Archive for the ‘Gentle Heart’ Category

The Holidays Are Here Again

Monday, December 8th, 2014

For many of us, the holiday season has arrived!

For those of us who are Jewish or Christian or American or maybe even a Westerner, no pages on the calendar marks the passing of time like the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.  For others, it is the season of celebrating light: Diwali and the Winter Solstice.

Whatever our traditions, we are likely to think, Another year has passed! or So much has happened this past year!  At this time, our days and nights are full of traditions to think about: religious celebrations, special meals, cards and letters, photographs, decorating our homes, shopping for gifts, holiday gatherings. Sometimes we feel like we don’t even have time to think at all, that our list of things-to-do is impossibly long. We know we should be having fun, but we may feel stressed or even inappropriately sad. Others of us are blessed by memories of past holiday seasons, as we remember the beloved people and places that have made those times special for us.

Whether or not you are ready to celebrate Hannukah or Christmas or the Solstice or New Year’s Eve–and despite your mood–the last few days of the year can be a blessing. In the hectic times and the quiet moments, try looking for the most important aspects of this solstice season. Set aside your to-do list and focus on three things that, once embraced, will be holiday gifts to yourself. I am suggesting peace, joy and love! In the Nativity story, the Wise Men might have done well to offer these three, since Jesus certainly embraced them — and the Hannukah story is full of them. Peace, Joy and Love. They are already in your life, waiting for you to find them amidst the bustling crowds, the wrapping paper and bows, the latkes and candy canes, the Yule fires and midnight noisemakers. Close you eyes and feel them — or open your eyes and see them. You will be blessed!

To help in your search, here’s a holiday poem as my gift to you. Happy Holidays!

 

Peace! Joy! Love!

In Candle Glow and Choir Song,

In Places You Know You Belong,

When Frantic Preparations Cease,

Oh, Friend, May You Find Peace!

In Laughter and in Life’s Embrace,

In Smiles that Light Up Every Face,

In the Hopes of Little Girls and Boys,

Oh, Friend, May You Find Joy!

As You Open Gifts and Give Them Too,

As the Season Brings Its Best to You,

Like the Sweet Descent of a Sacred Dove,

Oh, Friend, May You Find Love!

 

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Learn More about Anne McCrady and InSpiritry at www.InSpiritry.com

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Haunted Places

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

“I’m in a haunted place, and every day is a new one.”

Ed Madden

This quote is from a FaceBook post by my friend, Ed Madden, whose evocative poetry finds its way into his everyday conversations.  In this instance, he was describing his stay with his aging parents in rural Arkansas, where he grew up. It is a recognition of how the past waits for us to rediscover it, as we make geographical or emotional journeys to visit where we have been. (more…)

Negative Thoughts

Friday, March 4th, 2011

“This is where I get most of my negative thinking done.”

New Yorker cartoon of a woman showing buyers her home office

Economically and environmentally, for Americans the past three years have been difficult, at best. Even those whose jobs were secure and finances healthy have felt the impact: government cuts to essential programs, neighbors who had to sell their homes, friends who were unemployed, new carcinogens and ever worsening global warming. Worst of all, the nightly news reminds us how bad things are. All that in addition to our personal  challenges.

In times like these, optimism is hard to summon. The cartoon I quoted above is not far from the truth — we often get so trapped in worrying that we can’t do Good Work! (more…)

On Your Own

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

“My world began on the way to school.”

As small children, our first experiences of the world beyond our families were at school – and even before that, on the way to school. Carrying our lunch box or our book bag, some of us walked through our neighborhood with our parents or friends. Others rode their bikes. Many of us boarded a big yellow school bus. A few of us were driven to school in cars.

What do you remember about walking or riding to school? (more…)

InSpiritry Question-for-the-Day: What are You Working On?

Friday, February 25th, 2011

“Don’t discourage anyone who is making progress, no matter how slow.”   Plato

This has been one of those weeks when I have been busy all week, but the stack of unfinished projects on my desk suggests otherwise. While I had every intention of completing the items on my to-do list, I set many of them aside to do other things. I took on new commitments and attended important events. Mostly, I gave time to relationships and met several new friends, so it has been a good week. (more…)

World Peace Day 2010

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Let Peace begin with me – let this be the moment now!

A line from the song, Let There Be Peace on Earth

Tomorrow is World Peace Day!

Also known as the United Nations International Day of Peace, September 21 is celebrated around the world as a time dedicated to global peace with prayer services, concerts, candlelight vigils, festivals, community events and conferences. (more…)

Fast, Pray, Love

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

This weekend I went to see the new movie based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s New York Times best-selling memoir, Eat, Pray, Love. It follows a young woman’s classic New Age search for personal fulfillment, as she leaves her angst-ridden marriage, takes-then-leaves a lover and travels alone to Italy, India and Bali. Along the way, she re-examines her ideas about the pleasure of food, the way to enlightenment and the difficulties of relationships.  

While enjoying the story, I left the movie theater struck the character’s self absorption and by our general American sense of dissatisfaction, including about religion. (more…)

Preventative Maintenance

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

 

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.”

John F. Kennedy

 

This summer marks the fifteenth year my husband and I have lived in our home. It seems like just yesterday we were moving in and finding a place for everything. Our adult children were just youngsters then, excited about their new rooms and big shady yard. As we carried in a steady stream of boxes, they ran in and out, claiming this space as their own. On that first day, I remember my husband Mike and I embracing in the middle of our living room, imagining the memories we would make here, so much of our family’s future stretching out in front of us. (more…)

Summer Renewal

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Last Day of School by edenpictures.

School’s Out for Summer!

If you have young people in your life, you know what makes the last week of May special: it is the end of the school year. University students have finished their exams, high school students are handing in final projects and elementary students are enjoying relay days and field trips. In classrooms everywhere, there is excitement in the air: for the next twelve weeks, no homework!

And it’s not just the kids who are excited. Parents are happy too. (more…)