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Posts from the ‘Gratitude’ Category

Happy Thanksgiving

“O Lord that lends me life, Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.” – William Shakespeare

May this day of Thanksgiving celebrate and commemorate a life of daily gratitude.
In small and large things.
In difficulty and ease.
In imperfection and messiness.
In the middle of an ongoing pandemic.
On good days and challenging ones when we don’t rise to our best.
May we awaken to the power of perspective, the gift of joy unattached from circumstances.
Gratitude – the great multiplier.

Thanksgiving by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

We walk on starry fields of white
And do not see the daisies;
For blessings common in our sight
We rarely offer praises.
We sigh for some supreme delight
To crown our lives with splendor,
And quite ignore our daily store
Of pleasures sweet and tender.

Our cares are bold and push their way
Upon our thought and feeling.
They hand about us all the day,
Our time from pleasure stealing.
So unobtrusive many a joy
We pass by and forget it,
But worry strives to own our lives,
And conquers if we let it.

There’s not a day in all the year
But holds some hidden pleasure,
And looking back, joys oft appear
To brim the past’s wide measure.
But blessings are like friends, I hold,
Who love and labor near us.
We ought to raise our notes of praise
While living hearts can hear us.

Full many a blessing wears the guise
Of worry or of trouble;
Far-seeing is the soul, and wise,
Who knows the mask is double.
But he who has the faith and strength
To thank his God for sorrow
Has found a joy without alloy
To gladden every morrow.

We ought to make the moments notes
Of happy, glad Thanksgiving;
The hours and days a silent phrase
Of music we are living.
And so the theme should swell and grow
As weeks and months pass o’er us,
And rise sublime at this good time,
A grand Thanksgiving chorus.

 

Above and Beyond

“Nature is the one song of praise that never stops singing.” – Richard Rohr

“The theological virtue of hope is the patient and trustful willingness to live without closure, without resolution, and still be content and even happy because our Satisfaction is now at another level, and our Source is beyond ourselves.” – Richard Rohr

Hope
Patience
Ease
Praise
Yearn
Hunger
Be filled, fill
Pursue
Enliven
Loosen
Release
Blessed in the ebb and flow, in the valley and the mountain
Expanding and growing
Above and beyond our understanding
Never lose heart
Go deeper, stay awake, guard your joy, hold your hope.
Blessed are we in it all of the messiness, imperfection, struggle and beauty of life.

“Blessed are we when we yearn, yearn for connection and love and touch. Blessed are we when we hunger for the beauty of life itself and the people to fill it. Blessed are we when we are unable to say I’m letting it go because we feel like we will be washed away into an ocean of nothingness. Teach us to hold on to the truths that enliven our spirits and fill our souls and loosen our grip on the painful untruths like that we are alone or unlovable or that desire itself is the enemy. Teach us to hunger for what is good and be filled. There will be no easy addition or subtraction, we will lose and we will gain and almost none of it will make much sense at the time. And it forces our hands open in the ebb and flow of wins and losses, comings and goings we will look for divine love in the mystery of it all. The stubbornness of flowers that still smile at us, at the grocery store and the need for endless small reminders that the pain of it all, the comedy of it all, keeps us wide, wide awake.” – Kate Bowler from podcast with Richard Rohr

Water Over the Falls, One Foot in Front of the Other

“Water is the most perfect traveler because when it travels it becomes the path itself!”- Mehmet Murat Ildan

Choose daily to expand, open and receive new thoughts and perspectives. Rather than looking for proof that you are right or searching for evidence to support your own view, look at it from someone else’s perspective to deepen the narrative. Expand and connect, fostering empathy and understanding.

Podcasts have led me to new authors, ideas and insights. One of my new favorites is author Kate Bowler who was on the On Being podcast hosted by Krista Tippett. Honest, raw and celebrating both the messiness and beauty of being human. May you accept, embrace and hold all that is necessary, finding delight and ease in ordinary days. Anchored in our shared journey, assured that you are not alone.

Open the windows and let fresh air and blessings in. One foot in front of the other.

a blessing for when you just need to put one foot in front of the other by Kate Bowler

“oh God, the thought of trying for a new and improved me just makes me tired.

I am barely getting anywhere,
so draw me closer to a different vision,
one that sees that I don’t need perfection —
I need love.

I need freed from the expectation that life should always be better.

the every day stressors—the bills, the pressure, the dependents,
the existential fears about the future and the worries of right now.
I am threadbare.

blessed are we, remembering that the world is not ours to shoulder alone.
help us put one foot in front of the other
as best we can.

God, today, give us strength to go on,
give us hope to see a future,
give us joy to make it not simply bearable…
but beautiful.”

Being Human

“God is the place where I do not remember the rest.” – Joseph Joubert

A BLESSING FOR BEING HUMAN

“Blessed are we, living in this small space, in these bodies we now inhabit, within the walls of circumstance, in these short years and finite strength, and with these eyes that see only so far. We are fragile, contingent beings.

Yet blessed are we, recognizing that it is our limits as well as our gifts that can shape the natural contours of what is possible, that guide us to what is ours to do.

Blessed are we when it is not our greatness that speaks, but our littleness. For it is our vulnerability that is the truest thing about us, the place where mutual connection is possible, where competition ends and community begins.

And oh how blessed are we in our fragility and dependence and brokenness, knowing that You, O God, hold all things together. There is no cure for being human…but for each other, we are all good medicine.” – Kate Bowler

May you be blessed today and each day with awareness and gratitude for the gift of being human and the grace of God in the midst of all of it.

A Toast!

“Choose to focus your time, energy and conversation around people who inspire you, support you and help you to grow you into your happiest, strongest, wisest self.” – Karen Salmansohn

“O Lord that lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.” – William Shakespeare

A toast!
To celebrating and encouraging others on our shared journey.
In both victory and defeat.
To generous souls who are with you at the start line, in the middle and at the finish.
To offering and receiving without hesitation, counting or measure.
To goals defined and attained.
To effort, resilience, exhaustion and the strength to keep moving two steps forward and one step back.
To progress and patience in the waiting.
To the capacity and calling to dream and imagine followed by the rigorous pursuit.
To special days and all of the ordinary days in between.
To embracing imperfect people and circumstances to create joyful moments.
A toast to grace, gratitude and generosity.

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” – Thorton Wilder

Write Your Story

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”― Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Tend to the narratives you tell yourself, what you’ve come to believe.
Is it familiar, flat and stale?
Does it serve your growth, healing, transformation?
Unlearn, relearn, learn.
Choose a different story line.
Change the arc.
Expansion over contraction.
Knowing in the unknowing.
Depth and dimension.
Salt and light.
Becoming through unbecoming.
Listen, write, rewrite.
The first draft is never the final draft.
Edit and hone.
Keep writing your story each day.

“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” – Colette

On Alert

“Every day is a gift from God. Learn to focus on the Giver and enjoy the gift!” – Joyce Meyer

“Opportunities present themselves every day – to everyone. You just have to be alert and ready to act.” – Marc Ostrofsky

Be on alert
Find the squirrel in the tree
The brilliance in the bounty of summer bloom
The regreening of grass from fresh rain
The gentleness in your thoughts
The compassion in your heart
The empathy in your words
The kindness in your actions
Build, create, praise
Be on alert
Your life is happening today.

“Great effort is required to arrest decay and restore vigor. One must exercise proper deliberation, plan carefully before making a move, and be alert in guarding against relapse following a renaissance.” – Horace

Contours and Edges

“Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf.” – Rabindranath Tagore

“Believe in the holy contour of life.” – Jack Kerouac

Pause to see the detail in things, places, others, in yourself
Beneath and below the surface
Awaiting discovery, to be found
The shapes, dimension, contours, edges, complexity, contradictions, connections
Be willing to move into the unknowing, the mystery, the depth
Allow it to unfold, to be enamored, in awe
Holy, sacred, formative moments that wake us to the present
The gift in the simple, in observation, in gratitude

“Take a walk with a turtle. And behold the world in pause.” – Bruce Feiler

Pause for a moment to stillness, study what is in front of you, reset and begin again new.

“It’s not only moving that creates new starting points. Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in perspective, an opening of the mind, an intentional pause and reset, or a new route to start to see new options and new possibilities.” – Kristin Armstrong

Places and Spaces

“In every moment, the Universe is whispering to you. You’re constantly surrounded by signs, coincidences, and synchronicities, all aimed at propelling you in the direction of your destiny.” – Denise Linn

“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

We are put in places and spaces for reasons. They often present themselves as distractions, delays and detours. While we may not know the reasons at the time does not negate the meaning and purpose woven in them. This is where patience and trust enter to carry and keep us going until the reasons are revealed, the pieces of the puzzle fit together into the whole.

In the places and spaces you are put in this day, be present and look for the blessing, the connection, the completion points of being human.

Less doing, more observing.
Less judging, more empathy.
Less complaining, more praising.
Less speed, more savoring.
Less scarcity, more abundance.
Less comparing, more gratitude.

The world shouts. God whispers.

“The universe is always speaking to us… sending us little messages, causing coincidences and serendipities, reminding us to stop, to look around, to believe in something else, something more.” – Nancy Thayer

The Anchor of Breath

“With an undefended heart, we can fall in love with life over and over every day. We can become children of wonder, grateful to be walking on earth, grateful to belong with each other and to all of creation. We can find our true refuge in every moment, in every breath.” – Tara Brach

Breathe deeply often
Anchor in the floor of your heart
Wake up to the glory in this moment
Grateful for another day
Ready to make something of it
Kind and gentle
Generous and joyful
For others and yourself
The power of breath, gratitude and praise.

“The moment is everything. Don’t think about tomorrow; don’t think about yesterday: think about exactly what you’re doing right now and live it and dance it and breath it and be it.” – Wendy Whelan

 

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