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Posts tagged ‘Contemplation’

Daily Legacy

There is power and potential in each day, in one act of kindness, in a soft smile and easy step. Our  legacy is built daily through intentional actions, thoughts and words. In what we say and don’t say. What you do today will be a thread in the fabric of your life.

Live with intention and purpose. The substance and matter of our life is steeped and found in the middle of each day. Write a beautiful page of your legacy today and make someone smile. It’s just that simple. Cast light. It’s a worthy daily legacy.

Between the Ashes

“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” – Genesis 3:19

Ash Wednesday – the beginning of Lent, the seed planted that over 40 days transforms our winters to springs. If we allow, we are called deep within to reflection, waiting, listening and reconnecting to our deepest self and God within. To search and find lasting value and meaningful joy that the world will never fulfill. A deep joy and contentment that remains and lingers through the roller coaster of life.

Like New Year’s Day, (without the hangover), Ash Wednesday is the first day of a journey of possibility and promise through reflection and repentance. A time in the desert of contemplation of how to become our best selves, to find that person hidden inside our impatient, busy and chaotic daily life of doing more and getting less.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust – from beginning to the end. What am I doing and who am I becoming between the ashes of birth and death? Seems worthy of 40 days of focus and reflection leading to the resurrection of Easter.

Gifts AND Fruit

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

We are all given gifts, but we often fall short on producing fruit. When we don’t fully engage and release our gifts, we don’t fully produce fruit and bloom. Recognize, be grateful and accept your gifts and start producing some fruit to nourish and light the world.

There are seven gifts of the Holy Spirit – Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Strength, Knowledge, Fear of the Lord, Piety

There are nine fruits of the Holy Spirit – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control

Imagine if we align with the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit within us. A very worthwhile life. No small ball. Play it big, all out.

Gifts AND Fruit, a power combo.

Just Wandering

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” – e. e. cummings

“Wisdom begins in wonder.” – Socrates

Coming off my first week of vacation this year, I am relaxed and settled. Away from obligations of nonstop meetings, other peoples’ (ridiculous) expectations coupled with my own set of “rules” made up of “shoulds” and “musts” with little consideration for why. Faster at the expense of better.

Wandering always leads back to wonder. And for the wonder to stick, we must “schedule” pockets of unscheduled time each day and not wait for the next vacation. We are bound by time but must unbind ourselves from doing more and more to quietly being, observing and witnessing. Gratitude ensues.

Consciously choose to live with and on purpose. Wander, listen, be present and allow wonder to re-enter and remain. Pursue light and cast it.

Blue Skies, Eventually and Always

“Thought is the wind, knowledge the sail, and mankind the vessel.” – Augustus Hare

The morning sky broken open with rain, not leaving much hope for outdoor activity. And then it ceased but the clouds lingered into the afternoon. While not perfect, the pontoon will only be in the water a few weeks more, so we launched to capture one of the last rides of the season.

The lake was windy, offering the perfect invitation for sail boats to harness the wind. And many accepted the invitation. So we weaved around and watched them dance across the water with speed and grace.

The beauty of freedom with the art of holding the sail just right with the shifting winds. One of the sail boats missed a cue and fell over. Boats stopped to check and waited until they went upright. With just the right pull, the wet sails arose, ready to join the others in the pursuit of the wind again.

Soon the clouds dissipated, and blue sky broke through. What started as a rainy day transformed into a beautiful afternoon.

Our start is not where we finish. And when we join in even in less than perfect circumstances and patiently wait for things to unfold, we discover the joy in the wind and the surprise ending filled with blue.

Blue skies always are behind the clouds, eventually and always.

 

The Journey

Poetry, music, a sunset all have the power to put everything in perspective slowly and then suddenly. Tune out the voices that produce no fruit. Focus on thoughts and activities that drive you on the journey to your purpose. For when we live out our purpose daily, we make the world a better place.

“One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice —

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voice behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do —

determined to save

the only life that you could save.” – Mary Oliver, The Journey

 

Loud Quiet

“Silence is the pause in me when I am near to God.” – Arvo Part

When we slow down and allow silence to enter, our own voice in the quiet becomes louder. The noisey voices in your head that tell you to go faster, don’t try because it’s too hard, you’re not worthy or enough are not the real you at all. It’s fear.

When faced with the choice of stepping out of the boat and facing fear or giving up and staying safe, get out of the boat. Every time.

Anything that is of value and worthy of our time and effort will be met with resistance. Push through it with one step, and then the next. Try, make mistakes, get up, try again, repeat, succeed. Don’t let the empty voices from others or the chatter in your head ever stop you from becoming your best you.

Every day, weave quiet and contemplation in, if only for 10 minutes. Take a walk in the woods and witness a symphony of birds singing, wildflowers waving and beauty unfolding. Gaze into the sky with reverence.

And in that awe and quiet, you will hear your own voice calling you to your purpose, loud and clear. Listen and move. Imagine if we all pursued our purpose and used our talents. What a world it would be!

Glide

“People tend to burden themselves with so many choices. But, in the end, you can throw it all away and just make one basic, underlying decision: Do you want to be happy, or do you not want to be happy? It’s really that simple. Once you make that choice, your path through life becomes totally clear.”

― Michael A. Singer, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

“Only you can take inner freedom away from yourself, or give it to yourself. Nobody else can.”
― Michael A. Singer, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

If we only let the wind take us to where it will rather than trying to control it all. All of the pining and consternation won’t change our ending, but it sure ruins the journey. Let go of what others think and what you overthink. Be happy in this moment and then the next and the next one after that.

Life is gliding along whether you choose to participate fully or not. So join in.

Glide.

Remain in Today

Be awake in this moment only
Clear your mind of the past
Release concern of what is to come
Squander not your precious time in worry and regret
Embrace gratitude by opening your eyes, poking your senses

End this day filled with wonder and awe found in the gift of now
Remain in today

One Less Thing

“There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.” – Lord Byron

What is one less thing you can do? Not more, less.

What we say “no” to gets us to the richness of the “yes” things we long for and are called to do. I jam as much activity into a minute better than most and it merely fosters more activity. Yet that which I value most is not quantity of tasks but quality of moments of depth that comes from “single” tasking.

A long run, throwing the ball for the girls, writing, reading more than 3 pages in a book, prayer and reflection that leads to gratitude and grace, a walk in the woods, undivided attention and device free moments with family and friends. That’s my list. What’s yours?

And when we get to more “yes” things that matter, the other stuff that makes up our ridiculously long “to do” list gets done. And if they don’t then maybe those things shouldn’t be done in the first place. Add more quality to your days and your tasks by doing less so the things that you spend your precious and limited time on bring more joy and discovery to your days. Remove items from the list so you can fully participate in life rather than be a “productive” machine.

Add by subtracting. It’s the new math.

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