Befriending Life: Bronwen Mayer Henry

Share a moment of contemplation with Bronwen


“Befriending Life No. 2” 24” x 24” (c) Bronwen Mayer Henry

Spend a moment of your time to discover how Bronwen Mayer Henry, this weeks Rise Resource featured facilitator, has learned to overcome difficult moments in life in the simplest of ways. Read on to see how dirty socks can change your outlook.

Befriending Life

This painting, “Befriending Life” was such a total joy to paint. While painting this piece, an integration of learning over years came together, speaking to me about what to do when difficult moments arise in life. I call this the “Dirty Sock Meditation” It helps me step out of suffering and back into belonging. It helps me to befriend life. 

The dirty sock lesson: Make friends with dirty socks. I don’t know about you but there are dirty socks everywhere in my house. Right now there’s one under the dishwasher, there are two under the dining room table, I saw one on the steps to the backyard, there are a few in the hallway at the top of the stairs. I’m not sure why but there are dirty socks everywhere .

Even when I give speeches like "The merits of turning a dirty sock right side in," or "The ease of putting a small sock in a laundry basket," or "Hey, please pick up your socks," even when I do this motivational pep talks dirty socks keep appearing everywhere.

 I decided that I was powerless over the dirty sock.

 My only choice left was to befriend the dirty socks.

I decided that I would make friends with these dirty socks and every time I saw one I say to them, "Hello friend, thank you for not leaving me alone in the world."

Obviously life is a lot more challenging than dirty socks. There are other challenges of aging, illness, and loss. There are aches of the spirit and body that will not ever be relieved. So, what do we do? We reach out to community for support AND perhaps we also accept these aches as reminders that we are not alone in the world.

"Awakeness is found in our pleasure and our pain, our confusion and our wisdom. Available in each moment of our weird, unfathomable, ordinary, everyday lives." Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart

Discover more on Bronwen's blog.