A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

I have heard it said that a picture is worth a thousand words. So this week I thought I would do something different and post some of my favorite images that evoke a feeling of peace in me.  As you gaze at them, may they do the same for you 

This is Washington Allston's Landscape with a Lake

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Peter Severin Krøyer's Summer Evening on the Southern Beach

A Day of Peace - Paintings by John Lautermilch

Beauty in Tears

All this month I have been thinking about and reflecting on the practice of beauty. I have practiced seeing the beauty in everyone I meet, every situation I am in, and every place I go. The other day I was having a conversation with a dear friend who is going through a challenging time. I had to stop and ask myself where is the beauty in an illness, which makes someone suffer and feel as if the Divine has abandoned them. When I prayed with her, I was somehow about to express all that was in her heart and that she had not been able to find the words for in her own prayers. While I have never been in my friend’s place, I could empathize by thinking about the times I had felt broken, forsaken, and abandoned. It was during this time that I discovered a simple truth.

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Temporary and Permanent Residency

A friend of ours is interviewing for a job in another state. As she has talked about the idea of moving, she has thought about taking up a temporary residence somewhere until she can decide where and in what neighborhood she wants to live in. As I have listened to the stories of those whose homes were lost during Hurricane Katrina, there was a clear sense that where I am at right now is a temporary situation, but soon I will be moving back to or into permanent housing again. When it comes to where we live, most of us have a clear sense of when the place is our temporary and or permanent residence. So why is that some of us have trouble doing that with our feelings.
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What are you aligned with?

Michael Beckwith once wrote, “The daily headlines describe a global culture that has been cur off from the soul.” One need not look farther then the headlines on any form of news media for stories about violence, whether it is overt, subtle, verbal, physical, emotional, psychological, or spiritual. We manifest violence through our words, actions, and thoughts. Violence is associated with power, either the misuse of the power one has or an attempt to feel powerful in a world where they have felt disempowered. Violence can be individual or structural. We hear about individual violence in stories of wars, abuse, neglect, murders, rapes, bombings, terrorism, etc.
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It is not all about me.

So a many of you know Zoë and I legally were married this past Saturday after having been together for 10 years. Thank you to the State of New York for the great anniversary present. I love being with my wife. I also love being mother to my son Nicholas and all the others who have adopted me as a parent figure in their lives. I know all these relationships are part of who I was created to be and what I was created to do in this world. However, there are moments when I am not in love with any of these roles and there are even moments when I am not too pleased with life either.
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The F word

My guess is when you hear somebody mention the F word; you assume they are using a word, which rhymes with duck, tuck, truck, and a whole other list of words, which end with _uck. So if you think this is going to be about that F word, I hate to disappoint you. It isn’t. Well, not directly. Although there have been moments in my life when I have experienced something which has made me want to use that particular F word. What helped me move away from that F word was another F word – forgiveness. Some recent conversations with friends, clients, acquaintances, and even strangers at the grocery store have brought me to a place where I realize many of us choose not to forgive, have different motives for forgiving, or have not thought about how we benefit when we forgive.
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