Live What You Know

Learn, Grow, Accept, Appreciate, Realize, Love…Truly Live It All! Make Every Day A Masterpiece and Live Each Moment In Joy! —or— You are Divine. You are All. We are One. Let us Be still. Let us Listen with an open heart. Let us Live what we hear. Let us Love with All of our heart. BE. YOU. I AM. —or— wherever you're at and growing from now.

Tag: Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

The Gift of John O’Donohue

 

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John O’Donohue’s work has been an amazing gift in my life.  I hope you will take some time to listen to this wonderful discussion with Krista Tippett from On Being (onbeing.org).  She sat down with him just before his passing.  May you give yourself the gift of listening long enough to hear his voice and feel his passion as he shares so much about what is most meaningful for our souls…  When I first heard it years ago, it spoke to a deep place inside me.  I am ready to revisit his work now and bless myself with all the healing it brings.  I love how these lessons expand and go deeper each time we open to more of them.  My favorite part of this interview is when he says in his amazing Irish accent, “You’ve got to ask yourself, ‘When was last time you had a great conversation?'” …he says it with such depth and reverence for what I hold so dear…my heart nearly jumped out of my chest when I heard it the first time.  I knew I was meant to know about him and the essence of this interview feels like a magnificent conversation…with him.  What a blessing!

I heard bits and pieces of it this morning and knew it is just what my soul is craving right now.  This is a gift I am giving myself today, during this busy holiday season.  I want to share it with you so that it may bring comfort, love, joy, and meaningful conversation to your life today and always.  Once you learn about John O’Donohue, you will know what a gift he is to the world.  I read everything I could get my hands on from him.  I am excited today, to realize I am ready to go back and experience that gift once more.  I think that is the perfect Christmas gift to give myself!  Here are some wonderful words from him to share:

“Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more important it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey.”
― John O’DonohueAnam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

“When love awakens in your life, in the night of your heart, it is like the dawn breaking within you. Where before there was anonymity, now there is intimacy; where before there was fear, now there is courage; where before in your life there was awkwardness, now there is a rhythm of grace and gracefulness; where before you used to be jagged, now you are elegant and in rhythm with your self. When love awakens in your life, it is like a rebirth, a new beginning.”
― John O’DonohueAnam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

“One of the most beautiful gifts in the world is the gift of encouragement. When someone encourages you, that person helps you over a threshold you might otherwise never have crossed on your own.”
― John O’DonohueEternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong

I am sending you and me encouragement today… to slow down, to be open, to find the beauty and meaning in all things, to listen to our souls and be guided by our divinity.  Thank you for encouraging me by taking the time to read this!  I am so very grateful!

I should also note that there is one more amazing gift within this message…onbeing.org.  Do visit the website and dabble in the amazing library of radio shows that are available for us to listen to.  Krista is my all-time-favorite interviewer…a dear friend shared On Being with me years ago and I am forever grateful!

Wishing you so much love and sending you joyous blessings!

Seeing The Unfamiliar In The MOST Familiar Things

It is a shame how familiar we become with so much of our lives.  It would seem that we would find comfort in the familiar…that is not the case.  We completely check out and become numb to what is happening around us.  We can’t see the people or places around us that have become too familiar, we see it all through a veil of our past observations, images and experiences.  With the MOST familiar people and places in our lives it can do the most damage.  We can be completely missing what is right in front of us…the very thing we love the most, we sometimes give our attention to the least.  Learning about this concept from John O’Donohue in Anam Cara, A Book of Celtic Wisdom was a gift in my life.  The gift of seeing the unfamiliar in the most familiar things can wake us up to life.  Life takes on a whole new energy when you can really do this.  I have had experiences where I felt as if I snapped into attention and really saw my child’s face for the first time in too long.  Children’s ability to notice this right away is really something to behold.  I cherish those moments when I was really looking at them with unfamiliar eyes.  I have also been thrilled to look at my husband and see him as if we were just getting to know each other; it’s so fun to experience the excitement of the early dating days…it just takes a little shift in attention.  It takes practice to dwell in this for any length of time, but it is so worth trying to improve at it…life changing when we can do it.

Seeing the unfamiliar in the most familiar things doesn’t mean trying something new to wake you up.  It is quite the opposite.  It means really watching where you put your attention and what conditioned responses are running in your head.  It takes watching your thoughts and not identifying with them.  It takes letting those thoughts pass by so that you can create new and fresh ones that are found in the unfamiliar or the fresh moment.  The truth is that no one is ever exactly the same as the last time you met them.  I know for sure I am not.  Sometimes I could just cringe at running into someone I knew well ten years or so ago…I think, oh my gosh they know me from two lifetimes ago… Even when we see people once a week, they are never the exact same person they were the last time you saw them.  Allow this freshness to be there and try to see them fresh in the moment.  With our MOST familiar people and places it takes the most heightened focus, but what it can do for those relationships and experiences is miraculous.  Seeing only the familiar takes all the excitement out of life.  Dare to see those closest and most familiar to you in new and unfamiliar ways.

I realized with my own children recently that I am the MOST familiar thing in their lives.  I am the thing they have been the most familiar with for the entirety of their lives.  I used to wonder why they would say and do things to me that they would never dream of doing to someone else.  I struggled with why they save their exquisite manners and politeness for everyone else.  It finally dawned on me that I am the MOST familiar thing to them and they are also the MOST familiar thing to me.  We could spend our entire day responding to our ideas and images of each other rather than actually seeing and experiencing each other fresh in the unfamiliar.  I want to really stop and listen to them and see the new expressions that cross their faces and the new things they are excited about.  Just because I am so very familiar with them and so involved in everything they do doesn’t mean I am really seeing the unfamiliar and allowing myself to look at them with fresh eyes to spot new changes and truly hear what is important to them.  It is something I have to practice, especially if I want them to do that for me.  It is a terrible feeling as a mom to feel like you repeat yourself a million times and no one is listening.  Argh.  I think I have stumbled into a great truth.  If I want them to look at me with fresh eyes and see me, then I must do that for them.  This is true for the MOST familiar people and places as well as everyone and everything else too.

Wishing you the profound joy and fresh aliveness that comes with experiencing the unfamiliar in the MOST familiar things.

Below is one of my favorite passages from Anam Cara, A Book of Celtic Wisdom, by John O’Donohue.  What a gift!

Behind the facade of our normal lives eternal destiny is shaping our days and our ways.  The awakening of the human spirit is a homecoming.  Yet ironically our sense of familiarity often militates against our homecoming.  When we are familiar with something, we lose the energy, edge, and excitement of it.  Hegel said, “Das Bekannte uberhaupt ist darum, weil es bekannt ist, nicht erkannt”– that is, “Generally, the familiar, precisely because it is familiar, is not known.”  This is a powerful sentence.  Behind the facade of the familiar, strange things await us.  This is true of our homes, the place where we live, and, indeed, of those with whom we live.  Friendships and relationships suffer immense numbing through the mechanism of familiarization.  We reduce the wildness and mystery of person and landscape to the external, familiar image.  Yet the familiar is merely a facade.  Familiarity enables us to tame, control, and ultimately forget the mystery.  We make our peace with the surface as image and we stay away from the Otherness and fecund turbulence of the unknown that it masks.  Familiarity is one of the most subtle and pervasive forms of human alienation.

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