Just when I thought I had no more energy left,
there it is, rising up in me to get something done.
How does this work? Is it motivation alone?
To take a full breath in, you must first exhale to emptiness.
To live a full life, you must die to empty expectations.
It’s simple really. What do you have to give?
Give all of yourself, and quickly.
Empty yourself of everything you have.
Life will come rushing in to fill you again.
Giving of yourself completely
and feeling the pull of contraction
only means you’re ready to receive
what life has been longing to give you.
Embracing the necessity of emptiness
as it blossoms into gracious receptivity.
This is true fulfillment.
I’ve tried to be in control
for most of my life
and where has it gotten me?
It doesn’t work,
buying into this illusion of control.
So why don’t I try something else?
What if I could simply surrender?
What if I could free up
the inner resources necessary
to really BE in this world
with my whole heart and mind?
What if I could take in
the beauty of this life
and feel gratitude welling up in my heart,
regardless of the weather
or where I live
or with whom I’m spending my time
or what kind of job I have
or clothes I’m wearing
or car I’m driving?
When all of the layers of illusion drop away
I am left with this Self, pure and simple.
This Self knows that there is nothing to control
in the outer world,
nothing that can be given or taken away.
It sits quietly, witnessing the all,
smiling, flowing into this infinite space
In the blink of an eye
it all changes.
What you thought
was sad or unfortunate
becomes a blessing somehow.
The storm passes
and with it the anger,
the clouds part
and the sun shines
in your mind once again.
If it all changes so quickly
why take any of it seriously?
Behind the facade of
significance we assign
to each little detail
there is a whole big picture
we cannot see.
Why not trust
that we are where we need to be,
doing what we need to do…
and leave the rest to the force
that keeps the planets in orbit?
My two sisters
My two cousins
were pall bearers today.
pulled our grandmother’s casket
out of the hearse
and wheeled it
up the aisle of the church.
Because my grandmother
was strong in her faith
she made sure to bring us to church
every time my sisters and I
spent the night at her house.
She taught me the Our Father prayer
and how to find hymns in the hymnal.
I remember how she’d pray,
kneeling, eyes closed,
resting her head in one hand
while the other held her rosary.
Because so many of my memories of her
involve the church,
the reality of her passing
really hit me
as we walked into the sanctuary.
The familiar strains of Ode to Joy
filled my ears.
The sound of the music
and the beauty of the space
touched my heart.
I cried as this moment
made her death seem
even more real.
The service was beautiful,
the luncheon that followed
On the long ride to the cemetery
I got to thinking about
the ways we honor the dead
and provide closure for the living.
There were some final prayers
and then it was done.
I took a rose from the bouquet on her casket,
whispered goodbye Mom-Mom.
Now I’m home with this single flower
and so many memories.
She looked so peaceful
as if she were sleeping;
I expected at any moment
she would wake up and speak to us.
Beautiful flowers surrounded her
and pinned to the bouquets
were notes of sympathy and condolence.
Many friends and family
came to see her and pay their respects–
Why does it take an event such as this
to bring us all together?
I touched her hands, her face,
so familiar to me;
they felt foreign
with all the warmth gone from them…
And yet still there was this surge of affection
seeing her there, looking so peaceful, asleep.
I wondered about this tradition.
The body in the casket
was not my grandmother…
it was the garment she wore for 94 years.
My grandmother is everywhere now,
my heart knows this.
I can feel her love now more than ever.
I looked and looked, but I couldn’t see death…
only life in its many forms as its flows
from one state of being to the next.
What does it mean to let go?
It means setting down
goals and agendas
and opening to this moment.
How do we do this?
First we recognize
that we have been attempting
to further our own interests,
gritting our teeth,
pushing against reality,
trying so hard to make things happen
according to our idea of how they should be,
holding onto expectations
until we are white knuckled and exhausted.
Then we choose to stop
this stressful way of being.
We take a deep breath and let go.
Some might say that letting go
is giving up,
but I say it’s an opening to peace.
With such clarity
we intuitively know what is to be done.
This kind of surrender
makes available our most precious resources.
If you find yourself stressed
and anxious about something,
ask yourself where you are at war with reality,
and if you’re ready for it
choose peace instead.
Choose to let go.
Healing comes quickly,
if we let it.
Opening to this moment,
surrendering to the flow of life,
I become amused
how my ideas of right and wrong
cloud my experience of what is.
Without my story,
here I am, a being,
being breathed by life,
just here, just now.
The hurts of the past
when I let go of my story.
Healing isn’t so much
an acquisition of the proper medicine
or the right protocol…
Sometimes it’s finding a simple stillness,
looking within and seeing
that what I once thought were problems
aren’t really problems after all.