1. OPENING TO GRACE
The Opening of Eyes by David Whyte
That day I saw beneath dark clouds
The passing light over the water,
And I knew then, as I had before,
Life is no passing memory of what has been
Nor the remaining pages of a great book
Waiting to be read.
It is the opening of eyes long closed
It is the vision of far off things seen for the silence they hold
It is the heart speaking out loud
Into the clear air
After years of secret conversing.
It is Moses in the desert,
Fallen to his knees before the lit bush.
It is the man
Throwing off his shoes as if to enter heaven
Finding himself astonished -
Opened at last,
Fallen in love with solid ground.
Buoyancy by Rumi
Love has taken away my practices
and filled me with poetry.
I tried to keep quietly repeating,
“No strength but yours,”
but I couldn't.
I had to clap and sing.
I used to be respectable and chaste and stable,
but who can stand in this strong wind
and remember those things?
A mountain keeps an echo deep inside itself.
That's how I hold your voice.
I am scrap wood thrown in your fire,
and quickly reduced to smoke.
I saw you and became empty.
This emptiness, more beautiful than existence,
it obliterates existence, and yet when it comes,
existence thrives and creates more existence!
The sky is blue. The world is a blind man
squatting on the road.
But whoever sees your emptiness
sees beyond blue and beyond the blind man.
A great soul hides like Muhammad, or Jesus,
moving through a crowd in a city
where no one knows him.
To praise is to praise
how one surrenders
to the emptiness.
To praise the sun is to praise your own eyes.
Praise, the ocean. What we say, a little ship.
So the sea-journey goes on, and who knows where!
Just to be held by the ocean is the best luck
we could have. It's a total waking up!
Why should we grieve that we've been sleeping?
It doesn't matter how long we've been unconscious.
We're groggy, but let the guilt go.
Feel the motions of tenderness
around you, the buoyancy.
2. FORGIVENESS/UNFINISHED BUSINESS
The Wild Geese by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Swim With The Tide
Except from ‘Go In and In’ by Danna Faulds
Let go of the ways you thought life would unfold;
the holding of plans, or dreams or expectations – let it all go.
Save your strength to swim with the tide.
The Choice to fight what is here before you now will only result in struggle, fear, and desperate attempts to flee from the very energy you long for.
Let it all go and flow with grace that washes through your days whether you receive it gently or with all your quills raised to defend against invaders.
Take this on faith: The mind may never find the explanations that it seeks, but you will move forward nonetheless.
Let go, and the wave’s crest will carry you to unknown shores, beyond your wildest dreams or destinations.
Let it all go and find the place of rest, and peace and certain transformation.
Let Your Heart Open Gently
Excerpt from 'Journey into the Heart’ by Melody Beattie
Let your heart open – gently, safely, surely and certainly.
Do not let others decide when or even if you will open your heart, when or if you will embrace love. Those choices are too big, too important to let others make for you. Only you can decide when and how. There was a time when it wasn’t safe to open your heart. Pain was all around you. You were not equipped to be that open. That time is passed. You have learned. You have grown. You have learned that you are a loving being. You know now that your love comes from within you. It is safe to open your heart. The universe awaits, ready, willing, delighted to be able to help you open, the same way it aids the opening of a flower with the sun, the rain, the earth. To deny your power and ability to love is to deny joy. To deny your loving essence is to deny yourself, and the Divine within you. Look around. It is not your location that makes you safe. It’s where you are in your soul, mind and your heart. That place is good. That place is safe. Open your heart. Embrace life. Go joyfully on your way.
3. SELF LOVE
Love Is Who You Are
Excerpt from Until Today by Iyanla Vanzant
Love is who you are. How you see yourself, how you treat yourself, how you express yourself is a direct reflection of your true beliefs about love. When you can be gentle and compassionate with yourself, you will feel love. When you can be non-judgmental about yourself, you will experience love. When you can trust yourself and tell yourself the truth, you will express love. When you can see and celebrate your worth, value, and your beauty as a divine expression of life, you will be love.
Love is the cooperative, harmonizing, accepting, forgiving, essence of your soul. Love does not give up. Love does not demand what it does not have. Love doesn’t force itself on others in order to feel better about itself. Love doesn’t attack to avenge itself. Love does not withhold itself. When we learn to see ourselves as love and to be present with others in loving ways, love will be anchored in our consciousness and on the planet.
Until today, you may have been trying to figure out what love is and how to find it in your life. Just for today, be aware and accept yourself as an expression and example of the love you are seeking.
Recognize Your Strengths
A water bearer in China had two large pots hung on the ends of a pole, which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it; the other was perfect.
At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the perfect pot would always be full of water, but the cracked pot would arrive only half full. For two and a half years this went on every day, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, the cracked pot spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to the house.”
The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always know about your flaw, so I planted seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”
Our Deepest Fear by Marianne Williamson
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I
to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened
about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure
We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is
It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone.
And as we let our light shine,
we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence
automatically liberates others.
Life Loves You
Excerpt from the book, ‘Until Today’ by Iyanla Vanzant
Listen Carefully, as if someone were whispering into your soul. There is something you must know. It is very important, no, imperative that you receive these words into the core of your being. These words are essential to your very existence. They will feed, nurture, and nourish you. They will support, assist and guide you. When all else fails, these words will give you the strength and courage you need to weather the storm and walk through the fire. These are simple words, yet they are powerful, if you can accept them in the spirit in which they are given, you will be blessed. Receive these words— LIFE LOVES YOU!
Life loves you enough to live as you, to breathe through you, to express itself as you. Life loves you so much, it does everything in its power to stay in you, to be with you and to allow you to depend on it. Life is, at this very moment, totally and absolutely in love with you! Life wants to look like you, be like you, live as you because it respects and honors all that you are.
When life sees you coming, it gets excited! It can hardly contain itself! Life is ready to fill you up, spill over through you and experience the best it has to offer you, as you. If you were to ask life what it is about you that makes you so lovable the answer would be simple. You are alive! That is all it takes to make you loved, loving, lovable. Now isn’t that good to know that you are loved?
Until today, you may not have realized just how much life loves you. You may have believed that life was not on your side. Just for today, be devoted to honoring, cherishing and enjoying life’s love for you. Sit silently and ask life to fill you with its love.
5. STRENGTH FOR SOMEONE ELSE or YOURSELF
Giving Up Is Not An Option
Excerpt ‘Journey into the Heart’ by Melody Beattie
Somehow, in the midst of what seems to be the worst possible thing that could happen, you must find the strength that you need to persevere. You must develop the courage that will be required to take the next step. You must face the challenge eyeball-to-eyeball in order to realize that challenge comes to make you, not break you. Losing a job, home loved one can be a devastating experience. Your challenge may be a child or family member who has gone astray. You could be faced with an unexpected change like a divorce or an illness. Whatever the challenge may be, it could rock you to the core. Somehow you must remember that you are up for the task. remember that you do have the strength. remember that you can trust life to give you the courage that is required to do anything or face anything. As painful or frightening as the difficulty may be, you will do what needs to be done because you have no other choice. Giving up in not an option. Give yourself a moment to take a breath. Allow everything that you are feeling and thinking to move through your body. The moment that you feel that you can’t take it or you won’t make it, reach down into the essence of your being. From that place pull out a scream. Then pull on your power, your strength, the divinity of life within you. Tell yourself, THIS IS GOING TO MAKE ME STRONGER. THIS IS GOING TO MAKE YOU WISER! This challenge, no mater what it is, have come to make you bigger, brighter, stronger, more loving and compassionate. It will not break you! Trust yourself. Trust life. You will make it through this. Until today, you may have been feeling as if you were about to break down. Just for today, call forth the strength, courage, wisdom, insight, power and love of the spirit of life. As that you be guided through the next minute, hour or day to a place of peace.
Be A Lighthouse
Excerpt from ‘Until Today’ by Iyanla Vanzant
At night, the ocean can be a huge, dark & scary place. When riding on the seas, you can never know for sure if the water will be calm or turbulent. You never know if you will drift off course, or run aground. That is why there are lighthouses. When ships lose their way, they are guided by the lighthouse. When there is trouble or danger at sea, you can seek refuge by the light of the lighthouse. In the midst of a storm the lighthouse will always guide the ships safely to shore. Best of all, there is always someone in the lighthouse.
Be a lighthouse. Let your life be a shining symbol for others. Let everything you do be in service to someone. Stand tall in the knowledge of who you are. Stand proudly in the midst of difficult times. Be aware that who you are and what you have to offer can be a beacon to some lost soul.
Be a lighthouse keeper. Be on the lookout for lost souls. Be alert to those who may be in need and have nowhere to go or no way to get there. Be a lighthouse to a child. Guide a child. Protect a child. You don’t have to say much. Just let the child know that you are there should a need arise. Be a lighthouse to an elder, someone who has traveled the sea of life, but now needs a little warmth and comfort –perhaps a cup of tea or some interesting conversation. Be a lighthouse to a young man or woman who has lost their footing or may be losing their direction in life. Remember, no matter what condition a wind-blown sailor reaches the lighthouse in, the keeper is always welcoming. The keeper always encourages. The keeper always has something on hand or knows what to do to get you up and sailing again.
Until today, you may have been wondering how you can be of greater service to your family, your community or the world. Just for today, be the keeper of the lighthouse.
Excerpt ‘Journey into the Heart’ by Melody Beattie
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was “thank you,” that would be enough.
~ Meister Eckhart
The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception to such an extent that it changes the world you see. ~ Dr Robert Holden
At times our light goes out and it is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. ~ Albert Schweitzer
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~ John F Kennedy
Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving. ~ Kahlil Gibran
Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth, ‘you owe me.’ Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky. ~ Hafiz
Excerpt from “Journey into the Heart” by Melody Beattie
You are opening up more and more. You are becoming clearer each day. Embrace the changes taking place. They are good. They will last. They will take you and your life to someplace you can’t fully imagine now because it’s so different from where you have been.
All will be changes. Your love, your life, your friends, your work. Your quiet moments and your times of sharing. Your playtime, Your rest time. Your attitude will change. Your ability to fully and joyfully experience your life will change.
Things that used to bother you, hold you down, hold you back will easily roll off you. Problems that used to plague and pester you, making you feel weighted down, will be lifted easily. You will know and trust that the answers you need will come to you.
Your powers will increase. You will find yourself doing, knowing and feeling things that you thought only certain others could do. You will find yourself gliding through life in a way that brings you joy, and touches and heals others.
You will laugh a lot. And yes, you will cry a lot too, because an open heart feels all it needs to feel. But you will not think twice about your emotions. You will feel them with the purity of a child and the wisdom of a sage. You will see, touch, taste, and feel life’s magic in a way you never imagined. You will love, and you will be loved and you will learn that it is all the same.
You are open now; more open than you’ve ever been. Trust the process and trust your heart. The journey is not in vain. Its purpose is to lead you to love.