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Archive for May, 2012

Do not depend on the hope of results. When you are doing the sort of work you have taken on, essentially an apostolic work, you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect.

As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself.

—Thomas Merton, in a letter to Jim Forest dated February 21, 1966 

I have a wise friend who when I was in the midst of a whirlwind of change gently asked if perhaps instead of focusing on the what of the changes, the what of what I wanted to be and accomplish I would instead focus on the who.

This one shift altered everything.

Rather than looking at my list of to do’s trying to figure out if I was “doing” enough, instead I focused on whether or not I was who I wanted to be in the mist of it all.

It forced me to discern what kind of a person do I want to be, to really chew on that, to figure out what it would truly look like.  Do I want to radiate joy, do I want to be a generous listener, do I want to live out my compassion, what does a life of intention and integrity look like… what kind of a “who” would that be.

Who would I be if I lived out my principles in a more intentional way, if I fully leaned into a wholehearted life of being generous in spirit, in love, in honesty, in joy.

So that has been my latest Erica Experiment… looking at the “Who” of me and letting go of having to know the “What”.

And what has surprised me is that the whats generally fall into place on their own, they don’t need the attention I was lavishing on them, writing and rewriting my to do lists, adding to my dreams, berating myself for having such similar lists week after week because there are only so many hours in a day.

Instead asking at the end of the day if I crossed off enough on my list I have been asking questions like: did I live out love, did I offer my gifts to another, did I connect in a meaningful way, did I share laughter with someone?

Somehow life seems more full, and with less stress I am getting more done, and with more joy, with more gratitude and more grace.


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Colorado April 2012

A beautiful quote that touched me from Ronna Detrick’s recent blog post:

In some ways, the art of spiritual direction lies in uncovering the obvious in our lives and in realizing that everyday events are the means by which God tries to reach us. ~ Alan Jones

After attending a recent event for my church I am reminded again of how hungry people are for connection, for spiritual nourishment, for authentic conversation about so many things- including doubt, certainty, hope, joy, pain, love and connection.  What a beautiful opportunity to be around others who are willing to question, to share, to revel in relationship with one another and with God/Mystery/Love.

And questions: How to live our faith on an everyday basis, how God reaches out to us, what pieces of our life hold meaning, where Love shows up in our lives, how we are blessing others, how we are being blessed… so wonderful to sit with these questions, to share thoughts and to hear the hearts of others.

One of the many conversations that struck me was about the love of friends, and how that is a special kind of love, an elevated kind of love because it is a constant choice we make to be in one another’s lives.  There isn’t a formal contract, or a bloodline that holds us together, instead it is a choice that we continue to make to bless and be blessed by sharing, by coming together, by holding one another in love and committing acts of kindness to sustain the relationship.

And something that resonated deeply was her assertion that friendship by it’s very definition is an act of grace.  Something I will be mulling over for the next few days…

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