Tag Archives: mindfulness

A genuine interest

“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.” ― William Morris I like to keep a camera handy so I can capture everyday moments, the type that seem commonplace.  Now that most people have cell phones with cameras, this is happening more often, and I …

Continue reading

So great a sweetness

When such as I cast out remorse So great a sweetness flows into the breast We must laugh and we must sing, We are blest by everything, Everything we look upon is blessed. — William Butler Yeats Recently when I took Matt for his diagnostic testing and pre-surgical planning at the Children’s National Medical Center …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

Like one of these

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” — Jesus Christ (as quoted in Matthew 6:28-29, NIV) I grew up hearing this verse, and always …

Continue reading

Until I write

“I cannot see what I have gone through until I write it down. I am blind without a pencil…But it does seem a slow and wasteful process. (Like walking, tapping with a cane.)…There is so much waste in creativity, always.  But there is something curious about creativity: the trying-too-hard for results seems to defeat itself.”— …

Continue reading

What you now have

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” ― Epicurus It’s so easy to get caught up in looking ahead to the next goal or aspiration.  There’s nothing wrong with anticipation; it makes life more fun. …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

I challenge you to a dare

“Can I challenge you to a dare?  Today, stop praying for anything other than the life you have!…before we begin the year, with a sense of adventure, give thanks for your most “ordinary” life.  This is how the miracle begins, as we embark with a sense of adventure seeking the splendid in the simple gift …

Continue reading

Actually see

“The beauty and mystery of this world only emerges through affection, attention, interest and compassion . . . open your eyes wide and actually see this world by attending to its colors, details and irony.” ― Orhan Pamuk There’s a double blessing in opening our eyes to the world around us.  Not only are we …

Continue reading

See all the good

“Maybe all my days are filled with little miracles, but I’m too distracted by what I think is my life to notice them. Sometimes bad news is the best way to see all the good quickly and clearly.” — Glennon Doyle Melton When trouble hits, whether it’s catastrophic or just a series of mind-numbing irritations, …

Continue reading

All is bright

“All is calm, all is bright.” — Fr. Joseph Mohr, as translated by John F. Young Today I’m having to keep telling myself to take a few deep breaths and stay calm. Being so far behind on household tasks such as cleaning and bill paying, as well as trying to enjoy at least some of …

Continue reading

Nevertheless

“The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts.  No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.” — H.U. Westermayer I was unable to find out anything about who H. U. Westermayer was, though I did find others asking the same question. While they were similarly unsuccessful …

Continue reading

Remembering: Promises to keep

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep.  But I have promises to keep,  And miles to go before I sleep…”  — Robert Frost It’s tempting to be drawn into our own ruminations. Trouble can be an isolating experience, and solitude is a seductive force, both healing and dangerous. If we withdraw too long or too …

Continue reading

Time for finding

“When we are trapped in seeking, nothing is enough.  Everything we have mocks us; we see only what is missing, and all that is already here seems pale and unsatisfying. In Sabbath time we bless what is there for being.  The time for seeking is over; the time for finding has begun.” — Wayne Muller …

Continue reading

Don’t pass it by

“There it is round you. Don’t pass it by—the immediate, the real, the only, the yours.” — Henry James Until this year, this would be a typical sight for a Saturday in November; Jeff mowing the grass for perhaps the last time until spring.  I took this photo seven years ago, but even if I …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

Waiting

“Waiting is one of the great arts.” — Margery Allingham It’s fitting that this quote came from an author of detective stories, because the seemingly glamorous life of a private eye requires a great deal of tedious waiting. For Jeff and me, it seems as if the past year has held well more than its …

Continue reading

Enliven and transform

“Instead of resigning ourselves to lives in which 75 percent of the day is less enjoyable or at best, neutral, we can find ways to enliven and transform these moments.” — Todd Kashdan Whatever you have planned for today, tomorrow, or this week, see if you can think up some ways to add sparkle to …

Continue reading

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, …

Continue reading

Govern the clock

“I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.” — Golda Meir As strange as it seems, much of what we think of as “time management” is just one more way of being governed by the clock.  While some principles of time management are useful, such as setting goals and priorities, other advice may …

Continue reading

Don’t forget the present

“Remember the past, and prepare for the future, but don’t forget:  the present is where you live.” — Ashleigh Brilliant The Hertford Bridge pictured above is part of Hertford College, of the University of Oxford in England.  It connects the Old and New Quadrangles of that college, with administrative offices in the older building and student accommodations in …

Continue reading

Each moment an occasion

My dog lives freely each moment an occasion to cherish and leave — Drew Denton Years ago I found this haiku, along with several others, among some handwritten drafts and school papers saved from Drew’s 10th grade year. He was probably around 15 years old when he wrote this, and I doubt he even knows I …

Continue reading

After ecstasy

“After ecstasy, the laundry.” — Zen saying Perhaps no quote can so succinctly capture the experience of parenthood, especially in its early stages.  The unsurpassed joy of holding a newborn baby is quickly tempered by the grinding realities of sleep deprivation, miscellaneous messes to clean up and a never-ending pile of laundry to be done.  Yet there is joy even …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

This most amazing day

“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.” — E. E. Cummings It’s a bit hard for me to imagine what it would be like living in a town …

Continue reading