“As a result, nature has endowed the human brain with a malleability and flexibility that lets it adapt to the demands of the world it finds itself in. The brain is neither immutable nor static but continuously remodeled by the lives we lead.”― Richard J. Davidson, The Emotional Life of Your Brain
“A short practice that you do every day is better than a long practice you keep putting off to tomorrow.”― Kelly McGonigal, The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It
Meditation isn’t complicated and the payback is worth the small investment.
I have been using the free Insight Timer app for three years.
10 to 20 minutes in the morning to set the stage for the day as well as at the end of the day to close it out.
Some guided, nature sounds, mostly music.
Give yourself the gift of reflection, quiet and discernment.
You are worth it.
Continuously remodeling, learning, unlearning, unfolding, becoming.
Stir up by settling down.
“Neuroscientists have discovered that when you ask the brain to meditate, it gets better not just at meditating, but at a wide range of self-control skills, including attention, focus, stress management, impulse control, and self-awareness.”― Kelly McGonigal, The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It
“Whatever it is you’re seeking won’t come in the form you’re expecting.”― Haruki Marukami
“What might we learn if we listen, if we wade in—unafraid, untethered, and uninhibited—ready to become the ones we were created to become.”― Kaitlin B. Curtice, Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God
Flipped upside down
Resistance, friction, flow
Different yet familiar
Connected, present, complete
Untether, malleable, made new
The journey is one of becoming
Transitions, thresholds, transformation
“If you’re willing to pay attention to and dialogue with what’s happening inside of you, you’ll find that your body already knows the answers about how to live a full, present, connected, and healthy life.”― Hillary L. McBride, The Wisdom of Your Body: Finding Healing, Wholeness, and Connection through Embodied Living
“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.” – Emily Brontë
“Go, sit upon the lofty hill, And turn your eyes around, Where waving woods and waters wild Do hymn an autumn sound. The summer sun is faint on them— The summer flowers depart— Sit still— as all transform’d to stone, Except your musing heart.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Hit the brakes
Swerve to the side
Stop in your tracks
Interrupted by beauty
Ablaze with joy
Frozen in awe
Awaken to the beauty abound and around
At your feet
In abundance, all for the taking, holding, embracing
Seize moments within the day
Transformed to your musing heart
“Autumn that year painted the countryside in vivid shades of scarlet, saffron, and russet, and the days were clear and crisp under the harvest skies.” – Sharon Kay Penman
“Who knows why God allows heartbreak, but the answer must be important enough because God allows His heart to break too.”― Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way: A Daring Path into the Abundant Life
“May we all receive blessing upon blessing. And may we realize our power to bless, heal, and renew one another.”― John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Invocations and Blessings
On this 21st anniversary of 9/11, may we seek and strive for peace in our own heart so we can achieve peace in the world.
Abundance over scarcity.
Enough over more.
Empathy over self-centeredness.
Love over hate.
Blessing, healing, renewing.
“What you encounter, recognize or discover depends to a large degree on the quality of your approach. Many of the ancient cultures practiced careful rituals of approach. An encounter of depth and spirit was preceded by careful preparation.
When we approach with reverence, great things decide to approach us. Our real life comes to the surface and its light awakens the concealed beauty in things. When we walk on the earth with reverence, beauty will decide to trust us. The rushed heart and arrogant mind lack the gentleness and patience to enter that embrace.”― John O’Donohue, Beauty: The Invisible Embrace
“No single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born. It would be a bit too easy if we could go about borrowing ready-made souls.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“There is meaning in every journey that is unknown to the traveler.”― Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Pause, gaze, witness.
Below the surface.
At your feet.
Observe the details, the layers.
Patterns, themes, threads.
The story of your life.
Sentences, chapters, the arc of the story.
Unfolding, opening, transforming.
Not done yet.
The story continues.
“There are things known and things unknown and in between are the doors.” – Jim Morrison
“Invite Wonder What if you bowed before every dandelion you met and wrote love letters to squirrels and pigeons who crossed your path? What if scrubbing the dishes became an act of single reverence for the gift of being washed clean, and what if the rhythmic percussion of chopping carrots became the drumbeat of your dance? What if you stepped into the shower each morning only to be baptized anew and sent forth to serve the grocery bagger, the bank teller, and the bus driver through simple kindness? And what if the things that make your heart dizzy with delight were no longer stuffed into the basement of your being and allowed out to play in the lush and green fields? There are two ways to live in this world: As if everything were enchanted or nothing at all.”― Christine Valters Paintner, The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Journey Within
In this very moment
In the ordinary
In daily tasks
In routine travels
In the details of nature
In the heart of a flower
In each day’s new beginning
In simple kindness extended
The percussion of living resides
Enchantment with a shift of attention and awareness
In the sacred ordinary
Here and now.
“The real enemies of our life are the ‘oughts’ and the ‘ifs.’ They pull us backward into the unalterable past and forward into the unpredictable future. But real life takes place in the here and now.” – Henri Nouwen
“Beauty has no boundaries, no rules, no colors. Beauty is like a religion. You can include everything inside it.” – Alessandro Michele
“Looking back, I sense I was searching for confirmation of what I had long believed about blessings. At the core of that belief lived the conviction that a blessing conveys God’s desire for our wholeness and that it holds the ability to open us to the presence of God in any circumstance.”— Jan Richardson, The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief
Bigger, deeper, stronger than circumstances.
Beneath the surface.
Above the clouds.
In your heart.
Permeating your thoughts.
May you be held by the glimpse and depth of a blessing today.
May you recognize and allow blessings in.
May you be a blessing to yourself and others.
May you invite and welcome God home to where He already resides.
Here and now.
Abiding in this moment.
“A blessing does not explain away our loss or justify devastation. It does not make light of grief or provide a simple fix for the rending. It does not compel us to “move on.” Instead, a blessing meets us in the place of our deepest loss. In that place, it offers us a glimpse of wholeness and claims that wholeness here and now. A blessing helps us to keep breathing—to abide this moment, and the next moment, and the one after that. — Jan Richardson, The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief
“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci
“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti
The school year is coming quickly to a close.
Weeks until summer break.
Commencement speeches for graduation.
Advice, celebration, reflection, anticipation.
Prepping and planning meticulously for the future.
As we get older, we realize that class is in session our entire life.
The journey we thought was linear is circular, seasonal, spiraling.
A mystery requiring trust and faith, a sense of humor, a bucket of grace.
If we think we are done, we are done.
Done growing, learning, becoming.
There are still lessons to be learned, unlearned, applied, forgotten.
Choose a growth and beginner’s mindset.
Ready and willing to inquire, listen, change, grow.
What will you discover today?
How will you contribute?
What will you take?
Will you be present or race by another day?
Class is in session.
“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional” – John Maxwell
“Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth, ‘You owe me.’ Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky.” – Hafez
“Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work.” – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Three beautiful days on the North Shore of Minnesota – magical, mesmerizing, peaceful. Nature heals, holds, settles, pronouncing the glory of God’s work in the trees, sky, water. And it doesn’t stop there. He’s created beauty, wonder and expanse within each of us – tenfold of what He’s done in nature. Keep seeking that place within and rest there awhile in awe.
“I want to learn how to speak to anyone at any time and make us both feel a little bit better, lighter, richer, with no commitments of ever meeting again. I want to learn how to stand wherever with whoever and still feel stable. I want to learn how to unlock the locks to our minds, my mind, so that when I hear opinions or views that don’t match up with mine, I can still listen and understand. I want to burn up lifeless habits of following maps and to-do lists, concentrated liquids to burn my mind and throat and I want to go back to the way nature shaped me. I want to learn to go on well with whatever I have in my hands at the moment in a natural state of mind, certain like the sea.
I will find comfort in the rhythm of the sea.”― Charlotte Eriksson
Solace, joy, peace to you as Lent transforms to Resurrection Sunday. The whole journey from the Cross to the Crown.
“When the vastness of God meets the restriction of our own humanity, words can’t hold it. The best we can do is find the moments that rhyme with this expansive heart of God.” – Greg Boyle
“Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.” – Carl Sandburg
Some poetry is written.
Some seen in the sky, a flower, a smile.
Some not able to be held by words, in a soul alone.
Drawing us both out and in.
Wide and deep.
A deep breath, a heavy sigh, a sense of awe.
Words, thoughts, actions, a way of being.
Past, present and future, woven into story, prose, narrative.
In the expanse, in corners, in crevices, hiding in plain sight.
Come play awhile in the beauty, wonder and mystery.