Archive for January, 2009

The Key to Positive Energy

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Gratitude helps us stop trying to control outcomes.  It is the key that unlocks positive energy in our life.  It is the alchemy that turns problems into blessings, and the unexpected into gifts.

— Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go, p. 18

Brokenness

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

Something bad happens.  I hurt.  I feel unhappy.  I long to feel good.  I ask God for help.  I am resolved to feel better.  I do whatever I can to make at least a few dreams come true.  That is the way of the flesh.

Something bad happens.  I hurt.  I feel unhappy.  I long to feel good.  But I trust God.  His pleasure matters more than mine.  But His pleasure includes mine.  I believe that.  So I abandon myself to His pleasure.  I live to please Him.  I work hard and live responsibly and strive to put balance in my life because that pleases Him.  Making Him feel good is a higher priority than making me feel good.  And somehow, inevitably, at some point, I discover joy.  That is the way of the Spirit.

I shift from walking in the way of the flesh to walking in the way of the Spirit when the pain of life destroys my confidence in my ability to make life work and when it exposes as intolerable, insubordinate arrogance my demand to feel good.  That is the experience of brokenness.  It is then that the chain falls off my leg and the heavy ball rolls away.  It is then that I fly.

— Larry Crabb, Shattered Dreams, p. 153-154

Age with Joy

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

The responsibilities of a mature life often force us to focus on things that are immediately in front of us, and in that sense, “settling down” can be a good thing.  But such focus doesn’t have to translate into a constricted state of mind.  No one can age well who lets go of their sense of wonder.  You might find yourself thinking things like, Oh, that museum.  Been there, done that.  But if you make the visit anyway, you’ll realize that what you saw at the museum in your younger years was only a fraction of what your eyes can see now….

All of us have seen people who’ve aged with sorrow; we’ve seen others as well who’ve aged with joy.  It’s time to intend to age with joy, deciding that the joy of youth is a good kind of joy, but it’s not the only kind.  In fact, there is a joy in knowing that after all these years, we’ve finally grown up.

— Marianne Williamson, The Age of Miracles:  Embracing the New Midlife, p. 4-5

Powerlessness Over Other People

Friday, January 16th, 2009

Accepting our powerlessness over other people doesn’t come without strong resistance, intense mental focus, near constant practice of letting go, and unyielding willingness to understand that other people simply can’t be controlled!  Our disbelief about our powerlessness is evident everywhere — in our dysfunctional homes, among disgruntled employees, within the power structure of every government around the world.  Every war ever fought is strong evidence that people everywhere continue to believe they have the power to control others.  However, one side seldom wins.  More commonly, the vanquished simply give up.

If having a peaceful life is our goal, then we must give up unpeaceful behaviors.  Making the decision to free all of those people in our lives from our misguided attempts to control them is a great first step.

— Karen Casey, Change Your Mind and Your Life Will Follow, p. 64

God’s Loving Embrace

Friday, January 16th, 2009

The gospel calls us continually to make Christ the source, the center, and the purpose of our lives.  In him we find our home.  In the safety of that place, our sadnesses can point us to God, even drive us into God’s loving embrace.  Here mourning our losses ultimately lets us claim our belovedness.  Mourning opens us to a future we could not imagine on our own — one that includes a dance.

— Henri Nouwen, Turn My Mourning Into Dancing, p. 37

Question for Clutter

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

The single most important factor in deciding what you should have in your home is now clear: Does this item enhance and advance the vision I have for the life I want or does it impede that vision?  This is the only question you should ask yourself when looking at the clutter that fills your home.

— Peter Walsh, It’s All Too Much, p. 52

Reality in All Its Beauty

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

What is already true is much better without any plan of mine.  I’m so glad of that.  My life is so simple, now that I no longer rule the world in my mind.  And my children and friends are very grateful.

— Byron Katie, Loving What Is, p. 33

All-Round Benefits

Monday, January 12th, 2009

When we commit ourselves to writing for some part of each day we are happier, more enlightened, alive, light hearted and generous to everyone else.  Even our health improves.

Brenda Ueland, quoted in Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper, by Sark, p. 50

The Power of Story

Monday, January 12th, 2009

I have discovered the power of story to change people.  I have seen a story heal shame and free people from fear, ease suffering and restore a lost sense of worth.  I have learned that the ways we can befriend and strengthen the life in one another are very simple and very old.  Stories have not lost their power to heal over generations.  Stories need no footnotes.

— Ruth Naomi Remen, M.D., Kitchen Table Wisdom, p. xxii

Seeking, But Letting Go

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

It’s admirable and healthy to go after our dreams, know what we want to accomplish, what we want to achieve, get, and gain.  But whether it’s a person, place, attribute, value, or thing, after we identify what it is we want and are seeking, then we need to let it go and know, not in our minds although that’s a good place to start, but in our hearts and souls that we’re okay — whole, complete, and at peace — whether we ever get what we’re after or not.

Melody Beattie, Playing It By Heart, p. 175