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.