Respite: A short interval of rest or relief

Man Adrift.

“We may have all come on different ships,
but we’re in the same boat now.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Since we all are in the same boat, and everything we do potentially affects all other passengers on board, shouldn’t our main task be to try and keep the boat as stable and water tight as possible? “Don’t rock the boat!” as they say. Rather, try to make sure that all passengers are happy, healthy and well cared for, as we ourselves wish to be.

In the words of a well-known meditation recommended by neuroscientists to help brains stay healthy, we are to repeat over and over, “May I be happy; May I be well; May I be filled with kindness and peace.” Repeat this phrasing at least four times for oneself and then move on to picturing another, while saying, “May you be happy; May you be well; may you be filled with kindness and peace.” After repeating at least four times, eventually it is hoped this will lead to the realization that we are all in the same boat, as we repeat, “May everyone be happy; May everyone be well; May everyone be filled with kindness and peace.” This simple meditation, known as a “Loving Kindness Meditation” can help keep our boat afloat no matter which ocean we find ourselves.

– Connie Popp

Dr. Connie PoppDr. Connie Popp is a board member for The Center for Life Transitions as well as an active facilitator for the Center’s Life-SHIFT and Job Search Courage programs. She is also the Director of Campus Ministry at Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Read more.