Stillness

No matter what happens to your body, madame,
if your heart is free, you are free.
~Martha Beck

In the attitude of silence, the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness.
~Mahatma Gandhi

In your lifetime the most sacred space you will ever need to create is the space within yourself — the place deep within your soul where you go to find peace and serenity and to connect with your true self. It’s the quiet place inside where you return over and over again that keeps your thoughts sacred, your heart protected and your dreams alive.
~Nancy SantoPietro

I was writing a friend the other day, replying to an email and her simple question, “…how have you been?” when I found myself sharing with her the experience of letting go or maybe of being let go by life, and the stillness that has come into my world.  How in the beginning I resisted it, thinking I would one day recover my joie de vivre and resume my days, eventually putting this illness behind me.  But when that didn’t happen, I was forced (and I do mean forced) to make friends with the stillness because resisting was just too painful.  And how every few years now, I have a setback and fall further behind, and the stillness grows.  Luckily though, after that first, terrible ravaging, it has come more gradually allowing me time to adapt and accept.  And I can’t help but think that it’s moving me to some great end, or perhaps simply to an end. 😉 But no matter, I recently realized that I am who I’ve always longed to be and how ironic too that it should be the stillness that led me here.

Resolutions & New Beginnings

I swear I will not dishonor my soul with hatred,
but offer myself humbly as a guardian of nature,
as a healer of misery, as a messenger of wonder,
as an architect of peace.
~Diane Ackerman

Each night, when I go to sleep, I die.
And the next morning when I wake up, I am reborn.
~Mahatma Gandhi

Help me to be aware of my selfishness,
but without undue shame or self judgement.
Let me always feel you present,
in every atom of my life.
Let me keep surrendering my self
until I am utterly transparent.
Let my words be rooted in honesty
and thoughts be lost in your light,
Unnameable God, my essence,
my origin, my life-blood, my home.
~Psalm 19

I’m a big believer in the power of a fresh start, perhaps because my life has been full of missteps and failed attempts.  Even on those occasions when I manage to get it right, I’m always cognizant of the fact that there’s a deeper realization awaiting. So the idea of starting over, of second chances and renewed opportunities is so promising that I find it irresistible. There’s just something so hopeful about beginning anew.  So luckily for me (and you), the first of something is always just around the corner: The first of the week, the first of the month, and yes most especially, the first of the New Year!  There’s no better time to look inside and imagine the possibilities.

So, in that spirit….I promise to practice kindness and reverence for all of life.  I promise to see what’s beautiful and true and to give thanks for all that I’ve received.  I promise to choose love over fear and indifference, to grow in faith and  be a reflection of God’s great mercy.  I promise to live from my heart, casting my light into the darkness that others may find their way, just as I have found mine through the luminous souls of those who have come before.