Bold Compassion in The Jungle of Life

by Lance Ekum on · 38 comments

I’ve stepped away from the computer, and from all my normal daily activities, basking in some fun vacation time with my family.  In my absence, today we have a very giving and wonderful guest with us.  Please help me welcome Tess from The Bold Life.  Tess embodies the word bold – in so many positive and uplifting ways.  And she lives what she writes.  Her words will make you think, and leave you to question and challenge yourself.  A couple of her recent posts include:

Bold Changes for Bold People

10 Rules for a Bold & Daring Life

Tess is a published author, having written the book “Flying by the Seat of My Soul”.  A free download of this book is available here, or you can also purchase a soft-cover version.

Keep up with Tess by following her inspiring blog – The Bold Life, subscribing to her RSS feed, or following her on Twitter.

With that, I give you, Tess, as today we look at:

Bold Compassion in The Jungle of Life

photo credit: Ed Yourdon

“We are here to listen to our inspired hearts, spread our full peacock feathers, and awaken the invincible love inside us.”  Tama Kieves

In addition to previous problems our economic crisis causes many to feel insecure, vulnerable and overwhelmed with debt and depression.

Know that if your kids are in trouble, your health is poor or you have an addiction there is hope. If you’re unemployed, have lost your home, are getting a divorce, or your business is failing realize you are enough.  External events don’t determine our worth as a human being. Our problems, jobs, cars, homes or bank accounts do not define us.

No matter what is happening in your life today, big or small, know that you are OK. What ever the issue is, this too shall pass. It always has and always will.

I believe if you are suffering it’s your responsibility to ask for and receive help. If you’re thriving it’s your responsibility to reach out and offer it. I also believe what we need today is compassion for ourselves and compassion for others.

The following is an example of an event that recently occurred and how I handled it.

While visiting a friend in Michigan, I found myself in conflict, frustrated, hurt and at a loss on what to do.  My next trip was visiting my mom and dad at Heartwood Lodge (a convalescent home) three hours away. Upset I cried most of the way, driving on autopilot.

Upon arriving I noticed their name plate was missing on the wall and was confused. I asked the front desk nurse if they had been moved to another room. She replied, “Oh honey, they moved to another place a year ago.”

The crazy thing is I helped them move a year ago! I was so depleted from negative emotions I actually drove myself to the wrong place. I’ve come far enough in life to know condemning my behavior is useless. I had brought Girl Scout cookies for my parents and upon leaving I handed them to the nurse and said, “Thank you. And have a nice day.”

Driving to the new place I laughed at myself and decided to get it together while driving.

When we err or when we are down on our luck there is no need to feel inadequate or stupid. Shame and blame are wasted energy.  Negative self-talk brings us down. Positive emotions lift us up. I gifted myself with forgiveness, laughter and humor. After arriving at the correct place I had a great visit and joined them playing bingo and eating pizza.

Releasing negative emotions made my visit memorable. I left them light-hearted and joy- filled. I left fluffing my feathers!

Life is difficult. Sooner or later everyone faces difficulties and tragedy. When we have compassion for ourselves and others we are all able to feel inspired again. Compassion transforms us.

The following steps are tools for releasing negativity and practicing compassion:

  • When you find yourself filled with negative self-talk let it go, silently tell yourself to “Stop!”
  • Find a quiet place to sit still and calm yourself. Close your eyes and take several deep breathes. Tell yourself, “Breathe in peace, breathe out anger.” “Breathe in calm and breathe out fear.”
  • Forgive yourself. Instead of dwelling on the negative give yourself positive feedback, acknowledge your value and appreciate the good you do.
  • Learn to express your feelings and emotions within a safe environment.
  • Learn patience, step back from a situation and don’t over react.
  • Think well of yourself. Flood yourself with affirmations. Honor yourself.

With compassion you have the power to improve the quality of your life. There will always be new music to enjoy and new places to discover. Our future holds new experiences, employment, friend’s sunsets, laughter and love.

With compassion we can once again listen to our inspired hearts, spread our full peacock feathers, and awaken the love inside!

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
Lance Ekum
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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Yum Yucky April 13, 2009 at 10:43 am

Tess, you must have a wonderful spirit. I’ve read many great and encouraging words from various people, but your heart really shines through in this post with sincerity and compassion. Very powerful. Thank you.

Yum Yucky´s last blog post..Liposuction is for Lazy People


Liz Rosenbaum April 13, 2009 at 10:46 am

What an amazing post on HOPE! Thanks… this is something we ALL need to hear!

Liz Rosenbaum´s last blog post..Strength Training Party


Mark April 13, 2009 at 10:53 am

This is a great story and great post! Yes, we must forgive ourselves and allow ourselves to stumble along the way.

Mark´s last blog post..Be Open to Wisdom It Comes In Many Ways


Tess The Bold Life April 13, 2009 at 10:55 am

Yum Yucky,
Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. My intention is to help people find their way with a sense of boldness, fun and happiness. If I can give others and myself compassion I’ve given a great gift.


I appreciate your comment. Yes everyone needs hope even me!

Tess The Bold Life´s last blog post..Magical Mondays Make Them 1/7 Of Your Life


Tabitha April 13, 2009 at 11:31 am

Tess, you sound absolutely marvelous!! This was very uplifting!
Lance, thank you for sharing Tess with us!

Tabitha´s last blog post..I Am SO Having A Giveaway!!


Natalia Burleson April 13, 2009 at 12:35 pm

What a great post Tess! Thank you so much!

Natalia Burleson´s last blog post..Codependent much?


Julie April 13, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Hi, Tess. I love your choice of words: “I gifted myself…” “breathe in/breathe out” and especially the wonderfully visual “…fluffing my feathers!” Thanks for that one! 🙂

Julie´s last blog post..What I Learned During My Recent Hibernation


Rupal April 13, 2009 at 2:34 pm

This is an amazing POST!! I enjoyed reading it, and will walk away having heard/read things that everyone can benefit from!!


Rupal´s last blog post..Q & A: Eccentric Loading.


Tess The Bold Life April 13, 2009 at 2:34 pm

I beieve I should thank Lance with sharing you with me!Marvelous? Me?
I like that:)

Your Welcome and thanks for stopping by!

Now this a compliment coming from a writer like you. Thanks for adding joy to my life.

Tess The Bold Life´s last blog post..Magical Mondays Make Them 1/7 Of Your Life


Vered - MomGrind April 13, 2009 at 2:41 pm

“External events don’t determine our worth as a human being.”

This is very true, but somehow in Western cultures we are brought up to place a great deal of importance on external achievements. I enjoy reading your thoughts because I sense a true calm – you really do mean what you say and live by it.

Vered – MomGrind´s last blog post..Skiing In Lake Tahoe, California


Nadia - Happy Lotus April 13, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Hi Tess,

Beautiful post. Compassion is so vital and the more we give of it, the better the world will be. I also have noticed that by being more compassionate, more compassion somehow always comes my way. 🙂

Nadia – Happy Lotus´s last blog post..Be Undeniably Good


Miguel de Luis April 13, 2009 at 3:07 pm

I just loved the way you dealt with the situation. Quite often the first person with whom you have to have patience is yourself. If you master that, then you can be patient with anybody. I wonder if that’s the secret of the Dalai Lama.


Positively Present April 13, 2009 at 3:09 pm

I love the idea of releasing negativity. Thanks for posting the tools on here. Very helpful!

Positively Present´s last blog post..change your attitude, change the world


Laurie April 13, 2009 at 3:53 pm

I think we are harder on ourselves more so than on others. It is really important to give ourselves a little grace and move on. Learn from our mistakes, yes, but beating ourselves up doesn’t put us in a better place from which to move forward. Good post.


Sami - Life, Laughs & Lemmings April 13, 2009 at 4:41 pm

A great post – very uplifting. I particularly liked;

“I believe if you are suffering it’s your responsibility to ask for and receive help. If you’re thriving it’s your responsibility to reach out and offer it.”

If you are going through a tough time, I think that the point where you start to feel compassion is the point when you know you are really healing.

Sami – Life, Laughs & Lemmings´s last blog post..Funny Monday


Tess The Bold Life April 13, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Thanks for your genuine compliment. I love your blog because I’m always ready to jump on the band wagon and you bring to our attention what we’d rather ignore.

And that is the best thing about our world. When ever we want something we only need to give it to receive it.

Miguel de Luis
I’m honored to be mentioned in the same paragraph as the Dalai Lama!
I saw him at Grant Park in Chicago years ago. There were so many people of course he looked like an ant. People were pushing and shoving each other to get a better place. Crazy eh?

My friends and I just sat back and relaxed grateful to be in his presence.

Positively Present
I’m happy to share my tools, knowledge and wisdom with you.

Give ourselves a little grace? I’ve never looked at it like that before. I like that!

Great insight. I’ve learned from all these comments today!

Tess The Bold Life´s last blog post..Magical Mondays Make Them 1/7 Of Your Life


Sagan April 13, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Love it. Compassion can change everything. It is so powerful!

Sagan´s last blog post..Book Review: Healing through Exercise by Jorg Blech


Patricia April 13, 2009 at 8:51 pm

compassion is such a strong statement and an action word…for an action hero….it can be so compassionate to laugh at ourselves and shake it off and just drive to the right address….thank you for your spirit and great writing!

Patricia´s last blog post..Kindle 2 and 5 Things I Love About It!


Karl Staib - Work Happy Now April 13, 2009 at 9:12 pm

I’m just beginning to understand the value of self compassion. I always thought that I needed to be a big bully. Once I let go of trying to strong arm myself and learned to listen to what I really needed that’s when I felt happy. I’m still working on this, but every day I get a little better.

Great post!

Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s last blog post..Best Places to Work – Austin Title Company


Daphne April 13, 2009 at 9:22 pm


How nice to see you here! Your posts are always touching because you share your actual experiences from your heart, and have such a strong desire to use those experiences to help others. I am grateful to know you.


You got things wonderfully organised in your absence. Happy holidays!

Daphne´s last blog post..Attaining Spiritual Peace


Liara Covert April 13, 2009 at 9:27 pm

Reconnecting with the Source of self-love and inner peace transforms one’s perspective. This is an uplifting post from an inspirational writer.

Liara Covert´s last blog post..What if you made a radical shift?


Davina April 14, 2009 at 1:09 am

Hi Tess. Honour yourself… and breathe. Two very important pieces of advice! Tears are a blessing and a good emotional release.

My grandmother went through a period in her life when she couldn’t even cry, and she would tell me that I was lucky that I could. I didn’t understand this at the time, but I get it now. It’s not always about sadness. It just IS. I have a box of kleenex in every room of my apartment 🙂 What can I say, I’m a very expressive individual. Cheers Tess, and great job on keeping us stepping through the Jungle of Life.

Davina´s last blog post..The Morning Muse — Photo Story


Barbara Swafford April 14, 2009 at 1:12 am

Hi Tess – I just left your beautiful photo post over and Traveling Local and came here, and here your are. Looks like you’re having fun making the cyber rounds.

I love your advice, “When you find yourself filled with negative self-talk let it go, silently tell yourself to “Stop!”.” Although at times it’s not the easiest thing to do, stopping those negative thoughts is key. Life is so much better when we let ourselves see the bright side. 🙂

Fabulous guest post, Tess.

Barbara Swafford´s last blog post..Gain Readers By Selling Yourself


Evelyn Lim April 14, 2009 at 7:45 am

Great post! We can be our own worst critic. It’s wonderful to be able to practice compassion towards self! Compassion is also known as metta in Buddhist teachings. It is loving kindness.

Evelyn Lim´s last blog post..The Masquerade Play Of Life


Tess The Bold Life April 14, 2009 at 8:02 am

Yes compassion change or heal anything! I think it was 11 years of Catholic schooling that put that in me at cellular level.

Yes compassion like love is a verb.

The more you keep your heart open the easier it will become and soon it just will come naturally. You already have it you are just awakening yours!

Yes I do want to help others with through my stories. Who can’t relate to messing up? 😉 Thank you for your support and encouragement.

You’re right I transformed my perspective with self-love. You have the words to put on my experiences. Brilliant!

After I committed to Lance, Lisa emailed me and asked if I could do something local. Still new to Phoenix a joy is discovering all the new here. I had all those photos and more in my camera. The grandchildren just topped it off.
It must be thrilling to see your students all over cyberspace. That’s says something about the teacher!

I stored up my crying for years or should I say stopped up! It’s easy for me now. However I’m not as advanced as you with tissues in each room!

I love to drown myself in loving kindness.

Tess The Bold Life´s last blog post..Magical Mondays Make Them 1/7 Of Your Life


Evita April 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm

Lance I am sure you are having an amazing vacation and thanks for having Tess here as a guest author!

Tess, this is very beautifully written and such a gold piece of advice! I think to learn through and from others is one of the best ways to learn as we have access to so many situations at once and so many outcomes based on what people choose, that if we are conscious, we can take away very valuable pieces for our own live.

Compassion for self is perhaps the greatest compassion of all – just as with love, if we cannot show that for ourselves, how can we show it to others?

Evita´s last blog post..I CAN DO IT! Toronto 2009 Conference – Day 1


Henie April 14, 2009 at 5:37 pm


This is empowering and self-healing! Thank you for your words of wisdom and calm. :~)

Henie´s last blog post..Sunrise of the Sunset


Jeanne April 15, 2009 at 7:01 am

I thank you for your posts.
They are all so powerful.

Jeanne´s last blog post..My love and Prayers for Tom and Judith in Georgia


Hilary April 15, 2009 at 12:10 pm

Hi Tess and Lance .. that was an amazing post – so it’s really good to see you here.

I loved your two phrases “Breathe in peace, breathe out anger.” “Breathe in calm and breathe out fear.” Just so valuable to me at the moment.

Your three or four paras on compassion and how we can help ourselves and others .. most of us haven’t considered who we are as “us” (ourselves) .. the madness of consumerism has consumed – I suspect there will be a lot of people struggling because they cannot think properly ..

Thank you for a great post – I’m coming over to The Bold Life .. and look forard to the Phoenix pics ..

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters

Hilary´s last blog post..Innocent Pleasures …


Chris Edgar | Purpose Power Coaching April 15, 2009 at 12:15 pm

I was glad to see someone quoting Tama’s book. She’s been a big inspiration to me, because I used to be a full-time lawyer like her as well, and reading her book was one of the catalysts for striking out on my own. Thanks for this post.


Maria@Conversations with Moms April 15, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Welcome Tess. You did an amazing job with this post.

Maria@Conversations with Moms´s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday – Hello to Solids


Mindful Mimi April 16, 2009 at 3:28 am

Go peacock Tess! 🙂 I have lately been watching myself a lot and try to remind myself that I and I alone am deciding how to feel in a certain situation. So I try to feel good and positive, even when the shit hits the fan. Because I know I will learn from it, that this hurdle was put there for a reason. I try to figure out the best way to get trough.
Thanks for sharing Tess.

Mindful Mimi´s last blog post..Are you creative? Participate in my CREATIVITY CONTEST and win a free e-book.


Jewel/Pink Ink April 16, 2009 at 8:59 am

Love this Tess. Thanks!!

Jewel/Pink Ink´s last blog post..A Series of Dares


Omar April 16, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Great article. I’m going through some things now. Thanks for the uplifting article.

Omar´s last blog post..A New State Of Mind


J.D. Meier April 17, 2009 at 1:52 pm

I haven’t heard “compassion transforms us” and connected it to inspiration before, but it makes sense.

J.D. Meier´s last blog post..Living Your Process


Lance April 23, 2009 at 4:38 am

@Tess – Thanks so much for sharing this with us all here, and especially for sharing a personal example of this in action. You are truly an example of “bold compassion” in action! And this is all an important reminder for everyone of us – that “this too shall pass”. Thank you, Tess, for boldly sharing here!

@Everyone – Your comments all remind me and help me to look at compassion and what that really means to me. And it’s powerful to think about what true compassion can offer – and how it can help us to move on. To all of you, thank you for sharing here on this important topic.

@Evita – Hi Evita. This whole thought of compassion and love for ourselves, it is something so worth working on. And I know I can improve greatly in this area – it’s especially why this post has so much meaning for me. Thanks much for everything you continue to offer here Evita, I appreciate you very much.

@Henie – That’s just the thought I had also, Henie – the calming effect of this idea of compassion. And that in itself is quite a comforting feeling. Thanks so much for your continued support!

@Jeanne – Thanks so much Jeanne!

@Hilary – Hi Hilary. The idea of breathing, and what we can take and let out – it’s really part of what was so calming for me on this post. In fact, just doing it and thinking the words Tess shares takes me to a more relaxed state. Thanks much for stopping by!

@Chris Edgar – Hi Chris. Before Tess shared this, I wasn’t familiar with Tama. And I love this quote by her – it is so empowering for me. Thanks for being here!

@Maria – Hi Maria. And thanks for your words of encouragement – Tess really did an amazing job with this!

@Mindful Mimi – Hi Mimi! It’s great, as always, to have you here! Life isn’t always rosy, and that’s what is so powerful in Tess’ writing here – that even when things don’t go as planned – life goes on. And that is very reassuring.

@Jewel – Thanks much Jewel, it’s always great to have you here!

@Omar – Hi Omar. Glad to hear that Tess’ article was uplifting for you – she’s a real gem, and it’s been an honor to have her here!

@J.D. Meier – Hi J.D. Tess has really shared some great thoughts, and ones that make us think – it’s all good! Thanks for weighing in on this!


Jennifer April 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Tess, thank you for sharing this with us. I love your real and encouraging spirit always. This was a great reminder for me. I’m good at making myself stop, but I am also good at beating myself up. This was a great reminder that I need to be patient with myself and have compassion on myself. I just have to remember to step back and remind myself that I’m human and that’s ok and then choose to move forward forgiving myself. Thank you Tess for your bold advice.

Jennifer´s last blog post..Thankful I am Alive


Lance May 2, 2009 at 7:18 pm

Hi Jennifer. Patience and compassion – not easy! And that can be whether we’re dealing with someone else, or with ourselves. Taking time to stop and step away can be just the change that’s needed to let a little more patience and compassion in.


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