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Monday, February 4, 2019

Monthly Focus (February) and Weekly Mission #1 & 2

You can listen to the monthly focus and weekly missions as discussed in the podcast episode 148 TSP Possibility and 149 TSP Give Me Your Word.

This month's focus is LOVE. February is the month that we usually associate with romance and love. The grocery stores are full of heart-shaped boxes of candy, and jewelry stores and florists have stepped up their advertising game with suggested occasions to offer flower or jewelry gifts. I have made "Love" the theme for the month of February and will suggest different aspects of love in each week's mission.

Why would love be an important focus? Love is a strong feeling and can mean many things to many people. All of these meanings can be different from one person to another. Love can be pleasant or painful, intense or mild, and directed to a person or thing.

This month, think about the important role love may play in our lives. I will use this focus to give strong consideration to how love plays a role in my life. I hope you will join me.

Dr. Suzuki once said, "What is man's ultimate direction in life? It is to look for love, truth, virtue, and beauty." He also said, "When love is deep, much can be accomplished." Dr. Suzuki wrote much to indicate that love was important to him, and many of us will recognize that love is a central theme in many religions, as well as literature and culture.

One possible examination is my suggested mission for this first week of February. This week, let us examine the center of our love experience -- ourselves as individuals, Consider the love and acceptance that we give to ourselves. We may harbor unpleasant thoughts about ourselves, our history, and ultimately the future that lies before us because we are stuck in a place of not loving ourselves, or we think of ourselves as unworthy of having that ultimate loving relationship with ourselves and what lies outside of ourselves.

This week, let us look inward at ourselves and at the relationship that we have with ourselves. Let us have the tough conversation with ourselves about the love we have or do not have with ourselves. Here are a few questions that might open up that conversation:
  • Am I harder on myself than I am on others?
  • Do I expect more of myself than I do someone else?
  • Am I more critical about my performance or achievements that I would be for someone else?
  • Do I accept myself for who I am, or do I think that I have unfixable flaws?
  • Do I feel that I am worthy of what I have in my life, or do I think that I was just lucky to get where I am?
  • Am I open and honest with others or do I wear a mask for fear that others might truly discover who or what I am?
For weekly mission #2, I suggest we turn our focus outward and look at our family relationships. I suggest that you draw two circles: an outer circle, and an inner circle. In the inner circle, list the names of close family members: spouses/partners, children, parents, and siblings. In the outer circle, list the names of extended family members: nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, grandparents, grandchildren, etc. Review the names in each of your circles and reflect on these questions:
  • How satisfied am I with my family relationships?
  • Are there any problems that I struggle with in any family relationship?
  • Are there any family members that I avoid having conversations with?
  • Have I been out of touch with any family member?
  • Am I out of relationship with any family member?
  • Are any of the reasons that I have for being out of relationship still important to hang on to?
  • Is there any reason NOT to reconnect with a family member where the relationship has gone stale or cold? Can I think of a way to do that?
I hope that you will join me on the monthly focus and weekly missions. Please be sure to comment about your discoveries and experiences.



Until next time,


Happy Practicing!

----- Paula -----

© 2019 by Paula E. Bird

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