Filling Up With Moments In-Between

Artists know that

negative space

defines

a composition.

Musicians know that

the silence

between

the notes

is as much

a part of the

experience

of the music

as the notes.

Think of

space

and

silence

when you

breathe,

knowing

that

the pause

between

the

in-breath

and the

out-breath

fills you.

Paying attention

to one’s breath

is a

reminder of

how full of life

we are.

Imagine

soothing

oxygen,

filling

your body,

reaching

every cell.

It is a way

to stay

in the moment.

livinglinesreflections.com

More Understanding

Soul and body,

I suggest,

react

sympathetically

upon each other;

a change

in the state of the

soul produces

a change

in the shape

of the body,

and conversely:

a change in the

shape of the body

produces

a change in

the state of the soul.

Surprise!

Aristotle,

Physiognomics, c.350 B.C.E.

Aristotle’s theory is

much quoted today.

It is humbling

to think

that the

ancient Greeks

framed questions

that still preoccupy us

more than 23 centuries later.

It is exciting too,

because over the

past two decades,

scientists

have acquired

powerful

new imaging tools

that are

revolutionizing

our understanding

of the connection

between

body and mind.

Holy Confusion

I

no longer

make

a plan

for

myself

but

respond to the

things and people

 in my life

that are

part of a

plan or a pattern

I cannot see.

These words

may sound

passive

but remind me

to

strive

for an active

awareness

realizing that

I am

in the midst

of a

“holy confusion”.

Discovering

these two words,

I chuckled

and

remembered

my mantra.

Ann Patchett,

wonderful writer,

reflects,

“Sometimes not having any idea

where we’re going

works out better

than we could

possibly have imagined.”

Interactions

Once upon a time,

When I ran into

friends and acquaintances

who asked

what
I was up to,

I would reel off

a litany of activities.

Lately,

I have begun to reply,

“I am practicing not multitasking.”

Saying these words

out loud

reaffirms

my intentions

and seems

to give

the questioners pause.

I also

pause

before asking

the reflexive

“what have you been up to”

question.

Instead of

exchanging lists,

a conversation

might

take place.

The Cloud of Unknowing*

I

no longer

make a plan

for myself

but respond

to the people

and things

in my life

which are part

of a plan

or

pattern

I

cannot

see.

*The Cloud of Unknowing is an anonymous work of Christian mysticism in the 14th century.

Inside Out, Outside In

We may judge

others’

outsides

from our own

insides.

Do we look

at others

as calm,

in control,

on top of things?

For many people,

it takes

a lot of

effort

to put

themselves

together.

What you see

is the result

of that effort,

not

the challenge

of

getting there.

When I have been

more willing

to reveal

some of my

inner feelings,

the

result can be

closer

relationships.

Shadow Work

Trying to restore

our emotional health

can be exhausting,

particularly if

we have neglected it.

No wonder

people

sometimes choose

to numb

their pain.

It takes courage and energy

to dig deep

and let emotional

wounds heal.

We can heal

only if we know

what the wounds are.

Our bodies hold onto

emotional hurts,

sometimes for years.

There are many ways

to help

the healing process-

prayer,

meditation,

silence,

yoga,

reiki,

and therapy-

that

strengthens the body

along with the soul.

Some call this SHADOW WORK.

LivingLinesReflections

Milestones

Tomorrow

is

my birthday.

Decades declare milestones.

At certain ages

there can be

the realization

that there are fewer

years ahead

than

already lived.

Mid-life

it is called.

Demographers

and cultural observers

 now offer

more gradations than

young,

middle aged

and old.

Early middle age,

middle age

late middle age.

At what point

does your category

become early old age?

Are you in

middle old age

and when

really old age?

For some,

lifespans

extend into the ninth and

even tenth decade.

When Social Security

was made available

at 65,

people weren’t

expected to live

much beyond that.

For some,

there can be

many decades

beyond

that mark.

How to live

these years,

whatever they are called?

Wisdom

offers

the suggestion

to shed

as we age.

Things,

images of ourself,

expectations,

hopes,

dreams,

disappointments.

Shedding

seems to say

that

growth stops

at some point.

Adults

we are.

Approaching

this birthday,

I am beginning

to understand

that letting go

is a better perspective

of what no longer

serves me.

Traveling

lighter,

I

hope

I

am

Growing

Into

Older

Age.

Learning,

growing.

Shifting gears,

slows me

to follow

the Inner Light

to savor

each moment,

each friend,

loved one

and stranger.

Sometimes the

Light

offers

a clear path.

Sometimes

intuition

brings

me on the path

I cannot

see

in this moment.

Treasure in the Mail

Two inches

of mail

awaited

after time away.

Standing by the trash bin,

catalog after catalog,

three of the same,

campaign

requests,

no idea how

my address and name

on their lists.

Snail mail

names and addresses

are sold.

Annoying

and wasteful,

all of it!

A few bills,

still paid by check,

marketing circulars,

trash, trash,

Trees

wasted

in making the paper.

Nestled

in the pile

was a small envelope

hand-printed.

Smiling,

excited,

I opened it

gently.

Inside

a thank you

note,

from

our newly

nine year old

grandchild.

Treasure.

Thank you words

by e-mail

or snail mail,

so rare

these days.

I keep

these special

thoughts,

sometimes displayed

perhaps tucked in

my top drawer

for discovery,

in a week,

months later,

or

when the year

has passed and

the next

arrives.

Always

grateful.

Treasures of gratitude.

Thank you.

Look at Gratefulness.org

Praying Together

Of all the gatherings,

prayers spoken,

during Pope Francis’s visit to Cuba and the United States,

the 9//1 Interfaith Service

lingers

as the most memorable.

Pope Francis

asked God to

“look on us,

people of all faiths and religious traditions,

who gather today

on this hallowed ground,

the scene of unspeakable

violence and pain.”

During the

interfaith service,

Iman Khalid Latif

Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove

alternated words of peace.

More pairs followed

two Hindu women,

two Buddhists,

two Muslims,

a Sikh father and daughter

and a Protestant

and Orthodox Christian.

The Pope sat in the middle.

and followed in the program.

“God judges us according

to our deeds,

not the coat we wear”

were the words

in Punjabi and English

by daughter and father Sikhs.

Cantor Azi Schwartz chanted in Hebrew

a prayer to honor

the 9/11 dead.

The Eight Beatitudes

were read in the the

ancient Greek

and then in English.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,for theirs is

the kingdom of heaven.

The service was

finished with the Pope

offering a gesture of peace-

a handshake,

an embrace

or a bow.

The Young People’s Chorus of New York City

more than 60 teenage

boys and girls

wearing different colored scarves-

sang

“Let There Be Peace on Earth”.

Glancing around the room,

several members of the

interfaith audience

suggested the faith leaders

stay in the room.

“Lock the doors”, said one, “until the

group

figures out how

to achieve world peace.”