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

Good Enough

After decades

of trying

to be perfect,

to make things

perfect,

GOOD ENOUGH

is more comfortable

and

more realistic.

It makes me

more patient

with myself

and

with

others, too.

Perfection is

an impossible goal.

GOOD ENOUGH

isn’t

settling.

I am still

learning

that.

LivingLinesReflections

Gaining Some Control

When you feel life is too intense

imagine it as

a TV soap opera.

Turn the sound down

until is seems manageable

or mute the sound

and read the text.

It reads

differently

than it sounds.

Sometimes

we can’t

eliminate

the drama

in our lives,

but,

we can

turn the volume down.

Breathe In

Breath Out.

Breathe In

Breathe Out.

Again.

Again.

Bucket List

Do you have a

Bucket List?

Or do people

tell you what

is on theirs?

Places to go,

people to meet,

relationships

with family and friends.

For me,

my real answer is

I no longer

make a plan

for myself,

but respond to

the things and people

in my life

that are

part of

a plan

I cannot see.

That response

is not

passive

but

is more about

life

unfolding,

some

sense of

adventure,

being open

to surprise

and

a longing

for fullness.

Some describe

longing

as the underlying

desire

for the divine.

There are times

when I am aware

of a longing;

other times,

not.

I do begin

most days

with a prayer

to take me

where

You want me to be,

Meet who You

want me to see,

Say what You

want me to say

Help me stay out of

Your way.

So,

as I close my eyes

at the end of each day,

I smile,

realizing

that what

was in my bucket

for the day

had

some unexpected

experiences

encounters.

Some might have

been painful

yet

each day

has a spark

of light

for my dreams

to process

into the

longing

for the next day.

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.

Do Unto Others

While the focus

is on the multitude of

Republican candidates,

Bernie Sanders,

Senator from Vermont,

who distinguishes himself

as a Socialist,

spoke to a

leading evangelical Christian college.

He spoke of

Common Ground.

His faith

is Jewish.

“I am far, far

from a perfect

human being,

but I am

motivated by a vision

which exists in

all

of the great religions-

in Christianity,

in Judaism,

in Islam,

Buddhism

and other religions-

and which is

so beautifully and clearly

stated in

Matthew 7:12.

“So in everything,

do unto others

what you would have

them

do to you,

for this

sums up

the law of the prophets.”

“That is the

golden rule.

Do to others

what you

would have them do

to you.

It is not very complicated.”

Not exactly

a campaign slogan

but

a

compass

to live by.

THOUGHT LEADER

Thought Leaders

are especially

important

during times of

Disruptive Innovation,

a concept

used in

this time

when things

aren’t working

and ways of thinking and doing

must be changed.

Since Pope Francis was chosen,

he has become a

powerful

THOUGHT LEADER.

From his first moments

Pope Francis

showed his

humility

asking for us

to pray for him.

He chose

simple garments,

comfortable black shoes,

paid his own hotel bill,

moved into a

simple apartment.

During Holy Week,

he washed the feet of the poor,

not all Catholics.

He told priests

to be merciful and compassionate

 towards those who are divorced

women who have had

abortions.

When asked about homosexuals,

he replied,

“Who am I to judge?”

Smiling,

he loves everyone

and in return,

he is loved.

The rules have not necessarily changed,

but the

TONE

has completely.

This change in tone is

Francis’

greatest achievement,

and it is HUGE!

In this

political season,

candidates

could learn

because Pope Francis

is an astute politician

in the best sense of the word.

As a South American

he sees the entrenched Vatican

as needing to be cleaned up,

finances and favoritism,

swept out.

Reflecting

compassion.

the tone,

the message

is that God is a God

of LOVE,

not JUDGMENT.

The Church’s role

is to make God

accessible.

Coming to the United States,

his first trip to North America,

he will speak

at the United Nations,

address Congress,

say Mass in Madison Square Garden.

Popular entertainers will

engage people,

using their words and music

to

open up people’s senses

to the music of their hearts.

Disruptive Innovation.

Bring it on!

Active Awareness

Perhaps

you have heard the expression

“If you want to hear God laugh

tell him your plans!”

Lives spent

multi-tasking,

making calendars for

planning ahead,

electronic devices

tracking our whereabouts

through

satellite GPS,

may call

for some TIMEOUT.

There can be so much

to do

in a day,

a week,

a month,

I realized

I needed

to find a perspective.

This is now

my mantra:

“I no longer

make a plan

for myself,

but respond

to the things in my life

that are part of

a pattern

or a plan

I cannot see.”

On the surface,

these words may sound

passive,

but they remind me

to strive for

active awareness.

While I may not

be

in control of events,

I can be ready

to respond.

Synchroncity and Opportunity

I see

synchronicity

In

the shocking murder of

nine people

in a Bible class

at the AME Emmanuel Church

in Atlanta

by a young white supremacist ,

many retailers no longer

selling Confederate flags,

the decision in Georgia

and other states

to remove the

Confederate flag

from public display.

President Obama’s

moving eulogy,

words moving into

singing

Amazing Grace with

all joining in.

Conjecture, publicity

To Kill a Mockingbird

 Harper Lee’s beloved book and movie

told by young Scout

seeing her father Atticus

through a child’s eyes.

The much anticipated

release of the

old, discovered

first book

taking place twenty years later.

Go Set A Watchman,

portraying Atticus

in a segregated  town,

challenged by a

climate, calling, demanding

equal rights for blacks and white.

An Off Broadway show

Hamilton

moves to Broadway

full of hip hop

historical characters played by

multi-racial cast.

Another play

Amazing Grace 

opens on

Broadway,

its writer, leaving his job

compelled to write this story

and produce it.

Publisher of Between the World and Me

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

moves up release date

so we can read

his words written to

his fifteen year old son.

Growing up in Baltimore,

he feels the same

fear for his son

as week by week

there are

unnecessary murders

by police of young black men

barely adults.

Whatever events, words, books, musicals

might stir you,

move me,

the convergence

is an opportunity.

In the words of Amazing Grace

that forgiveness and redemption

are possible

regardless of sins committed,

“Amazing grace!

How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost,

but now am found,

Was blind,

but now I see.”

What can I see now

that I did not see before?

What do you see

that you did not see before?

“‘Twas grace that taught

my heart to fear,

And grace my fears

reliev’d;

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed!”