“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.” – Emily Dickinson
“A sign hangs on the wall in a New Monastic Christian community house: “Everyone wants a revolution. No one wants to do the dishes.” I was, and remain, a Christian who longs for revolution, for things to be made new and whole in beautiful and big ways. But what I am slowly seeing is that you can’t get to the revolution without learning to do the dishes. The kind of spiritual life and disciplines needed to sustain the Christian life are quiet, repetitive, and ordinary. I often want to skip the boring, daily stuff to get to the thrill of an edgy faith. But it’s in the dailiness of the Christian faith—the making the bed, the doing the dishes, the praying for our enemies, the reading the Bible, the quiet, the small—that God’s transformation takes root and grows.”― Tish Harrison Warren, Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life
Do the dishes.
The seemingly ordinary.
A phone call, text, visit.
Holding a door.
Letting someone in your lane.
A warm embrace.
Attention to what already is not what is missing.
Slowing to take in the shapes, colors, beauty around.
Do the dishes of daily love, joy and kindness.
The makings of a real revolution.
Change we long for achieved one small act after another.
Transformation from rigor, repetition, waiting woven with wonder, delight and awe.
“Love is light—only fully realized when it is reflected. It was never meant to be kept.”― Stephanie Catudal, Everything All at Once: A Memoir
“Peace is joy at rest. Joy is peace on its feet.”― Anne Lamott
“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”― Gilda Radner
Not knowing and being ok with it.
Making the best of what is.
Finding joy, peace and beauty in roads not chosen.
Trusting the unfolding.
Delicious ambiguity indeed.
“Pay attention to the beauty surrounding you.” – Anne Lamott
“Come on now! Come on now
Hold your breath while you say
It’s a long way back and I’m begging you please
To come home now. Come home now
I heard you’ve been out looking for something to love
Close your eyes, little world, and brace yourself.” – Nick Cave
“Sometimes I need
only to stand
wherever I am
to be blessed.”― Mary Oliver, Evidence: Poems
How many times on holy ground and unaware?
How often going so fast the scenery a mere blur?
How often so close and still not seeing what is right there?
Too often I presume, I know.
May I be rooted in the sacred ground beneath my feet.
Blooming and bursting good fruit.
Braced for joy.
To live, to love, to right action, to gratitude and grace.
“Have I lived enough?
Have I loved enough?
Have I considered Right Action enough, have I
come to any conclusion?
Have I experienced happiness with sufficient gratitude?
Have I endured loneliness with grace? – Mary Oliver, A Thousand Mornings
“Love falls to earth, rises from the ground, pools around the afflicted. Love pulls people back to their feet. Bodies and souls are fed. Bones and lives heal. New blades of grass grow from charred soil. The sun rises.”― Anne Lamott, Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers
“This is the most profound spiritual truth I know: that even when we’re most sure that love can’t conquer all, it seems to anyway. It goes down into the rat hole with us, in the guise of our friends, and there it swells and comforts. It gives us second winds, third winds, hundredth winds.”― Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith
The sun rises.
The sun sets.
The in between, our canvas.
Paint. Color. Create.
Hope. Joy. Love.
Hundredth winds to lift you up, keep you going with delight, holding hands on our shared journey.
Love is bigger, deeper, wider than all and anything else.
“Hope is not about proving anything. It’s about choosing to believe this one thing, that love is bigger than any grim, bleak shit anyone can throw at us.”― Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith
“Eucharisteo—thanksgiving—always precedes the miracle.”― Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite – only a sense of existence. Well, anything for variety. I am ready to try this for the next ten thousand years, and exhaust it. How sweet to think of! my extremities well charred, and my intellectual part too, so that there is no danger of worm or rot for a long while. My breath is sweet to me. O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.”― Henry David Thoreau
May thanksgiving be perennial rather than annual.
Rooted deeply, ever-present.
A perpetual harvest.
A framework, attitude, lens to living every day, not a mere day.
Recognizing what is already present.
Abundance over scarcity.
Multiplication over subtraction.
Praise over comparison.
Gratitude. Contentment. Peace.
May these be your daily companions.
“Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.”― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”― Rumi
“For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.”― Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace
Feel the weight of time
The gravity of presence
The current of the river
In both joy and sorrow
Often woven together
Lean on joy, hope, love
Laughter and tears, more laughter please
You can hold it all
And put it down
Idle, accelerate, coast
Inquire, observe, hear
Remember to wonder and seek awe
Found in beauty
In ordinary days
Given freely and abundantly by God
A peace that passes understanding
Awaiting your awakening and attendance
Tend to joy
A river moving in you
“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.”― Jonathan Swift
“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”― C.S. Lewis
“Back on the caregiving roller coaster, I struggled to remember the lesson I had just learned so painfully with Mom: the end of caregiving isn’t freedom. The end of caregiving is grief.”― Margaret Renkl, Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss
A friend’s Mom passed away yesterday.
Another friend’s Mom in July.
Mine in March.
Others a few years ago, some decades.
Grief is both individual and communal.
Same and different.
Fresh and lingering.
Deeper than platitudes.
Beyond the words of a Hallmark card.
Not a process but a winding, rocky, sometimes beautiful journey.
A bi-polar SOB.
Depths and heights.
Laughter and tears.
Drops and waves.
Never over, merely changing its form.
Do not go around it, avoid, or run from it.
Right through the middle.
Loss is overwhelming and always overcome by love.
Friends and family, show up.
Not just in the beginning, but months later too.
Simply be there and available.
Don’t assume, always ask and listen.
Actions over words.
Peace, love, light on this journey friend.
Love walks beside you softly, quietly, fiercely.
“Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
“The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.”― Thich Nhat Hanh
“Happiness isn’t something that depends on our surroundings…It’s something we make inside ourselves.”― Corrie Ten Boom
Pause and pursuit.
Quiet and clarity.
Slow and motion.
Space and place.
Look around on the path you walk today.
Seek beauty, color, delight.
Inside and out.
Focus attention, intention, direction.
Plant seeds along the way.
Joy, awe, kindness.
Walk in peace.
“waste time wisely, my friend. Time spent in rest, joy, company and kindness is never wasted. As for everything else, just do it. You won’t regret the things you tried and failed at. But you will regret a life spent waiting. Those who wait, wait. You have a life to live.”― Donna Ashworth, I Wish I Knew: Poems to Soothe Your Soul & Strengthen Your Spirit
“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.”
“Let go once. And if it keeps coming up, let go again. Peace does not just happen, you have to practice it.” – Yung Pueblo
Commitment, repetition, action.
Daily walking it out.
Energy, pursuit, zeal.
Sticking with what matters.
Letting go of the unnecessary again and again.
Open to newness, possibility, change.
Making space and room for ease, flow, restoration.
In the practice, the commitment, the action lies the fruit.
May you find and be found by peace, light and joy today.
And pass it on to others too.
“Peace begins with a smile..”― Mother Teresa
“Man’s main task is to give birth to himself. ”― Erich Fromm
“My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird — equal seekers of sweetness. Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young and still not half-perfect? Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture. Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,
which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart and these body-clothes, a mouth with which to give shouts of joy to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is that we live forever.” – Mary Oliver
To give birth again and again.
Daily. In moments. Amidst ordinary.
Color, texture, flavor, vibrancy.
Life all around to love.
All the ingredients for a delicious day.
May you be struck by awe, rapt by delight, held in grace.
Do your work, love the world, as it is right now.
Shouts of joy.
“Tell me, at what velocity does joy travel?”― Clint Smith