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Archive for the ‘Beauty’ Category

So much beauty
“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.”
There is no way that I could repay all of the kindness, the gestures and outpouring of love and compassion that I have been offered as I walk, run, stumble and leap with joy on this journey of life, particularly since losing my brother… and these words resonate deeply.  And perhaps that is enough.  And yet to continue to seek out ways that I can pass along that gift- that gift of being seen, of being heard, of being loved so deeply- but remembering that my gratitude alone is enough.
 
 
These past few years have reminded me of how connected we are, how vulnerable and just how strong.  But the one thing I know is that we all benefit from the little kindnesses that we offer every day. This quote reminds me to stop keeping score but instead try to make my life an outpouring of gratitude, to continue to show up and when it is all said and done with every fiber of my being simply say thank you.  And to know that is enough.
 
 

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One of the most beautiful things about noticing beauty, or joy, or pretty much anything is that the more you pay attention the more there is of it.

What are you paying attention to these days?

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Joy!

For years I have chosen focus words to help define and shape my years.

Lately I have been doing sort of theme months… and one of the words that has been coming back to me is Joy.

So I went on a scavenger hunt of sorts to find joy in my recent pictures and this is what I found:

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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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There are certain things that I know that I need, that are non-negotiables for me- yet time and time again I find myself putting many of these things on the back burner as life crowds in.  And sometimes weekends away are just the thing to reset, reboot and remind myself of all that I had forgotten.

I recently spent the weekend with some of my favorite girls in Boulder, Colorado followed by spending some great time with family.  It was an amazing time and a weekend that came at just the right time for all of us for various reasons.

There were basics I needed to be reminded of…

It is fun to get away every once in awhile, to completely change scenery.

Hydration is really important.

Working out keeps me sane.

There is nothing better than laughing with my girls.

I needed to be reminded of how loved I am, and that even the things I think are insurmountable aren’t, and that I am not alone in facing them.

AND…

I needed to be in awe again.

I had forgotten how good it felt to be delighted and inspired by the expanse around me.

And how good it was to be delighted by surprises around every corner.

We Found Mater!

And how much fun it was to capture beauty with my camera.

And how much fun it is to spend time with family, especially when you don’t get a chance to see them as often as you would like.

And sometimes it is just good to not set an alarm clock, to be reminded that there is more to life than what you look at every day, and that there is an adventure around every corner when you are looking for it.

May you seek out beauty every day.

May you remember what it is that you are certain of.

And may you find something to delight you that leaves you in awe.

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