February 2022

Spirit Garden Reflections

Cultivating Compassion

There is no small act of kindness. 
Every compassionate act makes large the world.

-Mary Anne Radmacher

Welcome to the Reflection for February!

This month, the Hallmark channel has been using the term, Lovuary, when advertising their movies.  For some reason, renaming the month of February, Lovuary, makes me want to smile.  It is a catchy phrase and somehow it lifted my spirits every time I heard it. 


In part, just hearing this term made my heart soften, like a gentle reminder of the inherent power of loving one another and the transformative power of showing kindness to friends and neighbours.


In a time when our world is experiencing so much turmoil and unrest, we need these gentle reminders that guide us back to the power of the human heart and our innate capacity for love, kindness and compassion.

So the focus of the Reflection this month is compassion, which literally means ‘to suffer together.’  Compassion is known among emotion researchers as the feeling that arises when we are confronted with another’s suffering and feel moved to help alleviate it in some way.

Through this reflection on compassion, we will explore some of the things that helps us more readily access our compassion as well as what circumstances can close us off from accessing our compassion.

My hope is that in listening to this Reflection, we might all give ourselves more permission to slow down, rest, relax, and practice self-care, as all of these actions support us in our capacity to act in loving and compassionate ways toward one another.

With loving blessings,

Compassion is the wish to see others free from suffering.

-Dalai Lama

Cultivating Compassion

The audio file below offers a reflection on cultivating compassion.  The reflection is followed by a handout with some questions that are intended to help you journal your own thoughts and experiences around this theme.  Please print these out before you listen to the audio file.

You are invited to create a comfortable space for yourself, perhaps light a candle and wrap a shawl around you as you take about 20 minutes to listen to the reflection and then answer the questions.  May this be a nourishing and replenishing time of some soul tending.

Reflection Questions

Please click on the button below to download the reflection questions that go along with this month’s reflection.

Resource for Cultivating Compassion

The HeartMath Institute is an initiative that offers resources and support for living from the intelligence of the heart.  Through scientific research, they offer tools and practices that support heart-centered living and compassion. 

During these challenging times we are living in, they offer a free eBook that provides practices that engage the heart and reduce stress and anxiety.   The link below will take you to this resource:


Spirit Garden Moments

Spirit Garden Moments offer a short pause in your day and an opportunity for reflection.  Below is a Spirit Garden Moment about how offering the gift of presence can be an act of kindness.

The Gift of Presence


The little things.
The little moments.
They aren’t so little.

-Jon Kabbit-Zin

rose quartz heart

Contemplative spirituality is rich with the gift of silence.  Whether it is sitting in prayerful silence by one’s self or sitting in silence when companioning another, the silence becomes a gateway into being present in the moment, present with the Sacred, and present with one another.

When I did my training as a spiritual companion, the greatest skill we learned was how to drop into this quality of presence.  It had a way of expanding the space within and around us. To be sitting in presence with others felt like such a gift.  This experience made me aware how rare it is to have the full attention of another person.  After our first week together, many people in the group shared how the experience made them feel seen, peaceful, worthy, validated, treasured.

As the author Greg McKeown says, “When we are fully present with people, it has an impact.  Not just in that moment either.  The experience of feeling like the most important person in the world even for the briefest of moments can stay with us for a disproportionate time after the moment has passed.

I don’t think we can ever underestimate the value of being fully present to someone. 

Practicing presence can be done in small ways, such as taking a moment to pause and give the clerk at the checkout counter our full attention when saying, ‘thank you’ as we gather our purchase.  These little ways of letting others know that we see and appreciate them can be a great act of kindness, especially in these trying days.

In his book, Effortless, Greg McKeown says, “The greatest gift we can offer to others is not our skill, our money or our effort.  It is simply us.” 

Around the world today, as we celebrate Random Acts of Kindness, may we be mindful of the gift that being present with one another can truly be.

Blessing one another,

In Closing

As we navigate the challenges of our world at this time, may we each practice the things we know will bring us fully into the energy of our hearts.  In this way, may we continually renew our capacity to shine the light of love and compassion into our world.


Kathy by the Ocean

Connect & Share

Please share any comments about this Reflection in the comments below. Make sure to check out what others are posting and encourage each other!