Aging is for the brave. Brene Brown is an an American scholar, author, and public speaker, who is currently a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She writes: "Living a brave life is not a casual undertaking. When it comes to vulnerability, there are some hard truths we must try to accept to experience connection, joy, love, creativity, and belonging in our lives."
It only takes a reminder to breathe,
a moment to be still, and just like that,
something in me settles, softens,
makes space for imperfection.
The harsh voice of judgement
drops to a whisper and I remember again
that life isn't a relay race;
that we all will cross the finish line;
that waking up to life is what we
were born for.
As many times as I forget,
to catch myself charging forward
without even knowing where I am going,
that many times I can make the choice
to stop, to breathe, and be, and walk
slowly in the mystery.
- "Walk Slowly" by Danna Faulds
We invite you to pause and reflect:
"It seems we are more divided than ever before — unable to speak across our differences to create the world we want for ourselves and others. Krista Tippett and her incredible team at On Being are doing something to address this. They’ve launched the Civil Conversations Project. It’s a resource for renewing public discourse and encouraging common life.
As part of this Project, they’ve created A Starter Guide to Better Conversations. You can download a copy. It’s free and it’s full of practical tips for shaping your space and gathering the right people. We hope you can use it. Take what you learned in this course and start your own discourse. Your voice matters." - The +Acumen Team
“Jailbreak” by Maya Spector
It’s time to break out --
Time to punch our way out of
the dark winter prison.
Lilacs are doing it
in sudden explosions of soft purple,
And the jasmine vines, and ranunculus, too.
There is no jailer powerful enough
to hold Spring contained.
Let that be a lesson.
Stop holding back the blossoming!
Quit shutting eyes and gritting teeth,
curling fingers into fists, hunching shoulders.
Lose your determination to remain unchanged.
All the forces of nature
want you to open,
Their gentle nudge carries behind it
the force of a flash flood.
Why make a cell your home
when the door is unlocked
and the garden is waiting for you?
Learn from this universal truth: If you are interested in transformation, no element is more important than developing a love of truth. The truth encompasses both our fearful reactions and the greater resources of our soul. (The Wisdom of the Enneagram, 345)
“I don’t want to get in the middle, but . . .” is a sign that we may have just stepped into the middle.
We do not have to get caught in the middle of other people’s issues, problems, or communication. We can let others take responsibility for themselves in their relationships. We can let them work out their issues with each other.
Being a peacemaker does not mean we get in the middle. We are bearers of peace by staying peaceful ourselves and not harboring turmoil. We are peacemakers by not causing the extra chaos created when we get in the middle of other people’s affairs and relationships.
Don’t get in the middle unless you want to be there.
Today, I will refuse to accept any invitations to jump in the middle of others’ affairs, issues, and relationships. I will trust others to work out their own affairs, including the ideas and feelings they want to communicate to each other. - Melody Beattie
I want to open a new place in my heart to welcome all that this year will bring.
This calls me to redefine the word Welcome. I feel the tensions in welcoming change, welcoming difference, welcoming conflict, welcoming challenge, welcoming retirement, welcoming new leadership, welcoming fresh ideas. From the global to the local and the personal, 2017 will be a year of welcome – and growth!
This poem by Estrus Tucker reminds me that it’s an act of courage to give and receive authentic welcome:
"There are invitations that can’t be written,
and a welcoming that is deeper than words.
Hospitality abides in the familiarity of a face,
in the embedded trust of shared customs and histories,
and in identities often formed and deformed
by unity and exclusion,
hope and humiliation,
love and lies.
Welcome is not always easy. When we feel others are out to change or challenge us, it’s only human to guard ourselves. But what happens when we experience true welcome and invitation?
When welcome is offered and received, a sense of belonging naturally leads us to relax rather than raise our defenses. It is subtle. Welcome invites us to be vulnerable and connected.
When have you felt truly welcome?
How do you remain open and hospitable to yourself and to others?"
I’m looking forward to welcoming all that 2017 brings, with as much courage and openness as I can muster.
Here's a quote: "Neuroeconomist Paul Zak has found that hearing a story --- a narrative with a beginning, middle, and end --- causes our brains to release cortisol and oxytocin. These chemicals trigger the uniquely human abilities to connect, empathize, and make meaning. Story is literally in our DNA."
"We cooperate with people we're not related to. And by virtue of our ability to cooperate with each other, we can build magnificent cities and radio stations and do all kinds of wonderful things. But one of the ingredients you have to have to get individuals to cooperate with each other is a tolerance for mistakes." ~ Michael McCullough
"The best way you can express your feelings, anger, love, passion, joy and other kinds of feelings is simply through music. It is rightly said that when words and letters failed the best option is music. You will be able to express the intent of your heart through music which ordinarily may not be possible for you to either do in words or letters."
The television show 'The Voice' has brought so many hours of enjoyment lately. One of the highlights was the voice of Casi Joy singing "Blue" (also sung by LeeAnn Rimes). Powerful!
The Joy is in the Journey