Tag Archives: acts of grace

Give Thanks | 52 Acts of Grace | Week 28

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It was Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. It snowed here in Calgary.

Lots of it.

I am thankful. (Even if it did look more like Christmas than Thanksgiving).

I am thankful for the moisture, the beauty of the snow covering the earth, the golden leaves sprinkled like confetti on a white blanket.

I am thankful for our family and friends who gathered round our table, sharing companionship, fellowship, good food, laughter, wine and bread and turkey with all the fixin’s.

I am thankful for new friends and old. For a young boy who joined us who, at 10 years of age, reminded all of us to be open and present and willing to participate and give thanks. Just before we went around the table to talk about the things we are grateful for, I had created feathers for everyone which had a word on it that they were to express their gratitude for) he came to my side and whispered into my ear, “When we are going around the table can we also say ‘what we like best about Thanksgiving?'”

And while sometimes, there is a bit of a groan, a bit of an ‘oh dear what am I going to say?’, when he announced what we were about to do, and added his request, everyone joined whole-heartedly in the conversation, sharing their gratitude and their favourite thing about Thanksgiving. And it wasn’t all about the turkey.

It was about gathering together, sharing, connecting. About family and friends present. Family and friends absent and the fullness of our lives because of their presence on our paths.

It was about taking time out to give thanks. To savour the moment, and to appreciate all we have in our lives and those who make it so rich.

It snowed this weekend. I am thankful for the snow. It reminded me to be aware, be present, be in awe of nature — and to not count on fresh parsley from my garden in October.

Savour the Moment | 52 Acts of Grace | Week 26

 

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It is so easy in this fast paced world to stuff every moment with doing. And in the process, forget about the being. Present. Conscious. Connected — to the food we eat, the places we sit, the people we’re with.

Ripened on the vine
Ripened on the vine

One thing about fall, it invites me back into the kitchen. On the weekend, I hauled out the slow cooker so that I could create wholesome foods from the bounty of our tomato plants and other produce I’d bought at the farmer’s market.

Last night, after a busy day for both C.C. and myself, we took Beaumont for a walk in the park, came home, set the table on the deck with a linen table cloth, china and crystal glasses. I heated up one of the pots of goodness I’d created on the weekend, C.C. sliced homemade bread and made a salad. We spent the next hour plus savouring homemade goodness and each other’s company. The air had just a hint of fall, the sky just a tinge of pink. As the solar lights surrounding the deck and hanging in the lilac bush came on, we sat and chatted and laughed and talked about our days and our tomorrows.

The ‘To Do’ list didn’t get any shorter but our feeling of being more together got stronger. The list feels less daunting when we take the time to recognize we’re not doing it alone. After dinner, C.C. went off to a meeting at 8:30, I finished off a couple of chores and chose to pick up a book (after trying to watch some of the debate) and savour the quiet of the evening reading by myself with Beaumont lying on the floor beside me.

Take time today to savour the moment, savour your food and especially, savour time with those you love.

Thank the Sun | 52 Acts of Grace | Week 21

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When we begin each day with gratitude, each day becomes brighter and our hearts become lighter.

No matter what is happening in our lives, we can always be thankful for the sun and moon and stars and earth. For this planet that carries us around the sun. For the sun that nourishes life on earth, for the moon that pulls the tide in and out. For the stars that light our way at night.

Whatever is happening in your life today, take a moment to thank the sun for the divine pact it made with earth long ago. Thank it for greeting you every morning when you arise, for shining upon you and all of earth, for feeding the life around you.

Practice saying a simple prayer or blessing to the sun every day this week.

“Thank you Sun for shining so brightly. Thank you for the light that feeds the plants and animals and gives me vitamins my body needs. Thank you for your warmth. I am grateful.”

Begin Again | 52 Acts of Grace | Week 18

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We know the things we need to do that keep us healthy. We start a regimen, get going and everything goes along swimmingly until a life hiccup interrupts the flow and we stop. We stop exercising daily, writing in our journal, meditating, eating healthily.

And in the stopping, we tell ourselves, “I don’t have time.” “I’m too tired.” “I’ll start tomorrow.” “It wasn’t making a difference anyway.”

And resistance rises. Avoidance mounts. Shame grows.

Stop.

Stop and breathe and tell yourself, “I shall begin again. Right now. Right where I am at.”

And begin again.

Stop the mind chatter. Stop the litany of reasons why you can’t, or how you are such a loser because you never follow through, always fall down, can’t keep agreements with yourself.

Give yourself the grace of letting go of ‘the story’ of why not, and begin again.

Always begin again.

 

Grow your world more wild, beautiful and free

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When my daughters were little they had many favourite books. One of them was, Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. Because they couldn’t pronounce Rumphius easily, we called it, The Lupine Lady.

Read us about the lupine lady, they would plead at bed time, and the three of us would snuggle together and I would read and they would ooh and aaah over the beautiful pictures, taking turns to carefully turn each page.

It is a delightful story of a woman named Alice who as a young girl, upon hearing the stories of her uncle’s travels, promised him she too would one day travel the world and then come home to live by the sea. Just like him.

“That’s all very well,” her uncle said when she told him of her plans, “but there is a third thing you must do. You must do something to make the world more beautiful.”

Little Alice grew up to work in a library and still the yearning to travel remained. She packed her bags and travelled the world, made friends that remained in her heart for ever, and when an injury laid her up, she returned to live by the sea.

Her promise to her uncle stayed with her. There was one thing she still needed to do.

She needed to make the world more beautiful.

One spring, after a long winter nursing her injured back, she felt well enough to go for a walk. In a field beyond her home she came upon a patch of lupines the wind and birds had planted with seeds from her garden.

Alice decided that, to make the world more beautiful, she would cast lupine seeds where ever she walked on the island. And the world grew more beautiful.

What seeds are you planting today that will grow your world more wild, beautiful and free?

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There are several versions of Miss Rumphius on Youtube. Here is one to spark your imagination and inspire your actions.

Say I Love You. | 52 Acts of Grace | Week 17

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On the far wall at the end of our bed is a sign that reads, “Always kiss me goodnight.”

I hung it there several years ago so that my beloved and I would always remember the most important thing before falling asleep. We are together in this world. We are partners. Cohorts. Lovers. And the best thing to do before falling asleep every night, is to seal our commitment to one another with a kiss.

It’s easy sometimes to forget to tell those you love the most that you love them. You become accustomed to the ebb and flow of daily life. The ins and outs and permutations of daily living. The relationships you count on most become part of the life you live and sometimes, acknowledging the ease and comfort of your most special relationships is forgotten.

Sometimes, distance, time, happenings put a strain on a relationship and we forget that to cross the bridge of discord we must let go of the past and remember what is most important today.

Sometimes, we tell ourselves they don’t need to hear the words. They simply know the truth.

Whatever they do or don’t know. Whatever the state of your important relationships, take a moment today to acknowledge the other by telling them, “I Love You.”

And be open to whatever happens next.

Create Kindness | 52 Acts of Grace | Week 16

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Ever think the world is just too crazy and running out of control? That anger and hatred and intolerance are running rampant no matter where you look?

Create kindness.

The only way to overcome hatred, anger, intolerance is to be the opposite. Be kind. Be loving. Be considerate. Be positive. In all ways. In all things.

And the more kind and loving you are, the bigger your ripple of loving kindness in the world. And the more people experience your ripple, the more people will be encouraged to create their own ripple of loving kindness until the whole world will be awash in loving kindness!  Now that’s a vision worth holding.

Create kindness today and watch the world around you change, one simple act of loving kindness at a time.

 

And a chant for loving kindness to inspire your day.