Tag: inspiration

Reclaiming Purpose

Reclaiming Purpose


This month’s selection for the Aging Abundantly Book Club is a recent favorite, I Will Not Live An Unlived Life: Reclaiming Passion and Purpose by Dawna Markova. I posted a copy of her poem from the beginning of the book not too long ago. I am enjoying it even more the second time around. It’s a book that at its heart is poetic and filled with images, metaphors and enough symbolic language to keep me giddy for weeks. That’s just me. Something like Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea – if you liked it, you’ll probably enjoy this one. Here are just a few of my favorite quotes from the second chapter where she shares her thoughts at the beginning of her healing journey.

“I need to recover a rhythm in my heart that moves my body first and my mind second”

“I need to take a sacred pause, as if I were a sun-warmed rock in the center of a rushing river.”

“I need a safe place in which to tell myself the truth.”

and maybe my favorite in this chapter:

“Through fear of knowing who we really are we sidestep our own destiny.”

Her words speak to me. Everywhere I look I see people racing around trying to be someone and do something only to cause unrelenting “soul leakage” as she calls it. I know I certainly felt everything she describes as I entered mid-life. It finally had all caught up with me. Many of you tell me the same thing. It just came to be the time when it all needed to stop in order to allow something different to blossom.

Change isn’t easy. Living with the rhythm of our heart and body is. It’s not perfect. It’s not without it’s challenges, but it feels like living and breathing with the universe not the world.

If you like reading non-fiction of the psycho-spiritual variety we will be doing more of it. We also read fiction so drop in. We’d love to have you!

writer, poet

 

 

 

 

“Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver

“Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver

Wild Geese

The above image is from: Quotes By Women

 

Mary Oliver was born in 1935 in Ohio. As a young poet she was influenced by Edna St. Vincent Mallay and has received much critical acclaim over the years. “Known for its clear and poignant observations and evocative use of the natural world, Oliver’s poetry is firmly rooted in place and the Romantic nature tradition”, according to her bio on PoetryFoundation.org.  “A prolific writer of both poetry and prose, Oliver publishes a new collection every year or two.”

The following poem was published in 1986.

Wild Geese

by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

from New & Selected Poems (Harcourt Brace).
The Holiday Blues

The Holiday Blues

christmas-fireplace-wallpaperhd-fireplaces-wallpaper-christmas-desktop-fireplace-with-nj67mz92The holiday season is winding down. If you’ve made it this far and haven’t had a bout of the blues, you’re doing great! Pat yourself on the back and keep whistling a happy tune. Your positive energy will surely spill over on someone who could use it!

For many, however, the holidays bring up all sorts of issues, unfinished business with family members, reminders of loved ones no longer with us, and as we get older, oh, so many memories! It’s not surprising we feel melancholy throughout the season. Nothing can trigger a memory faster than the smell of pine, or the taste of a candy cane. For me, cracking a walnut brings back a childhood stocking filled to the brim with fresh walnuts, fruit and a little bit of candy.

The holiday season is a time we may need to a reminder to be gentle with ourselves. Take a little extra care and a little extra focus on being kind to yourself. If you’re feeling lonely, don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend or neighbor. They may be lonely too. Treat yourself to a long, leisurely bath while listening to your favorite soothing music. Go to the library and check out a novel you’ve been wanting to read. Go for a long walk. It will not only raise your endorphin levels and boost your spirits, it’ll help you sleep better. (I went for three walks yesterday! I slept like a baby last night.)

Always remember, “this too shall pass”. You will get through it. Routine will return. New adventures are just around the corner. Above all, you are loved, and you matter.

Dorothy

A Tradition of Anticipation

Patient Waiting – The Gift of the Unknown

Inspirational Books by Dorothy Sander
Inspirational Books by
Dorothy Sander
Meditation Prayer on Love by Thich Nhat Hanh

Meditation Prayer on Love by Thich Nhat Hanh

Meditation Prayer on Love
by Thich Nhat Hanh

May I be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May I be free from injury.  May I live in safety.
May I be free from disturbance, fear, anxiety and worry.
May I learn to look at myself with the eyes of understanding and love.
May I be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in myself.
May I learn to identify and see the sources of anger, craving and delusion in myself.
May I know how to nourish the seeds of joy in myself every day.
May I be able to live fresh, solid and free.
May I be free from attachment and aversion, but not be indifferent.

We Have the Key

We Have the Key

 

Mountain Art
Granny Hands
Artist: Jill Pritchett
Click on image to visit her website
“So often time it happens,
we all live our life in chains,
and we never even know we have the key.”
The Eagles, Already Gone 
(Quote taken from Aging Abundantly’s A Little Book of Hope)
 

Sometimes it takes a major crisis in our lives to wake us up. Often it just takes turning fifty to realize that our youth has passed us by and it’s time to get moving, to  look at things differently. Midlife is fraught with issues of aging, as well as, external challenges and there are adjustments to be made; values to be examined; beliefs to be questioned. Enough time has passed for most things for us to look back and really evaluate our choices and to begin to see patterns in our behavior.

I read again and again, in blogs and articles written by women at midlife, about waking up to the need for change at midlife; of divorce, new careers, moving across the country, taking up a significant new hobby and more. There’s a sense of urgency, of the willingness to jump into something with both feet that seems to be driven more by fear than sense. The sense is that it is now or never to break free from the chains of our lives.

In many cases, however, it is more true that the chains have been of our own making, than the externals we view as the source of our bondage. Throwing out our husband may provide temporary relief from our unhappiness. Marriages and husbands are easy to blame for our unhappiness. We’ve had twenty or thirty years to study our mate’s problems and foibles , decades to master the blame game and to divert our attention from ourselves to them for the cause of our misery. Likewise, a job, a boss, a series of circumstances can take our attention from the true source of our freedom.

Making changes will certainly shake up the status quo, but to think these changes will bring about our freedom and happiness is delusional. Until we look inside of ourselves, the changes  we make today will always only bring us back to the unfinished business we still hold, the fears and anxieties we don’t want to face, and too the job of finding the key we hold within us.  The sooner we get down to the real business of breaking free from our false beliefs and in-congruent lifestyle, the sooner we will find true peace.

© Dorothy Sander 2013

Devotion is a Gift of Aging

Devotion is a Gift of Aging

Devotion is a gift of aging.
Devotion is a gift of aging.

When I see elderly couples together it warms my heart. Whether they are husband and wife, or friends walking arm in arm offering support and comfort to one another, I am lifted up. Aging doesn’t have to be a lonely, miserable venture. It can be a time of building trust and lowering our defenses as we come face to face with our utter humanity.

Our culture is one that reveres independence. It heralds the valiant individualist. Women of our generation, in particular, fought hard to gain respect as individuals. We worked diligently to stand on our own two feet and not be depending on a man for our survival. We are a generation who is fiercely independent. Perhaps that is why we feel so threatened by the aging process.

We fear aging because we fear that sickness or frailty will rob us of the  independence we fought so hard to achieve.  We will become dependent on someone, or something other than ourselves. We will, in the end, somehow not be able to be there for ourselves.

Independence has its value, but what we really sought was the freedom to live up to our fullest potential as people, regardless of our gender. Independence, self-sufficiency was often a mask we wore to make sense of the surge of power with which we were not yet comfortable. We had to pretend we knew what we were doing because we didn’t. We were learning.

Perhaps the lesson to be learned as we age is how utterly interdependent we are as human beings, and how fortunate we are to be thus. Love and devotion, tolerance, sympathy, empathy, compassion are beautiful things to experience, both coming in and going out. It is our interdependence that provides the richness and texture to life. It’s not Hollywood perfect, but sharing life with another person in any given moment is rich, meaningful, and often even necessary.

As we age and lose our ability to maintain our independence we have the opportunity to learn humility, respect, gratitude and trust. What wonderful lessons to be learned.

© Dorothy Sander 2013

IT’S EASIER TO BE HAPPY WHEN….

CHOOSING THE REAL YOU