Tag Archives: awareness

Just too used to it

“I think life is staggering and we’re just too used to it.  We are all like spoiled children no longer impressed with the gifts we’re given – it’s just another sunset, just another rainstorm moving in over the mountain, just another child being born, just another funeral.”  — Donald Miller Do you ever read the …

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Time to relax

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” — Sydney J. Harris I’m guessing today is a busy day for you.  All the more reason to give yourself a quick break, or maybe even a long one.  See that bench in the garden, pictured above?  That’s your virtual space to sit …

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In the tiny corners

“What God does in the tiny corners of our day-to-day lives is stunning and gorgeous and headline-making, but we have a bad habit of saving the headlines for the grotesque and scary.” ― Shauna Niequist Today, let’s shine the light on the headline-making happenings in the tiny corners.  I’ll start with a few of my …

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All about us

“It seems to me that people are forever traveling great distances, and journeying to strange countries, to see things that, if they only knew it, exist beside their own doorstep…Whether one goes to nature for truth, or for beauty, for knowledge or for relaxation, these things can be found in a yard in the city …

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Watch with glittering eyes

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.” ― Roald Dahl Look around you today.  Great secrets and enlightening discoveries may be hiding in plain sight.  What are the unlikely places you tend to look past?  What secret discoveries …

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The indispensable ingredient

“It is literally true, as the thankless say, that they have nothing to be thankful for.  He who sits by the fire, thankless for the fire, is just as if he had no fire.  Nothing is possessed save in appreciation, of which thankfulness is the indispensable ingredient.  But a thankful heart hath a continual feast.”  …

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Along the road

“I regret less the road not taken than my all-fired hurry along the road I took.” — Robert Brault As hard as it might be for some of us to believe this, if we live long enough we will look back on this particular time in our lives and miss at least a few of …

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Why we travel

“Travel tends to make us hyper-aware of details…when we are away from the distractions of our lives, we come awake to the small moments. That’s why we travel, and why we take pictures. The trick is to bring that hyper-awareness home with you, and keep it alive.”   — George Lange Until I read this …

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The art of counting

“Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.” — Harold Coffin I often have a problem with envy, especially when friends who are my age start describing their carefree “empty nest” travels and activities.  After nearly 30 years of caretaking and managing the lives of our children (beginning when …

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Serenity is contagious

“We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious.” — Satchidananda Saraswati Serenity has never been my strong suit, but maybe that’s why I …

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Remembering: Little advantages

“Human felicity is produced not so much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen, as by little advantages that occur every day.” —Benjamin Franklin Just as it’s often the minor irritations that distract us and wear us down, so too the power of small blessings can transform our lives.  The trick is becoming aware of …

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No such thing

“There is no such thing as gratitude unexpressed. If it is unexpressed, it is plain, old-fashioned ingratitude.”  — Robert Brault One of the great blessings to come from this blog has been the ongoing task of reading many wise and inspiring words from all sorts of people, all over the world, from the earliest recorded eras up …

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What we enjoy

“I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment…” — C. S. Lewis Tea. Books. Friends. Flowers. Animals. Family. I hope nobody is getting sick of seeing these and other topics here, over and over, because I have so much fun writing about what I enjoy — including anything …

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Clarity from stillness

“If water derives clarity from stillness, how much more so does the mind!” — Zhuangzi In a recent post, I discussed the fascination of watching moving waters.  But still waters are captivating as well, particularly when they mirror beautiful scenery. Stillness is a trait that doesn’t come naturally to me.  Even when my body is not …

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Pay attention

“Choice of attention, to pay attention to this and ignore that, is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer.” – W. H. Auden Auden captures a truth here that has always been evident to me, yet remains elusive in the ongoing rush of life.  When one is distractible or detail-oriented, …

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Read history

“If you think you have it tough, read history books.” — Bill Maher I’m no fan of Bill Maher, but he has a point about history.  It’s a great way to gain some perspective.  Not long ago I read Bill Bryson’s fascinating book At Home, and I realized I’d never fully appreciated such things as electricity and sewer systems.  From …

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The real secret

“The real secret of how to use time is to pack it as you would a portmanteau, filling up the small spaces with small things.” — Sir Henry Haddow Much has been written about the importance of prioritizing major tasks and important duties first, and fitting everything else in around them.  But sometimes there still does …

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God’s handwriting

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting – a wayside sacrament.  Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.”  —Charles Kingsley Travel is one of my favorite ways of searching for …

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The true traveler

“The true traveler is he who goes on foot, and even then, he sits down a lot of the time.” — Colette Of all the reasons I love walking, travel may be the most lasting.  I have done a good bit of traveling since I was a girl, and as far back as I can …

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The sense of the beautiful

“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe In the centuries since Goethe penned this sound …

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Mind and soul

“Let knowledge grow from more to more, But more of reverence in us dwell; That mind and soul, according well, May make one music as before, But vaster.” —  Alfred, Lord Tennyson Several miles from the palaces of knowledge found at the Smithsonian Institution, the Washington National Cathedral stands in a quiet residential area seldom congested with the …

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Here to change the world

“We are here to change the world with small acts of thoughtfulness done daily rather than with one great dramatic leap in results.” — Rabbi Harold Kushner Everyone loves to see results.  There’s nothing more satisfying than completing a major project or putting the final touches on something we’ve labored over for weeks.  But in reality, …

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You should ramble

“To enjoy scenery you should ramble amidst it; let the feelings to which it gives rise mingle with other thoughts; look round upon it in intervals of reading; and not go to it as one goes to see the lions fed at a fair. The beautiful is not to be stared at, but to be …

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A thousand small ways

“When we are willing to be open-minded, art and beauty come flooding into us in a thousand small ways.”— Julia Cameron I tend to think of open-mindedness as a trait useful primarily to our rational minds, vital to the examination of ideas, cultures and opposing viewpoints.  Yet there are many ways our minds can be open rather …

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The familiar exotic

“Make the familiar exotic; the exotic familiar.”  — Bharati Mukherjee I’m pretty good at making the exotic familiar, or at least trying.  When Jeff and I travel, we tend to avoid the tourist routes and go to places where the locals are: public transportation, grocery stores, municipal libraries.  The more intriguing a city is, the more I am determined …

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