“As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world.” ~Terri Guillemets
I truly have so much in my life to be thankful for. The more I am paying attention to these things for which I am grateful, the more things I seem to find that merit gratitude. And the more I find, the more I think of gratitude throughout the day, which leads to noticing even more things for which to be grateful. It’s really a most lovely cycle.
I just finished reading Sandy Eisenberg Sasso’s book God’s Echo: Exploring Scripture with Midrash. Sasso is a rabbi who shares with her readers the Jewish practice of midrash. Midrash is a process of entering into the stories read in Scripture and at the same time allowing those stories to enter your own life and times. The resulting interpretations of Scripture often become imaginative retellings of the stories that explore the parts of the story that is missing in the scriptural narrative or address issues or concerns relevant to current situations the reader is facing.
In this small volume, she does a marvelous job of describing this process and then illustrating it with examples that have been meaningful in her own life. In each of the examples, she shares the original text followed by one or more of the interpretations from various published midrashic texts. She gives additional explanation of what the rabbis who wrote the midrash samples were addressing in their own times or points out the larger questions being explored in their interpretations. Each example also includes her own personal relationship with the story and the midrash and questions designed to help the reader begin their own exploration of the story in a deeper way.
“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” ~Nora Ephron
Have you ever had one of those days when it seems like the universe is hitting you upside the head with an idea? Even long after you’ve taken the hint? I’ve had one of those days today. There’s no way I can miss the message on this one!
In my call with my coach this morning, I was sharing some recent struggles I have been dealing with and what I’ve learned about myself in the process of dealing with those issues. The action item we designed for me to work on before our next session was a re-writing of my story of some key life events to change my role from life’s victim to the heroine. As we discussed this proposed action step, it was very clear to both of us that this was something that addressed a wide range of issues we had discussed in a very tangible and powerful way.
But although I had already committed to taking this step, the universe wasn’t done with me yet.
“What you are afraid to do is a clear indicator of what you need to do next.” ~Anonymous (from @Intentdotcom)
I had a short conversation with a friend today on Facebook about why the thing we want to do most is so often the thing that we are most afraid to do. Although our exchange was very brief, the thought has stuck with me all day as I have pondered the ways I repeatedly avoid doing the thing I most long to do … the thing that is very much on my mind after a different Facebook friend asked me last night exactly what I’m doing about this one thing.
I always have some justification for why this is not the best time for me to do that one thing, and my justifications usually sound quite logical. Very practical and reasonable even! The truth is that I’m just scared. Terrified, really.
What if I do this thing that I long to do, and I fail at it? The very thought takes my breath away. It’s easier to just not try than to think of failing at what matters most! But I’ll never get an A for adventure if I stay on the safe, practical, reasonable path. (And incidentally I’ll just note that my “one thing” was very much on my mind as I wrote yesterday’s post too.)
“The spiritual journey is the relinquishment—or unlearning—of fear, and the acceptance of love back into our hearts.” ~Marianne Williamson
Today has been a day full of messages about fear. The quote above was one that was in my morning reading from Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga (affiliate link), which was the way I started my day. The idea that fear is something that can be unlearned—and that this is the spiritual journey we are on—caught my attention in a way that would not let me go.
“Cleanliness of the body and mind develops disinterest in contact with others for self-gratification.” ~Yoga Sutra 2.40
I am continually amazed by the synchronicity that brings messages into my life right when I need them. Sometimes these messages appear as I’m struggling with something and thereby help to guide my thinking in a certain direction. Other times, like the last few days, messages appear after I’ve experienced some new breakthrough in my thinking that serve to affirm that I am moving in the right direction.
In this case, I have been surrounded my messages about community the last few days that affirm the ideas I have been expressing the last few days. One that has really stuck with me is the translation of Yoga Sutra 2.40 given above, as found in the reading for Day 63 ofMeditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga (Amazon Affiliate link). This was the reading that greeted my waking eyes this morning.
This morning, after my talk of the ways that the deaths of dreams in my life over the last year have opened space for new births in yesterday’s post on celebrating baby steps, I opened the page to find a most amazing reading waiting for me. Continue reading →