Don’t Squander Joy …

Don’t squander joy. We can’t prepare for tragedy and loss. When we turn every opportunity to feel joy into a test drive for despair, we actually diminish our resilience. Yes, softening into joy is uncomfortable. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it’s vulnerable. But every time we allow ourselves to lean into joy and give in to those moments, we build resilience and we cultivate hope. The joy becomes part of who we are, and when bad things happen — and they do happen — we are stronger.

— Brené Brown from Daring Greatly

 

Turning

Going too fast for myself I missed
more than I think I can remember

almost everything it seems sometimes
and yet there are chances that come back

that I did not notice when they stood
where I could have reached out and touched them

this morning the black Belgian shepherd dog
still young looking up and saying

Are you ready this time

— W.S. Merwin from The Moon Before Morning

 

Time has become intensely precious to me. I feel a deep awe and responsibility to the time I have been given to live. The gift is immense and exquisitely precise. I have a specific “birth” day and I will have a specific “death” day. As I age, each and every day appears more and more as a gift. I want to live every one of them.

— Gunilla Norris from Being Home: Discovering the Spiritual in the Everyday

 

Reverence

Remember that Creator is the wind on my face, the rain in my hair, the sun that warms me. Creator is the trees, rocks, grasses, the majesty of the sky and the intense mystery of the universe. Creator is the infant who giggles at me in the grocery line, the beggar who reminds me how rich I really am, the idea that fires my most brilliant moment, the feeling that fuels my most loving act and the part of me that yearns for that feeling again and again. Whatever ceremony, ritual, meditation, song, thought or action it takes to reconnect to that feeling is what I need to do today … Remember.

To be struck by the magnificence of nature is to be returned again, in all-too-brief moments, to the innocence in which we were born. Awe. Wonder. Humility. We draw them into us and are altered forever by the unquestionable presence of Creator.

— Richard Wagamese from Embers 

 

Look on the rising sun: there God does live
And gives his light, and gives his heat away. 
And flowers and trees and beasts and men receive
Comfort in morning joy in the noonday.
And we are put on earth a little space,
That we may learn to bear the beams of love …
— William Blake from Songs of Innocence (The Little Black Boy)

 

 

Blessing Prayer for Presence 

Awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.
Have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.
Receive encouragement when new frontiers beckon.
Respond to the call of your gift and the courage to follow its path.
Let the flame of anger free you of all falsity.
May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame.
May anxiety never linger about you.
May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.
Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.
Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.
May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.
— John O’Donohue from To Bless The Space Between Us

 

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