Category Archives: Inspiration

Awaiting Recognition!

There are times in our lives when we are looking for something from the outside that we already have on the inside.  Buried deep inside of us are those seeds that are awaiting our recognition, sometimes known as “our calling.”

If we study our journeys, we can see that it is right before our eyes.  We can ask ourselves, “What am I most comfortable doing?  How do I spend most of my leisure time when no one is making demands?  What comes to me most easily and naturally? 

Those questions can point us in the right direction as we seek our purposes and missions.  Our queries continue as we make lists and note our most dominant actions.  Here are some things to ponder.

Do I find myself drawing and sketching?  What am I sketching?  Are they designs of buildings or perhaps designs of fashions?  Am I writing?  Do I have a journal that I furiously protect from the intrusions of others? Do I find myself giving advice to others on a regular basis?  Or, is there a sport that takes hours and hours of practice as I seek to perfect my game?  Do I like to repair things or are am I the one who organizes everybody else’s things around the house?

The answers to these questions can help us to find our passions.  As the old saying goes, “Do what you love, and the Mercedes will follow.”  With this awareness, career choices would come a lot easier and fewer dollars would be spent on tuition costs that are spent in the wrong areas or disciplines.

If we slow down and look around at the things we hold near and dear, we will see the seeds of our divine purpose.  Instead of trying to please others’ ideas for our lives, we will clearly see what we have been put here to do. Then, we can pour water our newly, discovered seeds.  They have been sitting there for a long time simply awaiting our recognition. So, cultivate them.  Preen them.  Cut back the weeds and watch them sprout upward into new growth!

Lynn M.                                                     February 16, 2019

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On Track?

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We must remind ourselves that it is still close to the beginning of the year.  There is plenty of time to look at the promises that we made as we vowed to make fresh beginnings in the New Year.  We can ask ourselves during this second month of 2019, “Am I on track?  Am I on the right track to achieve what I am setting out to accomplish this year? Am I mindfully setting down new footprints in the sand or have I already fallen back into the old, familiar territory?”

According to the groundhog who did  not see his shadow, spring will be coming sooner than we think; so we need to be ready. The birds have already begun to sing in the wee hours of the morning and they surely know nature’s plans.  We don’t want spring to burst forth and find us still living amid last winter’s drudge.  Nor do we want to be caught behaving as if it is 2018 and encompassed in yesteryear’s rusty angst.

We want to be in tune with the new wonders that are around the corner.  So, we should continue to get rid of the old, unnecessary things of the past that have served their purpose. Otherwise, they simply become weights that will hinder our movement. We want to make way for the new and awesome things that the universe has waiting.

So, take a moment and look down at the ground.  Locate the tracks underfoot and make sure that everything is in alignment.  Check to make sure that all is truly in divine order. Pull on that train whistle and shout, “All systems go!” and chug-a chug, chug right on down the track!

Lynn M.                                                                                         February 9, 2019

Truly Frozen!

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As I look out across this winter wonderland, it has become somewhat surreal.  We are not viewing a movie.  This is real-time Chicago that is being held in the grips of Old Man Winter.

We are reminded of our dependency on both our infrastructure and our utility companies.  We realize how co-dependent we are as we lean on each other for comfort and reassurance.   Yes, we are fragile and dire circumstances reawaken us to that fact.

We know from our history lessons that  Rome was not built in a day but once it was built, it all eventually came to a crashing halt.  So, it would behoove us to cling tight and hold on to our faith as we ration out our resources and look out for our neighbors.

We should take nothing and no one for granted because we see how quickly it  all can float away like debris down a river.  Perhaps we are being nudged to go back to basics.  We must scale down, get rid of some of the fluff in both possessions and in arrogant, haughty attitudes. Over time, none of it will count as a little more than a hill of beans.

We should reapply The Golden Rule and truly do unto others as we would have them do unto us.  If we can reign ourselves in, cut back on the unnecessary things and treat others well, then we can unfreeze our hearts.  We can come out on the other side and look forward to a budding spring encased with a warmer heart.

Lynn M.                                                                                                     February 2, 2019

Exit, Stage Left!

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It’s still January and we are continually setting down the new frameworks that we intend to follow for the new year.  We have promised ourselves to release the old things and people who no longer benefit us.  Parting with material things is difficult enough but parting ways with people we have known is even harder.

Just like a worn-out pair of shoes, those relationships are no longer comfortable and in fact they may simply hurt.  If we keep wearing them, we will find ourselves winching from the pain; so, we eventually must let them go before we do more damage to our feet.

Last Sunday, Carol Burnett, the comedienne, received a special Golden Globe for the many years that she brought so much laughter to her viewers.  She closed her weekly show with a song that said, “I’m So Glad We Had This Time Together.” Then she would pull on one of her earlobes as if to seal the deal.  We can use her lyrics as we give thanks for those that we have once known.

As we clean out our lives, we can remember the hours of deep conversations and moments of hearty laughter that we have shared. Surely, we have been enriched from the encounters and for that we should be grateful.  Our fellowshipping may have stretched out over several years or it may have been short and sweet. Yet, we know when it is time to move on.

Children are weaned from their mothers so that they can advance to the next stage of growth and we adults must do the same thing.  If we try to hold on to that which we’ve outgrown, pain is guaranteed.  So, we unfurl our grasp and grip on people, open up our hands  and simply let go as we watch the parting shadows exit stage left.

There may a tear in the corner of our eyes but if we are honestly in touch with our real feelings, we will slowly smile.  In time, precious memories will flow to the top like marshmallows on a cup of hot chocolate and all the bitterness will remain at the bottom!

Lynn M.                                                                                               January 12, 2019

Yeah!

thg9giwc1iWhen newly laundered clothes come out of the dryer, they normally have a fresh and crisp smell.  They make us feel like going on as we graciously crease and fold them.  We can compare this New Year of 2019 to a clean wash because we have the chance to take a deep breath and start over.

New resolutions have either been written or spoken as we vow to do better in a variety of areas.  We can only hope that we can live up to these self-imposed challenges as we strive to grow and go forth.

Just like the dried clothes, we have folded the situations of the past year into neat, little piles and tucked them away.  We have greater insights as we see that some things blessed us; some confounded us and some even spooked us.  Yet, we continue and keep on keeping on.

We may have had to hum Gladys Knight & The Pips’ song, I’ve Got to Use My Imagination for encouragement.   They sang:

“I’ve really got to use my imagination,

To think of good reasons

To keep on keeping on

Got to make the best of a bad situation….”

We realize that we have pulled on a lot of resources to get us to New Year’s Eve night when we witnessed the ball drop as the world rung in the New Year.

Those sources may have included things like the reading of spiritual literature and good books, writing our innermost thoughts on a regular basis or listening to calming music.  Or maybe it was our relaxing during yoga classes and poses, dancing during Zumba classes, taking long walks by the waterfront or communicating with loved ones either in person or on social media.

Our silent helpers may have been seen and several may not have been visible to us.  But, their well-wishes were heartily felt as we triumphed and closed out the old year.

So, in 2019, we start by counting our abundant blessings for there have been many.  If any obstacles or hurdles present themselves on our path, we can view them as a bunch of bowling pins.  They are there waiting for us in formation.

We simply pick up the right bowling ball, position our thumb at the perfect angle, take a careful aim and heave the ball towards them.  And, we just might hear our cheering section scream, “Yeah for you!”

Lynn M.                                                      January 5, 2019

Tick Marks!

Over this holiday season, I have had the opportunity to revisit several movies and take another look at why they remain special to me. Each reminded me of where I was living and what I was doing when I saw them for the first time.  Some things change yet some remain the same!

I saw The Graduate again. It came out during my freshman year of college. I loved it this time around as much as I did way back then. The lyrics to Simon and Garfunkel’s song The Sound of Silence came rolling back to me as if time stood still.  Dustin Hoffman’s dilemmas and moves obviously etched scenarios in my mind.  I was there inside his mental space with him.  Since that time, I was able to make it to the UC Berkeley campus and I later owned a convertible Spider similar to his Alfa Romeo Spider in the movie.

Then, I saw Claudine again with Diahann Carroll and James Earl Jones. It was a big hit at the time because though she was a domestic with six kids, she fell in love with a garbage collector.  He almost abandoned her and her children because he realized he did not make enough to feed them.  It takes a hard look at the traps of the welfare system but ultimately love won! The music written by Curtis Mayfield and sung by Gladys Knight and The Pips kept everyone going On and On.  I was teaching high school at the time and oh, the memories from that era came rushing back in!

Seeing Agnes of God baffled me as much this time around as it did when me and a couple of my co-workers from a community college saw it for the first time.  I remember that day because we did a movie marathon and saw two movies on the same day.  Jane Fonda fashionably chain-smoked as she tried to figure out who impregnated a young nun that murdered her newborn. I thought of how unattractive smoking is today and how it is now prohibited in most public places.

Both she and the talented Anne Bancroft acted superbly in this drama and this time around, I was able to connect a few more of the dots.  Plus, I did a little more research to see what drove the playwright to write the play.  He based it on a true story of a nun in Upstate New York; but, it was less of a mystery because that nun had spent time outside of the convent for a conference.

Over time, we grow.  Society rules change.  I have changed.  Several of my perspectives  and points of view have also changed.  If I stood against a measuring stick and compared where I was then to where I am now, I would have to reach up really high to strike off my new tick marks of growth!

Lynn M.                                                                                               December 29, 2018

 

Shush!

It’s that time of year when we find quiet moments to commune with Our Creator during this busy season.  We look forward to those down times so that we can make sense of things and more clearly realize our divine purposes.

As in any rhapsody, we find pauses and moments of rest.  We become still and stop our senseless strivings after ripping and running to and fro in our efforts to get it all done.

Our older, wiser selves teach us to slow our paces and think before we act or speak.  We are grateful that we have been brought to this point in time and we understand that it only happened through His grace and mercy.

We began to assess our actions over these past twelve months. We may be able to count and see how many persons we have either helped along the way or hindered through  our careless actions or vain babblings.  Then, we can start to make the case for ourselves as we vow to do better in the coming year.

Hopefully, our characters have grown, and we see that we certainly are not where we were in our thinking, let’s say this time last year.  Yes, we have indeed evolved, and our viewpoints are not the same. Yeah!

We are not as puffed up over our possessions because we have truly come to see that all is quite temporary and fleeting.  Looking at the daily news reminds us of how quickly those things can be gone in a poof!  We now know that our things do not define us because our spirits of resiliency may be tested at any given time.

We do not wait for a guardian of the silence like a librarian to shush us when we are too noisy.  We voluntarily quiet ourselves, settle down, turn off the chatter boxes and listen.  If we are fortunate, we will be led to take those new and right steps specifically designed for us!

“The Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before Him.”  Habakkuk 2:20

Lynn M.                                                                        December 22, 2018

 

Gently, Close the Door!

let it goIt’s that time of the year when we will soon be singing “Auld Lang Syne.” We take a quick look back on what we have done well and what can be improved upon during this year.  As we leave the old behind, we should gently close the door.

We should bend down and pick up the gems that gleam from each situation and encounter and put them in our keeper’s basket.  Then we must sweep that unwanted and unneeded and simply stamp them as discards.  We can then let out a deep sigh of relief and privately think, “Glad that is over!”

We don’t have to be angry for the hard experiences because as we grow in grace and wisdom, we come to understand that every man or person is our teacher.  We look for the lessons and though some are painful, we realize that it is not personal.  Usually unkind people are unkind to many others as well. It is how they roll.  We simply were put in their paths to garner something to help us grow in some way.

Through it all, hopefully our character has been positively altered in some form or fashion.  Perhaps, we have become more mindful of how we impact others and vow to have more positive interactions with those new persons that we will be meeting in the future.

There are always lessons to be learned and as we advance as a more spiritually-attuned person, we become less rattled by the abrasive actions of others.  We begin to give situations the proverbial light touch and try to keep our emotions more in check.

Wherever we find ourselves at this year’s end, we should tally our data and be honest about our gains.  As we gently close the door on the past, we can give it a wave and “keep on stepping.”  The world is waiting for our new and enhanced selves to dig in and share our gifts!

Lynn M.                                                                     December 9, 2018

Mountains and Valleys

After long periods of high activity, if we are fortunate, we can slowly descend the mountain.  We reverse our steps and back down to level ground.   We are grateful that we were not thrust from the mountaintop as we were moving at such a dizzying pace.

Upon divine completion of some given task, we stop.  We realize that the phase is over, so we slow down.  We begin to reflect, celebrate our successes and jot down what we can do better the next time around.

We realize that it is time for refreshing our spirits and renewing our souls.  We go into healthy repose and lay still in the valley situated between the two mountains.  In tranquil stretches of time, we find refuge and quiet breathing spaces.

Clarity of mind and purpose return to us as we keep our distances from the fray and those unnecessary distractions.  We know that in our service to humanity, we have helped others and we have in turn helped ourselves.  Our purses are indeed fatter, and our knowledge has increased along the way because we understand that we learn something new every day.

So, we breathe.  We take breaks and we clear our heads.  We eat, sleep and prepare for our next venture.  We silently begin to sharpen our tools and shine our shoes for we know that in just a short while, we will be commissioned again.

 It will soon be time to scale another mountain so in the interim, we lie still in the valley between the mountains.  We snore, smile and eventually look up and see how high the next mountain appears to be and we say to ourselves, “Oh boy!”  Then, we inaudibly beseech on our angel helpers for strength, put on our armors of faith and await the call!

Lynn M.                                                                                   November 24, 2018

Work in Progress!

blocksSometimes in our lives, we are put to task to build something without a clear blueprint.  Yet, our diligence still makes us roll up our sleeves and dig in.  As we roll one stone in front of the other, we create the outline of the structure.

Though the end product is invisible, we lean on the All-knowing Substance to guide us as we work on.  The hustle and bustle of the movement of busy hands and feet may look chaotic to some, but there is usually a method to the madness.    Amelia Earhart said, “Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn’t be done.” It is better to be a curious yet silent observer when there is a work in progress.

Active participants on the construction project should be  wise and  dutiful soldiers that follow the commands of those running the show.  Whether the roles are major or minor, all are essential to the whole.

Tempers may flare, angry words may be exchanged and bricks may fall in the heat of the battle but the intent to succeed is solid like a rock.  The smoke from the chiseling hammers may cause a temporary fog and sweat may pour from the brow.

But the light at the end of the tunnel will come into visibility.  And as Shaun Alexander says, “I think there will be more smiles when the smoke clears!”

Lynn M.                                                                                                November 17, 2018