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Posts tagged ‘Encouragement’

Life Unfolding

“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” – Vincent Van Gogh

“Spoiler alert: The good life is a complicated life. For everybody. The good life is joyful… and challenging. Full of love, but also pain. And it never strictly happens; instead, the good life unfolds, through time. It is a process. It includes turmoil, calm, lightness, burdens, struggles, achievements,”― Robert Waldinger, The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness

May joy be yours today.
In drops, in waves, in calm waters.
Hope, grace, peace come in ordinary ways.
Seek them.
Let them find you.
Give them away with abandon.
Life unfolding a day at a time.

“We live in all we seek.”― Annie Dillard, For the Time Being

One More Time

“The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.”― Robert Frost

“When Medieval Monks were asked how they practiced their faith, they said, “By falling down and getting up.” This is the human journey from which no one is exempt. We are constantly challenged to get up one more time than we fall, to open one more time than we close, and to put things together one more time than we take them apart.”— Mark Nepo, Falling Down and Getting Up: Discovering Your Inner Resilience and Strength

Transitions of seasons.
External and internal.
Thresholds and openings.
Starts and stops.
Trips and stumbles.
Overcoming and ease.
Trust the journey that flowers and butterflies know by heart.
Seed in the dark. Bloom in the light.
Weight of the cocoon. Lift of flight.
Time. Waiting. Anticipation.
Getting up again and again.
Seeing beauty along the way.

“In a modern age that commodifies everything, our challenge is to grow from the inside out, letting every holy calling find its own expression within us and between us. After decades of listening to the stories and struggles of others, I can bear witness that teaching, in its most profound form, is not moving a life from here to there, or from effort to achievement, or even from chaos to order. Rather, teaching is creating the enduring environment in which the seed of the soul can know itself and blossom.” — Mark Nepo, Falling Down and Getting Up: Discovering Your Inner Resilience and Strength

Top Heavy

“Cherish sunsets, wild creatures and wild places. Have a love affair with the wonder and beauty of the earth.” – Stewart Udall

“Tell me a story of deep delight.”― Robert Penn Warren

Allow joy and delight to lift you up.
Top heavy with ease.
Awed by beauty.
Present and open to possibilities.
In giving.
In receiving.
Some days glide.
Some days bumpy.
Each day, the only place to be.
In both being and doing, more being.
Fertile, sacred, holy ground of becoming.
In ordinary days.
The crucible of our formation, fruition, transformation.

“The crucible of our formation is in the monotony of our daily routines.”― Tish Harrison Warren, Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life

Said the Butterfly

“Don’t be afraid. Change is such a beautiful thing”, said the Butterfly.”― Sabrina Newby

“How can I begin anything new with all of yesterday in me?”― Leonard Cohen, Beautiful Losers

May you find the resolve to lay down the past to pick up the present.
Moving lighter into this day.
Hearing the soft voice that calls you home to yourself and the world anew.
To anticipate the possibility rather than fear of the future.
Embracing change, trusting the process of transformation.
Especially in cocoon times.
Change is a beautiful thing as butterflies prove again and again.
Lighten up.

“Caterpillars can fly, if they just lighten up.”― Scott J. Simmerman Ph.D.

Ministry of Presence

“Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.”― Rumi

“We are called at certain moments to comfort people who are enduring some trauma. Many of us don’t know how to react in such situations, but others do. In the first place, they just show up. They provide a ministry of presence. Next, they don’t compare. The sensitive person understands that each person’s ordeal is unique and should not be compared to anyone else’s. Next, they do the practical things–making lunch, dusting the room, washing the towels. Finally, they don’t try to minimize what is going on. They don’t attempt to reassure with false, saccharine sentiments. They don’t say that the pain is all for the best. They don’t search for silver linings. They do what wise souls do in the presence of tragedy and trauma. They practice a passive activism. They don’t bustle about trying to solve something that cannot be solved. The sensitive person grants the sufferer the dignity of her own process. She lets the sufferer define the meaning of what is going on. She just sits simply through the nights of pain and darkness, being practical, human, simple, and direct.”― David Brooks, The Road to Character

Show up.
Be present for others.
Reach out to those struggling.
Go beyond self to connection.
Nothing to say or do.
A ministry of presence.
Acts of love.
That’s your purpose, our purpose.
To be human and spread it.
A kindness pandemic.
One we never want to recover from.
A lamp, a lifeboat, a ladder.
A generosity of spirit in action.
A lighthouse moving into the world.

“Recovering from suffering is not like recovering from a disease. Many people don’t come out healed; they come out different.”― David Brooks, The Road to Character

To Be Here Now

“Prayer can be a rhythm that helps us make sense in times of senselessness, not offering solutions, but speaking to and from the mystery of humanity.”― Pádraig Ó Tuama, Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community

“To be human is to be in the imagination of God, and the imagination is the source of integrity as well as cracks. To be born is to be born into a story of possibility, a story of failure, a story of imagination and the failure of imagination. To be born is to be born with the possibility of courage. Hello to courage.”― Pádraig Ó Tuama, In the Shelter: Finding a Home in the World

May you be fully human this day, everyday
Flaws, cracks and all, beauty too
Giving others the same grace and mercy too
It has been and is offered to all without condition or reserve
Change nothing but thoughts that keep you stuck in the past, fearful of the future
The work of love, a high calling in ordinary days
Holy ground we walk daily
Feel your feet on this ground
To be here now
Say hello to courage.

“May we find our foundation in the work of Love; demanding, tiring, true and human and holy.”― Pádraig Ó Tuama, Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community


“Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.”― Sam Keen

“While we wait for life, life passes.” – Seneca

Live while life is happening.
In the waiting.
In the rushing.
In the resting.
In the healing.
In work.
In play.
In all seasons.
Someday is today.
Engage. Participate. Affirm.

“The hero’s achievement, in short, is to affirm life.”― Carol S. Pearson

The Useful Thing

“To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man’s life.”― T.S. Eliot, The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism

“Footfalls echo in the memory, down the passage we did not take, towards the door we never opened, into the rose garden.”― T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

There are still passages to take, doors to open, flowers to gaze upon.
Learn from regrets but don’t keep carrying them, missing the present.
Beginnings, endings, seasons, cycles, circles.
Time is passing.
Do not waste it.
Be present in today alone and do the work.
Play, delight, find joy in the ordinary moments before you.
Do the useful thing.

“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”― T.S. Eliot


“Grace is everywhere as an active orientation of all created reality toward God.” – Karl Rahner

“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” – Anne Lamott

When I woke up yesterday morning, I heard, “go to yoga.” I wasn’t planning on it, but I followed the clear prompt. It’s offered twice a week during the summer outside overlooking Como Lake. The instructor combines yoga for all levels with a good dose of mindfulness.

After I was done, an immediate lift, a gust of wind, an ease that remains still. Intuition. Grace. Signs and wonders. Whatever you call it, when we quiet long enough, stop talking and start listening, we can hear the soft whisper that guides and directs us to new places.

Create space each day to heed the call, to throw yourself back into life in different ways, to discover new places just outside your door. Wander, wonder, inquire and quiet enough to hear. The lift of grace in ordinary days through simple acts.

“All stories are, in some form, prayers.”― Brian Doyle, The Wet Engine: Exploring Mad Wild Miracle of Heart

Vital Awareness

“Any place is sacred ground, for it can become a place of encounter with the divine Presence.”― David Steindl-Rast, A Listening Heart: The Spirituality of Sacred Sensuousness

Life keeps happening.
Giving, taking, rerouting.
Circumstances, difficulties, challenges.
Alongside laughter, contentment, awe.
It’s all of it.
Threads weaving together, especially the frayed ones.
Expectations rooted in someday when or remember when.
Rules, counting and comparison.
Foreboding rather than forbearing.
Be in today alone.
It is enough and filled to the brim.
Find imperfect, beautiful joy on sacred ground of the ordinary.
In the present moment.
Put down expectations, the narrow view.
Broaden and deepen.
Vital awareness.
Come alive.

“Sometimes people get the mistaken notion that spirituality is a separate department of life, the penthouse of existence. But rightly understood, it is a vital awareness that pervades all realms of our being… Wherever we may come alive, that is the area in which we are spiritual.”― David Steindl-Rast

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