Baraka

Growing up I remember hearing a number of sayings that all pointed at the same lesson. Phrases like actions speak louder than words. A picture is worth a thousand words. You can hear the symphony in silence. Each of these sayings gets at the same point. One must not speak to make a powerful statement. One must not understand the language, to understand the meaning. When I was in seminary, Dr Gail Ricciutti showed a film in our Introduction to Preaching class of people preaching. Interestingly, the preacher that really captured my attention the most was a woman who did not preach in English. I could not understand a single word she said, yet I understood every word she said.

This morning I stumbled upon this image that I used for our thought for the day. It is just a picture. No quote, no author, yet it speaks volumes

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Commercials, Wolves, and The Four Agreements.

A week or so ago, I got an email from someone who asked me if I really practiced what I teach. Yes! So I thought I would share one of those moments with you. If you have been around me for any length of time, you know there are a few things I ask or say. One phrase is make it a commercial, not a documentary. Another is which wolf are you feeding? Does this fit with the four agreements? For those of you who are wondering what I am talking about, here is my cheat sheet. The Four Agreements is a book by Don Miguel Ruiz and the agreements in a nutshell are this: 1. be impeccable with your words – do not say anything negative about yourself or others 2. Don't take anything personally. – It’s only about you if you make it about you. 3. Don't make assumptions. – seek clarification and make sure you both understand each other. 4. Always do your best. YOUR best, not what I think is your best, but your best at any moment, knowing your best can change from moment to moment.
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“Word” and “word”

The first agreement in Miguel don Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements, is to be impeccable with your words. It took me a few reads of his book, to notice this, but he uses both the word “word” and “Word.” For me, there is a real difference between being impeccable with my Word and being impeccable with my words. My words are what I say. They are the things that come out of mouth when I am speaking to others or myself. They can be also be words that I write, or probably more accurately these days, type. They come together to form sentences, paragraphs, and pages. They are what I use to express my opinion, to comment on a situation, to express what is going on in my mind, and to communicate to my students what it is that I want them to accomplish in a course. Sometimes, I use my words to come together in writing of poetry. I make up words such as sistahpastahhomegurl, which worked well in a poem I wrote for a friend and colleague of mine a few years ago.
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Becoming the artist of my life.

One day, on my Facebook page, I wrote, “we are the artists of our lives. If we do not like the way our creation is coming together, we have the power to change it. Each artist must find their own way, their own medium, their own tools, and their own inspiration.” This post generated an interesting discussion with a few people regarding being an artist, awareness, and perfection.
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