fostering tenderness in the new year

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The year ends and we begin a new circuit around our own beautiful sun star, twirling amidst the galaxies.

Take a breath, quiet your heart and listen deeply.
There is so much coming and going, and yet…
feel how underneath it all is a vast silence
and a spaciousness that holds everything in its balance.

In the long run, I am hopeful.
Yes, in human incarnation there are inevitable periods of difficulty, personal and collective. Yet with wisdom and a good heart, our personal sufferings can temper us and help us live with dignity and find an indestructible spirit in ourselves. And in the same way, we can learn to bear the difficulties of the world with compassion and courageously do what we can to mend the broken places.

Yet difficulties are never the end of the story. There is always a return of the light.

Solstice, Christmas, New Year’s, Kwanza and Chanukah are outer celebrations of an unstoppable renewal that is life itself. There is always grass that pushes itself through the cracks in the sidewalk. You are this life force constantly being reborn every morning at breakfast.

And while the news often features the worst of humanity, there are a billion acts of human kindness every hour of every day. Take another breath and sense this truth.

Recognize that even the big problems—the environment, human justice, refugees, violence—are part of a long march demanding us to honor our human connection and our interdependence with all life.

What will you do with this human dance?

A most trustworthy and blessed project is to align yourself with compassion,
to plant seeds of goodness, to use the creative force of your life to bring understanding, awakening and love to all. Foster trust in life’s renewal power.

Martin Luther King, Jr. describes our collective journey with hope:
“The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.”
And Pablo Neruda explains further,
“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.”

Renewal is happening.
Take quiet time to listen to your heart, to meditate and to rest amidst the great turnings.
Feel the renewal of spring that can be born in you.
Align yourself with goodness.
Let yourself blossom like a lotus or whatever unique flower you are,
shining in the world, offering tiny seeds of love amidst it all.

~Jack Kornfield

when you resolve to be better and finer- judgment happens…. but when you resolve to live well- with dignity and integrity and grit- then life happens……

inquiry for today~   find a simple moment today to honor your life and the life of those you love…..

how to revive

As this year draws to its end,
We give thanks for the gifts it brought
And how they become inlaid within
Where neither time nor tide can touch them.

Days when beloved faces shone brighter
With light from beyond themselves;
And from the granite of some secret sorrow
A stream of buried tears loosened.

We bless this year for all we learned,
For all we loved and lost
And for the quiet way it brought us
Nearer to our invisible destination.

~John O’Donohue

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