Should it all end today, tomorrow or next week, I want to know that I made the right choice and that I didn’t forfeit the greater by settling for the lesser. I had a first hand look at this reality eighteen years ago when my sweet young husband Bill left this world after a short five-week battle with cancer, leaving behind an indelible mark on those who knew him.
The evidence of his choices began to show up shortly after his passing and still lives on amongst us, long after he’s gone. The first evidence was when the small town of Sandwich, NH where we lived honored his contribution of coaching children’s sport leagues with a memorial expressing the kindness that he exemplified.
Strange occurrences also began to occur as one friend relayed that Bill came to him in a dream that caused a life turn around. These experiences went on for sometime. I even had my own encounter where I saw Bill and the host of heaven enthusiastically cheering me on to finish the race before me. And then one morning my young son Joshua excitedly came running down stairs to announce that he had a dream where his daddy was playing the harmonica with King David.
I believe TRANSFORMATION begins with a change in perception. As perceptions change, the old way of viewing the world in an “either”, “or”, mindset, gives way to greater possibility and wholeness.
Inspiration is important, but TRANSFORMATION is even more powerful. If we’re merely to stay in the reality that we currently exist, in a mindset that this is it, we fail to comprehend the vastness that exists beyond our mere rational understanding. TRANSFORMATION moves one into a new realm of awareness and experience beyond what can be seen with natural sight and understanding.
Richard Rohr wrote,
“We need to rediscover the Sic et Non approach in our politics and in our churches. Otherwise, I do not know what we are offering the world except violence, because angry conversation creates angry minds and angry hearts and eventually angry behavior. It seems to me that we have the possibility from our own Tradition of raising up the capacity for humane, dialogical, Sic et Non conversations—where I do not need to prove that you are wrong. I do not need to pretend that I am totally right. I can keep my mind and my heart open.
Dualistic people use knowledge, even religious knowledge, for the purposes of ego enhancement, shaming, and the control of others and themselves. Non-dual people use knowledge for the transformation of persons and structures, but most especially to change themselves and to see reality with a new eye and heart.”
The word for today from Lance Secretan’s Spirit@Work Cards that I did my art journaling around is: ®Wonder. You can play along by getting the App on your iphone too, drawing a value card each day, or following along with the card I’ve drawn.
I love the word wonder. It makes me want to cartwheel through tall grass and throw up my skirt and wade out into the deep blue sea. It calls me to look again at what I have missed right before my eyes, a thousand times. It beckons me to become awe struck, gazing at every tiny particle of beauty, joy, love and life surrounding me.
I often need to be reminded to get out of my head and return to the childlike place of wonder. When I have neglected my heart for too long, there are tale-tale signs. If I have wondered off the golden streets for the counterfeit of reasoning and practicality, I most certainly have forgotten the spirit being that I am.
If I have chosen to build something and put off living until the “time is right,” I’ve most certainly abdicated my true self and with it my sense of wonder. I must put everything down and with everything in me recall what I knew before I forgot it. I must run to the nearest reprieve, the nearest safe-gap to recall and play. I must reawaken my sense of wonder.
Have you thought about what you want in the New Year? I’m not talking about the often-typical coach verbiage of outer goals and action plans, bigger businesses and greater bottom lines. I’m talking about the deeper things that are felt and experienced with the heart, such as: excitement, gratitude, appreciation, being in the present, heightened awareness of the senses, anticipation, hope, inspiration, love, and peace to name a few.
Should you be moving forward with an action plan consider the things that often get second notice. Yet, when these attributes are ignited, they spark everything around them into a greater flame. When they are absent blindness sets in to the wealth that exists in unexpected places.
If it’s been a while since you looked up from your desk, or pile of laundry and you’ve forgotten what excitement, or gratitude feels like, watch a child and you’ll quickly witness excitement over simple things. You’ll see love and appreciation for having the most beautiful mommy on the planet, gratitude when an adult sits to read awhile, anticipation for what’s coming and the ability to be fully engaged in the moments play.
This kind of presence means halting the busy work that’s an easy distractor and exit ramp named ‘avoidance.’ It means getting beyond the superfluous clutter and noise, and the striving after lesser lovers to hone in on the greater thing.
Anne Lamott quoted her pastor in a Face Book post saying,
“It’s not what you look at; it’s what you look with.”
Sometimes what we see at first glance is not what actually exists, but a misrepresentation. Through time we often discover and recover the depth of what is actually there.
Years ago a prophetic sort of fellow said to me that I had the ability to get the songbird up and singing again. I had the ability to mine the gold out of misfortune. Interestingly, all those many years ago, I had no idea that I would be the songbird that needed to reconnect to her song after 3 ½ years of silence and an inability to sing.
I’m not talking about technique, vocal prowess or the ins and outs of song writing. Although that is great stuff, I am talking about the truth that resonated with my heart spoken at the Nashville Tree House Songwriter’s Retreat by my friend Paulette Wooten. She spoke about the necessity of using the gifts we’ve been given. She reminded us that if we had a song we needed to sing it. We needed to sing it for ourselves.