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She Said, “Welcome Everything, Push Away Nothing,” and So I Try.

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Last fall I heard a presentation on the Five Precepts of Service, given by a woman I knew, vaguely, the director of a local hospice. The precepts distill lessons learned about self-care from people who provide the ultimate in care – accompanying people on the journey to dying.

I found the precepts potent — and provocative.  They landed like body blows to my chest, thumping me hard, reinforcing why I was stepping off my current path, why cancer and burnout were gifts, if I received them as such.

  • Welcome  Everything. Push Away Nothing.
  • Bring Your Whole Self to the Experience.
  • Don’t Wait.
  • Find a Place to Rest in the Middle of Things.
  • Cultivate Don’t Know Mind.

I revisit these deceptively simple gems with some frequency. I remind myself: Take the good, the bad, the ugly, the fabulous, the funny, the freaky, the here, the now, the everything. And just be with it. Completely.

Don’t wait.

Stay open.

Yes.

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