This week means back-to-school for many families.
I feel like I watch part of my heart walk into the building as I watch my kids begin their first day of school each year.
I know some of you are sending little ones to kindergarten for the first time. Some of you are in the middle school years, like me. Some are watching your babies drive to high school. Some are setting up dorm rooms and then crying as you drive away.
For all of us, we feel helpless as we surrender control and allow them to find their way in this big world.
The Sending Love practice is useful for many circumstances where we feel separated from those we love. I find it very helpful this time of year as a mother. I know you will too as a father, grandparent, sibling, friend, mother, and all of the roles you play in the lives of those you love.
When separated from someone you love, this practice can ease the feelings of helplessness and separation.
Bring to mind the image of your loved one. Send them this sentiment: (feel free to change the words to express your desires for them)
May you feel safe.
May you feel peace.
May you feel loved.
Then say the same sentiments you wished for them to yourself:
May I feel safe.
May I feel peace.
May I feel loved.
Repeat this as often as necessary to feel a sense of peace.
This practice is inspired by the ancient Zen Buddhist Meta Meditation also known as Loving Kindness Meditation. You can see the full version of the practice here.
I find this Sending Love practice is a quick tool to help me feel connected when I am separated from my family. I also do this practice silently when I see someone I don't know who looks sad but it seems awkward to say something to them. When you don't know what to say, sending them love is a good place to start.
I wish you a great school year full of love, compassion, and kindness. Your kids will do great and so will you!
Sending you love,