in-between state…

Anxiety, heartbreak, and tenderness mark the in-between state.
It’s the kind of place we usually want to avoid.

The challenge is to stay in the middle rather than buy into struggle and complaint.
The challenge is to let it soften us rather than make us more rigid and afraid.

 


Quote: Pema Chödrön

Anxiety’s cost

 

May anxiety never linger about you.

May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.

Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.

Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.

May you experience each day as a sacred gift, 

woven around the heart of wonder.

 

Anxiety has lingered much longer than I ever thought it could. These words are a balm, encouraging a smile and welcoming me to this present moment. On reflection, it must have been those quiet miracles that moved me through days, weeks and years when I was unable to focus. 

I’m grateful for a heart of wonder. May I use this wonder to reach out and explore possibilities before me. May I experience wonder’s gift as holy and healing.


Quote: John O’Donohue, from For Presence

on the eve

“One way or another, we’re all white-knuckling our way toward Tuesday. I’ve probably made too many impulse donations to candidates I believe in, but I regret none of them. My husband, son, and I have written letters and held signs. In our small town, we’ll don our masks and vote in person. Beyond that, my approach during these last days has been to stay outdoors as much as possible. I can’t control the outcome of anything that matters, but I can keep the birdfeeders full. I can sweep out the shed, rake up the leaves, and pull out the petunias. I can stay grounded in the simple, necessary tasks of my own life. And I can look at the sky, at the now bare maple tree, at the snow that covers the ground this morning in a frosting of white, and trust in the forces at work in the world that are far beyond my own limited seeing and my own narrow understanding. One day last week, I rounded the corner of the house pushing the wheelbarrow and was stopped in my tracks by the sight of fifty or sixty robins hopping about in the front yard, a gathering as uplifting to me as the determined crowd of citizens who have showed up downtown every Saturday all through the fall to stand in silent solidarity with Black Lives Matter, voting rights, and democracy. When we looked up from breakfast a few days ago to see a herd of deer just outside the window, they seemed almost like silent messengers sent to remind us that we share this time, this place, with others and that we’re all connected, for better and for worse.”


Quote: Katrina Kenison, from “Our Time” (October 31, 2020)
Photo: Menny Fox, from Mennyfox55

thank you, David Kanigan

the state of the world

Someone asked me, “Aren’t you worried about the state of the world?”
I allowed myself to breathe and then I said,
“What is most important is not to allow your anxiety about what happens in the world to fill your heart.

If your heart is filled with anxiety, you will get sick, and you will not be able to help.

Yes, there is tremendous suffering all over the world, but knowing this need not paralyze us.
If we practice mindful breathing, mindful walking, mindful sitting, and working in mindfulness,
we can try our best to help.

 


Quote: Thich Nhat Hanh
Photo: Arashiyama, Kyoto (Pinterest)

uncertain…

 

Sticking with uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic this is the spiritual path.
– Pema Chödrön

So much uncertainty. I have tried to write but it is hard for the words to form sentences. Living through this moment in time, is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

I try to stay busy. I gratefully speak to my mother and father and sister each day (and give thanks for FaceTime). I call my brother far away. I stay in touch with friends. I sit on my new screened-in porch. I watch winter move aside for spring.

But I cannot plan. I stay in each moment knowing it’s the only moment I have. There is no illusion that everything is OK. It is easy to feel overwhelmed. I want to do something but what. I want to have hope but how. I see nature’s beauty around me and want to share it. Now is not the time but when.

We all want answers. We all want solutions. Answers and solutions are not easy to find right now. Be gentle, be honest – one day to the next.

Grateful for this wisdom from Diana Butler Bass:

“Living in the present moment is a skill and a grace.  There is much wisdom in Jesus’ words: “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Matthew 6:34).

Advice: Don’t do more than you need to do.  Address only what needs to be addressed today.  The best thing most of us can do is to stop the spread by distancing, advocate for those who may be most endangered, and provide what help can be given to neighbors.  Otherwise, a virus pandemic is not something we can control or fix. We can manage one day at a time, one step at a time.  Breathe.  

That’s what I know and my big advice.  Feel what you feel.  Mix in love and gratitude even if that seems hard or impossible.  Take responsibility for by what you can and don’t try to fix what is beyond your control.  Embrace the day.

And know that you are not alone.”