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Archive for the ‘Enough’ Category

Grace

Lucky for us the lessons we most need to learn keep showing up.
Sigh…

I have been antsy lately, crabby and feeling overwhelmed by pretty much everything.  Instead of going to the things that I know bring me closer to my center, closer to a little bit of peace- getting enough sleep, working out, finishing one project at a time- I have been starting more and more, cramming more and more on my little plate and feeling the pressure of trying to keep it all contained on on the plate.  My soul has been craving space, silence and expansiveness with a large dose of grace, but instead it has been on a steady diet of have to’s, shoulds and ought to’s crowding out any space for grace.

Luckily I was reminded last night of the gift of being given grace by another when you can’t give it to yourself.

Then today, I came across this blog post, and was reminded this quote by Thomas Merton:

“The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence. More than that, it is cooperation in violence. The frenzy of the activist…destroys his own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of his own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.”

And this from Courtney Martin in her post the Spiritual Art of Saying No:

“So often when this issue gets talked about, I feel like it is portrayed as a problem of wilting flower women who just want to make everyone happy. I don’t mind disappointing people so much as I’m voraciously and indiscriminately interested in the world. I want to learn everything, be everywhere, collaborate with everyone. In thoroughly modern terms, I’ve got major FOMO about anything that fascinates me.”

One of my greatest strengths is also one of my greatest weaknesses.  Life fascinates me, and there is so much to learn, discover and experience.  And so many amazing people to befriend, to share life with, to adventure through life with.  And yet, this quote, and my recent days have reminded me that I can’t do all things, be all things to all people.  It reminds me to give myself the gift of stepping back, of taking a deep breath, of centering first and moving from there, giving myself more of the grace that was gifted to me.

So my reminder for myself, “Make space for grace”.

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There has been a lot of learning happening for me lately (Note To Self- that is what happens when you ask for seeing where you can grow).  And as always life is happening despite my best efforts to catch it, quantify it, name it, control it or stop it, it keeps going.   Themes keep popping up as they often do even though it is different places, different people and I don’t have to fear because if I don’t pay attention there are always other opportunities to learn, relearn, remember and re-frame.

In the midst of relearning a particularly difficult lesson a friend wrote a blog post that spoke straight to my heart.  When I had asked if she had written it just for me she responded with this:

It’s the most magical thing about blogging: every post is like a message from my wisest, kindest self to the soft and confused animal me, but when I publish, it also seems to be just what someone else needed to hear.

From the beautiful and brilliant Jill over at A Thousand Shades of Gray.

How often do we assume that we are the only ones struggling with something, to wrestle alone with our thoughts, fears and doubts only to hear when we finally gain the courage and bravery to share we hear “Me too.” (one of the themes that has been in several places)

When I write I am able to be wherever I want or need to be.  Writing allows me to go to the spaces I haven’t yet claimed for myself, it allows me to play with new ways of being, new ways of thinking about things.  It reminds me that even in the midst of my deepest doubts there is some wisdom to be accessed, some new way of looking at things.  I believe that we all have that wise self within, some call it a Higher Self, some call it God… that little voice that travels along with us for the journey.  For me the best way to access it is through my words.

At one point I struggled with that… shouldn’t I be writing what is true?  What is “real”?  And yet, it occurred to me after rereading Rilke’s quote one day:

…I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

Rainer Maria Rilke, 1903
in Letters to a Young Poet

For me that is one of the most beautiful gifts that writing offers the ability to live (or in my case- write) into the answers. There are so many times that I have reread journal entries knowing about who I wanted to be, what I wanted to have for myself and I find myself now living those things as my truth.

And perhaps that is what true friendships do as well, they allow us to try on new ways of being, little changes to see what works for us and holds us gently as we do that.

Treat your friends as you do your pictures, and place them in their best light.

– Jennie Jerome Churchill

My prayer for you today is that you put yourself in the best light, and allow yourself permission to be exactly where you are right now, knowing that you are living your way right where you need to be.

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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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