October 2018 (Vol. XXXI, No. 9)

Dear Friends ~ Having just watched the documentary on Mr. Rogers, entitled "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" it struck me that he possessed, like the Dalai Lama, that quality of presence that held each and every one within his perfectly still and attentive gaze, wrapping them in heartfelt reassurance of their worth. He seems to have spent his life telling each person he met —whether child, prisoner, or co-worker— that they are loved just the way they are. Yet how many ways do we try to change ourselves or others? How many qualifiers or conditions do we put on a person's value or worthiness to be loved? And what does it mean to be our best selves? We need to reach for growth and change while knowing also that, at our core, who we are is just right. Sometimes the hardest one to believe that about is ourselves. Perennial plants in my garden have turned from greens to tawny browns and yellows, some withering on their now-brittle stems.

Love isn't a state of perfect caring

Love isn't a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like "struggle". To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.
~ Mr. Fred Rogers

Within each one of us

Within each one of us there is a pearl of great value. It is solely our own and cannot be found in anyone else. If we are to claim our prized uniqueness, without knowing exactly what we are looking for, we must search our souls for directions, and listen for what our hearts have to tell us about how to find this hidden treasure. This precious pearl that is our own individual worth can only be found when we are willing to stand alone.

~ Sheldon Kopp

In search of our selves

We human beings are in search of meaning, in search of our selves. Very little of what we already are and already have brings us deeper meaning or happiness. We are born for meaning, not pleasure, unless it is pleasure that is steeped in meaning. And we are born as well for suffering, not the suffering that leads to madness but the suffering that leads to joy: the struggle with ourselves and our illusions. We are born to overcome ourselves, and through that overcoming to find an inner condition of great harmony and being. We are born for that—we are not yet that. We are searchers; that is the essence of our present humanness.
~ Jacob Needleman

When I say it's you I like

When I say it's you I like, I'm talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.
~ Mr. Fred Rogers

The light is everything

I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing—
that the light is everything — that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and fading. And I do.
~ Mary Oliver

Woven into a pattern

As the threads of fabric are woven into a pattern, so the Self as the living garment of divinity is woven out of the many decisions and crises by which we are affected in the course of our lives. Whether or not they lead to a manifestation of the Self depends solely on our response. Many of us have observed that children, even small children, when faced with some difficulty, possess an attitude which many adults could only envy. That "something," the lack of which we experience as soullessness, is a "someone" who takes a position, who is accountable and who feels committed. Where this higher, responsible ego is lacking there can be no Self.
~ Emma Jung
The Grail Legend
By Emma Jung, Marie-Louise von Franz

Saying yes to your intuition

Each of us is born with an inner acorn encoded with our destiny. That acorn already knows; all we need to do is allow it to guide our growth and we will become as majestic as the oak. Experience convinces me that saying yes to your intuition (your inner voice) is saying yes to your greatness, whatever form that might take. And your greatness is not just a gift for yourself; it graces everyone that loves you, the community you live in, and the larger world that surrounds you. You, the real you, is the gift.

~ Blake More

We are healed

We are healed to the extent that we love ourselves as we are right now — blemishes, vulnerabilities, and all — not as we wish we will be at some time in the distant future.
~ Marsha Sinetar
Elegant Choices, Healing Choices
By Marsha Sinetar Ph.D.

The inner core of imagination and authenticity

The hardest thing in life may be to learn to truly trust that there is something noble and generative in ourselves. This is a greater sense of the notion of believing in our self; to truly believe in oneself means to uncover the inner core of imagination and authenticity that can also be called the genius within us. When we connect to the inner resident of the soul, we also learn how we are woven to the Soul of the World.

~ Michael Meade
The Genius Myth
By Michael Meade

The spacious place of the soul

True prayer is finding out who we are in God, finding the spacious place of the soul where we and God feel most at home.
~ Richard Rohr

Loved exactly as he is now

I don't think anyone can grow unless [he's] loved exactly as [he] is now, appreciated for what [he] is rather than what [he] will be.
~ Mr. Fred Rogers

Gratefulness

Evolutionarily, we're always concerned with what's not right. That's what makes gratefulness delightfully subversive.
~ Dale Biron

To live in a redeeming way

Nobody else can live the life you live. And even though no human being is perfect, we always have the chance to bring what's unique about us to live in a redeeming way.
~ Mr. Fred Rogers

September 2018 (Vol. XXXI, No. 8)

Dear Friends ~ Heart wrenchingly, a dear friend just learned that his remaining lifetime has been reduced, in short order, from years to months and now perhaps mere weeks. What kind of courage will it take for him to face into dying in such a rapidly accelerated pace? This last journey will bear the echoes of all the days that have come before —pressed down and distilled into slender threads of love to hold onto and be held by. And how do we, the living, learn to wake up each morning with gratitude for the gift of another sunrise, another breath? For every one of us will also die; yet unless we are given the precise knowledge of its imminence we may miss the lesson. We have the choice to awaken to the blessings all around us or to take precious moments for granted and fill our days with soulless busyness. Knowing we shall all die one day should perhaps teach us how to live more generously, attentively, appreciatively.

Such Long, Long Breaths

This is the last year.
There will be no other,
but heartless nature
seemingly relents.
Never has a winter sun
spilled so much light,
never have so many flowers
dared such early bloom.
The air is brilliant, sharp.
Never have I taken
such long, long breaths.

~ Robert Friend, written as he was dying.

To Die in Reality

There is a moment when you realize that you are going to have to die in reality, not just pretend to die. Not just read about dying, not just recite Rumi late at night, but really, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment, go into the darkness of the Love of God and really surrender, a moment when you realize that to do that, you will need Divine courage.

~ Andrew Harvey

I do not see the road ahead of me

My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end...
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you...
And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
~ Thomas Merton

The Faith to Take Life One Piece at a Time

Having the faith to take life one piece at a time- to live it in the knowledge that there is something of God in this for me now, here, at this moment- is of the essence of happiness. It is not that God is a black box full of tests and trials and treats. It is that life is a step on the way to a God who goes the way with us. However far, however perilous.

~ Joan Chittister

Have Your Attention on What Is

If you have your attention on what is, see its fullness in every moment, you will discover the dance of the divine in every leaf, in every petal, in every blade of grass, in every rainbow, in every rushing stream, in every breath of every living being.
~ Deepak Chopra
The Return of Merlin
By Deepak Chopra M.D.

The Finding and the Giving

Each of us, as we journey through life, has the opportunity to find and to give his or her unique gift. Whether that gift is great or small in the eyes of the world does not matter at all—not at all; it is through the finding and the giving that we may come to know the joy that lies at the center of both the dark times and the light.
~ Helen Luke

Stand Tall by the Water

Stand tall
by the water
know no fear or loneliness
let this love
cross you over
let this song
bid you well
~ Rebecca Riots Band

We Die with Half our Music in Us

George Buttrick, an imaginative preacher, wrote poignantly, "We die with half our music in us." How sad, not that we die, but that we leave so much unsung, not having exhausted our melody.
~ Marv and Nancy Hiles
All the Days of My Life
By Marv And Nancy Hiles

We are Given this Minute

People walk around sad because they don't know what to do with their future. You have this minute right now. What are you doing with it? ...If you are filled with joy for one minute, then you will know what to do with the next minute also. We are given this minute, not tomorrow. Sadness is very much concerned with what I don't have, and I really don't have tomorrow yet. The Truth is, I am always standing before nothingness, because I am nonexistent yet for the next minute. I'm not here yet. Time isn't there. The world isn't there. The world is here...right now!
~ R. Shlomo Arlebach

The Three Questions

The old turtle looked at the boy. "But your questions have been answered"... "Remember then that the most important time is now. The most important one is always the one you are with. And the most important thing is to do good for the one who is standing at your side. For these, my dear boy, are the answers to what is most important in the world. And this is why we are here."

~ Jon J Muth
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