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Archive for the ‘spirituality’ Category

lifes companion
In “Life’s Companion: Journal Writing as a Spiritual Quest,” Christina Baldwin suggests the following practice before going to sleep. First, pause and review the day, and then write a brief statement, selecting one experience that you’ve recalled that you are willing to acknowledge as a spiritual gift from the day. Complete your entry with the words “Thank you.” Baldwin also suggests that you circle or highlight these entries in your regular journal so that you can find and read them easily or purchase a special notebook specifically for this nightly exercise that you can keep by your bed. It’s remarkable how a simple act practiced daily can have such a significant impact on one’s life. Try it for 30 days and see what happens…

Here is mine from last night: “I watched two young girls work diligently to save a crab that had been stranded on the shore. Each time one of them would manage to help it into the water, the surf would tumble and roll it back onto the beach again. Finally, the girls succeeded in bringing it far enough out into the frigid Atlantic that it did not make another futile return to the beach. It seemed to regain its equilibrium and went on its way. I was touched by the girls altruism and determination. Thank you.”

What will you be thankful for this night?

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How easy it is to judge ourselves, so much more difficult to unconditionally love the struggling imperfect selves that we are. And yet, I have come to believe that this is our most essential task – to love. To not only love others, but to love the unique, one of a kind spirit that came into the world as you. And to love the troubled but still beautiful world that took you in….

“Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.”

Derek Wolcott

Imagine how your life would be different if just for today you feasted on your life….

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What is the ‘good life’? The late comedian, George Burns, concluded that he had had a good life. Scott and Helen Nearing (homesteaders and social activists) maintained that they had lived the ‘good life’ too. George Burns life was vastly different from the Nearings and yet I suspect that those who knew them each well would have agreed that each of their lives had been well lived.

So many people long for a particular version of the good life that they’ve heard so much about, one that’s filled with images of luxury and wealth. Sadly, all too many of them struggle to achieve this vision in spite of the significant emotional, physical, spiritual, psychological, and ecological tolls that are exacted along the way.

Interestingly, while the notion of the good life seems to be deeply implanted in our psyche, its origin stems from the dreams of those who came before us, and meant something entirely different than what so many of us have come to yearn for. The world was introduced to the concept of the good life by William Penn and Henry David Thoreau and was a vastly different version than popular culture’s turned out to be. To them, the good life represented a life style based on simplicity, personal freedom, meaningful work and spiritual, psychological and intellectual growth and development.

As the economy continues its downward spiral and the impact of global warming intensifies, it seems more important to me than ever that we redefine for ourselves what living the good life can be.

Writer and philosopher, William Henry Channing wrote, “To live content with small means. To seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion. To be worthy not respectable, and wealthy not rich. To listen to stars and birds and babes and sages with an open heart. To study hard, think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions. Never hurry. In a word, to let the spiritual, the unbidden and the unconscious rise up through the common. This is my symphony.” Channing’s image of the good life is one that moves and inspires me. This is the ‘good life’ that can only be denied to me by barriers of my own creation, otherwise, it is always within my means and within my reach. Today, I plan to celebrate my good life….

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Everything is Holy Now…

http://www.youtube.com/v/CaGnQc5Vmhs&hl=en&fs=1&

“There is no greater joy than the feeling of oneself creator. The triumph of life is expressed by creation.”

Henri Bergson

Theologian and author Matthew Fox describes lifestyle as an art form and urges us to create life styles of “spiritual substance.” Fox also observes in his book Creativity that:

“Creativity, when all is said and done, may be the best thing our species has going for it. It is also the most dangerous… When we consider creativity, we are considering the most elemental and innermost and deeply spiritual aspects of our beings. The great thirteenth century mystic Meister Eckhart asks: ‘what is it that remains?’ And his answer is, ‘That which is inborn in me remains. That which we give birth to from our depths is that which lives on after us. That which is inborn in us constitutes our most intimate moments – intimate with self, intimate with God the Creative Spirit, and intimate with others. To speak of creativity is to speak of profound intimacy. It is also to speak of our connecting to the Divine in us and of our bringing the Divine back to the community.”

When I reflect upon the life styles that I’ve unconsciously adopted in my past, I’m struck by the opportunities for joy, growth, peace, beauty and so many other sacred gifts that I have squandered. Michael Brownfield defined life as, “that which creates.” Thus, according to Brownfield, if you’re alive, then you’re most definitely a creator. From my perspective, it makes enormous sense that we each take responsibility for that which we’re creating.

And so, I’ve decided to see myself as an artist now, one who’s in charge of creating as much beauty and meaning as possible on the canvass that’s before me. I want to be sure to add learning, beauty, compassion, love, sunshine, fresh air, and other gifts to the holy canvass of each and every day. We were created, and now, we are creators. What will you choose to compose from the vast array of materials before you? How will you manifest the Divine that dwells within you?

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