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Posts tagged ‘Reflection’

Abiding

“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

Daily Classroom

“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

Look at the Sky

“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.

Expanse

“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.

“Every single soul is a poem.” – Michael Franti

Press Pause

“Sometimes you need to press pause to let everything sink in.” – Sebastian Vettel

“Mindfulness not only makes it possible to survey our internal landscape with compassion and curiosity but can also actively steer us in the right direction for self-care.”― Bessel A. van der Kolk

May calm, ease and rest enter and sit with you today, each day.
To remind you often of what and who is important, including self.
In service and giving, we find our purpose.
Self-care, then other care.
Approval, people-pleasing, offense, permission-seeking, judgment, worry, the past, the future, control, negativity, certainty, our way – all hindering beauty, imagination, joy, delight, awe, enthusiasm, possibility, excitement, abundance.
Let these good things in to do their work in and with you.
Art, music, nature, writing, reading – prompts, bridges, gateways to the great expanse that resides with, in and next to each of us.
Reflect, decompress, pause, recalibrate.
Discernment, clarity, divine order.

“It’s not only moving that creates new starting points. Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in perspective, an opening of the mind, an intentional pause and reset, or a new route to start to see new options and new possibilities.” – Kristin Armstrong

In the Wintering

“Snow creates that quality of awe in the face of a power greater than ours. It epitomises the aesthetic notion of the sublime, in which greatness and beauty couple to overcome you—a small, frail human—entirely.”― Katherine May, Wintering: The power of rest and retreat in difficult times

“Wintering brings about some of the most profound and insightful moments of our human experience, and wisdom resides in those who have wintered.”― Katherine May, Wintering: The power of rest and retreat in difficult times

In the quiet of winter.
In the waiting and wandering.
In due time which is not our time but God’s time and timing.
We schedule our lives, cling to our expectations, project managing for optimal efficiency and productivity.
Counting, measuring, completing, comparing.
Life is more an essay than a math problem to be solved.
Things work out, often not how we have planned for, yet they still do.
In the “no’s” “not now’s” “what ifs” “whys” “why nots” and reasons not yet revealed, “what next” is unraveling.
Growth unseen but still happening.
Slow thaw.
In the wintering, spring resides preparing to unfold.

“Life meanders like a path through the woods. We have seasons when we flourish and seasons when the leaves fall from us, revealing our bare bones. Given time, they grow again.”― Katherine May, Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times

Tending and Leading

“We are all farmers tending a little part of the Lord's vineyard.” – Sheri L. Dew

“We are all farmers tending a little part of the Lord’s vineyard.” – Sheri L. Dew

“But, in my opinion, this first-half-of-life task is no more than finding the starting gate. It is merely the warm-up act, not the full journey. It is the raft but not the shore. If you realize that there is a further journey, you might do the warm-up act quite differently, which would better prepare you for what follows. People at any age must know about the whole arc of their life and where it is tending and leading.”— Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

May you never consider yourself done, finished, dismissed, old news.
Keep going, expanding, contracting, learning, unlearning, questioning, praising, lamenting, wandering and wondering.
All of it, not just positive or negative or multiple choice.
Rather an essay of threads woven into a rich colorful fabric of nuance, complexity, beauty, acceptance, understanding, mystery, unknowing, trusting, faith, frustration, joy, exploration, discovery, dead-ends, turn-arounds, get ups and keep goings.
Tending and leading at the same time, sometimes one more than the other.
Through transitions, beginnings, middles-the long part, and endings to new beginnings.
The container and its contents.
What are you holding?
What needs to be poured out to be filled up again, to be nourished and renewed?
Open the windows, let fresh air in.
Cross the thresholds into the further journey.
Farmers tending.

“There is much evidence on several levels that there are at least two major tasks to human life. The first task is to build a strong “container” or identity; the second is to find the contents that the container was meant to hold.”— Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

Still Waters

“The Lord is my shepherd, shall not want; he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” – Psalm 23

“So much of our lives takes place in our heads – in memory or imagination, in speculation or interpretation – that sometimes I feel that I can change my life by changing the way I look at it.”― Pico Iyer, The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere

In memory and imagination;
In speculation and interpretation;
In thoughts and words;
In stillness and observation;
Pause and let still waters, still and fill your soul;
To feel the expanse, depth and richness of life;
To shift your view to see the same differently;
Sit still and allow stillness to take you on an adventure to yourself.
Slow. Attention. Stillness.

“In an age of speed, I began to think, nothing could be more invigorating than going slow. In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still.”― Pico Iyer, The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere

Kindle a Light

“In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.” – Carl Jung

“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” – Carl Jung

May you see both blue and clouds.
Texture and dimension.
Hue and tones.
Clarity and mystery.
Depth and expanse.
Details and patterns.
Witness and engage.
Listen and respond.
Yes, and.
In awe.
At attention.
Awake to the full story and the one yet to be written.
Write it.
Kindle a light.

Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. Carl Jung

The Mountain Within

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” – e. e. cummings

“Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.” – Saint Augustine

Weave new things into your daily flurry of autopilot “to do” lists, commitments and activities to expand, discover and deepen. Three of my favorite podcasts that I listen to in the car or on a run that stretch my mind, spark wonder and prompt reflection include:

Everything Happens by Kate Bowler
On Being by Krista Tippett
Poetry Unbound by Pádraig Ó Tuama

Explore, inquire, listen and transform. Fill your reservoir with music, art, poetry, reflection, rest, play. Infuse joy, laughter and fun too. Do not pass yourself at the altar of productivity, checklists and “someday when things are perfect thinking.” Your life is happening today. Pause, sit down and be still. You are pretty awesome, more than enough and worthy. Climb the mountain within.

“Neuroscience research shows that the only way we can change the way we feel is by becoming aware of our inner experience and learning to befriend what is going inside ourselves.”― Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mid, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

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