I’m Here …

Friends … our chosen family …“There are very few friends that will lie down with you on empty streets in the middle of the night, without a word. No questions, no asking why, just quietly lay there with you, observing the stars, until you’re ready to get back up on your feet again and walk the last bit home, softly holding your hand as a quiet way of saying “I’m here”.
~ Charlotte Eriksson

(Charlotte Eriksson, Empty Roads & Broken Bottles; in search for The Great Perhaps)
(Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Custodian of Your Own World

I’ve only come to know John O’Donohue’s work in more recent years, but it speaks to me, tugs at something deep within … “No one else has access to the world you carry around within yourself; you are its custodian and entrance. No one else can see the world the way you see it. No one else can feel your life the way you feel it. Thus it is impossible to ever compare two people because each stands on such different ground. When you compare yourself to others, you are inviting envy into your consciousness; it can be a dangerous and destructive guest.” 
~ John O’Donohue

(John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)
(Photo by Chang Qing on Unsplash)

Balance …

“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.” 
~ Jalaluddin Rumi

(Jalaluddin Rumi, The Essential Rumi)
(Photo by Gareth Davies on Unsplash)

For the Love of Trees

The older I get the more in love with nature I become. With heavy heart I recently agreed to branches being cut off a beautiful old tree in my garden as they were intruding on a neighbour’s garden and public spaces. It brought to mind these beautiful words from Kahlil Gibran.
“Trees are poems the earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness.”
~ Kahlil Gibran

(Kahlil Gibran, The Treasured Writings of Kahlil Gibran)
(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Winter … A Different Perspective

It’s been a long harsh winter here in my part of southern Australia with low minimum temperatures recorded. Winter being my least favourite season, the cold and greyness has seemed never ending. This week, I re-discovered these words from Lewis Carroll … so beautiful …
“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
~ Lewis Carroll

(Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass)
(Photo by Echo Grid on Unsplash)

Breathe …

self-respect“Breathe. You’re going to be okay. Breathe and remember that you’ve been in this place before. You’ve been this uncomfortable and anxious and scared, and you’ve survived. Breathe and know that you can survive this too. These feelings can’t break you. They’re painful and debilitating, but you can sit with them and eventually, they will pass. Maybe not immediately, but sometime soon, they are going to fade and when they do, you’ll look back at this moment and laugh for having doubted your resilience. I know it feels unbearable right now, but keep breathing, again and again. This will pass. I promise it will pass.”
~ Daniell Koepke

(Daniell Koepke, Internal Acceptance Movement)
(Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Starting Over

You know those times when you set goals with good intentions but life suddenly gets in the way? Toward the end of last year I made a commitment to focus on wellbeing. I was doing well until about a month ago when work hit a really busy patch. Out the window went good intentions and in a flash old habits moved back in! Like so many others, I tend to be hard on myself when this happens. Philip Moffits’s words capture this not unusual experience so well, while shining a light on how to start over.
“So just how do you practice starting over? Think of it as shifting your attention away from controlling the outcome and abandoning your usual reactions – criticizing, judging, complaining, and lamenting – to getting off track. You don’t deny your thoughts and feelings, and you don’t try to make them go away. Instead, you acknowledge them without making any judgments about them and with compassion for how difficult this moment is. You then follow the acknowledgment with what I call “and” practice, in which you say to yourself, “Yes, I just got lost, and now I’ll just start over.”

You develop the strength to start over because you’re committed to moving toward your goal, not to being there. This is why I call it an attitudinal shift. Your goals matter because they give direction to your life, but your actual life happens in the endless stream of moments that occur between now and when, if ever, you reach your goal.

Ironically, the practice of starting over is a more effective way to achieve your goal then constantly fixating on it. That’s because most of us are not very good at simply delivering results. For instance, if you are trying to lose weight, curb your temper, or cease being a workaholic, you already know what to do to stop the undesirable behavior, but you don’t. Discouragement from your past and imaginings about how bad the future will be drain your energy and cause you to fail. When you embrace starting over as a practice, you focus instead on what you are doing right now and what you need to do or are failing to do. Thus, if you have agreed to take on yet another work project, you reverse yourself as soon as it dawns on you that it is too much. If you sense that you’re losing your temper, you just stop. No drama; you just get right back on your path and start over.”
~ Philip Moffitt

(Philip Moffitt, Emotional Chaos to Clarity)
(Photo by Nick de Partee on Unsplash)

The Well of Being by Jean-Pierre Weill

The Well of BeingAbsolutely hiding and hoarding this book – awestruck … exquisite water colour illustrations (which I just love), coupled with the described inquiry into the art of happiness by coming home to self by awakening from our constructed stories; a meditator’s dream. The book has a subtle wit, beauty, and I keep coming back to it.

Walking Gently on this Earth

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet. We have caused a lot of damage to the earth. Now it is time to take good care of her. We bring our peace and calm to the surface of the earth and share the lesson of love.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
walking gently on the earthIn writing his description of a Walking Meditation, Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us to live in awareness of how much we take from the earth, the damage we do to it, and how much it freely gives us. A timely reminder to lift our game as we welcome Earth Day.

(Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life)
(Photo courtesy of Pixabay)