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Posts tagged ‘Hope’

Unleash and Release

“Throughout our lives, God's grace bestows temporal blessings and spiritual gifts that magnify our abilities and enrich our lives. His grace refines us. His grace helps us become our best selves.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“Throughout our lives, God’s grace bestows temporal blessings and spiritual gifts that magnify our abilities and enrich our lives. His grace refines us. His grace helps us become our best selves.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“There is that incessantly gnawing loneliness that leaves us ever-restless, eventually driving us to embark upon some endless journey supposing that whatever would fill us is held in some hidden treasure that lays silently buried in a yet undiscovered place. Yet, it would do us well to understand that this loneliness is no more and no less than the image of the infinite God ever-stirring within us and all the while begging to be unleashed.”― Craig D. Lounsbrough

Loosen the binds and bonds of ego, worry, restlessness.
Enter the space of spirit, soul, being.
Always present, waiting to be found, seen, experienced.
Seek, find and be found.
Listen for the whisper, the call.
Here for a purpose, hear on purpose.
Inquire, discern, reflect, respond.
Salt, light, color.
Do good.
Bless the world with your best imperfect, flawed, beautiful self.

“Christ has no body now but yours
No hands, no feet on earth but yours
Yours are the eyes that look
Compassion on the world
Yours are the feet that walk to do good
Yours are the hands that bless all the world.” – St. Theresa of Aliva

Divine

“Caress the detail, the divine detail.” – Vladimir Nabokov

“Caress the detail, the divine detail.” – Vladimir Nabokov

“If you see with innocent eyes, everything is divine.” – Federico Fellini

The divinity of a flower, of purple, of color.
Of laughter.
Of a sunrise.
Of an embrace.
Of music
Of acceptance.
Of art.
Of belonging
Of no permission or approval needed.
Of poetry and prose.
Of possibility.
Of enthusiasm and encouragement.
Of optimism and hope.
Of threads and themes.
Of patterns and clarity.
Of tipping points and transformation.
Of dreams fulfilled, renewed and reignited.
Of it all.
Ordinary days, in the details, the divine awaits your arrival and companionship
Find the divine and revel in it.

“When your dreams turn to dust, vacuum.” – Desmond Tutu

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.

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.”

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

Fierce Reckless Love

“The earth has grown old with its burden of care, but at Christmas it always is young, the heart of the jewel burns lustrous and fair, and its soul full of music breaks the air, when the song of angels is sung.” – Phillips Brooks

“All thoughts, all passions, all delights Whatever stirs this mortal frame All are but ministers of Love And feed His sacred flame.” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

In a world that yells you’re not enough, not welcome, don’t belong, Christmas marks the end of isolation, aloneness, unworthiness, the beginning of acceptance, joy and love. Rejected from the start, no room at the Inn, Jesus comes to walk the same earth, experience the same judgment and though innocent, bears our own sins on the Cross to save the world. Fierce, reckless, unbelievable, undeserving love, grace and mercy.

Put down your rules, assumptions, opinions, ego, religion, judgment, comparison and flat familiar narratives for a moment. Open up to mere consideration of this fierce reckless love. Be held in the invitation, the welcoming, the homecoming, where nothing makes sense yet possibility lingers in inquiry, in imagination.

Change your answer, say yes and “make room at the Inn.” Don’t follow the crowd, break the rules, go off trail. Crack the door, open the window to wonder, contentment, delight, mystery, magnificence. Rest in the blessed assurance that you are never alone, never have been, nor will be.

That’s the message of Christmas – belonging, not just some, but all. Christmas demands more, gives more and transforms if we allow. Accept the invitation in your heart to come home where the hem of heaven kisses the earth this morning and each day going forward. Offered to each without reserve or measure.

Merry, Merry Christmas.

“There are four questions of value in life, Don Octavio. What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same. Only love.” – Lord Byron

Prelude

“Of all the seasons, winter is the most conducive to the great art of dormancy. This art requires an appreciation of semi-consciousness: the beautiful and necessary prelude to sleep – a special pleasure in itself that is all too often neglected, under-valued or looked down upon.” – Michael Leunig

“The earth was all before me. With a heart
Joyous, nor scared at its own liberty,
I look about; and should the chosen guide
Be nothing better than a wandering cloud,
I cannot miss my way.”― William Wordsworth, The Prelude

Christmas upon us.
Enter slowly and sit awhile.
Pause the busy.
Rest in the beauty.
Embrace time with family and friends.
Be present in each moment.
Witnessing the true gift of Christmas.
Christmas Eve, the prelude, the tipping point.
Spacious. Abundant. Sacred.
Joy. Peace. Light.

Christmas Eve Eve

“God is in the details.” – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

“Expectancy is the atmosphere for miracles.” – Edwin Louis Cole

In these last hours of Advent, prepare to enter Christmas through eyes and heart of a child. The waiting is over and the gift is arriving yet again to change the story, the trajectory, the future.

In wonder, love and joy, never miss the chance to pause from skating to plop down to make snow angels. To delight in the season and to carry it forward into the world. Generosity, kindness, compassion, understanding, inquiry, surprise, transformation, wanderlust, reverence, laughter, dancing, hope, singing, faith, color, trust, mystery, connection, snow angels. All gifts of this season. Open, invite it all in and in turn, give them all away freely. Be held and hold.

Merry Christmas. May we carry it forward when we return to ordinary days to transform them into extraordinary days.

“The Gospel comes in power and the Holy Spirit, with much assurance. If you call upon the name of the Lord, God will transform you on the inside, give you the shock of your life, and give you everlasting life on top of that.” – Ray Comfort

Plant Peace

“The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace.” – Carlos Santana

“Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

As the waiting, preparation and anticipation of Advent comes to its last few days, may Christmas be born in all hearts and poured out in actions. Love yourself so you can properly love others. Without condition, counting or delay, start from a place of love and be an instrument that builds, creates, enlivens and carries kindness and light into a chaotic undeserving world. In little things, great things bloom. Plant seeds of peace and love, grow joy and awe.

Prayer of St. Francis

“Lord make Me an instrument of Your peace
Where there is hatred let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness joy.
O Divine master grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand.
To be loved. as to love
For it’s in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born…
To eternal life.”

Peace. Love. Pardon. Faith. Hope. Light. Joy.
To you today and in the magical miraculous days ahead as Christmas comes to change our hearts and, in turn, the world.
An instrument of peace. A powerful weapon.

Assurance

“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

“Not in his goals but in his transitions man is great.”  —Ralph Waldo Emerson

In our own struggles, we not only gain insight with time and distance, empathy can be fruit we bear as well. When we allow vulnerability and share struggles together, we create connectedness and “us”ness rather than aloneness.

In conversations recently, I’ve referenced a few anchor points that have held me in and through difficulty. In Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ seminal book On Grief and Grieving, she frames the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. She never presented the stages as linear but more circular, completed in due time with acceptance. These stages are not only relevant in final death but the many deaths and transitions we experience in life. Two years of a pandemic have presented a lot of deaths to the collective whole of humanity. In 2020, co-author of On Grief and Grieving David Kessler wrote a new book adding the sixth stage of grief – meaning. When we know meaning is the destination, we can tolerate and keep moving through the rough parts of the journey.

The next reference that has fostered a deeper understanding and foundation of assurance is Bridges Transition Model identifying the three stages of transition – ending what currently is, the neutral zone and the new beginning.

“The essence of life takes place in the neutral zone phase of transition. It is in that interim spaciousness that all possibilities, creativity and innovative ideas can come to life and flourish.” – Susan Bridges

The winters of life serve their purpose which we rarely see or understand in real time. Be assured – spring never skips its turn. Sharing that assurance with others. Cast light, hope and connection.

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