Sunday, December 23, 2012

Slowing down to Notice the Sacred

  I have found refuge in the sanctuary of my home amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. And yesterday I started reading a wonderful book by Pema Chodron, Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change.”  As another year comes to a close I find myself grateful for so many things … I am blessed to have the most amazing furkids; I am blessed to be surrounded by such loving, caring and compassionate people; I am blessed to continue having Ahnung in my life; I am blessed to have had my health hold up so I could visit my mom in the Philippines this year; I am blessed to be doing more than I could have even imagined possible in my volunteer work with Leech Lake Legacy and to have a life full of purpose and passion; and I am blessed to love my job (the one that enables me to pay my bills and our mortgage), finding joy, creativity and purpose in both my paying job and my volunteer work.

With my own health issues and Ahnung’s cancer we continue on a daily basis to practice living with uncertainty and change. There are challenging days when grief and sadness can overwhelm me. There are moments when I feel anger seep into my heart at the injustice of Ahnung, an amazing being, having cancer. And sometimes those moments lead to feelings of intense grief when I fast forward to when she will no longer be with me. I am blessed when I can catch myself and tell myself to pause and just take a deep breath. And then I look into her eyes and I am back in the moment. All I have is today. All I have is this moment. I have choice. Everyday I pray for the strength, wisdom and courage to make the choice of filling my heart with love, understanding and compassion.

I am blessed to have a wonderful studio space at my sanctuary at home. It is a place where every morning I am able to enter with my precious furkids, light some incense, feel the sun coming through the windows, take time to meditate and center, and then take time to write or read. 

So this morning I want to share with you a beautiful poem by Joseph Bruchac. With the hustle and bustle of the holiday time, it’s a gentle reminder to slow down. As we are rushing to get somewhere, or some place .. to get to the store to buy last minute gifts … remember to notice the sacred. The sacred can be in the shape and form of a toad, or a homeless man or woman, or a blue jay that lands on a tree branch.  The greatest gifts come from our hearts.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Holiday in whatever tradition you believe and celebrate, from Christmas to Hannukah to Kwanzaa.

May we all take time today, to slow down and notice the sacred.

Birdfoot’s Grandpa 
by Joseph Bruchac

The old man
must have stopped our car
two dozen times to climb out
and gather into his hands
the small toads blinded
by our light and leaping,
live drops of rain.
The rain was falling,
a mist about his white hair
and I kept saying
you can’t save them all,
accept it, get back in
we’ve got places to go.
But, leathery hands full
of wet brown life,
knee deep in the summer
roadside grass,
he just smiled and said
they have places to go, too.

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