Tag Archives: mindfulness

The right way

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” ― Frances Hodgson Burnett Recently on an early evening walk, I was basking in the new cool of September, and as I approached our Alexandria townhome I looked over the expanse behind it and felt almost as if I …

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Odd corners

“It is not on mountaintops that the charm of life lies, for we are seldom there. It is in nooks and vales, in odd corners, that life is spent and finds its settings.” — Wallace Nutting Your summer vacation might now be a pleasant memory, or maybe you didn’t even take one.  In any case, …

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Sometimes to go

“Oh, how one wants sometimes to go from such giftlessly high-flown, cheerless human wordiness into the seeming silence of nature, into the arduous soundlessness of long, persistent labor, into the wordlessness of deep sleep, of true music, and of a quiet, heartfelt touch grown mute from fullness of soul!” — Boris Pasternak Probably nobody I …

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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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Hardly a waste

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.” ― Sir John Lubbock Rest is not optional; it’s necessary to health and sanity, but it seems we are in …

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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 …

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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 …

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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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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 …

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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.”— …

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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. …

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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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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 …

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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 …

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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, …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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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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 …

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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 …

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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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