(PHOTO BY EMILIAN ROBERT VICOL)
(A network of grateful living)
I am again at a moment in my life when the value of time has become bright and focused. I sit on my porch to watch the wind blow across the mountains providing a way for trees to bend in gratitude. If there is energy to draw or read or pray, I use it with an awareness of how different things could be.
This is healing time, I know. Yet I still hear the call to ‘pay attention’. It can come from surprising places but it is the same. ‘Pay attention’ – as I read this entry from David Kanigan I was once again reminded…
It’s just time:
the book I read,
the letter I write,
the window I look out of.
Just a sleeve I keep trying to mend,
the spool diminishing.
Just my one hand writing words,
my other hand weighing the silences between them.
Li-Young Lee, The Winged Seed: A Remembrance
Time – a word used in so many ways. We run out of it, there is too much of it – the world moves at a pace beyond our understanding and yet we are driven to “keep up”. There is never enough time in a day. Twenty four hours are stretched and modern calculations try to explain how we can multitask, adding extra minutes to our already over scheduled days.
We are to believe that time is like property, owned by each of us to manage and arrange as we will. It is what we are taught and often how we structure our lives. Using it so quickly and efficiently, its passing is only realized when we feel the stress of needing more – as if we have ‘run out’ of time.
Really?! For all of the hours and days we fill planning the future, there is little doubt that the best of plans would be tossed aside if a crisis of the heart or faith arose. Standing in a moment awakened by focus, all other time with its finally tuned schedule fades into the background. In an instant, priorities are re-set, the only thing that matters is “now”.
There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by. A life of good days lived in the senses is not enough. The life of sensation is the life of greed; it requires more and more. The life of the spirit requires less and less; time is ample and its passage sweet.
Source: A Grateful Heart
During these days of political posturing, words have been thrown around – intended to distract, stir anger and dismantle trust. My ears and heart were weary until this man shared his conviction and offered light to a dark and ugly time.
I share this to remind all of us — our words and presence in this world affect everyone.
Thank you, John.
The following is a guest post in the form of an open letter from Special Olympics athlete and global messenger John Franklin Stephens to Ann Coulter after this tweet during last night’s Presidential debate.
Dear Ann Coulter,
Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow. So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?
I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow. I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you. In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.
I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child…
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This moment is all there Is.
~ Rumi ~
I spent this past weekend with family. Celebrating my sister’s birthday, we gathered to give thanks for her graceful presence in our lives and enjoy time with one another. Looking at her sons I was taken with how fast they had grown into young men. The words are said by so many people – ‘my how time flies.’ Yet as I sat and tried to take in all the joy of that afternoon, I realized that time had not flown as much as it had naturally moved forward whether we were ready or not. Each person in that room had been together – one way or another – from the cry of the first baby (there were two generations of children present). The memories collected in that space created a whole picture of who we had been and who we are today. Even… to include those who could not be there — my brother and his family live on the West Coast — and yet they were among us in the laughter and love that was shared.
How many times have we longed for a moment to last longer? Wished for the hands on the clock to slow, allowing for more time to savor the details of what we are experiencing. But time does not work that way. It moves ahead as naturally as our beating hearts. In this hurried world, we forget the importance of focusing on the ‘now’. Looking back there can be a sense of loss. Time has come and gone, the occasions pass to remain with us as a memory.
It is almost old news to stress the importance of treasuring details in life. People have heard it. Some people never let go of painful moments turning to hours to days to a life-time. These events can become heavy burdens weakening one’s strength and spirit. Likewise rushing through time or anticipating its passing before the fact, truly hampers one’s ability to appreciate the gift of ‘now’.
Last weekend was a great celebration! Since then – one nephew is now wearing new braces on his teeth and another has turned 20 – both important moments. Time moves on and memories become treasures.
(borrowed from Lisa Richey at lisa’s Cheap Therapy Blog
Our lives are filled with projects. We awaken each day to schedules that pack the minutes of an hour and never feel like there are enough hours to complete our tasks. We pride ourselves in the ability to ‘multi-task’. Still, we lay our heads on night’s pillow unsettled and stressed – one more call should have been made, one more task was left hanging.
A story is told of a Zen master joining his student in a cafe for a morning meal. After quietly gaining perspective on his surroundings, he noticed a woman alone at a table. She was drinking a cup of coffee and reading the newspaper. With concern in his face, he turned to his student: ‘See this woman – she cannot be conscious of her actions. When you read the paper, only read. When you lift your cup, only drink. To be mindful, one must do one action at a time. It is enough.’
One action at a time. This is so contrary to the pace our culture has set. A simple statement that rings so clear – One action at a time. Maybe it is goal to be reached (we all need goals) yet for now allow yourself the gift of closing today with the thought – what was accomplished this day was enough.