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You are invited in this guest blog to come, stand before the dawn and be still…without words…and wait….   What would that be like for you?

The invitation
By Andrew Norton

Come with me and stand before the dawn,
let us be still,
without words
and wait,
wrapped in the blanket of darkness
within and without.

Watch with me
as sun splinters break into our worlds,
to see and to be seen,
never giving ourselves in total to the light,
but residing in the threshold of shadows
to protect this precious gift.

The invitation of this day comes
through the mist across the vast sea
ensuring the mystery of our adventure,
the known and the unknown,
consummated through our eyes,
a revelation, a constant re-veiling,
for to see fully would be not to see at all
as it is in the familiar of things that we lose our sight.

From this dawning may we awaken
tired eyes blinded by the ordinary

 

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Watercolor Waterfall by Susan Heffron Hajec

I received this reminder to love today from my favorite reminder person, who has given us these reminders on a daily basis for a very long time now. Betty Lue — these words definitely help me today.

 

Betty Lue Lieber – Loving Reminders
Affirmations:
I love well and live well.
My life works well because I love!
I forgive myself for withholding love.
I easily and freely love all the Good I have.

August 14, 2019 Loving Reminders- Love Well and Live Well!

Love Well and Live Well!

How you love, you will be living.
It is by our consciousness of love that we choose to remember to love others.
It is with love for others that we begin to recognize how well love works.
It is with love for ourselves that we realize how fun, safe and easy to live well.
Take time to pause and enjoy your life right now and right here.
Say “thanks” to each one who comes to show you the way.
Some show you how to love and some show how not to love.
Everyone has a gift to give and receive.

When we are learning to love, we know we can do better.
We listen to what each person or child needs or wants to receive.
We watch what works and doesn’t work.
We can easily see the call for love with those who need to experience love from us.
Loving well requires that we have love for ourselves.
Loving well asks that we access the love within us.
Loving well invites us to choose to love no matter what.
Loving well shows us how to love with words, thoughts and behaviors.

When you lack in love, surround yourself with people that are loving.
When you need love and affirmation, join groups, read books and listen to music that inspires love.
When you forget to love, give yourself daily reminders of how to love yourself and others.
When you deny or withhold love, practice regular forgiveness of limiting love.

Life truly is a gift of love, when you are open and receptive.
Life teaches us to be love, when we are ready to learn the lessons;
Life is an experimental laboratory, we have not believed in love.
Life is a clear reflection of the effectiveness of loving and living well.

Enjoy the life you have and love it well.
Appreciate the love you have and live it well.
I love and appreciate YOU,
Betty Lue

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Living the Days of Resurrection

 

Guest Blog from Christine Valters Paintner
Galway, Ireland

 

A love note from your online Abbess

Take My Hand

Please don’t plant me
neat rows of rosebushes
and tulips at attention,
no manicured gardens
or crystal vases of cut stems.

Instead, take my hand,
lead me onto
rain-softened grass
which undulates like a boat
on a summer lake,

lie down with me
in a quilt of sunlight and shadows
among yellow petals, violet trumpets,
a feast for hares and bees,
let’s linger and forget ourselves

until even the tiled sky above
is cracked open by stars
and all that is restless and wild
within us can roam the heavens
howling the moon aloft.

—Christine Valters Paintner

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims,

After the six weeks of Lent and our disciplines of letting go of distractions and listening more deeply to the sacred call in our daily lives we arrive to the Feast of Easter which initiates a 50-day season of practicing resurrection. I love this sense of invitation into what it means to live resurrection in the midst of the ordinary routines of life.

I wrote this poem a couple of years ago while up in Donegal on a writing weekend. It was being held at this lovely manor house with a large grassy area out front leading down to a lake. During one of the writing sessions, the instructor invited us to go outside for fifteen minutes and see what was inspired. I wandered out hungrily, so glad for time to move outside into the summer sun, sit under a broad tree offering shade.

For me it is a poem about the longing for wildness in my life. I am aware how having everything in order and well planned can be so seductive, but the divine presence is not a God of neat rows and lining everything up just so. Certainly the Easter story many of us celebrate today reveals a divine wildness which erupts into the world beyond our expectations. Practicing resurrection in part means opening to what happens when we release our ideas of how things should unfold.

There have been times in my life when I have embraced this sense of wildness with more vigor than others. Certainly selling everything we owned and leaving Seattle for an adventure living in Europe was one of those seasons. Now living in Galway for the last almost seven years, I have a lovely and sweet life that I adore and am grateful for each day. It involves certain sacred rhythms and times of silence to listen deeply. What is most nourishing to me is a wander down by the sea, to feel the roughness of wind, taste the salt on my skin, to shake loose all the things that have become too determined, too set in expectation.

I invite you to enter this poem as a form of lectio divina. Read it through slowly and notice what words or phrases are shimmering for you. Let those unfold in your heart and listen for the sense of invitation arising. Then watch the video below and see what new layers the visuals offer to you. It is a poem of direct address to someone – a loved one perhaps or a prayer to the sacred source. What is your prayer of resurrection as we enter into this season ahead?

……to shake loose all the things that have become too determined…

 

Art by Shh

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art by Nan Rae

My journey and joy in learning Sumi-e brush painting has acquainted me with some website instruction on YouTube with Nan Rae. I find her invigorating, gracious, and owning every bit of her serendipitous journey into this art. Here is a glance.

 

DELIGHT IN SERENDIPITY!

Nan Rae – Her Journey in Sumi-e Chinese Brush Painting

In her own words: Everyone has a journey that is unique to them and it’s best followed by listening to the promptings of our heart. For me this involves saying yes to everything that presents itself and fortunately that ‘everything’ has always turned out to be something wonderful. Perhaps not visibly wonderful at the beginning but always becoming something amazing.

Of course this does require more faith in life than in following a predictable course but again, this seems to work for me. An early example of this would be when Ralph Tepedino contacted me years ago and asked if I would like to do the California Gift Show. Honestly, I didn’t even know what the Gift Show was but in my usually naive manner I said a resounding “YES”. At that time I was to share a 10 X 10 foot space with two other artists, one who sold her photographic images on greeting cards and the other a gal in England who pressed flowers and placed them on pillows, in frames and all manner of products.

Nan Rae

There I was with one small wall to display my line of greeting cards. If I cut to the chase I will tell you that within three years we were not only doing the Gift Show having three booths featuring only Nan Rae cards but the New York Stationary Show. From these two venues Trader Joe’s found me along with Ling Design in England and so many wonderful gift stores and museums that there isn’t room or time to name them. All serendipity!

Nan Rae

Every licensing contract has come to me just that way. Every commission, including the New York Philharmonic asking permission to use my artwork for their historic trip to Korea and China. I am always as amazed by this as you must be reading these stories but again, it’s my journey and it’s what works for me. A friend once told me she suits up and shows up and perhaps that is the key. We have to work hard and be fully prepared when opportunities present themselves and then be brave enough to say a resounding yes!
Find her and her beautiful paintings and classes at: http://www.nanraestudio.com

 

Nan Rae

Nan Rae explains on her website:

“An expert in Brush Painting, her works,
from her Paris experience,
sing with the joy of Impressionism.”
Nan Rae’s brush painting combines the grace of the Literati style
with an impressionist approach to color.
The Literati style seeks to transcend the mere representation,
of a subject to capture its ch’i, or life force, by using a
minimum of brush strokes for maximum effect.
No sketches are prepared and no models are used.
The artist paints with rapid, intuitive movements of the brush
that convey a “mind image” of the subject.
Sumi-e, Japanese Ink painting,
came from the influence of Chinese Brush;
the techniques and brushes are the same.

Her motto is, Live Joyfully watching her instruct it is easy to see this joy — this ch’i — surrounds and embodies her. She is joy personified.

She encourages me to “get my ch’i on!” and to watch for it in my own brush paintings.

Find her at: http://www.nanraestudio.com

 

Napkinwriter’s journey with Sumi-e is a slow, winding one filled with wonder with what is achieved in this tradition of brush painting. According to the Mustard Seed Garden book, which is considered the bible of this method, there are bunches of rules and regulations for the brush and the artist to produce a calming image filled with ch’i that the observer falls in love with. I have only mastered a few. They also list faults and I am familiar with many of them, even now in my beginning stages. I will watch and learn and enjoy.

by Sue

 

by Sue

by Sue

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Today, I didn’t have my napkin in my purse to write upon, when I was at the 8 am children’s Mass on Ash Wednesday at Christ the King Cathedral. So many blessings entered my soul from the readings, to the music, to the homily and the children filling most of the cathedral. “Bless the Lord, Oh my soul.”

And of course, I can’t remember most of what I wanted to. I need napkins more than ever these days to remember, oh my remember. I know the first message I soaked up like a sponge was “Return to me with all your heart.” It is such a blessing to be involved in anything in our life where we are in it whole-heartedly.  Another scripture at another time warns us to be a full Yes or a No — anything in between  is not “of the Spirit.”

I am so grateful to be living whole-hearted in each day, maybe with a few aches and pains, various trials here and there, some inconveniences, but in the over-all appraisal, I feel grateful and whole hearted for the life I have.

Today, I share my SoulCollage image I made for Lent maybe over five years ago. I add to it the magnificent blog post of Jan Richardson, and thus I am complete. It is all here.

 

Readings for Ash Wednesday: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17; Psalm 51:1-17;
2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

From Jan Richardson:

We are entering the season that begins with a smudge. That smudge is a testimony to what survives. It is a witness to what abides when everything seems lost. It is a sign that what we know and love may, for a time, be reduced to dust, but it does not disappear. We belong to the God who well knows what to do with dust, who sees the dust as a place to dream anew, who creates from it again and again.
—Jan Richardson, from Ash Wednesday: What God Can Do with Dust
The Painted Prayerbook, February 2018

Friends, as we enter into Lent, I want to share this Ash Wednesday blessing again. It’s been six years since I first wrote it, during what would turn out to be my last Lent with Gary. I have found that the question the blessing holds—”Did you not know what the Holy One can do with dust?”—is a good one to ask myself anew each time Ash Wednesday comes around. And I can say now: I know what God can do with dust. And I am learning still.

As this season begins, what blessing do you need to claim from the ashes?

Blessing the Dust
For Ash Wednesday

All those days
you felt like dust,
like dirt,
as if all you had to do
was turn your face
toward the wind
and be scattered
to the four corners
or swept away
by the smallest breath
as insubstantial—
did you not know
what the Holy One
can do with dust?
This is the day
we freely say
we are scorched.
This is the hour
we are marked
by what has made it
through the burning.
This is the moment
we ask for the blessing
that lives within
the ancient ashes,
that makes its home
inside the soil of
this sacred earth.
So let us be marked
not for sorrow.
And let us be marked
not for shame.
Let us be marked
not for false humility
or for thinking
we are less
than we are
but for claiming
what God can do
within the dust,
within the dirt,
within the stuff
of which the world
is made
and the stars that blaze
in our bones
and the galaxies that spiral
inside the smudge
we bear.
—Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons

NAPKINWRITER so highly recommended this beautiful, inspiring book. Buy it now!

 

Please include this info in a credit line: “© Jan Richardson. janrichardson.com.”

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I got a reminder today and I need reminders. This reminder came on my email from BettyLue Lieber. She sends them out often and writes them in little booklets. Today’s came just in time, as more violence and nasty words flood the media and actions are horrid to behold. I refocus on what is mine to do. The Reiki Principles I practice help to center me: Just for today, I release all worry. Just for today, I release all anger. Just for today, I shall live my purpose and do my work with integrity. Just for Today, I shall honor every living thing. Just for today, I shall show gratitude for all my many blessings.

October 29, 2018 Loving Reminders – Live Well!  from Betty Lue

Affirmations:
I learn my life lessons quickly.
I listen and receive healing messages easily.
I give my gifts joyfully.
I do my work gratefully.

Are You Getting the Message?

We all have lessons to learn.
We all have messages to receive.
We all have gifts to give.
We all have work to do.

What will it take to get the message?
Is it coming through to you?
Are you listening to what you hear and feel inside?
Are you watching your life show you what is not working?

Feeling sorry for yourself puts you to sleep.
When you eyes are closed you cannot see.
When you are tuned out, you cannot hear.
When you are numb, addicted or in a trance, you cannot understand.

Life wakes us up.
Pain is an alarm.
Upsets are wakeup calls.
Problems are tests.

I choose to be awake to notice, see and hear and feel.
I prefer to address my life as the teaching it offers.
I trust that what is mine is mine to heal and handle.
I enjoy the rewards of responding with love.

Begin to write whenever you are upset for any reason!
“The real reason I am upset is:………………….”
Write every response you hear in your mind.
Continue writing “ The real reason I am upset ……” until you are empty.

After perhaps pages of thoughts, feelings, excuses, defenses and justifications, you will be clear.
Whatever is left after you cross off what you know is not true, you will find what is “bugging” you.
There will be one or two beliefs that you need to face or erase.
The splinter will fester until you clean it out of your thought process.

Most of what needs to be healed will be your limiting beliefs, lack of confidence and judging yourself.

Ten Keys to a Good Life:

Be Responsible for the entirety of your life.

Be Open to learn from everything and everyone.

Be Forgiving of all mistakes, yours and others.

Be Truly helpful by thinking, speaking and giving your best.

Be Impeccable in caring for your body, relationships, home, work, finances.

Be Willing to live with moderation in all things.

Be Aware of the Gift of Love and the Call for Love.

Be Exact with your thoughts and words; they create your life.

Be Hard-working with wisdom, gratitude and joy.

Be Good. See Good. Think Good. Speak Good. Give Good.

I am loving us all.
It is love that prevails in all things, large and small.
Above all, let us simply remember to love.
Betty Lue

Sue & Napkinwriter respond:
Yes, yes, yes. No matter where we are, who we are, we are bombarded with the impulse to respond in fear. It was so painful and it took me so long to cast out fear and replace with love, that I am so recognizing that the people with the mics on the world stage today want our decisions to be fear-based. Instead, I see their real purpose is to help me reaffirm more deeply and respond with love. While it may be hard to love, and not with a Pollyanna love but with the love Christ said casts out all fear, I realign each day, practice Hono’ponopono for myself and others and try to live my purpose, centered in the Five Reiki .  I am so grateful for the lessons that brought me so much pain but also so much sight, clear-eyed seeing, with no addictions, no excuses. Bless you Betty Lou and Robert too.

 

Just for today, I release all worry.
Just for today, I release all anger.
Just for today I live my purpose and do my work with integrity.
Just for today I honor every living thing.
Just for today, I show gratitude for all my many blessings.

Thank you, God, for all my blessings.

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GUEST BLOG from Daily Om

I read the short essays frequently penned by Madisyn Taylor at the Daily OM website and this one today is a philosophy I subscribe to and have practiced for many years, even before the current “take Sides” culture we have today. I definitely believe that being FOR something is a better energy creator (and hence, results-creator) than the “I am against” whatever you are for stratagies we face today.

I am an elder and I am still learning how to use my power, and yes, even gauge my power correctly, rather than cave to the “I can’t do anything” mentality. I just, in most cases, choose to do my thing quietly and with discernment. I believe in doing that, I do change something, however big or small, for the good. As they sing in the popular showtune, Wicked, ….because you loved me, I have been changed for good.

Love changes all things for the better. Because love defeats fear. Love and Fear cannot co-exist.

 

Putting Power in Perspective

by Madisyn Taylor
You create better energy when you are FOR something, rather than AGAINST something.
As human beings, we cannot help but be subject to our preferences. However, we do have control over the manner in which these manifest themselves in our lives. Every value we hold dear is an expression of either support or opposition, and it is our perspective that determines whether we are for something or against it. As an example of a situation we are all familiar with at this time: We can direct our energy and intentions into activities that promote peace rather than using our resources to speak out in opposition of war. On the surface, these appear to be two interchangeable methods of expressing one virtue, yet being for something is a vastly more potent means of inspiring change because it carries with it the power of constructive intent.

When you support a cause, whether your support is active or passive, you contribute to the optimism that fuels all affirmative change. Optimistic thoughts energize people, giving them hope and inspiring them to work diligently on behalf of what they believe in. Being for something creates a positive shift in the universe, which means that neither you nor those who share your vision will have any trouble believing that transformation on a grand scale is indeed possible. To be against something is typically easy, as you need only speak out in opposition to it. Standing up for something is often more challenging, because you may be introducing an idea to people that may scare them on a soul level.

Throughout your life, you have likely been told that the actions of one person will seldom have a measurable impact on the world. Yet your willingness to stand up for what you believe in instead of decrying what you oppose can turn the tides of fate. The thoughts you project when you choose to adopt a positive perspective will provide you with a means to actively promote your values and, eventually, foster lasting change.

 

https://www.dailyom.com/

 

 

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