Smiling at life…

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If you can always smile at life, life will also always smile at you.

The Mother at Pondicherry


(from A Network of Grateful Living)

A New Day…

These words are refreshing and encouraging. When I was young we had something called a ‘do-over’. If – as young children – we had made a poor decision or had a bad attitude we were given the chance to make it right.

Buddha speaks of each day as a ‘do-over’ –  we awaken each morning to greet a fresh start. Oh yes, the challenges and accomplishments from the previous day are with us but the sunrise welcomes a rebirth a new perspective. Before us is offered the invitation to change attitude and direction, to soften anger and practice compassion.

The path in Buddhist tradition is to live life awake to the present moment, knowing that the past cannot be re-lived and the future is always a breath away. Our actions and attitudes today are most important. Other faith traditions share the same wisdom – throughout his ministry, Jesus was often reflecting on being mindful of today not worrying about what tomorrow would bring.

No one says this is easy or always possible yet considering the idea of being ‘reborn’  each day can fill life with possibilities and fresh perspectives.  What will happen? Maybe lighten a load or fill an empty heart with gratitude. At its core may this teaching from Buddha plant a seed of grace and contentment – today.

A Larger Landscape

While we cry ourselves to sleep, gratitude waits patiently to console and reassure us; there is a landscape larger than the one we can see.
Sarah Ban Breathnach

How is it tears and laughter always seem to intermingle? I believe there is a grace-filled dance between these two emotions. A dance where we can move finding solace and strength. While we take these steps, there is comfort in knowing the bigger picture may not yet be seen but with all certainty – is out there.
Practice the dance of tears and laughter – if just may offer the balance you seek and plant the assurance that the larger landscape will unfold.

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Entering Holy Week

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. Og Mandino

Journeys can be so confusing. Even when we are following a trusted guide, it is not always clear as to where we are going and why. Our expectations need to be re-examined and adjusted.

Entering this Holy Week, I am once again reminded of how life’s journey so often takes unforeseen turns. Throughout all of his ministry, Jesus spoke of the difficult times ahead. As he and his disciples approached Jerusalem for the celebration of Passover, all expectations for true triumph were at their highest point.

How could they know what was to happen? Even though Jesus had told them to prepare for grieving and hardship – how could they have ever imagined the events that were so near? They were filled with memories of miracles and inclusion, inspired by direct teaching and entrusted to be the ambassadors of God’s Good News. Everything pointed toward a new way, supported and encouraged by God’s presence among them.

And… they were right to anticipate a radical shift in living and believing. Through the passage of time, Jesus’ example would continue to inspire and direct the faithful to share, by word and example, another way of living in this world. A way that would raise our attentions to justice and draw our actions to mercy.

But first… Jesus would lead them through a time – dark and tragic. The path on this journey was set. It would be a while before ‘hope’ would lift the darkness and shed the light of faith’s resurrection.20120402-044651.jpg

The week has begun. Jerusalem’s gates have welcomed Jesus, his beloved friends and followers. We, too, find ourselves in the mix, with our own expectations. May we be open to unforeseen turns and welcome new revelations.

 

what stirs your spirit to dance?

I have always been intrigued with the concept of dancing. How do we express our dance? Each dance is as unique as the person inspired to move. And movement?! Oh, it can range from swirling high in the air to sharing the spirit of  dance through the light in one’s eyes.

I am reminded of a saying found in the doorway of a church where movement and music are pivotal to the worship experience (St. Gregory of Nyssa). The saying originally read, “If you can walk, you can dance.” As the church grew, this phrase changed to expand the invitation – it now welcomes all by saying, “If you can move, you can dance.”

This video speaks to the spirit of dance through vision and music. May it offer you a moment of wonder – what stirs your spirit to dance?