Tag Archives: mindfulness

Never done with looking

“There are things you can’t reach. But You can reach out to them, and all day long. …I look; morning to night I am never done with looking…”  — Mary Oliver What do you see in the photo above? A fountain, of course, and if you’ve ever been to Savannah, Georgia, you probably recognize it …

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To trade places

“Today you will be tempted to feel sorry for yourself. Don’t! Lots of people would love to trade places with you. Before you get down in the dumps over whatever is bothering you, read today’s obituaries to see how many people younger than you died yesterday, or visit the burn or stroke rehab center at …

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Each must be the last

“Each golden day was cherished to the full, for one had the feeling that each must be the last. Tomorrow it would be winter.” ― Elizabeth Enright A great many of us have experienced an unusually warm autumn so far, though it seems the cold weather is creeping in. Eager for cooler temperatures, having had …

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Mostly standing still

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work, which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.  — Mary Oliver Bereavement, grief and aging are slicing through much of what once seemed inviolable …

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The fog of the future

“Today is mine. Tomorrow is none of my business. If I peer anxiously into the fog of the future, I will strain my spiritual eyes so that I will not see clearly what is required of me now.” – Elisabeth Elliot I’ve heard it said that anger is really fear in disguise, and I’ve seen …

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My state of general wonder

“Not until years later would I realize that my state of general wonder throughout this process, peppered though it was with fear and doubt, would help preserve my sanity through the events that followed.” — Hilary Tindle Sometimes I will hear or read a sentence that rings so true in my own experience that I …

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Of reflection

“Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.” — Winston Churchill  Merry Christmas! Chances are, this will be a busy day for you, coming on the heels of a busy season. For most of my adult life, it was that way for me, anyway. I love the Christmas season, with all the festive activities and joyful sharing. But it can …

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Leisured coziness

“The cup of tea on arrival at a country house is a thing which, as a rule, I particularly enjoy. I like the crackling logs, the shaded lights, the scent of buttered toast, the general atmosphere of leisured coziness.” ― P.G. Wodehouse Autumn is a wonderful season for tea lovers, and “leisured coziness” is a …

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Just before you

“The best things in life are nearest:  Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you.  Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the …

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An enduring savor

“If I summon up those memories that have left me with an enduring savor, if I draw up the balance sheet of the hours in my life that have truly counted, surely I find only those that no wealth could have procured me.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Most likely, today will seem like just another …

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How ordinary

“You know that the eyes of love aren’t blind, they are wide open…you realize how ordinary it is to love the beautiful, and how beautiful it is to love the ordinary.”  — Marius Vieth When I travel, I find that I enjoy the everyday neighborhoods and local groceries, libraries and post offices almost as much …

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Close at hand

“Survival starts by paying attention to what is close at hand and immediate. To look out with idle hope is tantamount to dreaming one’s life away.” ― Yann Martel Last summer I bought a small hibiscus plant at a clearance price, and brought it home to our deck. It thrived and bloomed profusely, until I …

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How else

“It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by.  How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment?  For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone…” — Vita Sackville-West I agree with Sackville-West that writing enables us to capture …

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How infinitely rich

“I think these difficult times have helped me to understand better than before how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes around worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.” — Isak Dinesen Perhaps the understanding Dinesen describes is one of the greatest gifts to come …

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A luxury

“Today we enjoy a luxury kings and queens throughout history had to suffer without: water is available to us just by turning on a tap.” — Alexandra Stoddard I don’t stop to think about it often, but running water is among the blessings for which I’m most grateful. Imagine what it must be like to …

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Memory of the heart

“Gratitude is the memory of the heart; therefore forget not to say often, I have all I ever enjoyed.” — Lydia Child It’s not good to live in the past or long for bygone times. Ecclesiastes 7:10 reminds us “Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?’ For it is not wise to ask such …

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Wonderful, magical and more

“This world, after all our science and sciences, is still a miracle; wonderful, magical and more, to whosoever will think of it.” — Thomas Carlyle One of the surest ways to defeat despair is to stop and experience something totally amazing. A star-studded sky at night or a sparkling sunlit ocean are obvious choices, but …

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A wise passage

“Have you ever observed that we pay much more attention to a wise passage when it is quoted, than when we read it in the original author?” — Philip Gilbert Hamerton I never thought about it, but perhaps Hamerton is right. For one thing, it’s easier to notice a quote when it is set apart from the …

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Just outside the gate

“A Trojan Horse sits just outside the gate of your heart. Its name is bitterness. It is a monument to every attack you have endured from your fellow human beings. It is a gift left by the people who have wronged you…It is rightfully yours. But to accept the gift is to invite ruin into …

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A thin stream of fear

“Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.” — Arthur Somers Roche Waterfalls start out a lot smaller and more quiet than they end up. If you’ve ever stood at the foot of a fairly large waterfall, you know the …

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Where there is joy

“Find a place where there is joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.” — Joseph Campbell What brings you joy? For most of us, there are many answers to that question, and some of us are fortunate enough to discover new joys daily. Perhaps the surest way to survive despair is to grasp …

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On foot

“Sickness comes on horseback, but goes away on foot.” — William Carew Hazlitt Seemingly out of nowhere, it hits– the devastating diagnosis, or the catastrophic accident, or the debilitating chronic pain– shattering the life of a loved one, or self.  Life changes– sometimes forever. We feel blindsided, helpless, resentful, afraid.  But somehow, we keep going. …

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Slowing down

“…in a day when doing something as soon as possible is the standard response to perceived problems, slowing down may be the best way to move ahead.” — Mark A. Noll Sometimes, action is urgently needed and haste is imperative.  However, I suspect that most of the urgency we feel about everyday stresses and conflicts …

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Quietly thrilling

“It is always quietly thrilling to find yourself looking at a world you know well but have never seen from such an angle before.” ― Bill Bryson When I read these words from Bryson, I realized why I love photography so much.  Through the lens of my camera, I look at things from all sorts …

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The opposite of availability

“The opposite of availability is not unavailability, but an overcrowded heart.” — Sue Monk Kidd Did any of you wince inwardly on reading these words? I know I did. It’s the sort of observation we know to be true even as we wish it wasn’t. So many of us have a hard time saying “no” to new …

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