Like a Child

How many things do you do that you did when you were a child? I have noticed how healing it is to do things I loved back then.  Life can pull and push us every which way, and we can feel stuck with things that need to be done in order to have finances, insurance, cars that aren’t broken, etc. We can also get stuck in trying to live up to expectations.  But what about the real us?

As we grow older, some of who we are unfolds. Wisdom emerges from our minds, we become more who we are in a way that we couldn’t before because we lacked a language and other framework with which to express it. In many ways, our personality has been taking form.

In other ways, we become less ourselves, though I don’t believe that is the way it was intended to be.  Sometimes different factors of life distract us or press in; we simply become too busy. We also let go of childish dreams for other ones, but we might let go of childlike dreams for other ones too.

There is an importance to fun, to projects, to being who we always were from the beginning. Much of who we are we can find when we go back somehow. What did you like to do when you were young? I collected rocks, hopped down creek beds, wrote stories, made up songs, listened to music with my friends, danced around the living room,  lounged around talking about nothing . . . when I do one of those things again, something in me comes alive again and feels peaceful and free.

Is there something that is freeing to you, and feels like you, that you can pick up again?  It might be a little thing, just for today.  Give it a try. I bet it will make you feel a little more you.

May God bless your day.

 

 

To be in Awe 2

kreuzite_crystal
Kreuzite crystals

Think about this. Minerals form crystals.  We know this, sure. But really think about it.  Cooling liquid minerals, liquified from powerful heat from the earth through volcanoes, have atoms, ions, or molecules which arrange themselves  into ordered structures creating geometric formations. Evaporating mineral-filled liquids, such as saltwater, do this too. Ice does this too up in the clouds before coming down as snowflakes. Minerals form crystals.

beryl-muscovite-aquamarine_nagar_balanced_budd-wbd
Muscovite, aquamarine

What incredible order of nature.  And when you find a crystal in mineral shop or elsewhere, how old is it?  How much of history has it seen?

quartz2c_tibet
Quartz crystals

What beauty this is. It wasn’t enough for God to make scenery and flowers and plants and animals. We also have this. Minerals forming geometric patterns and oh! the colors, the luminosity,  the transparency. . .

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Elbaite

Enjoy the pictures here, and enjoy today. There is much to see and rejoice in.

May God bless your day.

To find out more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_structurebismuth_crystal

close_up_view_of_sodium_chloride_crystals
Sodium chloride (salt) crystals

Holding Hope

I wrote this on my Facebook Page on Doctor Martin Luther King’s Jr. Birthday.  I wanted to share it here as well:

One thought before I sign off for a while to focus. I posted some quotes today on the blog, the favorite is the last one:

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

That is of course from Dr. Martin Luther King. I see a lot of people not standing up for things because of lost hope. Facebook is a hard place to do this, because the best way to speak to anyone is from where they are at, and our Facebook friends are coming from many different places in their lives. And then I have seen many people respond to others by writing: “How can you think about that when there is THIS?” Which really isn’t fair, we are all called to champion for different causes. (Some people’s cause is raising their children or taking care of an aging parent, and that is enough. They are huge tasks.) We can’t each champion for everything, and if we try, we have debilitating anxiety or grow despondent.

But there is also lost hope. Many people see so many things wrong in the world that they get bogged down by all of it and lose hope. We must not lose hope. Racism should be over by now. It’s not. Let’s not give up. Powered by Hope we can each do our part. Humanity works together as a whole. You alone don’t have to do everything. Please remember to look at the good in the world too, to do your part, and not to lose hope. We can make a difference, and we have. Let’s keep going.

May God bless your day.

Inspiration

It is Martin Luther King Jr’s Birthday!  Here are some of my favorite quotes of his. I hope they resonate with and inspire you, and please pay special attention to the last one. Don’t give up. There is hope. 

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great

Let no man pull you low enough to hate him.

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

 

 

 

 

Doing The Thing

Happy Sunday! I hope that everyone is taking some rest today. Yesterday, I realized I wasn’t getting everything done I wanted to do, and was causing me some anxiety.  So I made a checklist. I really did. 

For me, nothing takes away the anxiety about something that needs to be done like actually doing the thing. And if I can’t do the thing, scheduling the thing is second best.  If I know when I will do it, I can worry about it then, not now.

Why talk about this on a Sunday?  I will get to that in a moment.  For now, I am simply employing suspense to keep you reading.

Now everyone has their own version of a list, but I will show you what I did. I made a checklist of a week’s worth of things.  Here is a generic example.

Daily Checklist2

The idea is to do each thing for about 15 minutes a day, but you can choose your own time unit. If I do the thing for more than one unit, I can cross out another day or days and not do it those days. This example is from a Saturday, but you see I’ve crossed things out for other days in the week already. BTW: To me, personal business means dealing with student loans, insurance, paying bills, getting the car checked, etc. If I do something every day, I should come out ahead.

So why indeed talk about this on a Sunday?  Because you get a day of rest! How lovely will you feel when, in your Sunday column, you just check everything off because it’s a freebie! Victory!

Also, notice I included having fun.  Sometimes we need to actually plan to do those things that keep us balanced.

This is just an example of course. You may choose a different style or just a dry erase board. But If I, who am generally listless, can make a list, you can too! This week’s sheet is in my purse as you read this, and I’ve actually checked things off.  It looks promising.  I will keep you posted in the comments of this post, feel free to do the same!

May God bless your day.

 

 

Following

Assisi hermitage
Eremo delle Carceri Assisi

I was telling a friend once that the best times in my life are when I have, throughout the day, said “God, what next?” And simply followed.  She told me later that she tried it and it was amazing. Beautiful things unfolded throughout the day.

I am not sure why I forget to be doing this every day of my life.  There has been such peace when I have done it and I’ve been led to wonderful experiences I didn’t expect.

My favorite and most memorable experience of this was when I was studying in Rome.  I had a difficult start; I was very lonely. But somehow I was able to surrender this to God for a time (I really don’t know how) and say “What next?”  Beautiful spiritual experiences ensued, and over the course of my three months two friends came to visit, another two friends were in Europe and we met up, I had some wonderful times with the people I was with and got to know them better, and my brother was there at that time and I saw him every week. For someone who is not rich and whose friends aren’t rich, this isn’t something that happens. I don’t go across the world and see five people I know who didn’t go with me. But it did.

This isn’t something magic, but it is something beautiful. “God, I give you my day. Protect me and guide me.” And throughout the day: “What next?”

For One, For Many

A friend wrote this quote to me: “You hold unconditional space for one, you hold it for the many…” (from Willow Way).

And I think it points to something. When we really loblack-and-white-lights-sun-ray-of-sunshineve one person, we love others besides. Our manner is better, our patience is better, and we are more likely to give others the benefit of the doubt. This also happens in other ways that we don’t understand. We love; it radiates out somehow. God uses it to help the world somehow . . . we don’t quite know how it happens, only that it does.

A mom who only has time to serve her children is actually making more of a difference in the world than she knows. That is a big job, and it is enough. But also, whether she sees it or not, what she is doing is having a larger effect. It may be in ways we never see, but it is there.

The other day I also wrote about how we sometimes don’t know if we are acting in a healthy way in relationships. This quote also speaks to that for me.  When we really love someone, it does radiate out. It helps us love others better in the ways mentioned above and more. When our relationship is controlling or selfish, often it closes in on itself.

So as we move deeper into real love, love that is truly giving and in which we love our own selves too, we can know that it will radiate. And that is a beautiful thing.

May God bless your day.

 

 

Songs of the Soul

When I was a child, only twelve, I was deeply moved by a song.  I didn’t know why I loved this particular song.  I didn’t know what it said to me. But it touched a longing deep in my heart that I didn’t know was there, and it touched a piece of the fulfillment of that longing.  The song was The Search is Over from Survivor.  If you’d like the experience I had at twelve, you can look away and just listen. I will post both the music video and a lyric video below.

Then, when I was nineteen, I was captivated by a different song with a similar theme. It was Save the Best for Last Sung by Vanessa Williams.

What was it that moved me about these songs?  I won’t know everything. There is something in each of us that is deeper than we know, and we are always journeying, always exploring, always pondering, seeking, and letting truth seep in.  But Save the Best for Last has this line: “Sometimes the very thing we’re looking for is the one thing we can’t see.”  And The Search is Over has these lines: “I was always reaching, you were just a girl I knew. I took for granted the friend I had in you,” and “Love was right before my eyes.”

Both songs are about love that was always there while the person was looking for something else. One is from the point of view of the person waiting, and one is from the point of view if the person realizing.  But there isn’t a sense of shame of not noticing here. There is a sense of gratitude for the realization. I challenge you today to take this to heart, and to listen to these songs with a deeper sense. Is there something beautiful beyond what you’ve been noticing? I believe in unconditional love all around us, and in something and someone leading us to the fulfillment of all desire. For me, it is something that I ignore way too much, that Presence which reaches out to me in amazing love.

What might this be saying to you? If there is someone or some blessing you aren’t seeing, you don’t have to wrack your brain trying to see it.  Just write or speak the things you are thankful for, and it will come.  Another line from the Vanessa Williams song is this: “It’s not the way I hoped or how I planned, but somehow it’s enough.” Good things may not be the ones you wanted, and it’s OK to want them.  But good things are here.

May God bless your day.

Toward Love

CousinhugI had an experience once where I was lonely and I needed a friend. I did everything I could to hint around. “I suppose you are busy,” I said.  “You must be doing something interesting,” I said.  Of course we can see that the fact that I needed a friend was obvious by my statements.  It was not only not obvious, it was every so slightly manipulative with an ever so slight guilt trip in there.

Finally I told a friend that I needed a friend. “If you need me, of course I’m here!” said the friend with much affection. And communication commenced, and it was lovely.

Sometimes as people we get afraid of asking for what we need. We don’t want to bother someone.  It used to be that people were afraid of  such things as “emotional dependency” and “codependency” and being “clingy.” Actually, I think we still are.

But all these things are based on fear.  Humans have been helping each other since we came on the scene.  It is how we create societies. It is how we  get shelter and food and clothing.  And some other species do it too. If one needs a friend and asks, or if one needs some lovin’ from one’s spouse and asks, what is that going to do? If the person is trustworthy and if you have a relationship, It will strengthen the relationship; it will deepen it as trust is given.

If we ask in freedom and are not trying to manipulate out of fear, we are moving toward love. Giving and receiving freely is what relationships are about.  So go forth, and don’t be afraid. You know how you wish that one person would confide in you? Others feel the same way.

May God bless your day.

 

P.S. If you are worried that someone is busy, just let them know that anytime is fine. 🙂

To Be in Awe: Little Things

The world is full of beauty and marvels. There are musical frequencies that speak to the soul; there is the Fibonacci mathematical sequence: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 11, etc. where each number is the sum of the two numbers before it that, when graphed, shows a shape we see in so many places in nature. espiral_de_semillas_de_girasolfibonacci_spiral

There is more. Look at the swirl of the galaxy.  Look a at the shape of the end of a pine cone,  cut a cabbage cactushead in half, and notice a pattern you may not have ever seen before.

Then there are gemstones and crystals; who would have thought that such things would even exist? The structures of crystals are based on math; these are fascinating things to ponder or you canNautilus simply gaze on them.  See crystals here.

There is something to letting oneself notice amazing and beautiful things and letting oneself simply be in awe.  May you experience this kind of joy today.

May God bless your day.