Hurricane Relief

I found this video from CBS News about Puerto Rico facebook this morning, along with a plea from a friend asking how to help. Many of us feel powerless in these natural disasters. We feel too far removed and lacking in resources to help on a large scale. But there are ways to help.

There are many places to donate, which becomes confusing and reputable charities seem harder and harder to find. Here is an article from Public Radio International about how to help Puerto Rico and here is a great website that helps you navigate charities and donations.  Here is the UUA Disaster Relief Fund should you want it.

Some of us also want to pray, so here is a beautiful prayer written by UUA staff member Anna Bethea and translated by Rev. Jorge Espinel of the Church of the Larger Fellowship.

English:

A Prayer for Hurricane Recovery

The quickness of nature to tear up roads, strip trees, and collapse buildings
Doesn’t compare to the long process of survival and recovery.
Splayed electric lines, floodwaters, and landslides mark devastation,
Yet will never match the lives, dreams, and memories of precious things swept away.

Amidst the dirt and muck, families get up another day to search for clean water and food
While struggling to stay cool and communicate with loved ones,
There is time for tears and emotional release.
While watching, waiting, adjusting, surviving,
There is time for embrace, reunions, prayers.

A return to normal is hard to even imagine – months and years away.
Trauma is a time for us to center the sacred:
The core of who we are, shielded from any storm or disaster.
As we seek resources for immediate needs,
May we also tend to our own and our communities’ needs to restore hope, love, and the seeds of new life.

Español:

Oración por la Recuperación del Huracán

La velocidad con la que la naturaleza destruye carreteras, derriba árboles y tumba edificios, no se compara con el largo proceso de supervivencia y recuperación.
Líneas eléctricas derribadas, inundaciones y derrumbes son señales de la devastación pero no se comparan con las vidas, los sueños y los recuerdos de cosas valiosas que han sido arrasadas.

En medio de la basura y el fango las familias se levantan día a día a buscar agua limpia y comida, mientras se esfuerzan por permanecer en calma y comunicarse con sus seres queridos.
Hay tiempo para llorar y soltar las emociones mientras observan, esperan, se ajustan y sobreviven. Hay tiempo para abrazos, reuniones y oraciones.

Es difícil imaginarse lo que es volver a la normalidad, que puede tardar meses y años.

Los momentos de trauma son momentos para enfocarnos en lo sagrado, en la esencia de quienes somos, protegida de cualquier tormenta o desastre. Mientras buscamos recursos para solucionar las necesidades inmediatas, busquemos también maneras de ayudar a los nuestros y a nuestras comunidades a restaurar la esperanza, el amor y las semillas de una nueva vida.

May these words provide you peace, but also motivate you. May these times that we are living in not cause you distress, but allow you to rise to the occasion and be the person you want to be.

Namaste,

Cricket

Where does our answer come from?

Thoughts about Stress

I have been struggling with stress a lot lately. The truth of this picture is both unsettling and motivating. It is important for more than just our bodies to work on stress.

image

So, then the question becomes, “how do we do this?” Or “what can I do to lower my stress levels?” The answer is “There are many ways.”

One way to do this is to meditate. Take time to breathe. Color a picture. Build something with stones, like this:

image

Or say a prayer or chant like this one:

image

Take a few moments to talk to a friend. Hold and pet an animal. Go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. Drink a cup of tea. Sing a song.

There are many ways to relax and reduce stress. The most important thing to do is to learn that you are important enough to take the time for yourself and remember:

image

~Namaste
Cricket

Praying for Refuge

uu

As we hear news of tragedies facing refugees, asylees, and immigrants around the world, we offer this prayer and hold all those suffering in our hearts. “May your grief and loss be assuaged. May the hard road you travel include spaces of rest and security. May you know your inherent worth and dignity every day of the journey.” Read the full prayer on WorshipWeb

with a heavy yet hopeful heart,

Cricket