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Posts from the ‘Growth’ Category

The Gift of Shedding

“Expectations are resentments under construction.” – Anne Lamott

“Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for who you were last week, last month, or last year. Forgive yourself for when you were exhausted and snapped at the people you love. Forgive yourself for not being able to do it all. Forgive yourself for your fears. Forgive yourself for your mistakes. Forgive yourself for eating one cookie too many. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. We often look at forgiveness as an intellectual act, but forgiveness is very spiritual. It is one of the most spiritual things we can do. When we forgive, we acknowledge that we are far bigger and greater than one individual moment. When we forgive, we are saying to the universe: I will not imprison myself or anyone else with anger, shame, judgment, or resentment. Gift yourself this freedom.”― Cleo Wade, Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life

Leaves falling off trees to branches alone.
Preparing for winter, seeds planted, slowing, new bloom ahead in due time.
The cycles and circles of seasons, roadmap for life.
Begin. Middle. End. Transition. Begin again and again.
Forgiveness, letting go, moving on.
Empathy, compassion, understanding.
Love, grace, joy.
Shed unforgiveness, ego, scarcity, othering, judgment, expectations, assumptions to make room for peace, growth, gratitude, joy, delight, generosity, abundance, kindness and light.
Set the prisoners free.
The gift of shedding.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” – Lewis B. Smedes

Hold Fast to Joy

“Most of the things we need to be most fully alive never come in busyness. They grow in rest.”― Mark Buchanan, The Holy Wild: Trusting in the Character of God

“So let the world go, but hold fast to joy.”― May Sarton, Selected Poems

Not done.
Never really done.
The work of becoming.
Fresh starts.
Long middles.
Sudden ends.
Making space for new beginnings.
Some chosen.
Most not.
Seed to bloom.
Dirt to color.
Growing slowing.
Pieces of a puzzle coming together.
Often without the box to see what the picture will be.
A step at a time.
Joy on the journey.
Hold fast.

“Prayer is not asking for what you think you want, but asking to be changed in ways you can’t imagine.”― Kathleen Norris

Grow, Grow

“According to the Talmud, every blade of grass has its own angel bending over it, whispering, “Grow, grow.”― Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith

“We forget that every good that is worth possessing must be paid for in strokes of daily effort. We postpone and postpone until those smiling possibilities are dead… By neglecting the necessary concrete labor, by sparing ourselves the little daily tax, we are positively digging the graves of our higher possibilities.”― William James

Daily efforts.
Strokes on a blank canvas.
Chopping wood.
Stacking wood.
Doing the dishes.
Repetition to mastery.
Progress in steps married with time.
Finding beauty along the way.
Precisely where it resides, in ordinary days.
Overflowing, in abundance and not complicated.
Before us awaiting for our senses to ignite and notice.
Change. Learn. Transform.
Plant. Nurture. Bloom.
An angel whispering, grow, grow!

“Everyone wants a revolution. No one wants to do the dishes.”― Tish Harrison Warren, Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life

Today marks 1000 posts in a row on Cast Light. A decision I made to post every day, to publish imperfectly, to commit to practice, to the gift of ritual. Thank you to those who take the time to read this, who hopefully find encouragement, commonality, community and some beams of light. May we all continue to grow and cast light.

Flowers Bloom, When Ready

“Regardless of when the flower blooms, the flower blooms… and completes its cycle. Enjoy every inch of your ride when you begin.”― Adaora O., Waves Aligning

“So called ‘late-bloomers’ get a bad rap. Sometimes the people with the greatest potential often take the longest to find their path because their sensitivity is a double edged sword- it lives at the heart of their brilliance, but it also makes them more susceptible to life’s pains. Good thing we aren’t being penalized for handing in our purpose late. The soul doesn’t know a thing about deadlines.”― Jeff Brown, Love It Forward

Bloom, whether May or August.
Do not be concerned whether early or late.
Just bloom.
Yearning, the whisper of the call.
The ache of stasis.
Change, transformation, blooming.
This is the journey and circle of life.
Do not settle.
Keep growing.
Soul work.
Keep blooming.

“The most beautiful thing is that despite the shallow life we sometimes succumb to – the soul has no timeline and it knows what it wants and will yearn within until it seeks the journey.”― Malebo Sephodi


“You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself.” – Alan Watts

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” – Alan Watts

Wide lens to microscope.
Details to whole.
In and out.
Focus then blur.
Clarity and questioning.
In the waiting, the middle.
Slow then fast, mostly slow.
Bud to bloom.
Cocoon to butterfly.
Plunge into the waiting and the change it births.
In due time.
Join the dance.
Invite joy into the chaos and boredom.
Relax and float.
No place to be but here.
Being finished in moments, slivers and slices.
The gift of grace, growth, transformation.

“To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.” – Alan Watts

Sacred Intent

“The imagination should be allowed a certain amount of time to browse around.”― Sue Monk Kidd, When the Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life’s Sacred Questions

“That’s the sacred intent of life, of God–to move us continuously toward growth, toward recovering all that is lost and orphaned within us and restoring the divine image imprinted on our soul.”― Sue Monk Kidd, When the Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life’s Sacred Questions

The path often unclear.
Revealed in the taking of steps.
Into the fog, the brush, the unknowing.
Going off path to wander.
Into the wilderness to find clarity.
Waiting and moving, the dance.
Sacred ground.
Browse, linger, look, listen.

“O God, is there anything you’ve made that can’t pour life and healing into me? When I think of the simplicity and extravagance of creation, I want to bend down and write the word yes across the earth so that you can see it.”― Sue Monk Kidd, When the Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life’s Sacred Questions

Fresh Cut

“The earth laughs in flowers.”― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.” – Chinese Proverb

Fresh cut flowers.
Vegetables with dirt still on them, right off the vine.
Farmer’s Market in full swing.
Nothing better.
The gifts and harvest of planting in May, harvest in July.
Seed to fruition.
Time, sun, rain.
Slow growth.
Sweet return.
Fresh cut day.
Enter the beauty.
Keep growing.

“Time, as it grows old, teaches all things.”― Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound

The Math

“As human beings, we’re capable of greatness of spirit, an ability to go beyond the circumstances we find ourselves in, to experience a vast sense of connection to all of life.”― Sharon Salzberg, Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Do the math.
The fundamentals
What will you add?
What will you subtract?
What will you divide?
What will you multiply?
Addition and multiplication create more.
Division and subtraction reduce and bucket.
Good principles to apply to each day.
Adding more without taking away creates more distraction in an already loud and chaotic world.
Subtracting only creates a void which is good if the space opens us up to reflection and connection.
January resolutions are mostly about losing, cutting out rather than contentment and gratitude.
Do the math and also the art.
Both, not one or the other.
Beauty, nature, flowers, snow (yep), poetry, literature, music, fun, play, friendship, dogs (of course), frivolity, silliness, exploration, mystery, heart pumping activity, yoga, meditation, joy, awe.
A deepening, awakening and enriching.
The art and science of living well.

“Art is not escape, but a way of finding order in chaos, a way of confronting life.”― Robert Hayden

Never Born Enough

“We can never be born enough.”
― E. E. Cummings

“To be nobody but
yourself in a world
which is doing its best day and night to make you like
everybody else means to fight the hardest battle
which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.”― E.E. Cummings

Acceptance and embracing
Open and evolving
Awake and breathing
Hold and releasing
Being and unfolding
Knowing and unknowing
Growth and expanding
Enough and overflowing
Grace and understanding

Be yourself
Let others be who they are and will be
Direct your energy
Foster enthusiasm
Guard and fight for joy
Born again and again

“And now you are and I am and we’re a mystery which will never happen again.”― E.E. Cummings

The Root of It

“To be nobody but
yourself in a world
which is doing its best day and night to make you like
everybody else means to fight the hardest battle
which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.”― e.e cummings

“We are all here to serve each other. At some point we have to understand that we do not need to carry a story that is unbearable. We can observe the story, which is mental; feel the story, which is physical; let the story go, which is emotional; then forgive the story, which is spiritual, after which we use the materials of it to build a house of knowledge.”― Joy Harjo, Poet Warrior: A Memoir

What lies beneath the surface that keeps rising up?
Get to the root of it, the source below, deeper
If it’s a weed – resentment, guilt, unforgiveness – pull it
If it’s a seed – dreams, aspirations, yearning – feed it
Something is trying to break open, break free
Clarity comes when we are open to receive it, receptive to answers not conscious but subconscious
Weeds and flowers reside together
Each telling us what we need to know, to grow or wilt under the weight
Expose it to the light
Create a new stories, rooted in hope, joy and beauty

“Keep your Eyes on All that’s Good and Beautiful and Possible in the World. Because “The Stories We Tell Create the People We Become.”― Jacqueline Lewis, Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone

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