What is Compassion?

What is Compassion?

‘Often the simplest question opens the door to amazing journeys yet unknown…’

For me, this down-to-earth question, ‘What is Compassion?’ opened a wonder land filled with depth, expansion and adventure!

Join me on this journey called Compassion……

I was seeing the word everywhere:  ‘Be compassionate’, ‘have compassion’ ‘act with compassion’, and so on.  It was as if the word itself was calling out to be heard. Finally, I began my quest in response to its invitation.  What is compassion and what does it mean to be compassionate?

I realized I grew up with a partial, though well-intentioned description of compassion.  I was raised with the idea that compassion was mostly associated with ‘the poor’ and downtrodden.  It was almost an ‘above/below’ kind of thing where I ‘had’ and they didn’t, therefore I was supposed to be compassionate and help-out somehow.

I began listening and asking people questions; I received many revealing answers similar to these:

  • Compassion is seeing life from the other person’s point of view
  • Compassion motivates people to go out of their way to help physical, spiritual or emotional hurts or pains of another*
  • I believe compassion to be recognizing essence. When we open ourselves to recognizing the true essence of someone in need, we are more likely to be led to a compassionate act*
  • Compassion is a mind that is motivated by cherishing other living beings and wishes to release them from their suffering*
  • Compassion is the ability to understand the emotional state of another person or oneself. It has the added element of having a desire to alleviate or reduce the suffering of another*
  • Synonyms: Tenderness, heart, clemency, mercy, commiseration
  • Dictionary definition: A feeling of deep sympathy accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering

These definitions increased my interest desiring me to go deeper.  What is it that causes people to want to understand and act with compassion? I decided to go deeper within, asking All-That-Is for new understanding regarding What is Compassion?  The following insights rocked my world!

Compassion:

  • Com = a prefix meaning ‘with’, ‘together’, ‘in association’
  • A quantitative dimension, such that individual’s compassion is often given a property of depth, vigor or passion – ‘With Passion’

With Passion

  • The English noun, compassion: ‘To love together with’…..*

To Love Together With

___________________

Compassion:

To Love Together With……..Passion!

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 Yes!!!! This changes the meaning of everything!  Compassion is not just a desire to reach out to alleviate the suffering of another, it springs fromloving together with’ another!  From this loving connectedness, compassion naturally elicits understanding and action. We are loving ‘with’ not ‘to’.

More!  More! I asked for even more clarity:

  • Compassion lives and flows from the heart
  • Compassion lives and inspires in the present moment
  • Compassion is the presence that helps the person re-member Love, and in those moments we ‘love together with’
  • Compassion is seeing and loving the other for who they really are. It is loving them without their filters
  • All the masters of the planet carried compassion with them. This is compassion: Look into their heart, no matter who they are on the street or in your own family and all you see is God*

The illumination of my Compassion path continues.  With each daily news cycle comes more opportunity to go deeper into the meaning of ‘loving together with’.  With each new inspiration comes another question and ‘aha’.  What does this mean for me in everyday life?  How can I remove the cloak of fear and judgment and learn to ‘be’ compassion? It is the onion.  Layer by layer I am uncovering my path of compassion, loving together with….You.

Thank you for sharing this adventure! –  Joan Kappes

#IAMChoosingLove

 

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Choosing Love – A Life Changing Choice

These times invite us to ‘be’ different. They invite us to look inward to hear the still, small Voice that calls us to ‘be’ Love and choose Love. We may feel the invitation, yet how do we make it ‘real’ in our day to day living?
 
 
As a jumping off place, let’s play with four commonly used sentences.  Spend a moment ‘feeling’ the energy contained within each:

  • I want Love
  • I desire Love
  • I intend Love
  • I choose Love

Each energy offers the potential for expansion and growth; do you notice the distinctions?

Today, let’s focus upon the most energetically powerful word of the four, choose/choosing; it has much to offer us as we navigate these topsy turvy days.

choose; choosing – Verb

  1. to select from a number of possibilities; pick by preference:
  2. to prefer or decide (to do something)

Per the above definition, choosing is a verb, an action word.  It is intentional.  The individual is aware of their choice.

‘Choosing’, then is the most valuable, proactive tool we possess for answering the invitation to ‘be’ Love.  Via our free choice, we call into being the channel through which Love can flow.

Enter “I AM Choosing Love.” The four most powerful action words I know.  Simply, yet profoundly, #IAMChoosingLove is an invitation, a life altering awareness, choice (and habit) that no matter the situation, we always have a choice to Love.

Pragmatically, how do we choose Love?  The answers lie in the following intentional steps:

Step 1:  Discover the reality that you always have a choice to Love. How? Become familiar with the phrase, ‘I AM Choosing Love’. Plaster it everywhere-on sticky notes, reminders on your phone, your mirrors, your fridge, in your car – everywhere you go. Become so familiar with #IAMChoosingLove that it repeats in your mind over and over, just like a song that gets ‘stuck’ in your head.  Allow it to flow from your heart, into your mind.  In a very short amount of time you will begin noticing countless opportunities for choosing Love!

Step 2:  Focus:  Focus is a required tool, essential for choosing and living a life of Love.

Step 2 contains two steps:

  • Notice the thoughts you are thinking and focused upon regarding the topic or situation at hand, then decide if those thoughts feel either ‘loving’ or ‘fearful’.
  • Actively choose either the love-filled thought or the best thought you can find that feels in the direction of a loving thought.

Step 3: Use and choose: Use the words (silently and aloud) ‘I AM Choosing Love’ then choose the loving thought or action

Examples:

  • ‘I AM Choosing Love right now’
  • ‘I have a choice in this situation and I AM Choosing Love’
  • ‘This person is driving me crazy right now, and I have a choice as to how I perceive them. In this moment, ‘I AM Choosing Love’ instead of (fear, anger, self-righteousness, judgement, etc.)
  • ‘I am not feeling very good about myself right now. I could have done this and I should have done that, but instead I AM Choosing Love.  I AM Choosing to Love Me.

The power of #IAMChoosingLove lies in intention and practice.  You are internalizing and creating a transformational habit, so frequency is essential.

These times invite us to look inward to hear the still, small Voice that calls us to ‘be’ Love and choose Love. We can want, desire and intend Love, but the ‘real deal’, the real fun, the real expansion for you and for all of us is to choose Love!  We possess the freedom to choose, so let us choose Love.

#IAMChoosingLove – Joan Kappes

 

Subscribe to “Come to the Edge Today” to receive (via email) life-changing ‘how-to’s, inspiration, insights and as always, the invitation from Life to ‘Come to the Edge Today!’ so you can finally live your life in joy! See column at the right of this page where it says “Subscribe to Come to the Edge Today!”.  Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”.  Your privacy is protected and respected. Connect on Facebook /  Twitter / Linked-In / Come to the Edge Today! Radio Show / Life Coaching

 

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Lincoln’s Words: Wisdom for 2017 Change

I’ll bet you’ve heard this phrase: ‘Four score and seven years ago’.  And this one:  ‘That the government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.’  These words are part of our shared ‘American’ identity, aren’t they?

I recently came across a short film by the acclaimed documentary filmmaker, Ken Burns.  The film features Elmo and Murray (from Sesame Street) learning about the Gettysburg Address. Like Elmo, in his five minute conversation with Joan Ganz Cooney, I began pondering and questioning too.

I’ll wager that most of us are familiar with the gist of ‘The Gettysburg Address’, but have we really dove into the wisdom of Lincoln’s words? Does a short address at Gettysburg during the dark days of the Civil War have anything to offer us today, in 2017?

I’ll leave that up to each of us who are ready and willing to open ourselves to the words and wisdom of one of our nation’s most treasured leaders.

Following is the 272 word Gettysburg Address.  Below are questions for reflection.

The Gettysburg Address

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
November 19, 1863

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Today’s ‘leaping’ exercise:  Read the Gettysburg Address slowly, 3 times.  Highlight words and/or phrases that stand out for you.  Write them in your journal or type them so the words can ‘sink in’.  Ask yourself these questions about the words you have written from the address:

  • What is it about the nature of these words and phrases that draws me to them?
  • What do I believe about them?
  • What do I see happening in the U.S. regarding these words in 2017?
  • What would I like to change? What would I like to foster?
  • What is my role?
  • What inspired action can I take from these words?
  • Read the following from The preamble of the United States Constitution:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

  • How can I foster ‘we the people’ (as stated above) in my daily life?
  • What is my role as a citizen of the United States?

Thank you, Mr. Lincoln and our founding fathers/mothers – Joan Kappes

#IAMChoosingLove

Subscribe to “Come to the Edge Today” to receive (via email) life-changing ‘how-to’s, inspiration, insights and as always, the invitation from Life to ‘Come to the Edge Today!’ so you can finally live your life in joy! See column at the right of this page where it says “Subscribe to Come to the Edge Today!”.  Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”.  Your privacy is protected and respected. Connect on Facebook /  Twitter / Linked-In / Come to the Edge Today! Radio Show / Life Coaching

2017 – The Choice Is Mine!

OK, world!  This is the first week of the new year.

How will I choose to live it–

reacting through each day using all my old repetitive thoughts and actions

OR,

taking the leap and consciously choosing new, life-giving thoughts,

choosing to focus on Love and Joy,

pursuing inspired action.

The choice is mine. The gift to choose is mine!

I AM choosing to create my world this year.

I am eager to experience my world, our world, shift!

Here we come, 2017! – Joan Kappes

#IAmChoosingLove

 
 
 
 

Subscribe to “Come to the Edge Today” to receive (via email) life-changing ‘how-to’s, inspiration, insights and as always, the invitation from Life to ‘Come to the Edge Today!’ so you can finally live your life in joy! See column at the right of this page where it says “Subscribe to Come to the Edge Today!”.  Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”.  Your privacy is protected and respected. Connect on Facebook /  Twitter / Linked-In / Come to the Edge Today! Radio Show / Life Coaching

2016 – Don’t Write It Off, Claim Your Blessings!

The talk around town this 2016 year is to be done with it.  Write it off.  Move on.

Clearly, this year was filled with wild cards and it is our tendency to wash our hands of what is unwanted and leave it behind.

2016-treasuresBut, wait!  Let us not so quickly write off an entire year!  An entire year of your life and mine, that upon closer viewing was filled with untold gems, Love, growth and blessing.  Will you ‘Come to the Edge’ with me for a few moments and explore 2016 through a broader lens?

Today’s leaping exercise: Reflect via journal or written list (you’ll be glad you did for future reference) the following questions.  Find your favorite comfortable spot, free of interruption for a few minutes and ponder the following:

  1. What are the top 10 (or as many as you’d like to recall) experiences I am thankful for this year? What?  Who?  How was this brought about?
  2. Who were the people in 2016 who helped me grow? How? What did I learn?
  3. Recall 5 opportunities where I chose Love this year. When did I Love?  Who? How?
  4. Recall 5 opportunities where I chose to receive Love.
  5. When and how did I experience Joy this year?
  6. What beauty did I encounter?
  7. How has my heart opened this year?
  8. What do I most appreciate about living this year?

To complete your year, write or express a note of appreciation and thanks to God/Source/All-That-Is who so creatively and Lovingly gifts us All.

Auld Lang Syne, 2016. We bid you a thank-full farewell………….

Blessings for 2016 – Joan Kappes

dreamstime_xs_22083187 (1)Subscribe to “Come to the Edge Today” to receive (via email) life-changing ‘how-to’s, inspiration, insights and as always, the invitation from Life to ‘Come to the Edge Today!’ so you can finally live your life in joy! See column at the right of this page where it says “Subscribe to Come to the Edge Today!”.  Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”.  Your privacy is protected and respected. Connect on Facebook /  Twitter / Linked-In / Come to the Edge Today! Radio Show / Life Coaching

Creating ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ – a How-To Guide

time-of-the-year

It’s all in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it?  What is wonderful to one person may be perceived as a disaster to another.  One person may see Christmas as something dreadful to endure and the person next to them may experience it as a season of love, peace and magic.

The gift offered to each of us: We create the holiday we experience by what we choose to focus upon!  That’s really all there is for determining how this holiday will turn out.  Circumstances that surround us are just circumstances.  There may be sadness, heartbreak and disappointment while in the same moment, there is also love, peace, joy and so much more. All are present and it is our free choice to decide where to focus.

Today’s “leaping” exercise: 

Here is the recipe for creating “Your Most Wonderful Time of the Year”:

1.  Decide which aspects of the holiday you want and intend to experience (Examples:  I intend to see and experience joy, or I want to experience gratitude, or I intend to see and experience kindness, or participate in bringing Christmas cheer to others, etc.). Let your desires be known to the Giver of All!

2.  Believe that opportunities to experience these desires will frequently present themselves

3.  Choose to recognize and act upon the opportunities as they present themselves

4.  Expect to see evidence!  Anticipate!

5.  Be open to the unexpected

6.  Commit to allowing your most wonderful holiday to unfold, no matter the circumstances

7.  Relax and have fun!  Allow yourself to receive and enjoy the surprise and delight that God, the most Loving Giver of all, desires to give you

8.  Live knowing that your life is lived moment by moment!  As you purposely live these moments based upon the desires you have chosen to experience, they will build and grow and blossom –  not just at Christmas or New Years, but every moment of every day.

May we choose to experience the gladness of Christmas which is hope, the spirit of Christmas which is peace and the heart of Christmas which is Love!

Enjoying my most wonderful time of the year – Joan Kappes

 

 

Subscribe to “Come to the Edge Today” to receive (via email) life-changing ‘how-to’s, inspiration, insights and as always, the invitation from Life to ‘Come to the Edge Today!’ so you can finally live your life in joy! See column at the right of this page where it says “Subscribe to Come to the Edge Today!”.  Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”.  Your privacy is protected and respected. Connect on Facebook /  Twitter / Linked-In / Come to the Edge Today! Radio Show / Life Coachingdreamstime_xs_22083187 (1)

Lessons From a Flock of Geese: How to Live in a Topsy Turvy World

Perhaps because of the dynamics of this year, or perhaps because I am ready to learn in a new way, I’ve given a lot of time and attention to Gaia, Mother Earth who has so much wisdom to share.  Her teaching methods are subtle, profound and always ‘right on target’ with what I am questioning or desiring to know.

Recently, I have been wondering about what to ‘do’ next and how I can make a difference in this topsy turvy world we are experiencing.  Some days I feel energized and eager and other days, drained.

I’d like to share with you my ‘aha’ experience:

cid_3b8aa8e0-ce70-43b5-9558-e17b6ee77523homeToday, I noticed a large flock of Canada geese flying in ‘V’ formation.

Do you know, “Scientists have determined that the V-shaped formation that geese use when migrating serves an important purpose: It conserves their energy. Each bird flies slightly above the bird in front of him, resulting in a reduction of wind resistance. The birds take turns being in the front, falling back when they get tired. In this way, the geese can fly for a long time before they must stop for rest.” (from The Library of Congress Researchers)

As I watched their harmonious flight, it came to me:

‘It’s ok to fly in the lead position with your flock; it’s also ok to hang back, conserve energy and allow others in your flock to take the lead for a while. You are in this together, heading towards a common destination, while at the same time each of you are living your own unique experiences.

Listen within and be open to the position within the flock that is currently most life giving for you.  If you feel inspired to lead, then lead.  If you feel inspired to hang back and ride the current of another’s stream to regain your strength, then do that.  Remain open to the change of positioning that will inevitably occur. The energy of the flock is perfectly aligned for everyone’s joy-filled benefit.

You are carried on the current of Love’s harmony and perfect timing.  Let go and enjoy the flight of the flock and your valued place within it.

Today’s ‘leaping’ exercise: Experience the video below, then listen within for the answers to these initial journaling questions: What terrains in my life am I currently flying over? Which areas of my life do I feel energized to take the lead? Is there a terrain I am flying over where I feel it is appropriate to allow others to take the lead?  Am I willing to switch positions within my flock?  Am I aware that I am even flying within a flock?  Am I open to allowing Love’s current to guide the flock and my positions within it?  Watch the video again, this time mindfully breathing and believing (even if you have to pretend) that you are perfectly guided within your flock of beautiful travelers.

Special thanks to those sharing Love & Light with the world! ‘Thank you’ for opening yourself to the joy of our shared flight- Joan Kappes

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Photo via Thomas Ramsay