November 9, International Day of Compassion – Birthing a Child-Friendly Earth

By on November 8, 2016


November 9 is when I invite our community and anyone else who feels compelled to join us, to celebrate International Day of Compassion.

It’s a holiday I conceived six years ago. It is  simply another small personal step toward peace, which evolved through my 9/11 Bowing Project.

As I prepare to celebrate it on Wednesday, after the utter madness of this year’s election season, I’m  thinking that no matter how this election turns out, we’ll be in dire need of compassion.

Yep, compassion for the people we disagree with, and even for the less appealing aspects of ourselves, is for us humans, an ambitious aim.

But we really have no viable alternative, do we?

Anything or anyone that needs a more compassionate response from you?

10 Responses to “November 9, International Day of Compassion – Birthing a Child-Friendly Earth”

  1. Bel says:

    I think I’m generally a pretty compassionate person to others, EXCEPT when they behave in a way that I deem unacceptable. Then, the angry Os rise up and compassion gets thrown out of the window, and a defensive hardening arises within me. But if I were to subsequently discover the reason for their behaviour, and realise that given the circumstances it wasn’t quite so unacceptable really, then the hardness softens and the compassion is able to flow again. I noticed this reaction in me with both the Brexit & US votes: my initial reaction was anger, how could people be so stupid. But then when I really thought about it, of course I understood why many people would make those choices.

    Slowly, over the years, I’m becoming more compassionate with myself. The FH work helps, of course. And I often remember the words of an amazing meditation teacher with whom I attended a retreat a few years ago: he said treat everything that arises (all the difficult feelings, for example) with the tenderness and love a mother would when attending to her upset child. I have found that so helpful.

  2. Harmonious Life says:

    This is a beautiful reminder to be compassionate. I am a numbers person – at one point in my life i was obsessed with dates and numbers. Now I am more balanced about it. Anyway I am a number 9 and my date of birth also has a special repetition sequence that I find amusing.
    So seeing the 11/9 date being on November 9th had me excited from that perspective. My father was also a number 9. He was born on Nov 18th. I was very close to him and miss him much even after so many years have passed since he hasn’t been in the physical world.

    It’s interesting that being so close to my father, I ended up not being as close with my mother nor much with my sister. I have started to notice that I need to show compassion to these two of the most important women in my life. I tend to be myself with them and I can be temperamental often on our long distance phone calls which aren’t regular either. i need to work in this area.

    I do need to be compassionate with myself too. I have taken on a couple of new commitments as part of my self healing protocol recently which has created some kind of time tension with my existing commitments. So I am working on being compassionate about delivering on those commitments. I remind myself often and clarify the priority of these commitments when there’s scarcity of time. I want to just pick up from where I left off, learn from previous slips and keep walking.

    Also reading the comments and re-reading the blog I have realized that being compassionate also means two things – feeling genuine gratitude for what’s already here for me and how far I have come from where I started, and letting go of expectations of result of my efforts. It’s not natural or easy to do this on a daily basis. Which is why being part of this community has been a source of support for me. Thank you all.

    I have also noticed that in dealing with various challenges along the way I have somehow lost the sense of child-like wonder that I knew I had at some point. I want to feel that child-like wonder again in my life. That it’s okay to not have my entire life figured out and it will unfold just as it should as Julia says. Also I need to remind myself about my miraculous conception and birth. My parents beat the odds when they conceived my sister and then I. I need to trust in that life force that brought me to this world. So I am being called to simply trust and be compassionate.

    It was so healing to be on today’s call.
    Filled with love today.

  3. Amy says:

    I thought of this on the 9th, I remember Julia talking about the International Day of Compassion. I love all the sharing about self compassion. It’s so true that all of my relationships are a reflection of the relationship I have with myself. As i foster more compassion for myself it comes more easily for others as well.

    I am grateful for the VM calls – as I listen to how hard many of us are on ourselves, listen to the orphans who want our collective attention, I am able to cultivate more compassion for myself. I thank each of you, who participate on the calls, who comment on the blogs, for sharing and mirroring to me so I am reminded to slow down, to care for myself, to make space, to breathe. Such a beautiful reflection we all offer to one another.

    I am grateful for the imagery – Field of Surrender is one I keep coming back to. It helps to create this space in the imagery world and then it comes out into my daily life.

  4. butterfly faith says:

    I need to be more compassionate with myself. There’s not one single aspect of me–wife, mother, writer, professor, yogi, health nut, homeowner, etc.–that I don’t have an issue with. My career, home life, personal life, body all fail at some level, according to my current mindset. But I realize that I would never act this way with my husband or my children or friends. I am working with choice. I am trying very hard to choose the path I set foot on. Am I going to focus on the things my body isn’t doing (making a baby, properly dispersing anxiety) or am I going to turn my focus on to what it can do (run/walk on the treadmill for 3 miles, perform a proper headstand, not catch every single cootie my kids bring home from school)? Am I going to beat myself up for not writing enough, or give myself a standing ovation for finally turning off Facebook and using that emotion to write a small blog instead of a pissed-off comment on someone else’s social media post? So I’m going to try very hard to choose the more compassionate path whenever I’m feeling angry and annoyed and anxious with myself. Or, as my husband says quoting Yoda: “Do or do not. There is no try.” So I will do.

  5. heather1975teaching says:

    My mother had a wonderful insight she spoke to me about when I was beating up and berating myself over past transgressions and what I perceived as my body’s failure to produce a desired result, she said to me a gentle and kind voice, ” if your body were your daughter would you say these things to her? Would you say such unkind things? ” I have been working on being more compassionate to my body child and to her needs and wants.

    • Warrior beagle says:

      Heather – this is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    • gratefulmama says:

      Thanks for sharing your mom’s advice Heather! My FH practice helped me a lot with my obsession with eating right. Your mom’s comment reminds me of one of my favorite paragraphs from Julia’s Fertile Female. “Slowly, I learned to approach my body with the same patient tenderness I’d give to a young child. How do I want to treat her? I asked. How do I protect her from harm, eliminate obstacles in her way, and make her life more pleasurable? Inspecting the aisles of the neighborhood health food store, I picked up a piece of fruit, a jar, and a handful of almonds, and thought: Is this good for my body-child? Is this going to make things easier or more difficult for her?” It’s from the Ally in the Cupboard Chapter.

  6. Gracelife says:

    Since the past few weeks I was feeling some annoyance toward my MIL. The funny part is that I don’t know why. She didn’t do anything particularly annoying, just the little things [that we all do]. But I was growing very intolerant of her. That went on for few days and then there was friction between my mom and me as well.
    Thankfully, I realised what I was doing to both the mothers in my life, with my behaviour, and went over to meet my mom. She was surprised and we had a nice time chatting. Then I went back home and spend some good time with my MIL. She told me how lonely she feels and appreciates it when we spend time with her. I will try to be more compassionate toward both of them.. and myself too. That night, I slept really peacefully after many days :)

  7. Gravid Sans Doute says:

    Julia, this is beautiful about compassion, compassion for ourselves and for people who disagree with us. My husband and I are called upon to have compassion for our daughter at this time whose orphans have been tantrumming for a very long time. She is wanting to be more reunited with our family now after being removed from the program we thought would be most helpful. We are seeking compassion with wisdom for the best outcome.

    Gutsymama, I love being compassionate with ourselves – letting the orphans rant if they need to and then being compassionate towards them. I have been doing the imagery of a moment in my longed for life and some of the guided meditation body truth. The Ultimate Mom wants me to care for myself in the midst of the hurricane, so that is my mission.

    Blessings to all.

  8. gutsymama says:

    I am using compassion as an everyday visionary move to myself. I ask myself if it is compassionate to do this action or not? If I am upsest over something I ask myself to be compassionate to my orphans. It is a strong intention I am using everyday. I will take my journey one step at a time and I will give myself space to feel what I need to feel and give myself compassion at the same time. I am wonderful at giving to others. Giving love, acceptance and compassion. I can really do it for other people. For myself is another challenge. So I asked myself to give myself the same compassion I would give to others…that I would give to my child. Letting my orphan scream when she needs to is healing and giving her compassion no matter what she says has been visionary to my soul. I celebrate your Internation Day of Compassion with you Julia! I love all that you teach.

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