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Posts tagged ‘Peace’

Woven in the Moment

“How strange that the nature of life is change, yet the nature of human beings is to resist change. And how ironic that the difficult times we fear might ruin us are the very ones that can break us open and help us blossom into who we were meant to be.”― Elizabeth Lesser, Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow

May you stop searching for peace long enough to find it
Woven in this moment
Within your heart
Beyond the noise and distractions
Beneath the doing and striving
In acceptance, not analysis
In enough, not more
In gratitude and grace
Blossoming, thriving and full
Stop, embrace it, pass it on.

Peace Is This Moment Without Judgment by Dorothy Hunt

“Do you think peace requires an end to war?
Or tigers eating only vegetables?
Does peace require an absence from
your boss, your spouse, yourself?…
Do you think peace will come some other place than here?
Some other time than Now?
In some other heart than yours?

Peace is this moment without judgment.
That is all. This moment in the Heart-space
where everything that is is welcome.
Peace is this moment without thinking
that it should be some other way,
that you should feel some other thing,
that your life should unfold according to your plans.

Peace is this moment without judgment,
this moment in the Heart-space where
everything that is is welcome.”

Summer Song

“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The wind through the trees
Dancing to the summer song
Inviting all to join the dance
Sway with the summer song
Empty to be filled yet again
Renewed, refreshed, awake.

Trees
by Alfred Joyce Kilmer

“I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.”

The Fruit of Kindness

“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.” – Saint Basil

“I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.” – Khalil Gibran

We hold back forgiveness and cling to offense. “You don’t know what they did to me.” We carry resentment and regret for years, justified. We repeat “let it go” and tighten our grip at the same time. Comfortable in the familiar, in our rightness, in our ways. Assumptions, opinions, offense, judgment, fear, anger consume joy, happiness, contentment, peace, awe and wonder.

You are a prisoner with the key. Unlock the door.

Be selfish. Do yourself the biggest favor that you can. Life-changing. Forgive and be kind.

Lay it down. Move on and do not look back. Be transformed by shifting your thoughts, words and actions. All within reach. Enter the transformation. Reap the fruit of kindness to yourself and others.

“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” – Og Mandino

Energy Investment

“Most of us have two lives: the life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.” – Steven Pressfield

“How you deal with your energy flow has a major effect on your life. If you assert your will against the energy of an event that has already happened, it is like trying to stop the ripples caused by a leaf dropped into a still lake. Anything you do causes more disturbance, not less. When you resist, the energy has no place to go.” – Michael A. Singer, the unteathered soul

Where will you put your energy today?

Invest or squander
Scatter or seed
Praise or complain
Cling or release
Open or closed
Gratitude or gripe

The river flows, overflows, plentiful
The current is strong and steady
Enter the flow or sit idle in the back channels, pooled up, unmoved
Damned up or flowing through
Our daily decision

Choose well
Allow
Release
Flow
Ease

“Stop and think about what you’re capable of achieving. Up to now, your capacities have been constrained by constant inner struggles. Imagine what would happen if your awareness was free to focus only on the events actually taking place. You would have no noise going on inside. If you lived like this, you could do anything. Your capabilities would be exponential compared to what you’ve ever experienced. If you could bring this level of awareness and clarity to everything you do, your life would change. – Michael A. Singer, the unteathered soul

Practice Peace

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

We ask for peace, call for it, long for it.
When given the answer, we balk.
It requires us to do what we don’t feel like doing.
It makes me responsible, not someone else.
It starts and ends within.
Be bold and go there.
Dig in, to the roots.
Practice peace, daily.
Focus on yourself and stop fixing “the other guy.”

Be open to change, growth, renewal, allow peace to enter, remain and expand. And then give it away.

Choose love, pardon, faith, hope, light and joy.

It is in giving we receive.
What a crazy, nonintuitive, creative, ridiculous, brilliant, simple and difficult formula.
Hunt, foster and practice peace deep within and cast it out into the world.
Diligent practice leads to improvement and mastery.
Imperfectly repeat and keep going.

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 is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

The Baptism of Presence

“A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.” – Liberty Hyde Bailey

“Help us to be ever faithful gardeners of the spirit, who know that without darkness nothing comes to birth, and without light nothing flowers.” – May Sarton

A garden unattended fills with weeds. You are the gardener of your own life. Tend to it daily. Water, light, attention, focus, effort. Dig in the dirt, deep to the roots, pull weeds, bury bulbs, feed, prune, tend.

“The hard work of living can make us forget why we’re here until we’re reawakened. As our eyes constrict and dilate all day long, the tangle of living collapses our awareness of all that is precious, which after a time we remember. This constriction and dilation of awareness is an inner form of day following night.”— The Book of Soul: 52 Paths to Living What Matters by Mark Nepo

Abide in this place and space, in the depth of now. See all of it, not just a sliver or snapshot, but all of it. Celebrate progress, growth, joy. We are blessed and need to be reminded of it daily. Steep in gratitude so that life multiples, expands and abundance shows itself in what already is present.

Actively participate in each day in your thoughts, actions, words, in seeds planted. Do not allow the noise of scarcity, comparison, “someday thinking,” expectations, opinions and assumptions to take root in your garden. Tend to your own garden, baptized by presence. Peace, light, beauty is all around. Wake up.

“Our purpose is not to choose between what’s up close and what’s far away, but to let the light of the world shine through our humanness. In spite of our habits and fears, our next ounce of aliveness takes form from immersing ourselves completely in the moment at hand, the way a cup dipped in a lake is filled with fresh water. This baptism of presence—of being bent by experience to dip the cup of our life into the water of life—fills and awakens us.”— The Book of Soul: 52 Paths to Living What Matters by Mark Nepo

 

 

Nothing and Everything

“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”
― A.A. Milne

“What I like doing best is Nothing.”

“How do you do Nothing,” asked Pooh after he had wondered for a long time.

“Well, it’s when people call out at you just as you’re going off to do it, ‘What are you going to do, Christopher Robin?’ and you say, ‘Oh, Nothing,’ and then you go and do it.

It means just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”

“Oh!” said Pooh.” ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Wander without aim;
Create space for nothing, no place to be;
Free your calendar of obligations and tasks;
Wade in slowly and feel the current of the river;
Offshore to explore;
Out on a limb suspended in time;
Gravity, grounded, floating;
Fully present in nothing so everything can enter all at once.

“Sometimes,’ said Pooh, ‘the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”
― A.A. Milne

Radical 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

After Jesus rose from the dead, He visited the apostles three times. They were locked in a room in fear. The first thing Jesus said when he appeared each time was “Peace be with you.” Since he wasn’t there the first time, Thomas didn’t believe until he touched His hands and side the next time Jesus returned. Then he believed, only when he saw Him. The third time, Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit on to them to remain with them and the world, the thread to make the Birth, Death and Resurrection alive to us today if we allow and invite it in. If we believe without seeing. The first thing the world says is crucify. The first thing Jesus says, even today, is “peace be with you.”

I am no scholar, theologian or minister, so a “professional” would probably cringe at my summary. And weaving quotes from Santana and Jim Hendrix would really put some in a tailspin. Those who are not “religious” already stopped reading this or never started.

I am just an ordinary person trying to make sense of the world, my place in it and how to leave the place and others better than I found them while enjoying the journey.

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.” Jimi Hendrix

The world feels really heavy right now and it has for over a year with the pandemic, politics, social unrest, division, judgment, violence, racism of all kinds. All of it rooted in anger, unforgiveness and fear. So rather than join the mobs, how can you be radical and offer peace, light, forgiveness and hope?

There are gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit that Jesus left behind to join us on our daily journey:

The gifts: wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, fear of the Lord, piety.

The fruits: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control

Accept the gifts, produce the fruit. Peace be with you. Radical peace.

“Harmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay.” – Sallust

 

New Ground

“Always keep your mind as bright and clear as the vast sky, the great ocean, and the highest peak, empty of all thoughts. Always keep your body filled with light and heat. Fill yourself with the power of wisdom and enlightenment.” – Morihei Ueshiba

Put your energy and attention into what you can control – your thoughts, actions and imagination. Quiet the noise, lay down the weight of worry, offense and opinion. Open up to deep waters of possibility, enthusiasm and optimism.  Overflowing. Sacred. Holy. New day, new beginning, new ground.

For a New Beginning by John O’Donohue

“In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.”

In Kindness Rather than In Kind

“Every day brings new choices.” – Martha Beck

“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.” – Saint Basil

I have had many conversations in my head with others, things I want to say to “set the record straight,” to “put them in their place,” to “lay it on the line.” Fortunately, I’ve kept most of those where they belong – unsaid. When they’ve escaped and actually came out, regret usually followed. At times, it is appropriate to not be a doormat as well and to speak our own voice.

Our choice is between reacting “in kind” – returning what’s given to us, especially the negativity and criticism or responding “in kindness” – by not returning the same so we don’t turn into that which we want to avoid. Complaint, negativity and criticism are rampant and only create a downward spiral. Gratitude, optimism and hope offer an alternative and multiplies rather than substracts, a whirlwind upward, a deep well to draw from.

So little of what people serve us in negativity, complaint and consternation has anything to do with us. When we take it personally, we allow them to steal our joy. That person who cut you off, the coworker who has a bad attitude and shares it every time you interact with her/him so you do everything to avoid her/him, the family member or friend who triggers that 10 year old in you are all carrying their own burdens and struggles. When we understand this, we have arrived at empathy and understanding and can move out from that place rather than the “what about me?” hole.

Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements are simple rules and principles to follow that can help us respond “in kindness” rather than “in kind,” freeing us from the power and winds of external forces that we allow to permeate our internal state of joy and peace:

  1. Be Impeccable With Your Word.
  2. Don’t Take Anything Personally.
  3. Don’t Make Assumptions.
  4. Always Do Your Best.

As Maya Angelou said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” We can choose to respond with empathy, understanding, positivity and optimism to combat negativity and model a different path that creates contentment and joy, which is in short supply right now.

Choose mindfully and with forethought the energy that you put out into the world. You can be that thread of hope, that beam of light, that source of joy that someone desperately needs from you now.

“I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” – Stephen Grellet

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