Skip to main content

The Gospel Of Mr. Rogers

Tikkun Olam, repairers of creation. I first heard this Jewish imperative watching
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor” the documentary on Fred Rogers, his beloved television
show and his life.
|The film brilliantly chronicled the evolution of television, technology
and its effect on children. It also took great care to speak of the social,
economical and political times and how it affected well, us; his neighbors.  

Tikkun Olam was the message Mr. Rogers, the Presbyterian Minister turned
TV star came out of retirement for to help us repair ‘the brokenness’ of September 11th.
“When I was a boy,” Rogers recalled, “and I would see scary things in the news,
my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

I could site at least a dozen more profound statements and or moments in
this piece of creative nostalgia but I’d much rather talk about how it, as a gospel
has transmuted into action in my life as ‘a helper.’

On the drive home, I thought deeply about life, one’s legacy and the current state of affairs in
the collective consciousness and in reality. It seems that with each passing month since mid 2015,
I’ve experienced clients with more anxiety about the future and hopelessness or depression.
I noticed friends and family, drawing hard lines in the sand with other friends and family
because of opposing religious or political views, the usual heated holiday functions
dialed up a few notches. Social media feeds mirrored a direct reflection of the outside
forces at work inciting online riots friends fight over each others opinions (posts) or they are
turned into somewhat of a virtual social graveyard because of people dropping out of conversations
or off the grid all together in an effort to soften the blow of our the current state
of social and political polarization.

“Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
Mr. Rogers sentiment echoes when I find myself going down a rabbit hole
of despair after tuning into NPR the following day. I’ve always been taught, since I first leaned
into my spiritual journey that being of service, to be a helper was a path to souls transformation.
So I got to thinking about my current sphere of influence and Oneness.
Beyond teaching yoga, beyond seeing clients, how else could I possibly help?
Where could I be of service more and set an example?
How best can I lean into repairing the brokenness?

Here's what I came up with.
Smiling (at strangers).  In my quaint little tourist town, I know most everyone.
But I take the time to greet everyone I meet with a smile.
It doesn’t cost me anything it takes seconds of time to make that connection.  

Acknowledge the name tag.  In the presence of  a customer service representative perhaps at the checkout line at
Giant, I will most certainly make a point of saying the name aloud and asking the person
how their day is.  Try it.

More time with friends family sans technology.
This speaks for itself. Don’t forget to insert eye contact and real time responses.

Printing (sharing) real photos
.  Having access to actual pictures to touch
& to tell the story of my daughter, of our journey! Whoa.
Giving them as gifts to family seems slightly
retro but the results are amazing. (FreePrints is an amazing app!)

More music less news. Total vulnerability right now; I had FOMO for a hot minute.
But my chest pains and emotional eating have subsided as my rump shaking and giggle fest
with my daughter has increased.  If you have a tendency to listen to the news more
than 20 minutes a day, consider adding more music and comedy as a remedy.

More time on the mat.
 Deepening my physical practice keeps me safe and sane therefore everyone
around me benefits.

Using technology
(as a sphere of influence)
- not letting it use me.
This is going to be a minute. Ready?
Before, during & after the 2016 election, I edited my friend list on Facebook
& Instagram hard. Discussing this with a friend, he offered the advice to suspend that
course of action, to not delete or ghost out on anyone ever again because not only do you
not know what those people are going through but you also don’t know when you are going
to run into them again because it’s a small, small, world.  Truth bombs. Mic drop.

When I am faced the pangs of deleting my Uncle who posts borderline racist comments,
I recall, then employ an Arabic proverb to help me reign my mouth
and more importantly my thumbs;
Is it kind?
Is it necessary?
Is it true?

 If the answer was no to any of those questions it won’t leave my lips or my fingertips.
This is a work in progress. But my output on social media is a lot less political and more fun.
I ask questions on a daily basis that provoke great conversation and giggles.
To further clean up my sphere of influence and/or how it influences me,
I report ads that I don’t like. I report any activity that is
threatening harm or violence to anyone,
and I report memes or news stories with no facts to back them up by checking
snopes, the DW, or asking my friends who still work at CBS.
On Facebook in particular, hiding people not aren’t in alignment with your
current vibe is less of a hard line in the sand then deleting and blocking them.
Snoozing them is also another safe option that allows you to keep the doors of
possibility and love open for when you do cross paths again.
Not choosing to engage in meaningless arguments equals winning.
This past week, I’ve taken it a step further to reach out to people
not by liking a status, but by sending a little message of gratitude for how
they’ve affected me in my life or just to check in and see how they are doing.
Microaggressions contained. The path for peace, open, flowing.
Sphere of influence in my ‘neighborhood’, helping.

Seeing through the eyes of my child. Here is a shift in my perspective that is indelible and a true gift from Mr. Rogers.
When I get caught up in how adults are behaving,
I sink into my breath and bring down my sight down to the level of my ten year old.

What excites her? What does she hope for? How best can we both create together?
To make the shift, I borrow a posture from yoga and get in childs pose or find myself
on the floor asking her to color an engaging in a conversation that removes
the both of us from any outside forces and brings us back to a place of hope and love.

Finally, deepening my spiritual practice. Connection, prayer keeps
Oneness at the forefront so that being a helper to my neighbors stays a priority now more than ever.

While the world may be falling apart, I realize now more than ever that
we have every opportunity with every choice we make during our daily routines to be helpers,
to repair the brokenness where we are called and where we can.

So some things to ponder until
we are together again:

How are you applying your spiritual path to your day to day
sphere of influence, in your neighborhood?  

Where can you drop your need to be right to let more
peace into your life?

Have you looked at the world through your child’s eyes today?
How are you creating your legacy?


Popular posts from this blog

4 Reasons Why Badmouthing Others is BAD For YOU.

I was talking today with a friend about the importance of words.  How you use them, positively, negatively any which way.  Words are like weapons.  Once you put them out there, they are pretty much impossible to take back.  Sure you can say you are sorry but it doesn't wipe the blood and guts off the floor from the initial bullet wound.  Forgiveness is key, but let's be mindful of our words from the get.  Dig?

Here's a repurposed blog to go along with those thoughts.

Everyone gets hurt. No one is perfect. People mess up. Mistakes are made. But the cross you bare when you badmouth someone else's questionable deeds or good fortunes, their life advances or personal tragedies is a very heavy one.

When you engage in loose lip service per say "warning" peers or anyone within earshot about someone or someone's "drama" or perhaps you seem to regurgitate the pain someone has caused you over and over to friends, strangers, clients, family members....wel…

Social, Spiritual, Political views.

"There is no separation between what you DO, what you SAY & WHO you are. What you believe and WHAT you stake in the wellness of your SOUL on are true reflections of your spiritual values. If you're the one oppressed or suffering, it's easy to feel the link between the spiritual and the political.  Injustice is a reflection of disrespect, and often fear or hate. When we look upon the suffering of others, especially those who are different than us, it's tempting to think the same rules don't apply.  This is never true. No one deserves to have their human rights stripped, to be unsafe, to be systematically kept down, or to be bombed.  It's time to I've a f$ck. As we approach the transit of Uranus in Taurus, it's time to challenge yourself as an individual to value human liberty over what is convenient or easy.  If your spirituality doesn't include social justice, how do you justify that?  Being spiritual is NOT taking pictures of your tarot reading, …

Eostre, Venus Rising & Ignition.

Celebrating Eostre, Osatara today by lighting a candle or two at dinner a feast
and enjoying some Kundalini Yoga to balance Spring's New Year. 
Setting intentions for creativity as we days roll forward, powerfully with fertile mind and heart.

My hope for you, my friend is that you take some time to say a prayer to your ancestors,
the elements and Source thanking them for seeing you through winter and set in motion some loving thought forms for the next few months.  Our thoughts create everything.
A powerful Kundalini Yoga Challenge recommended for Spring.

Venus Rising, my beloved MOVE-ment is cultivating Kundalini Retreats (this summer!), public meditation at The Dimmick Memorial Library in Jim Thorpe, workshops,
a Sober Curious/Sober friendly Move-ment called Social Gravity that kicks off in April. 
I will be co-hosting this series with Stacey Hein creator of Tribe Yoga to benefit
Guardian Angel Recovery House.
Esoteric Adventure, the online intuitive learning journey starts…