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Vast and Deep

“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

“If we are stretching to live wiser and not just smarter, we will aspire to learn what love means, how it arises and deepens, how it withers and revives, what it looks like as a private good but also a common good. I long to make the word echo differently in hearts and ears – not less complicated, but differently so. Love as muscular, resilient.” – Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise – An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living

May we go beyond figuring it all out into the vast, deep mystery of life.
Exploring and inviting.
Creating rather than critiquing.
Sails up harnessing the wind.
Rudder deep cutting rough and calm waters.
Adventure and possibility.
Struggles and victories.
Small and large.
Salt and light.
Bold and fierce.
Integrating and infusing.
Love deepens and expands when exercised without measure, qualification or delay.
The cure for all, waiting to be released from each heart into the world.
Again and again.
Simple acts of kindness, attention, words, listening, welcoming, belonging, togetherness.
The audacity of love that dares to heal, transform and change the world.
One person at a time.
Powerful, resilient and muscular.
Who, what and where will you love today?

“The exacting, enlivening aspiration of love does send us inside to know and honor the particularities of our identities and our struggles. But it coaxes us out again to encounter with the vastness of human identity.”– Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise – An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living

Epiphany

“Today the Magi gaze in deep wonder at what they see: heaven on earth, earth in heaven, man in God, God in man, one whom the whole universe cannot contain now enclosed in a tiny body. As they look, they believe and do not question, as their symbolic gifts bear witness: incense for God, gold for a king, myrrh for one who is to die.”— Peter Chrysologus

The Epiphany – the culmination and destination of Advent and Christmas.
Unfathomable, transformational, relevant, meaningful, vibrant, alive and available to all to this very day.
Not history or fable, but past, present and future.
Ponder, seek, expand, allow awe and wonder in.
In the unknowing, mystery, beneath, above, around and beyond understanding, the Epiphany calls, invites and welcomes all in to be held, changed and made new.

“What are you doing, O Magi? Do you adore a little Babe, in a wretched hovel, wrapped in miserable rags? Can this Child be truly God? … Are you become foolish, O Wise Men … Yes, these Wise Men have become fools that they may be wise.”— Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

A woman who said “yes” without hesitation, with unshakeable trust ushers the Savior in. Let the light in to your routine and daily life, be upended, turned up and around. Cast Light.

“Truth, by which the world is held together, has sprung from the earth, in order to be carried in a woman’s arms.”— St Augustine

Peace. Hope. Joy.

Buds and Caterpillars

“The butterfly is a flying flower. The flower is a tethered butterfly.” — Ponce Denis

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” — Maya Angelou

Bud to bloom.
Chrysalis to butterfly.
Winter to spring.
Middle time.
Endings to new beginnings.
Enter it all.
Be still.
Peace. Grace. Joy.
Transformation in play.

“You do not just wake up and become the butterfly. Growth is a process.” — Rupi Kaur

Kindness Spreader

“Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things, in which smiles and kindness, and small obligations given habitually, are what preserve the heart and secure comfort.” – Humphry Davy

May you carry kindness, spreading it frivolously everywhere.
Without account or delay.
May you know kindness.
Without measure or limit.
May you empty your kindness bucket daily, filled in the process.
Without prompting or hesitation.
Rooted, budding, blooming, fragrant and beautiful.
From roots to shoots.
Like a shadow or friend.
A super-spreader that heals, binds, connects.

KINDNESS

By Naomi Shihab Nye

“Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.”

Symphony of Color

 

“The ground we walk on, the plants and creatures, the clouds above constantly dissolving into new formations – each gift of nature possessing its own radiant energy, bound together by cosmic harmony.” – Ruth Bernhard

“Symphonies begin with one note; fires with one flame; gardens with one flower; and masterpieces with one stroke.”― Matshona Dhliwayo

As the notes of your life weave into a symphony like none other, enter the rhythm, flow and color.
Pause rapt in awe.
Gratitude is a beautiful instrument.
Abundance its gift.
Seeking joy and delight in what is already present in the present moment.
Around and within.
Compose beautiful music with the notes of today.
Use all of the colors.
Energy, vibrancy, harmony.

“The Lord did not people the earth with a vibrant orchestra of personalities only to value the piccolos of the world. Every instrument is precious and adds to the complex beauty of the symphony.” – Joseph B. Wirthlin

Grow. Learn. Evolve.

“Look within. Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Your goal is not to battle with the mind, but to witness the mind.” – Swami Muktananda

As the world returns to “ordinary time” and a new year begins, carry the slowness, reflection and stillness of the season forward.
See in a new way rather than a continuation of the same thing.
Look for connections and patterns right in front of you.
A slightly different angle to see a fresh view.
Engage.
Inquire.
Seek understanding.
Dance.
Exchange.
Witness.
Observe.
Weave.
Listen.
Respond.
With forethought and care.
Be kind. Assume the best. Invite diversity of thought.
Allow change to do its work in you.
Grow. Learn. Evolve.

“Change is not threatening, so long as we keep firm hold of the values by and for which we live. We can travel with confidence so long as we have a map. We can jump with safety knowing that there is someone to catch us as we fall.” – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Be Glad In It

“Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love, to work, to play, and to look up at the stars.” – Henry Van Dyke

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalms 118:24

A new day. A new year. After a few years of making plans to only have them thwarted by an ongoing pandemic, resolutions are hollow and a set up for disappointment. And yet, and yet. Hope keeps calling. Joy demands attention. Light keeps breaking through. Resolutions with commitment and work pull us forward. This will not go on forever. Nothing does and there are no do-overs as hard as we try to change the past. Our response is more important than the circumstances. That’s where our power lies.

In the unmaking and unraveling, we can reclaim, reshape, repurpose the materials and tools we have been given to create something new from what’s already available and in reach. Abundance over scarcity creates options and avenues to follow.

Put your focus, effort and attention on that which you can influence and stop wasting time trying to fix others and waiting for the perfect circumstances that never arrive. Be bold and fierce, present and engaged in this day.

We know all too well that we can’t predict the future. But we can enter this day, give it our best, whatever that is for you right now. Hope. Light. Joy. Today and on the road ahead. Be glad in this day.

“Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.” – Doris Day

I Told You So

“Acts of kindness never die. They linger in the memory, giving life to other acts in return.” – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

“Can we see the trace of God in the face of a stranger?” – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

May our “I told you so” statements be steeped in generosity not righteousness and indignation.
Words, acts and affirmations of encouragement, support, connection, belonging, listening, inquiry, companionship, empathy, kindness.
To self and others.
Especially when it makes no sense whatsoever.
In our pursuit of needing to be right at all costs, it is costing us relationships, connection and community.
Opinions, accusations, and assumptions are drowning out the richness, complexity and dimension of differences and commonalities within the differences that tie humanity together.
As we enter a new year, may kindness be our guide, joy our daily companion and love our destiny.
Together rather than other.
If we keep but these resolutions, we will heal the world from COVID and all other pandemics of the heart.
You are worthy, messy, beautiful, incomplete, redeemable, resilient, forgiving, kind, generous, capable, strong, wholehearted. You have the capacity and agency for this and so much more. Believe and pursue.
I told you so!

“The responsible life is one that responds. In the theological sense it means that God is the question to which our lives are an answer.” – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Unfold and Unfurl

“When the petals of the heart unfold fragrance spreads across the valley.”― Amit Ray

“Patience doesn’t mean making a pact with the devil of denial, ignoring our emotions and aspirations. It means being wholeheartedly engaged in the process that’s unfolding, rather than ripping open a budding flower or demanding a caterpillar hurry up and get that chrysalis stage over with.” – Sharon Salzberg

In the unfolding, we enter the flow of life.
In the messiness, substance to create beauty and meaning.
Rush less to fixing, conclusions and solving.
Enter the mystery.
Inquire and allow the answers to find you.
Feel the undercurrent as well as the breeze that sweeps the surface.
At the same time.
Plant seeds. Lots.
Some take root.
Some whither.
And wait.
Wholehearted. Imperfect. All in.
Get out of the spectator section.
Out of the backseat.
Start driving.
Into the fog of unknowing.
Find the path and then break trail it to explore and expand.
To pave new paths amidst uncertainty.
No fixed points for long.
In circles, cycles, detours and delays.
The path unfolds before us as we move into it.
Signs and signals guide and direct.
Trust your intuition.
Unfold and unfurl.

“Too many spend too much time trying to live in a fixed point, when our lives are an unfolding journey. Taking on new challenges is how we fix the world.” – Arturo O’Farrill

See It, The Beauty

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

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” – Confucius

Rush to color, joy, beauty.
Let them do their work in you.
Be slow to judgment, resentment, assumption.
Think the best in others and let them prove you wrong.
And then forgive them.
People are imperfect, including self.
Beneath the surface, the real story lies.
Don’t accept the answer “fine” when you ask how someone is doing.
Ask the follow up question. Listen, don’t solve.
Choose to be kind and considerate.
Go first in letting others go first.

Music. Art. Literature.
Expand the world, pull us out of “what about me” ruts.
Gratitude. Grace. Anticipation.
Expand the world, focusing our eyes on possibilities and blessings.
Light. Laughter. Love.
Expand the world, saving it from itself.

Live this day in color, joy and beauty.

“Beauty is power; a smile is its sword.” – John Ray

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