Category Archives: Gratitude

Chance treasures: Waiting for the good stuff

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach—waiting for a gift from the sea.”

—from Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

In her time of simplicity at her beach house, Anne Morrow Lindbergh discovered that when she lay empty, open, choiceless as a beach, nuggets of insight, treasures of faith materialized in her mind like seashells gifted to the beach by rolling ocean waves.

“One never knows what chance treasures these east unconscious rollers may toss up, on the smooth white sand of the conscious mind, what perfectly rounded stone, what rare shell from the ocean floor.”

Relaxing by water opens one’s mind to ideas that wash into consciousness like waves to the shore.

For the next few weeks I’ll be enjoying some time by a lake. I aim to be patient and to lie empty, open and choiceless as a beach to see what washes in.

“But it must not be sought for or—heaven forbid!—dug for. No, no dredging of the sea bottom here. That would defeat one’s purpose.”

—from Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

new-horizons

 

The happiness choice

“To begin with, you have to realize that you really only have one choice in this life, and it’s not about your career, whom you want to marry, or whether you want to seek God. People tend to burden themselves with so many choices. But, in the end, you can throw it all away and just make one basic underlying decision: Do you want to be happy, or do you not want to be happy? It’s really that simple.”

—Michael A. Singer in The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself 

What stunning changes happened around you this summer? Did long-married friends of yours separate? Did an unexpected flower blossom in your garden from a plant that appeared out of nowhere? Has a loved one injured herself or fallen ill? Did you receive an unexpected gift of money?

We like to believe that our happiness depends upon whether we would choose or not choose the changes: separation or divorce, unhappy; beautiful flower, happy; ill loved one, unhappy; surprise money, happy.

In fact, our happiness depends on whether we choose or don’t choose the happiness. 

As Michael A. Singer points out in his book, The Untethered Soulwe unnecessarily waste a lot of energy resisting:

“. . . you’re generally using your will to resist one of two things: that which has already happened or that which hasn’t happened yet. You are sitting inside resisting impressions from the past or thoughts about the future.”

We are so busy pining for the life we wish we had, that we forget to enjoy the life we actually have. 

No matter what happens, may you enjoy a happy summer.

Happiness

Happiness

I am thinking about you

I found this beautiful poetic writing by Bishop Charleston on Healing Soul Streams.

You might wonder, “Of all the people she knows, how could she be thinking about me?”

The generic specificity of Bishop Charleston’s short piece takes me to that “All is One” place. There, I am thinking about you because we are one and the same, all seeking to discover our next miracle.

_______________

I am thinking about you, thinking about all the good that you have done in this life, all the people you have helped, all the kindness you have shown to others.

No, don’t shake your head.

I know you will want to argue that you are far from saintly and have much to regret, but counting your mistakes is not my job.

My calling is to celebrate the goodness within you, to honor you for who you are, to encourage you to keep going so you will discover the next miracle waiting for you around the corner of hope.

You go do what you do now. I will be thinking about you, thinking how wonderful you are.

—Bishop Charleston

 

 

3 questions for Father’s Day: Ric Elias

Father’s Day seemed like a good time to share this TED talk with Ric Elias, who survived the Flight 1549 plane crash into the Hudson River in January 2009, but I think these questions apply to everyone, not just fathers.

What are you putting off that you could be doing right now?

How can you get rid of negative energy from your life?

Are you being the best parent you can be?

“What has you by the heart these days?”

My excellent friend, Willow-Marie, wrote a blog last week about this question: What has you by the heart these days?

When a friend posed the question to her, Willow-Marie focused her attention on it during a visit to Ottawa’s Byward Market. Not surprisingly, a child became part of the answer. Isn’t it often so?

“It was one of those moments when you can actually feel delight moving through space. You catch it from another person and it becomes yours too.” —Willow-Marie

The question prompts us to notice things that might otherwise pass us by. 

I encourage you to read her post and then focus your attention. What delight moves through space to become yours?

By the Heart On the Byward Market —Willow-Marie.real

 

The laying on of hands: A touch of love, power, blessing

“Every moment is a starting point.” —Etienne LeSage

On the weekend, I attended the ordination and commissioning of two friends of mine into the United Church of Canada. The ceremony touched me deeply, and since then I’ve pondered what to write about it.

So many aspects of the event filled our emotional wells to overflowing. We cried happy tears.

The two people involved are both joyful givers; they embrace all people, work for justice, don’t sit in judgment of others, and allow and encourage questions. Love envelopes them; their parents, spouses, siblings, friends, children and other supporters glowed with it. The two people possess the perseverance and the indefinable “something more” that propels them into the challenging work of ministry.

Photo courtesy of Shaun Dunmall https://www.flickr.com/photos/llamnuds/

Photo courtesy of Shaun Dunmall
https://www.flickr.com/photos/llamnuds/

In the end, though, I kept coming back to the laying on of hands.

Those unfamiliar with the practice, or those who have never been on the receiving end of it, might see it as an empty ritual, or even as a showy bit of hocus-pocus. But the ancient tradition of laying on hands is a powerful experience for both giver and receiver. It recognizes the potency of human touch. Like a comforting squeeze on the shoulder of someone bent over in grief, like a cool touch to hot brow, like a gentle nudge to the back of someone who hesitates—hands have the potential to soothe, heal or empower.

After the ceremony, one of the two people, Mark, told me that he felt the love flowing to him from hands placed on him by his parents, spouse, family and friends. But when he felt the touch of his daughter and his toddler son, his heart burst—the power of children blessing a father.

I lay hands on my friend, Etienne, as he was blessed and ordained. I was a member of his discernment committee, and I walked with him—metaphorically speaking—on his path to ministry. When I lay my hands on him, it was a conduction of love, power and blessing.

I sent him love, because the tremendous amount of love I had for him grew even stronger during the psyche-testing process of discernment.

I sent him power for his journey, because the path he has chosen (or that was chosen for him?) is not an easy one. He begins ministry in the face of assumptions about Christianity that just don’t apply to him. He’s funny and open, not sombre and judgemental. He knows that love is the foundation of a strong and healthy marriage, not gender. He sees the soul in people, no matter what race, ethnicity, religion or shape the body that carries it around, so he excludes no one.

I sent him my blessing of courage and compassion to face it with strength for the highest good of all.

Both people, in their individual ways, had to overcome big difficulties to arrive at the day. They both chose to take the road less travelled, and it is one that is fraught with challenges.

They both know that their lives, in so many ways, would be so much easier if they were taking the well-trodden path. Now that they have been sent forth with the love, power and blessing of the touch of those who love them, they might just make it.

One corner left open to represent open minds.

The Trinity United Church cross, designed by Rev. Dr. Glen Stoudt. One corner left open to represent open minds. http://www.trinityunitedottawa.ca/

 

 

 

anansi2050

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