“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.”― Khalil Gibran
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms…”― Henry David Thoreau
Shed the chaos
Tune out the noise
Narrow to go deeper
Prune dead branches
Transcend the nonessential
Define your essential
“Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done. It doesn’t mean just doing less for the sake of less either. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.”― Greg Mckeown, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
“Beauty itself is but the sensible image of the Infinite.” – Francis Bacon
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Viktor E. Frankl
The space between stimulus and response
See the same in a new way
Take a different route
Tilt your head to see a different angle
Detach from the old
Draw outside the lines
Throw away the box you put yourself in
Throw away the box others put you in
Wide open spaces
Venture out beyond old stories, thoughts, opinions, assumptions
Make the unknown, known
Do not settle for familiarity, complacency, and certainty over fruition and growth
We are built for more, called to better, capable for hard
Density over volume
Imperfect wholeness and completion
Energy, creativity and light
Do not play small
Listen, look, receive, release
Make the same new
Always choose to bloom
“You have to color outside the lines once in a while if you want to make your life a masterpiece.” – Einstein
“…I heard an architect say that a contemplative building is not one built for meditating, though meditation may take place there, but more a building where the inside is larger than the outside. It made me realize that anything that does this, that makes the inside larger than the outside, leads us to our core. And breathing there gives us peace.” – Mark Nepo, Finding Inner Courage
May you love yourself enough to travel within to make your inside larger than the outside.
May you love others enough to invite them to the same journey.
May you find peace, joy and light in this very day.
Accept the invitation. Take the trip daily.
“It is a constant challenge to find our center, our core, and to stay there long enough to uncover our capacities. Both require a steady movement inward.” – Mark Nepo, Finding Inner Courage
“we are souls who have met for a purpose on this mysterious journey; that each of us is here for the other, and all that is required is to strip down to the marrow and to be present. To look into each other’s eyes and to search beyond the identity of victim and helper, sick one and well one, weak one and strong one—to look deeper and to find the dignified soul of each being, and to stand in solidarity as a fellow human who is striving to be free. This is how all of us can try to be with each other, every day—wherever we go and whatever disparities may exist between us.”— Marrow: A Love Story by Elizabeth Lesser
Last night, I finished Elizabeth Lesser’s’ book Marrow: A Love Story. The past weeks, I’ve scattered several quotes from the book throughout posts. It’s been the right book at the right time for me.
We have cues, clues, signs and directions right in front of us waiting to be seen and heard. Look and listen. Be bold and enter that quiet space within to hear that still small voice, your inner knowing, your intuition, your soul, your GPS, your True North. Beyond rules, assumptions, judgment, ego, offense, irritations, neatly-packaged narratives, the past and the future, there’s an open field ready to be explored, revealed and discovered.
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.”― Rumi
Daily rituals and practices that pull us into that wide open field include meditation (Insight Timer makes it so easy to break old thought patterns and create new ones!), Morning Pages (Julia Cameron’s recipe that works wonders and fosters creativity and clarity), gratitude (count your blessings and gifts, take inventory) and movement (get out in nature, spin up a stretching class on YouTube, get your blood pumping). All doable and worth the effort.
“We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand – out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.” – Romans 5:2
Try one new thing today. Expand, engage, participate in the unfolding of your life. Repeat tomorrow, the next and the next. Wide open spaces.
“The goal of meditation is liberation. Liberation from the stormy weather occurring between our skull bones. Liberation from the war within. We meditate to become comfortable with whatever is going on in any moment. To engage with reality on its own terms.”— Marrow: A Love Story by Elizabeth Lesser
“A free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends and dips his wing in the orange sun rays and dares to claim the sky.” – Maya Angelou, Caged Bird
“In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.” – Alice Walker
Church is not a place to go or not go once a week for an hour to check the attendance box and return to “normal” life. We are the church, not a building. Individually and collectively, we make up the church. What we believe in, what altars we kneel at, who we become if we dare to take the journey within and venture out.
We put ceilings up to limit God, circumstances, other people, self to be comfortable, safe and certain. We want to know the ending, but the ending is being written each new day in choices, thoughts, actions and inactions.
Our willingness to expand and open without fear of losing our sense of security and stability is the dance, the balance beam, the inflection point that pulls us into this moment, this day, aware of the mystery and entering it without full knowing but trusting it will unfold as it should.
“There is nothing but mystery in the world, how it hides behind the fabric of our poor, browbeat days, shining brightly, and we don’t even know it. — Sue Monk Kidd
Regret’s only purpose is to change our behavior and actions. Carrying it further slows and stalls the journey forward. When we stop circling the same mountains looking for new terrain, we can venture off trail cutting new paths to new mountains.
Life is a series of interwoven journeys, moments to savor and memories in the making. Be present, feel the ground under your feet, expand your lungs with a deep breath. Grasp the immensity and breadth of all that is before you and most importantly in you.
Allow the mystery to unfold and be revealed in quiet reflection and inquiry. Feel the pull of gravity. Follow the compass of intuition. Trust the soul’s compass. Ask the questions. Listen for the answers. There is no ceiling, just sky. Claim the sky.
“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.” —Henry David Thoreau
“First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.” – Napoleon Hill
That wanted to be
A beautiful book
It would die
If that’s what it took…” – Butterfly Boucher
Thin ice remains on the shore as the middle gives way to open, cold, deep water. The transformation from winter to spring almost complete. As winter and spring dance, transitioning who leads, a mix of cold and warm, dry and wet will bring us into April. The rain softens and greens the grass. Spring is certain. Winter returning in eight months is certain as well. The dance continues, steps in sync, choregraphed by the Author of Life.
Seasons, cycles, transitions, change are certain. Transformation, growth and transcendence are a choice, a decision. We can remain on the surface, on thin ice, in the hardness of winter or give way to spring, to dance, to deep waters.
The journey is not to foreign lands beyond but within to unfold, unwind and peal the layers to reveal our authentic self. It calls for letting go, dying to old self, releasing what was to be on its own to fully embrace what is while anticipating the fruit that comes with time, sun and rain. Take the journey.
Full of dreams for one thing…
Full of dreams for reasons…
Full of dreams for one thing…
So keep dreaming” – Butterfly Boucher
“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted.” – Jack Kerouac
“For one moment, try to not to get to a place. To not busy your mind + self with things to achieve, or decorate your walls. For one moment, try, to arrive with nothing in your pockets, no shoes on your feet, with only your body, + breath to rely.” – Sarah Blondin
We think we have infinite time with finite choices. Flip it. We have finite time with infinite choices. No more yesterdays, only today to grasp, embrace, honor and to set the stage for tomorrow. This moment alone, the fullness, all the colors and awareness of its depth.
Will you see it or will you let it pass you by on the way to somewhere else?
Will you be a spectator or participant?
Will you accept or reject?
Depart for a moment from the minefield of your racing thoughts. Breathe deeply. Fill your lungs. Release and let the pressure dissipate. Awaken all senses to this moment. Let your thoughts go, pausing to bring you back to equilibrium, to center.
Make your life sacred by immersing yourself in moments, suspended in mid-air of possibility, anchored in light. Do not leave this place until you embrace gratitude and feel the magnitude and immensity of being held by God. A holy, reverent reckoning and unexplainable ease.
When you arrive, you have just found grace. Hold onto it long enough to remember that it is always present. Let it soak into your being. It is not reserved for others. It is a gift for all. Given freely. No counting, no comparing, no scorekeeping. A river that flows softly on the surface and powerfully in the current beneath, it remains. A force to be reckoned with when it is recognized.
Suspend and detach from your thoughts, assumptions, judgments, worry, regret and fear to make space for love, forgiveness, joy, trust, gratitude, wonder and awe woven in the sacred ordinary. Take your hands off the wheel of the bike and steer from your core – heart, soul, spirit. Releasing from the mechanics and transactions to the magic and miracle of ordinary days.
“Scale mountains. Revel at the moon. Kneel at the foot of ancient trunks. Seek wisdom. Find kinship + holy teachers. Offer love to both, sour + soft living things. Roll precious stones in your palm. Carry clost to you, the quill of an owl. Burn the threads of flagrant grasses. Do what brings you closest to feeling the weight of goodness pressing up against you. But the most noble thing you can ever do is come to be a student of your own Self + heart.” – Sarah Blondin
“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne
“Anybody can observe the Sabbath, but making it holy surely takes the rest of the week.” – Alice Walker
For so long
Day after day
Running fast and furious
Checking the box
New list, new boxes
Task after task
Problem solved, another takes its place
To What end?
Ask the questions
Inventory what stays and what must go and then release it
Expectations and assumptions
Quantity over quality
Examine how time is being spent or given
On sabbath, God’s day, He calls us to rest as He did after 6 days creating the world
The Author of Life, asks us to pause
To ask the questions, to listen, to pull off the racetrack to rest, nothing to check off, no problem to solve, to just be so we can carry Sunday into the week
God chases us as we chase everything and everyone but Him
Patiently, lovingly, mercifully, gracefully, generously
He chases, calls and waits for us to see Him in the threads of ordinary moments, always present, whispering, “Come, sit for a while”
You have earned your rest
There is nowhere to go
Nowhere to be than right now
On a bench, taking in the depth and beauty of this very moment
Sunday was created to linger, to laugh, to lounge, to live so the rest of the week makes sense and is lived on purpose, gratefully and with intent, not accidentally
Right here, right now.
Come, sit for a while.
“If you keep the Sabbath, you start to see creation not as somewhere to get away from your ordinary life, but a place to frame an attentiveness to your life.” – Eugene H. Peterson