“If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God.”
We’re a week into a new year of aspirations, resets, focus and tasks. We clearly see the red targets we’re aiming to hit. Our calendars are groaning a bit. And goals are a necessary part of our human equation! (BUT)…
let’s not forget life happens “on the way” to goal(s).
The moment of silence that you took before you spoke, to settle the inner part of you, well, that’s living. It wasn’t a hindrance to your goal.
The chicken soup you made for a sick friend (that might have taken more time than you imagined) reminds you of your greatest strengths and also of your human frailty. That’s living. This living might have slowed your arrival to the target, and you’ll be tempted to think it’s of less value. It’s not.
The pause you made while taking a quick gaze upward allowing you to see the architecture that’s overtaken and interwoven with vines, grounded you and reminded you that multiple forces are always at work, both within and without.
This is living.
For years now, I have chosen a word, a verse, or a mantra for the year ahead. In many cases I would say more accurately, the word chose me. I love that feeling.But this year, (for weeks before the ball dropped) I have prayed, searched and listened for a word; THE word for me, only to find myself here on Jan 3rd without one. And I so love words. Sure, I could force it and lay claim to something, but that doesn’t really seem the right path. Am I alone? I imagine there are others who also feel a little bewildered that a word didn’t “find” them.
I’ve always considered having a word meant I had a sense of direction, vision and passion for what’s ahead. And in some cases, it was a definite gift of grace when I needed that exact word as comfort for a trial. But something did come to me today. It wasn’t a word, but an understanding that (for me and at this time), NOT having a word may be the exact exercise to grow me. Have you ever cleaned and organized an office, only to find you didn’t get the work done or spent effort meal planning only to look back two weeks later to see you didn’t eat well? I guess I know deep down that a word does not insure execution of my dreams. But maybe I wanted to feel a little more “together” than I do? Does that make sense?
So, instead of looking for a word to embody a war cry or grandiose emotional movement that will carry me and/or keep me grounded, I’ll understand at a deeper level that our lives speak. There is always a word at work. Always a word lived out. I’m ok without a certain word to claim
Maybe I’ll find at the END of this year a word will emerge for HOW I DID live, not how I intended to live. I do enjoy seeing our word(s) lived out. When I see your name, words come to mind that embody you. Truly our life speaks louder than any word we could say.
To you! To 2018!
I just listened to an interview on youtube. Brene Brown talked about her book ‘Braving the Wilderness’. (I have it on my “must read” list.) She said
“True belonging is a spiritual practice and it’s about the ability to find sacredness in both being a part of something but also the courage to stand alone.” ~Brene’ Brown
Hmmmm, we add layers of warmth before we brave the cold. In a social sense, I think we must we layer on much wisdom before “braving the wilderness” of hard (but necessary) conversations. This acronym gave me a lot to think about.
~Brene Brown’s acronym for Braving
After listening, some questions emerged for me as it pertains to blogging.
I wonder if in blogging, we must also find our “belonging”—-and the ability to find sacredness in both being a part of something but also the courage to stand alone?
Do we blog for escape or lack of courage for conversation?
Is there a conversation that we should have with a certain individual?
Instead of having a “hard conversation”, do we blog the release of our thoughts for self- gratification?
The nugget of truth that emerged for me is that there are times, beautiful times, that blogging to “everyone”is appropriate, meaningful and useful. BUT, there is another form of blogging that can steal growth from us. It’s a cowardly substitute blogging. A blogging instead of _______.
Blogging can’t become railing post; the “punching bag” to spew harsh, dehumanizing words about a person or group of people. AND, conversely, blogging can’t become a substitute for the vulnerability heartfelt words meant for a specific human with which you should interact.
Yes, Blogging and braving go hand in hand with courage and belonging.
Dec 1st has come and gone, meaning the “Christmas season’ is in full swing. For many, this is all joyous. But for so many, it means a quiet reconciling of loss. Seasons of parties and pictures, family and gatherings, punctuate loss.
I have friends who have recently (or not so recently) said “goodbye” to someone, or some-thing. It seems odd that joyous occasions punctuate loss, but it does. Do you feel it too? Sure, I know there is a season for everything. There is. But there are seasons more difficult than others, Joyous seasons are difficult to sojourn in mourning. No one wants to be a “downer” in the midst of a party season. Smiles are draped like luxurious clothing. I think we must take time to see beyond the “clothes.” We must look past the lights and music. We must look into honest eyes and share in kind with honestly; with genuine care. We must see, really see. It might be as simple as a word of acknowledgement, or a release for tears among smiles; a touch on the shoulder. There is beauty in acknowledgement. Sometimes it is enough to admit we don’t know what’s needed. That’s a start.
Almost EVERYONE I know intimately deals with mourning silently. It is human. Beautifully human. The band of “Quiet Mourners” is real …and thoughtful, honoring and noble in a world full of tell-all, “exploitation at the cost of everyone” photos. Things happen that sometimes can’t be talked about or shared. It’s ok, It doesn’t mean you’re not vulnerable or authentic. It may mean you are respectful of someone else, There is no shame in quiet mourning. It’s a reality. In some ways, it gives a beautiful dignity and poignancy to something real.
I would like to take a moment to honor all of the quiet mourners.
Your dreams have gasped their last breath without celebration or fanfare. Your heart may have broken silently with the loss, at times being so interwoven with someone else’s, that there was no liberty to share the pain. That doesn’t mean it’s less important. That kind of mourning still matters because… you still matter.
Today, I got to spend some one on one time with “little bit”, Lennon Jane. As I was getting her dressed, I thought I’d try a little braid in the front of her hair where it’s longest.
I braided a little strand and stood there with tears in my eyes. Her first little braid seemed to signify a passage out of babyhood and into girlhood. Yes, braids are cute, but they are also sturdy, making place for passion and focus in this wild and beautiful life.
Braids are perfect for her.
This was a great reminder for me today.
I had the privilege to go to my family reunion this weekend (my mom’s dad’s side of the fam). I have not seen many of these relatives since I was a teenager. I’m almost 50, so in some ways I was re-meeting some cousins. I have one great Aunt still living. She is precious and seeing her smile is as endearing as it gets in this life. Her impact (along with the others) impacted my life greatly, mostly for their love and care for my mom.
Being with relatives in person gave context for snippets of things I remember. Memories seem more solidified somehow. In some way it feels like missing pieces of a puzzle were found. We gathered mostly from all over the state of GA– Savannah, Athens (Commerce), Atlanta. One from TX, My mom from FL and me, the “gypsy wanderer from everywhere”.
I noticed some similar family traits—skin, eyes, expressions. Those are the obvious visible things. It made me wonder about the invisible ones. Do we each share some propensity for a certain perspective? Are we equally as vulnerable in a certain way? Do we battle the same hurdles and obstacles in our mind?
My cousin Tina is working on info for the family tree. As we chatted about birth dates, marriage dates, birth cities etc, I imagined my Grandad, Aunts and Uncles as part of the mighty roots of a this huge Red Cedar Tree. Looking into the eyes of their offspring made me feel something good. It’s a grand thing that the goodness of them remain among us. When my 2nd cousin Willis hugged me, I immediately felt like my Uncle Wit was right beside me. When I chatted with my cousin Julie, my great Aunt Ruth seemed to be within reach. Over and over again, like a beautiful deja vu, I felt connected to someone from my past. Goodness remains in our memory. The not-so good we let go with the wind. We’re a blessed bunch to have each other.
I came away from an afternoon with these dear ones encouraged and connected. Afterward, we walked among the cemetery where our departed ones are buried. We brushed the red dirt from the top of the stone to read their names with reverence. We miss them.
I left with red dirt on my boots and also on my heart.
Have you ever thought about living on wheels? I’m surprised at the amount of people who tell me they want to do what we’re doing—live in an RV. I would say over 50% of the people I talk to say “I’ve always wanted to do that”. The other 50% are shaking their heads saying “I could NEVER do that”. LOL
My husband and I just celebrated two years of living in an RV. I thought I’d give a little update on the pros and cons. (I might add that we are not retired).
I’ll give the CONS first:
Now onto the fun stuff- PROS:
RV living isn’t for everyone. Or it may be an option for a season of life. It has been a good experience for us. The flexibilities have been worth the inconveniences.
Do you have an “adventure ideal”? My ideal is to own land in several of my favorite places and spend the year in the RV in these various spots. I plan for each RV spot to have a “porch” (with a swing). I do believe the best of two worlds can collide.
Happy RVing #beautynearme
I’m intrigued with light. Light changes EVERYTHING. And “people lights” are the most glorious, right? When we see/experience/witness the shining we are drawn, magnetized, intrigued. Light-living seems synonymous with loving. I guess it’s the reason we fear darkness so much. Fear and darkness are stealers and the counterparts to love and light.
Fear of darkness has always been a trojan horse. Fear makes sense sometimes but also panics our heart. Steals. Paralyzes. We might even think the solution is to run? Hide? Escape? Become a cave-dweller? All of the normal means we use to rationalize “feeling” safe seems to scream. Understandable. And yet “Panic-mode” movement (even hibernation in response to fear) is deceiving. It’s in open, vulnerable stillness that light can take in more oxygen and burn brightly. It seems a paradox to me because darkness moves and it can surround, yet it cannot overtake or destroy light. It is limited.
People tend to move in one direction or the other. They Run or Hide. I’ve done both. This week I found myself trying to hide emotionally. I don’t want to admit that darkness is coming, has come or will come. And yet here I am, mourning. Mourning loss, feeling deep sadness and now collectively mourning with our country that people in Vegas were killed.
As the darkness approaches and overtakes us, light miraculously grows in those who carry it so bravely. Look for the light. Look for the “people lights”.
#beautynearme is the #beautyinyou
1. What’s the one trait you remember possessing as a kid that you’d like to embody now?
2. What’s the one trait you possessed as a kid that you desire to overcome or release?
I believe we all have both scenarios buried deeply.
Go find a picture of yourself as a child. Look into the eyes of that kid and smile. Say nice things. Speak positive, beautiful, empowering words and let the “kid” still inside soak it in.