Lesson from a toddler

When was the last time you were fully present with an infant or toddler? I’ve had the privilege of babysitting a grandson many times during his first 16 months. With an intention of “full attention” to him, I’ve learned so much! But one lesson stands out and bears repeating and practicing elsewhere in my life:

the child loves … and assumes you are good, loving, helpful

Continue reading “Lesson from a toddler”

A hint for the holidays …

For many of us, the holiday season is here – full steam ahead! Perhaps some of the parties are in the past but likely, time with family is yet ahead. And for some, family presents a special challenge: we care about these folks for they are a forever part of our lives if at all possible! Yet, while we may have grown up under the same roof, we have possibly grown apart as adults. Sometimes, connection has disappeared and been replaced by difficult personalities, different values, tension.

This season, I invite you – whatever your personal situation – to consider this:

Love is the answer.

This holiday, try a visioning practice when you gather with others. Continue reading “A hint for the holidays …”

Miracles anyone?

Whatever your faith tradition, or even the absence of one, today I’d like to offer a message about miracles that is powerful. When I remember it, I am filled with gratitude – and that is a very lovely place to be!

Miracles. Are they magic? Is a miracle the thing that happens against ALL odds? Are they experienced only by someone else? Do they only happen in church? Continue reading “Miracles anyone?”

More on believing…

Yesterday, I spent time with the notion of believing in Santa Claus:

Why Not Believe?

Today I’d like to take that one step further and explore belief in a Higher Power, God, Spirit, Universal Presence, Allah or a teaching such as that of the Buddha.

What value is there in faith traditions?
How does belief impact life?

I guess I can only speak for myself here. My own journey of belief has had a few twists and turns. I started life in a christian tradition and believed in God as the Creator of all life whose love was unconditional and who asked me to be and do good. I think the faith that grounded our family was a very important part of how we showed up in the world as good, hard working, trusting, loving people.

Then, life hit hard and I needed the 12 Step programs which talked about “God as I understand God” and a Higher Power. I think the deep pain in my life required me to believe in a whole new way. Trusting in something outside of myself, taking myself out of the driver’s seat in life, asking for help, softened me. I couldn’t keep doing life alone, my way. Believing that there were other powers in the universe supporting me was a gift.

Since then, I have explored many spiritual traditions and belief systems. I continue to expand and soften. I have experienced the power of meditation, come to understand the richness in the writings of many great spiritual teachers. The more I journey, the more I trust, the easier life becomes. This human life experience has challenges – lots of them! And when I focus only at the level of my humanity and try to solve problems on my own, I fail and life hurts. When I see a wider view, when I trust that we are supported by something bigger: Life, Love, a Master Creator, I let go. I allow life to be what it is – even the painful parts.

If believing is foreign to you, or if your belief system doesn’t support you in the way you’d like it to, stretch! Try something new. Read. Find a spiritual group. Meditate. Try a new church. Whatever you do, know that there is no right or wrong. Belief is personal. Your way can’t look like anyone else’s. Believing “is an inside job”.

What value would you find in believing?
How might your life change?

The Space …

I’ve been struggling. So much going on. So much action and reaction. So many emotions. So strong. So much confusion. So much pain. So much anger.

I have lost myself in all of it. Can you relate? Maybe not. But just in case you can, I offer these lyrics. They suggest some focus on and resting within the spaces – the spaces between stimulus and response, between emotion and reaction, between the in breath and the out breath, between each thought. It is in the space, the silence, where we encounter our truth and the courage to live it.

In The Space

In the space, in the space between each task…
In the space when I take the time to ask…
In that space, that precious space, I relax.

In the space, in the space between my words…
In the space where I pause and breathe, discern…
In that space, that sacred space, I learn.

In the space, in the space between my thoughts…
In the space where I know I am not lost…
In that space, that peaceful place, I am taught.

In the space, in the space between my fears…
In the space where I feel pure love, so dear…
In that space, in sweet embrace, I hear.

In the space, in the silence of my soul…
In the space, I’ve released my false control.
In this space, this resting place, I am whole.

                                   Jeanne Loehnis, 2008

What awaits you in the space?
What if you spent time there?
What would shift in you?