My favorite blanket…
There is something magical that happens for me at this time of year. It is about the wonderful change of seasons and for me, it is especially about the Fall.
I was outside for a bit of this weekend and by days end my spirit was filled with such goodness that I felt I was over flowing. It amazes me how the crisp, cool sunny days can bring such energy to a person. I find this time of year as re-charging, even though I know that the winter is upon us, it is still one of the most ‘wonderful times of the year!’
Finding ways to feel energized is good as I realize how much I need to get filled up after a long week of being a part of other’s stories, some good and enriching, and others quite depleting. I work hard to be an observer, but at times I am still absorbing…and I can feel it for days. There is so much despair in this world that it makes it hard for me to really see all the good sometimes. That is why it is so nice to have the magic of Fall surround me and wrap me up like a favorite blanket. I need that. I crave that.
This week I learned about a mom who because of her deep commitment to her son not to be seen as different she never gave all the information or a full disclosure about her concerns, finally share things about him that will not have us see him as different, rather, we learned what we could do differently to help him make progress. This week I learned about a student who escaped a situation that was not healthy and he found a way to get to safety two continents away! I learned about a woman who after giving of herself for many years to others and sacrificing many things to raise her family, is now facing losing her home and income as a result of a physical disability that she has no control over…she continues to move forward in spite of it all. I watched a woman who had many other things going on, take the time to sit and just listen to a student who was upset and didn’t think there was any way out of a situation..in the end many ‘outs’ were discovered.. My list could go on of all that I was witness to just this week…and I continue to marvel at the human spirit. There can be a great of despair, and yet what I see continues to inspire me. It inspires me to want to be better. Better at being the best person I can be. Better at remembering there are ways out. I want to be better at remembering that sometimes all I need to do is look around, take a breath and breathe in the cool, crisp autumn air and wrap my Fall blanket around me.
In gratitude for the magic of Fall….
To just listen…
To ‘listen’ doesn’t always mean to hear words. I have found that sometimes the subtleties of body language, the sound of wind rushing around, the flapping of wings as the bird flies by and the whistling of a tea kettle are all things I hear when I pay attention and listen.
Oftentimes I can find myself in overdrive and when I do that I miss so much. I become a part of the noise and not part of the listening.
As I become more of a ‘woman of a certain age’, I realize that I am brought much more pleasure by listening and learning than I ever get when I am a part of the noise. The hurried-ness of it all and the voices that pile up on each other are those things that cause me to want to stop and take in all that is around me without having to indulge in words or even acknowledgements. It can really be so telling; so comforting.
So listen as your world goes on around you. Take time today to settle in and stop your part in this world of noise and see what happens for you.
Listen and see all that you will hear…Listen and see what you need…Listen to learn what you will need.
In gratitude for the peace that comes from being mindful of this place; for being mindful of this moment…
through the eyes of Grace, you can see so much more…
I have to remind myself sometimes to take a step back and really look at what is before me. Sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in the day with the routine of it all that to really stop and take all of this in, is forgotten.
Today I went to a church service at an outdoor amphitheater on a lake. It was the back drop of perfection. But at first I did not notice. What I did noticed is that I had wished I wore a baseball cap, brought a chair that was more comfortable to sit in, and found myself wondering if the dog behind me would be quiet during the service! I became more judging than appreciative and found it much easier to be critical of others and what they were doing..including the pastor (I was not digging the very much over-sized wooden cross he was wearing!). So I digress.
I became impatient.
It was then I heard the words, ‘Through the eyes of Grace, you see so much more.’ It actually stopped me from any further judging. In fact, I found myself looking around wondering if I might have even given off that impression simply by just sitting there. So I allowed the quiet to enter my head. I allowed Grace to find its way to me.
I said a small prayer asking for help in being able to look through the eyes of Grace…and I gave it a test.
I became more aware of the people around me and the kind words they had for each other. I listened to the songs being sung and heard beautiful voices singing together. And when I looked at the backdrop of where this church service was, I was taken by the beauty. I watched as sails swayed back and forth on the windy lake and noticed how the swallows swooped back and forth as they tried to find just the right perch…just the right place to enjoy the day.
I became more aware of me.
How lucky am I? How lucky are we?
Through the eyes of Grace my entire experience changed. My entire day changed.
So as you begin the judging and the impatience…and find yourself wondering if the dog behind you will shut up, try on the lens of Grace.
In gratitude for Grace-filled moments….
—Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet (via pureblyss)
When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow.