Archives for the month of: July, 2016

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It is early Sunday morning. The candle burns without a flicker in the still air of the room. Rain begins tapping gently on the skylight, its arrival a surprise. As the tempo increases the mantra of my meditation yields to the refrain of camp directors I once knew. It is a silver day.

Implicit in that message were two expectations. On the one hand, it informed campers and staff that most activities would be held indoors or special gear was needed for being outside. At a more sublime level the announcement was a pivot to channel any potential disappointment into opportunity.

There are many silver linings to a rainy day. On our hillside the thirsty garden drinks, as do the parched fields. The empty brook bed sings again accompanied by the chorus of forest leaves deflecting the downpour. The bird baths fill. Outdoor projects yield to unfinished work inside. It is a metaphor for turning inward, and for those of us who are introverts inward is home base!

The greatest lesson of a silver day is a reminder about the power of expectations. They shape our attitudes and effort which in turn influence the way we show up. A quote attributed to Henry Ford says it all: If you think you can or think you can’t – you’re right!

What does a rainy day say to you? Do your expectations shift? Do you anticipate a rainbow?

 

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My head and heart ache from the latest killings and what they represent. I understand that our divisions arise from separate realities. The daily barrage of our endless political drama only fans the flames of difference, polarizing us in our disparities of race, culture, education, income and opportunity.

As my head grasps, my heart recoils. Does human life mean no more than pop-up characters on a screen easily dispatched with the press of a button? Are the lives of other creatures and the planet’s resources nothing more than a means to a better bottom line? Will we ever reach a point of a collective NO, in order to affirm a more just, loving and sustainable YES?

One of the only things we do control in life, whatever our circumstances, is our attitude. Only when we change our attitude will we modulate our words and actions. I have been encouraged by a growing number of citizen voices and those of a few leaders who are summoning the better angels in themselves and reaching out to others to do the same.

As each of us reflects on what we can do in our own circumstances, may these lines from a prayer for world peace inspire our attitude.

We pray for the power to be gentle: the strength to be forgiving; the patience to be understanding; and the endurance to accept the consequences of holding to what we believe to be right.

May we put our trust in the power of good to overcome evil and the power of love to overcome hatred. We pray for the vision to see and the faith to believe in a world emancipated from violence, a new world where fear shall no longer lead people to commit injustice, nor selfishness make them bring suffering to others.