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We rise by lifting others. ---Robert Ingersoll-

7 Simple Ways to Cultivate Comfort

--by Colette Lafia , syndicated from gratefulness.org, Nov 30, -0001

Real comfort can be found in the context of daily living. It is a grace. We just need to open our arms and receive it.

Comfort is a shelter, a warm blanket, a refuge. Fortunately, we do not need to do anything extraordinary to produce comfort, because it is something that already exists within each of us and all around us. Real comfort can be found in the context of daily living. It is a grace. We just need to open our arms and receive it. We just need to open our arms and give it.

Recently, on a warm Sunday afternoon, my husband and I were spending time in our garden, pruning plants, watering flowers, and sweeping up dry leaves. We began talking about my mother and father, who had passed away during the last decade. My husband and I were very close to both of them, and considered them to be important elders in our adult lives. As our hearts filled with memories and love for them, tears ran down our cheeks. They were tears of loss, of love, and of comfort in sharing these memories and feelings together. Sharing comfort with one another deepens the human experience.

How can we offer the gifts of comfort and compassion to ourselves, our family, friends, and communities, as well as to the world around us?

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, from Spirituality and Practice, write “Giving comfort to ourselves and bringing comfort to others is what we call the spiritual practice of nurturing.” How can we offer the gifts of comfort and compassion to ourselves, our family, friends, and communities, as well as to the world around us? In simple and practical ways. We share what we have to give. We offer a kind word, a smile, a hug, a caring heart, an expression of gratitude, and an open ear.

We can share comfort in very immediate ways—when we stop and listen to another person, read a book with a child, take a moment to call an elderly parent, laugh with a friend, take time to pray for someone, or donate time and resources to help those in need. Simple actions. Deep resonance. Wide ripples.

We are all messengers of comfort, called to bring comfort and compassion into the world.

In our need for comfort, we find solidarity with one another. It only takes our mindful attention to connect to the power of comfort in our daily lives, and to allow compassion to be a healing presence in our world. In this way, we touch the depth in our human experience, and we realize we are not alone. We are all messengers of comfort, called to bring comfort and compassion into the world.

 7 Simple and Powerful Ways to Cultivate Comfort Every day

Slow down and be more present.
Today when you ask someone, “How are you?” take the time to be present. Listen to another person without any pressure to give advice or solve a problem. Sometimes all another person needs is the comfort of being listened to. Encourage someone to take a comfort break with you.
Together, take time to enjoy a walk, see an art show, pray or meditate, watch a funny movie, listen to music, or put your feet up and do nothing! Find simple ways to create more comfort in your home.
A comfortable home benefits everyone who lives there and everyone who visits. Put fresh flowers around, cook your favorite meal, clear out a closet, and take time to say thank you to the people you live with. Imagine a thread connecting every human being.
Connecting yourself to the web of life can provide comfort. We are not in each other’s way, but we are the way for each other. We are the sources of comfort for one another. Give something of yours to comfort someone in need.
It could be a book, a picture, a figurine, a rosary, or a soft sweater. Offer this gift as a sign of support and caring. Let your daily routines be a continual source of comfort.
Savor and relish the rituals in your day. Enjoy the pleasure and comfort you receive from your first sip of tea or coffee in morning, from reading an inspirational book, from a regular prayer or contemplative practice, or from giving a hug to a loved one. Send a card, text, or email to comfort someone.
Remember a special occasion, acknowledge an accomplishment, express gratitude, or offer support during a difficult time or transition. Gratefulness.org has a warm and comforting selection of eCards to share. 


This article is printed here with permission. It originally appeared on Gratefulness, the online magazine of the A Network for Grateful Living. This is a global organization offering online and community-based educational programs and practices which inspire and guide a commitment to grateful living, and catalyze the transformative power of personal and societal responsibility. Colette Lafia is a San Francisco-based spiritual director, workshop and retreat facilitator, and adjunct faculty member at Mercy Center, Burlingame. She is also a part-time elementary school librarian. Colette is the author of Seeking Surrender: How a Trappist Monk Taught Me to Trust and Embrace Life, and Comfort & Joy: Simple Ways to Care for Ourselves and Others. She has a passion for helping people connect more deeply with the presence of the sacred in their daily lives and blogs about it 


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