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Healing

“Changing is not just changing the things outside of us. First of all we need the right view that transcends all notions including of being and non-being, creator and creature, mind and spirit. That kind of insight is crucial for transformation and healing.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Last night, I found a new show on PBS called “Sacred Journeys,” a six part series about pilgrimages people take around the world. This particular story was about wounded warriors, our veterans, going to Lourdes, France to be “cured.” Over 5 million people go to Lourdes each year for healing, a sacred place since 1858 when a young fourteen year old girl Bernadette Sourbiroux had 18 visions of the Blessed Virgin, referred to as apparitions.

Many soldiers journeyed to this sacred place without limbs, blind, suffering from Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the deep wounds of war. Through the many interviews, they made the distinction between being cured and healed. At the end of the hour, their hopes of a cure were transformed into the gift of healing, accepting, peace.

We often focus on the cure, the instant fix, the reset, when what we really need in life and in our relationships is to be healed. That is to accept our circumstances, no matter what they may be, with a peace and grace beyond understanding. For when we search for healing instead of the cure, we find the lasting cure is healing and it transforms and transcends the crosses that we all bear.

And when we find healing within, we can begin to fill the void of that often hollow and distant platitude of “peace on earth”. For when we foster peace within our hearts, souls and our homes, we will bring the world one step closer to peace, justice and love. And we need not go to Lourdes to find it.

May this season bring you healing and in turn real peace on earth.

Linger

“Kind words not only lift our spirits in the moment they are given, but they can linger with us over the years.” – Joseph B. Wirthlin

Stay just a little longer and linger, long enough to be present, to engage intently with others, to be kind, to listen, to understand, to be patient, to witness life while in it and feel the depth of being and gratitude.

Amidst the busy work that often defines our days, we will honor time and remember our days with fondness when we scatter lingering throughout. As ice melts drip by drip, linger a bit longer making your mark.

“I am like a drop of water on a rock. After drip, drip, dripping in the same place, I begin to leave a mark, and I leave my mark in many people's hearts.” – Rigoberta Menchu

“I am like a drop of water on a rock. After drip, drip, dripping in the same place, I begin to leave a mark, and I leave my mark in many people’s hearts.” – Rigoberta Menchu

Barriers or Steps?

“Very often a change of self is needed more than a change of scene.” – A. C. Benson

As I rolled over last night at 3:00 am to move my to-do list out of my head and on to paper, I picked up one of the pads of paper next to my bed. I keep paper and pens around the house so I can write down ideas or lists as they come to mind.

On the front page of the pad I had written – “We are not meant to live a barrier free life. We are built to rise and see beyond those barriers, to thrive, to persevere, and do so with joy.” Talk about perfect timing. After the past few weeks, I needed to hear that and it came from me. We need to trust and listen to what we really know to be true, especially amidst chaos.

Barriers are steps that lead to growth and when we have the right perspective we also realize that not everything is a barrier. The richness and fabric of life includes ups, downs, change, chaos, quiet, laughter and so much more. The moment we are in is just that a moment and when we stay present we realize it’s all ok, more than ok. Find joy in each day and cast light.

She Said Yes

“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” –Thomas Aquinas

Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, when Mary said yes to the incredible and unbelievable call on her life. While fearful at first, she chose to be faithful to fulfill God’s will not her own.

How many things do we say no to when we should say yes, and yes when we should say no? I often choose yes far too often, distracted by the noise of the world. When quiet enough to hear that still small voice, grace gets me back on course yet again.

Christmas all began with a “yes.” She said yes and showed us we can too.

Good Cheer

“Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm.” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“A well-spent day brings happy sleep.” – Leonardo da Vinci

“A well-spent day brings happy sleep.” – Leonardo da Vinci

A long unrushed walk in the woods, slowing to explore tracks, discover hidden treasures and gaze up to soak in the blue sky. Time spent together, just together is all that is asked for by friends and family, especially the four-legged ones.

Lily can always muster up a wide smile and bright eyes. And when she does I can’t help but return a wide smile in return.  And when I smiled and said “hi” to the older gentlemen walking slowly on the path, he lifted his head and smiled as well. Instead of merely passing by, we acknowledged each other’s presence.

Attitude and outlook are contagious, but some we don’t want to catch. So we need to be on guard without being guarded or hesitant to be the one with the smile in a room full of frowns. Get your smile on and go out and change the world in a good way. Be of good cheer.

Tune In

“Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.” – Wayne Dyer

The world and its demands will not slow down, so we must. To rest, reflect and reach in to our center to reveal a deep sense of gratitude. Scarcity thinking will never be satisfied because it can’t recognize the abundance that already is within and surrounding us. Instead of searching in far off lands or in the future when things are “perfect”, journey to what is now and discover your many treasures hiding in plain sight.

Be quiet, tune in and be grateful. And then move back out into the world and share that joy in abundance.

“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.” – William S. Burroughs

“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.” – William S. Burroughs

Clay

“The rigid cause themselves to be broken; the pliable cause themselves to be bound.” – Xun Zi

To remain as clay, to be shaped and moved
Unfinished but evolving
Soft and pliable
Not the same as yesterday
Not what will be tomorrow
Ever present to what is now
Unfolding and grounded
Unwilling to turn to stone
Open to possibilities, to new beginnings
To be clay

Rooted

“To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul.” –Simone Weil

Thanksgiving morning began with the Turkey Trot 5k with my nieces and nephew Emily, Jenna and Mark in 0 degrees. It ended with sixteen family/friends, four dogs, two turkeys and new memories as the holiday season commences.

“Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.” – Michel de Montaigne

“Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.” – Michel de Montaigne

Many find this season difficult with loved ones who are gone and/or strained family relationships. It’s easy to retreat and hibernate. But if we keep moving and living as fully as we can, we honor those who are not with us by staying in the game. And when rooted by the love and companionship of friends and family, all things are possible, even forgiveness. Care for your roots and plant some new ones this season.

 

A Chip at a Time

“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” – Michelangelo

It’s been particularly busy on many fronts the past few weeks and as I look at my calendar it’s not going to slow down any time soon. This is the same for so many of us.

We frivolously discard the gifts of each day waiting for the perfect time to start living, when it’s less busy or when this or that happens. The perfect time to start living is today. When we carve out our life each day no matter what’s going on, we discover joy and gratitude in the present.

On the eve of this holiday season as Thanksgiving approaches, amidst the hustle and hurry, anchor yourself in each moment, each day. Be the sculptor of your life, a chip at a time.

A Boat

aboat Each time I try to take control, steering and holding on too tight, I get lost. To be a boat, sailing and not steering. To find and to be found.

If I Wanted A Boat
by Mary Oliver, Blue Horses

“I would want a boat, if I wanted a
boat, that bounded hard on the waves,
that didn’t know starboard from port
and wouldn’t learn, that welcomed
dolphins and headed straight for the
whales, that, when rocks were close,
would slide in for a touch or two,
that wouldn’t keep land in sight and
went fast, that leaped into the spray.
What kind of life is it always to plan
and do, to promise and finish, to wish
for the near and the safe?  Yes, by the
heavens, if I wanted a boat I would want
a boat that I couldn’t steer.”

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