those being healed.
It has been a had few days, but I know you can find at least one good thing, today. And so, it remains only for me to ask:
For what are you grateful, right now?