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Hope Awaits and Abides

“Pay attention to the beauty surrounding you.” – Anne Lamott

“Your problem is how you are going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued. Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are.” – Anne Lamott

Wander off path today.
The well-worn one of opinion, judgment, comparison, rightness, cynicism.
Into solemn new territory beyond the echo of old thoughts, assumptions and expectations.
Wide open unfamiliar spaces filled with fresh air, warm sun, a slowing of time.
To be renewed, refreshed, filled up again.
Taste, enjoy, take in the ever-present beauty.
The world will still be there to fix when you return from a short respite.
Perhaps you’ll notice hope awaiting to guide your next steps.

“When hope is not pinned wriggling onto a shiny image or expectation, it sometimes floats forth and opens.” – Anne Lamott

Dreamers Who Do

“The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” – C.S. Lewis

Enthusiasm
Delight
Awe
Imagination
Joy
Wonder
Curiosity
Connection
Abundance
Beauty
Energy
Hope
Resilience
Kindness
Gratitude
Love

Ingredients to spark, reignite, renew.
A recipe for daily living.
Don’t underestimate their power to change your world and in turn the world.

“Your lesson in this lifetime is to find and trust your own precious voice.”

Who will you meet today?

“We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.” – Swami Vivekananda

Invite and entertain new thoughts.
Engage in conversations to create connection.
There’s a vast landscape to be discovered in front of us.
Understanding, depth, a sacredness.
Be kind and generous.
Remove the layers to reveal the gift.
Grace given. Grace received.
Who will you meet today?

“The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him – that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free.” – Swami Vivekananda

From the Dirt

“It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us; it is the very sign of His presence.” – C.S. Lewis

“May you listen to the voice within the beat even when you are tired. When you feel yourself breaking down, may you break open instead. May every experience in life be a door that opens your heart, expands your understanding, and leads you to freedom. If you are weary, may you be aroused by passion and purpose. If you are blameful and bitter, may you be sweetened by hope and humor. If you are frightened, may you be emboldened by a big consciousness far wiser than your fear. If you are lonely, may you find love, may you find friendship. If you are lost, may you understand that we are all lost, and still we are guided—by Strange Angels and Sleeping Giants, by our better and kinder natures, by the vibrant voice within the beat. May you follow that voice, for This is the way—the hero’s journey, the life worth living, the reason we are here.”― Elizabeth Lesser

Keep planting, tilling, tending.
Bloom comes in its own time.
Rising from the dirt.
Allow, invite, observe.
Wait.
Heavy sigh, the waiting.
And it is in the waiting, transformation from seed to bloom is doing its work.
Pause the pursuit and be found.
Listen, watch, all senses in play.
Slow down, quiet, peel the layers.
Your voice, whispering.

“Courage, dear heart.” – C.S. Lewis

Arise! Awake!

“Arise! Awake! and stop not until the goal is reached.” – Swami Vivekananda

“The real enemies of our life are the ‘oughts’ and the ‘ifs.’ They pull us backward into the unalterable past and forward into the unpredictable future. But real life takes place in the here and now.” – Henri Nouwen

Move in from the edges, from the surface
Into deep waters
Into the center of now
To unknowing, to mystery, to the core
Beyond first impressions, assumptions and stale thoughts
Into beauty, delight, joy
New day, new thoughts, new enthusiasm
Light from within
Open the door, windows wide
Fresh air, deep breath

“Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.” – Henri Nouwen

Essence

“Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy – your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself.” – Annie Leibovitz

essence
nuance
layers
complexity
beneath
below
beyond
hidden
hinting
beauty
revealed in gazing
lingering
inquiry
listening
observation
silence
embedded in engaging
relationship
conversation
understanding
compassion
expand beyond self
connect
invite
welcome
expand your world

Abiding

“Beauty has no boundaries, no rules, no colors. Beauty is like a religion. You can include everything inside it.” – Alessandro Michele

“Looking back, I sense I was searching for confirmation of what I had long believed about blessings. At the core of that belief lived the conviction that a blessing conveys God’s desire for our wholeness and that it holds the ability to open us to the presence of God in any circumstance.”— Jan Richardson, The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief

Bigger, deeper, stronger than circumstances.
Beneath the surface.
Above the clouds.
In your heart.
Permeating your thoughts.
May you be held by the glimpse and depth of a blessing today.
May you recognize and allow blessings in.
May you be a blessing to yourself and others.
May you invite and welcome God home to where He already resides.
Here and now.
Abiding in this moment.

“A blessing does not explain away our loss or justify devastation. It does not make light of grief or provide a simple fix for the rending. It does not compel us to “move on.” Instead, a blessing meets us in the place of our deepest loss. In that place, it offers us a glimpse of wholeness and claims that wholeness here and now. A blessing helps us to keep breathing—to abide this moment, and the next moment, and the one after that. — Jan Richardson, The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief

A Thin Place

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness.” – Galatians 5:22

“A good blessing possesses something of what Celtic folk have long called a thin place, a space where the veil between worlds becomes permeable, and heaven and earth meet.” — The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief by Jan Richardson

In loss and gain.
In harvest and desert.
In between, before, during, after.
In ordinary and extraordinary.
In each moment.
Permeable, present, overwhelming.
May blessings, fruit and love be the ground you stand on, carry, and be held by.

“There is no remedy for love but to love more.” – Henry David Thoreau

Excavation

“The enlarging of the soul requires not only some remodeling, but some excavating.” – Neal A. Maxwell

“The struggle to excavate your true, authentic self from beneath the mountain of conditioning and ridiculous expectation is the epic struggle of your lifetime.”― Bryant McGill

We want to know where we are going before we start.
Balking, hesitating, we remain in stasis.
Returning to the past, to certainty, to the comfort of familiarity.
If we choose to excavate, digging deeper, we find what needs to be discarded, put down and integrated to move on.
It’s the necessary work to destinations unknown, awaiting our arrival, to welcome us home to belonging and authentic self.
When we do the work of excavation and integration, we are on the journey of transformation.
Slow harvesting.
Keep going.

“The light of our thought is always excavating our rich inheritance of darkness. The cradle of origin whose mysteries arise with the dawn, darkness is also the secret homeland where the slow harvestings of twilight return to become woven into the subtle eternity of memory. – John O’Donohue

Uninhibited

“The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.” – Walt Whitman

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh

A paper plate, some paint and fingers meet and dance, art blooms.
Uninhibited and with delight, a child reminds us to return to this place again and again.
No boundaries, no rules, no judgment.
Colors, shapes, beauty.
New day, fresh palette.
Paint.

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” – Pablo Picasso

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