Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

The Heart of March: Empathy


Welcome to my monthly collection of interesting articles, books, and resources plus a mini-monthly review.

Outstanding Articles and Books

I’ve been reading and inspired by The Four Agreements, A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom.

The Heart of March:  Empathy

Writing a brief monthly review helps me to celebrate my accomplishments and stay focused on what really counts.  Sharing my review may inspire you to be more intentional too.

Your world stops in a certain way when you suddenly become fragile, infirm, disabled, or weak, while the rest of humanity dances on barely noticing.  You can’t help but wonder whether you will ever improve.  A part of you yearns for “normal life” to begin spinning again.  But what if it never changed?

People with chronic illness and disability often live in the shadows, unnoticed by the busy, healthy vibrant ones.  Facing continuous physical challenges, of one sort or the other, over the past two months has opened a door into greater empathy.  It’s also been an appropriate reminder that nothing endures, and, therefore, I should not take anything for granted.

I’m a sensitive person, but honestly I find empathy easier in the abstract, and harder to remember when I’m embroiled with the busyness of daily life.  Is that the case for you, too?  My wish for April is to bring empathy alive more often in my face-to-face encounters.  I aspire to see both the humanness and the divine in each person I meet.  I realize this takes determination and practice.

Despite my minor physical blips, life managed to pull me along.  I’m in a big transition, preparing to move to a smaller house and learning more about caring for the land.

Flavor of the Month:  topsy-turvy

How was your March?  What did you learn this past month? 

I’m so glad you are here!  If you liked this article, please consider subscribing for free updates by email.  With love, Sandra

Image:  Richard Bartz



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  1. Hi Sandra,
    Thanks so much for thinking so much of my post that you included it. I sat with the subject for a long time and on many occasions before I decided to share my struggle with readers.

    I’ve had a less than stellar month. It’s business year end month and tax preparation month. That is was sucked up all my time and energy. I can’t express how relieved I am that it’s done. Moreover, it’s the last time I’ll be doing this. For here on out an accountant gets the work.

    I became aware for how much I needed a blogging and social media break these last two weeks and I scaled way back. I’m way behind when it comes to answering comments from my readers on my blogs which I dearly love getting. I’m feeling uncomfortable about that but I’m simply too exhausted to play catch up at this point and I know if I push myself my symptoms will increase in number and intensity.

    Once my energy level recovers I’ll be in a position to move forward again. I don’t have a goal for April other than planting seeds and being well enough to enjoy some nice weather – finally!

    May love and peace be with you always.

    • That was an amazing post, timethief. I’m amazed by how you find the time to write such in depth articles. Your articles are always very meaningful and/or very practical and helpful.

      I’m so glad to hear that this will be the last time you’ll be working on the taxes and having all your time and energy trained away. I’m feeling the same need to a break and plan to take one next week. I feel it’s truly beneficial to listen to our bodies and not push ourselves beyond our capacity.

      Planting seeds and enjoying some nice weather sound like perfect goals to me! Enjoy your time.

  2. Thank you, Sandra, for including my post. My favorite thing I learned this month was a method of creating fashion illustrations. My drawing skills are minimal, yet I love drawing, so it was delightful to play with pencil and paper. I also learned how great FaceTime is in my classroom–I had a writer in Portland, OR visit us virtually to read from her novel and chat with students about the writing life. It was an amazing class!

  3. You’re welcome, Beverly! Those are amazing ways of learning. It’s exciting when you can use the virtual world to help people connect and learn. I admire your willingness to explore new horizons.

  4. March zipped by so fast, I didn’t even realize it was April until I read your post! Hmm, what was the theme of March for me? Looking back over my posts for the month, the theme might be “unexpected.” I learned a lot in March about staying open when the unexpected happens, to be with whatever is happening, to view with curiosity rather than fear or judgment, to trust in the basic goodness of the universe.

    I’m also going deeper and deeper with my word of the year–Wait.

    As always, I delight in your end of the month reviews. I’m glad that your health is stabilizing. And how exciting about your transition. Well, part of it is exciting. I’m sure there are many feelings!

    • Galen,

      I love your experience of March, the opportunity to cultivate curiosity and trust instead of fear. I would love to align with that flow! I appreciate the way my update gives me an opportunity to hear how the month has been for you. I’m glad it’s a good one. Yes, there are ups and downs with my change and my opportunity is learning to flow with that as graciously as you flowed in March!

  5. I commented. But it disappeared. The internet must have been hungry!

    I am so honored to be included in your list, Sandra. I love your monthly roundups – so many wonderful recommendations!

    March has been happy-hectic for me, mostly because I am taking April off from work. Then I went and signed up for the April A to Z Blogging Challenge where I post daily through April…and am feeling the strain, being a 2-3 times a week usually. But it is fun. 🙂


  6. Hi Vidya,

    I’m so happy to include you. You are one of my most a favorite bloggers. I can’t imagine blogging daily! I have enough ideas but I like to leave space for the articles to germinate with people. It will be interesting to see what you discover in the process! I’m glad you are finding it fun.

  7. jean sampson

    I also commented and it vanished! 🙂 Must have been too long-winded for the comment gods! Anyway, my Mom taught me empathy at an early age (or rather helped me to experience it). I was probably 4 0r 5 years old and I tore up my best friend’s doll, probably because of jealously—who knows? Anyway, Mom didn’t scold me, she just talked to me about how sad it must be for my friend to have found her doll in pieces. I started feeling how she must have felt and just cried and cried. I was able to feel how my friend felt and it felt awful. I am sure that there was a lot of feeling ashamed that I was the one who did it. I don’t remember exactly how it was resolved, but I know I apologized and probably gave her one of MY dolls. Mom really handled that in a good way. She did it very lovingly to me, too and I will never forget it, even though I was really young.

    • How weird (about your comment)! Maybe it got caught in the spam filter. Sometimes I get so many spam comments, I cannot check them all. I just looked though and it’s not in there now.

      What a moving story, Jean. You must have been quite mature for your age to be able to receive this and work with it so sensitively. I can see why you will never forget this moment. It was really a powerful one.

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