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Lit Up

“Hope is a waking dream.” – Aristotle

Whether struggling or at ease, or a mix of both, may you separate self from circumstances if but only for a minute or two.
To partake, witness and enter the deep current and flow of the universe, our connectedness to each other.
To see the joy amidst difficulty, accepting God’s unending grace to prompt grace for self and others.
You are enough in this very moment.
Unfolding, becoming, imperfect, lovely and lit up.
Fan the flame.
Hope, joy, love.

“Oh God,
the thought of trying for a new and improved me 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.
Free me from the expectation that life should always be better.
The everyday stressors—the bills, the pressure, the dependents,
the existential fears about the future and the worries of right now.
I am too tired to be more.
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.
Oh God, today,
give us enough to go on,
give us hope to see a future,
give us joy to see a present
lit up by your love.” – Kate Bowler

More than Just

“Beauty is whatever gives joy.” – Edna St. Vincent Millay

May spring, transformation, light bloom within you.
Each day, may you see beauty, experience joy, awe and delight.
Pause, witness, praise.
A new day, write some good paragraphs today in your story.
You are the author, pick up the pen.

“Don’t just learn, experience.
Don’t just read, absorb.
Don’t just change, transform.
Don’t just relate, advocate.
Don’t just promise, prove.
Don’t just criticize, encourage.
Don’t just think, ponder.
Don’t just take, give.
Don’t just see, feel.
Don’t just dream, do.
Don’t just hear, listen.
Don’t just talk, act.
Don’t just tell, show.
Don’t just exist, live.”

― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Twice, Maybe More

“Be here now.”― Ram Dass

“If your mind carries a heavy burden of past, you will experience more of the same. The past perpetuates itself through lack of presence. The quality of your consciousness at this moment is what shapes the future.”― Eckhart Tolle

We can live twice.
Once in real time, present to the moment, our place in it.
Aware of the blessings and beauty amidst burdens, hidden in plain sight, longing to be noticed.
Grateful when in it, not racing ahead, or rearview mirror driving.
A second time in memory, reflecting, finding meaning, seeing the pieces fit, accepting not understanding, weaving and integrating into our story.
Moving forward to new paths, not circling back to familiarity and the “good old” days.
The “good old” days are now.
Slow down, put down the “to-do” list, stop checking boxes and experience the depth and expanse.
Live twice, maybe more.

“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.”― Jelaluddin Rumi

Storms

“There is peace even in the storm.”― Vincent van Gogh

“There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” – Willa Cather

The first spring storm swept in last night.
Thick clouds, lightning breaking through.
70 mile an hour winds.
Horizontal rain.
Hail.
Sirens to warn.
Nature has her way, untouched by our control or consternation.
Nothing to do but take shelter.
Observing, waiting, watching.
In both the external and internal storms, taking shelter is often the only thing to do.
Present to what is.
Laying down worry.
Evidence from the past that we’ve made it through before.
No guarantees but hopeful the same.
Calm this morning.
Greener grass, budding trees.
May you weather the storms, new on the other side.

“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Daily Classroom

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci

“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

The school year is coming quickly to a close.
Weeks until summer break.
Commencement speeches for graduation.
Advice, celebration, reflection, anticipation.
Prepping and planning meticulously for the future.

As we get older, we realize that class is in session our entire life.
The journey we thought was linear is circular, seasonal, spiraling.
A mystery requiring trust and faith, a sense of humor, a bucket of grace.
If we think we are done, we are done.
Done growing, learning, becoming.

There are still lessons to be learned, unlearned, applied, forgotten.
Choose a growth and beginner’s mindset.
Ready and willing to inquire, listen, change, grow.

What will you discover today?
How will you contribute?
What will you take?
Will you be present or race by another day?
Class is in session.

“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional” – John Maxwell

Next Best Expression

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Elizabeth Appell

“The Law of Divine Compensation posits that this is a self-organizing and self-correcting universe: the embryo becomes a baby, the bud becomes a blossom, the acorn becomes an oak tree. Clearly, there is some invisible force that is moving every aspect of reality to its next best expression.” – Marianne Williamson

Beyond our limited awareness lies an immensity, depth, breadth and expanse.
Not requiring our understanding, control, permission.
Demanding our trust, praise, awareness, hope, faith, wonder.
Comply to get a glimpse, touch the hem, allow mystery.
Bud, bloom, spring.
Not in our timing, but to be sure.
The next best expression.
Lean in, enter the flow.
Bud to bloom.

“The gracious, eternal God permits the spirit to green and bloom and to bring forth the most marvelous fruit, surpassing anything a tongue can express and a heart conceive.” – Johannes Tauler

Plant to Bloom

“We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.”― Richard Rohr

“Most of us were taught that God would love us if and when we change. In fact, God loves you so that you can change. What empowers change, what makes you desirous of change is the experience of love. It is that inherent experience of love that becomes the engine of change.”― Richard Rohr

May you experience love today, offering it freely without expectation.
The act stirs the power of love which always returns to the giver.
Go first.
Change of thought, word and action.
Entering the river, the flow of life.
Grateful for this day.
Make some space for allowing amidst the pursuit.
Be found, especially by yourself.
You must plant to bloom.

“Faith does not need to push the river because faith is able to trust that there is a river. The river is flowing. We are in it.”― Richard Rohr

Phenomenal

A toast to all women on this Mother’s Day;
To both mothers and those who are not or may never be;
Not less, more than enough, worthy;
Nurturers, steel magnolias, warriors, brilliant, fierce, bold, soft, a mix of it all;
Celebrate, honor and fulfill your unique purpose in this life;
Embrace confidence, strength and your light.
You are phenomenal!

Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

“Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.”

Breathe It In

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

“Concentration and mindfulness are the internal ways in which the mind restores itself from being out of balance and lost in confusion to a condition of ease, clarity, and wisdom. No external action needs to happen.”  – Sylvia Boorstein

Take a long walk and drink in the beauty of nature.
Fill your heart with goodness.
Be kind to yourself and others.
Expand. Deepen. Delight.
Breathe it in.

“Mindfulness meditation doesn’t change life. Life remains as fragile and unpredictable as ever. Meditation changes the heart’s capacity to accept life as it is.” – Sylvia Boorstein

Light Already Present

“I am going to notice the lights of the earth, the sun and the moon and the stars, the lights of our candles as we march, the lights with which spring teases us, the light that is already present.” – Anne Lamott

“I am thankful that thus far today I have not had any unkind thoughts or said any harsh words or done anything that I regret. However, now I need to get out of bed and so things may become more difficult.” – Sylvia Boorstein

In the dailyness that is life, notice the light;
Witness the magic in the ordinary;
Participate in the day with gratitude and grace – for self and others;
Reignite your sense of humor and wonder;
Invite and allow fun into your space;
Do what is yours to do and nothing else;
Worry, fear, complaint steal too much time;
A quiet moment to reset, to renew, to begin again.

“Spirituality doesn’t look like sitting down and meditating. Spirituality looks like folding the towels in a sweet way and talking kindly to the people in the family eve though you’ve had a rough day.” – Sylvia Boorstein

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