This is a print from an original photo of a pink rose. The rose is a symbol of love, beauty and the spiritual center. Pink represents affection.
When Elisabeth Kubler Ross, a Swiss physician who was a pioneer in the area of death and dying, asked patients what they learned from near death experiences, she said regardless of culture or religion, they "came back" with insights that she (Elisabeth) distilled in this one question: "How have I loved and how have I served?" After nearly dying, many were moved to see their lives through this new lens and felt these two questions were all that really mattered in terms of judging their lives.
Each day we have the opportunity to die to our old habits, to our old forms of living, to our judgements of self and others and to surrender to this question: How can I love and how can I serve? After being treated for cancer (the ultimate wake-up call!) many years ago I was determined to keep this mantra foremost in my mind but, alas, I am thick-headed at times and seem to need the wake-up calls. This past week, as I settled into the silence of my personal at-home retreat, I found myself asking those pesky old questions that seem to erupt from the discomfort of being still and eliminating distractions: Why am I doing what I'm doing? What does it all mean? Who cares? And then it came... Ah, yes! I remember... loving and serving. I'll begin again fresh.
It is with this intention I'm adding a link to my Making a Difference list on the left of my main blog. Check it out and see if any of this resonates for you: Half The Sky Movement. I think this is a great resource for anyone interested in supporting effforts to empower women worldwide. Nicholas Kristof, a journalist I admire, who writes for the New York Times, has written a book with his wife, Sheryl WuDunn called Half The Sky. They have traveled widely and given voice to the stories of women worlwide who are expoited, abused, and disenfranchised on every conceivable level. They are now giving voice to a growing movement linking women and girls to the support they need.
There is a get involved tab at the top of the website where you'll see a long list of organizations working in special areas to help women in poverty, needing health assistance, needing financing to start a business and much more.