There is a quiet light that shines in every heart. It draws no attention to itself though it is always secretly there. It is what illuminates our minds to see beauty, our desire to seek possibility and our hearts to love life. Without this subtle quickening our days would be empty and wearisome, and no horizon would ever awaken our longing. Our passion for life is quietly sustained from somewhere in us that is wedded to the energy and excitement of life. This shy inner light is what enables us to recognize and receive our very presence here as blessing. We enter the world as strangers who all at once become heirs to a harvest of memory, spirit, and dream that has long preceded us and will now enfold, nourish, and sustain us.
Lenten Resiliency Tip March 27
Here’s another powerful face of resiliency from the music group Rising Appalachia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tx17RvPMaQ8
Praise the Rain, Joy Harjo–a mindset of Resiliency for rainy days 3.25/ 3.26, posted by Sharon Dawson
Praise the rain, the seagull dive
The curl of plant, the raven talk—
Praise the hurt, the house slack
The stand of trees, the dignity—
Praise the dark, the moon cradle
The sky fall, the bear sleep—
Praise the mist, the warrior name
The earth eclipse, the fired leap—
Praise the backwards, upward sky
The baby cry, the spirit food—
Praise canoe, the fish rush
The hole for frog, the upside-down—
Praise the day, the cloud cup
The mind flat, forget it all—
Praise crazy. Praise sad.
Praise the path on which we’re led.
Praise the roads on earth and water.
Praise the eater and the eaten.
Praise beginnings; praise the end.
Praise the song and praise the singer.
Praise the rain; it brings more rain.
Praise the rain; it brings more rain.
Lenten Resiliency Tip March 24 by Nathan Holst
Here’s one of my songs that I sing to myself when I’m having a difficult time and need to be reminded of my possibilities: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3k6ilNQesQ
It might be time to start looking for sprouts or buds.
Either outside, or within ourselves.
What is starting to grow within you?
These words of Wilfred Peltier resonated with me today, Sunday, our “day of rest”. Isn’t this the reason we are instructed to rest, take time to search and discover who we really are? The time to discover our spiritual home within, without?
Kitchen Wisdom from one of our sister churches: we are stronger together.
Lenten Resiliency tip, March 17, 2021 by Pastor Greg Briggs
Don’t forget to take a mental break. Go for a walk, play a game, read a book, or even turn off the notifications on your phone and computer for a while.
Resiliency 3.16.21 by Sharon Dawson
How I linger to admire, admire, admire
The things of this world
That are kind, and maybe
roses in the wind,
the sea geese on the steep waves,
to which there is no reply?
© 2006 by Mary Oliver
Grateful to Maya Angelo for this poem on resiliency. May it rise in our spirits to give us strength to keep on: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46446/still-i-rise
A day to rest is a gift from God. And if that day also happens to be Pi(e) day, why not add in a slice?
Resiliency thoughts, 3/13/21 by Sharon Dawson
“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.” Margaret Atwood
Seeking out mentors, reflections, and sources of wisdom can often help build resiliency. Here’s an article from On Being that might help give you some resiliency framing: https://onbeing.org/…/parker-palmer-carrie-newcomer..
Under those snow covered branches, soft petals and fragrance are waiting to burst forth! Enjoy the pristine beauty of snow today for it will be gone tomorrow in the never ending cycle of life.
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
Resiliency 3.10.21 by Sharon Dawson
If we can work toward one small change in our routine that supports our health, mental or physical —that one step is “doable”. Everyday one simple thing that is healthy, life affirming and takes just a moment or two can be maintained over time. One gentle small step and to be successful with that one step is to be carried further down our path to wellbeing.
It takes about five weeks 35 to 42 days for us to form a new habit. Focusing on one step, keeping it simple and allowing time to enjoy the accomplishment of that step in the moment (really taking time to feel joyful in success) is so much easier to maintain than an elaborate crash into complete change all at once. It is this slow gentle change of daily routine that can bring about the best and longest lasting life stye of wellbeing for us.
The simple is often the most profound.
To be successful with self care I try to remember not to jump into a new routine that is too complicated and time consuming to maintain. Understanding human nature, knowing that small steps make up an entire journey can be the best way to build a bridge toward life style changes that will support our whole person health.
Lenten Thoughts on Resiliency – March 8, 2021 by Pastor Greg Briggs
International Women’s Day. “Women’s Resilience Is Saving the World”
“…in this crisis, “tend and befriend,” the mostly feminine instinct to ensure group safety, is much more useful than the more masculine “fight or flight.”
Viruses cannot be fought, only mitigated through a communal pact to reduce risk-taking. When no one tries to be an action hero, everybody is more likely to survive.”
Thoughts on Resiliency 3/7/21 by Sharon Dawson
“a revelation within”
To flood this word with breath, with spirit, and with soul.
To attend to each layer, in turn, bringing light into the darkness, in a way that is full spectrum. While awareness and insight are necessary and non-negotiable, perhaps even more important is the infusion of a new type of kindness and compassion. Mere insight is not enough. Conceptual awareness is not enough. Clarity is not enough. We have seen this.
Rather, it is some activity of love that seems to be required, to give birth to a new sense of self, a new world.
But what this love is must be discovered by each of us, not as a concept, but as a movement of revelation within. ~Matt Licata (adapted)
Resiliency Tip 3.6.21 by Nathan Holst
There’s so much resiliency in music. Here’s Cloud Cult’s “Good Friend”. “We are not broken ones…just shattered pieces of the same bright sun.”
Lenten Resiliency Tip 3.6.21 by Sharon Dawson
Enjoy every moment of light and beauty you find on this warm sunny day.
The Sun, the Earth the Wind love you.
Beauty all around,
Lenten Resiliency Tip 3/5/21 by Pastor Greg Briggs
…sometimes you just have to take some time for yourself.
Resiliency Tip 3.4.21 by Sharon Dawson
“We have a tendency to think in terms of doing and not in terms of being. We think that when we are not doing anything, we are wasting our time. But that is not true. Our time is first of all for us to be.
To be what?
To be alive, to be peaceful, to be joyful, to be loving. And that is what the world needs most.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
Connecting with other people has been quite hard, and our social needs are important. I’ve tried lots of different ways to connect, phone calls, zoom chats, etc., but so often I’m running out of things to talk about. One thing that has carried on are a couple of groups of friends where we play games online and have a video or voice chat set up. It’s gives us a chance to socialize, but also something to do together. My weekly gaming group has become essential for my well being. No matter what is your game of choice, cards, board games, video games, or TTRPGs (table top role playing games), finding some friends to play with can be a great time.
Resiliency tip 3/1 by Sharon Dawson.
To step into the First Light of a new day
There is a Holy Wind that moves across the land
each morning just before First Light
while the Morning Star is bright and brilliant
shimmering perfect between
the dark of night and the light of day.
Every morning that Holy Wind
leaps into this body;
starting a new day’s breathing.
First Breath recognizes me.
I did not hesitate to open to her
to receive her
on my first day.
She comes lookin’ for me now
everyday at Dawn.
I’m one of her own, She says
She say’s she’s pullin’ for me.
Kathleen D. Westcott
Lenten Resiliency Tip – 2/28 by Nathan Holst
At one point in my life, I decided to engage our tradition of Sabbath by creating boundaries of rest on a full Saturday. I would call my grandmas, catch up with friends, go for walks, and just enjoy what the day had to bring. Now, with a much more full or unpredictable schedule (2 year old included), I look for Sabbath moments, sometimes even hours in my week. It might be time to create music, go skiing, or a nice walk with family. For me right now, it’s not so much about boundaries of consistency, as much as it is about setting the intention with lots of potential spaces where Sabbath can exist.
Lenten Resiliency Tip – 2/27 by Pastor Greg Briggs
Physical Self Care – Don’t forget the basics! When I’m feeling off, I ask myself these check in questions:
- When did you have a glass of water?
- Have you eaten in the last 3 hours?
- Do you need to stretch and\or dance around?
- How’s your sleep? Do you need a nap?
Attending to any of these things helps me feel better more times than not. Don’t forget the basics.
(Image: “Portrait of Margurite sleeping” by Henri Matisse. Public Domain)
Lenten Resiliency Tip for 2/26 by Sharon Dawson
“Like cliffs worn to their beauty by the pounding of the sea, if we can hold each other up, all that will be left will be WONDER and JOY.
I’ve learned that if we can stay true to our experience and to each other, and face the spirit that experience and love carry, we will eventually be reduced to JOY. ”
In this space, resiliency is born.
—Mark Nepo. Reduced to Joy
photo credit Sharon Dawson
Lenten Resiliency Tip for 2/25 by Nathan Holst
What brings you a sense of freedom and release?
Lately my two year old and I have been having dance parties. I turn on some music and we dance around, chase each other running and screaming, and let whatever needs to come out, come out. It’s such a good release and helps me feel a sense of freedom in my body.
Lenten Resiliency Tip for 2/24 by Pastor Greg Briggs
What’s your sense of purpose?
When I get down or feel disconnected, one thing that can help is to remember my sense of purpose – why I do what I do. For example, When I get tired of wearing a mask or staying home all the time, I remind myself that I do it because it is an easy way to care for myself and those around me. Finding or remembering the meaning behind why we do what we do can be helpful. So, can you name yours?
Lenten Resiliency tip 2/23 by Sharon Dawson
Exerpt from Daily meditations, Deng Ming-Dao
Lenten Resiliency tip 2/22 by Nathan Holst
“Joy, collected over time, fuels resilience – ensuring we’ll have reservoirs of emotional strength when hard things do happen.”— Brené Brown
Lenten Resiliency tip 2/21 by Pastor Greg Briggs
God gave us the Sabbath as a reminder to regularly take a break. It isn’t a rule, it’s a gift.
Lenten Resiliency Tip 2/20 by Sharon Dawson
During yoga practice I encourage my students to breathe out allowing gravity to draw them deeper into a stretch, closer to the earth. Forcing a stretch most often creates resistance, a recoiling. We are able move further into flexibility and resiliency when we allow movement to happen with ease, relaxing into the out breath, grounding to the earth. Because our mental, physical and emotional bodies are intricately interwoven, what brings resiliency to the body will bring resiliency to the mental and emotional self as well. Choosing to work simply, deeply with the body’s inherent knowledge and the awareness found through yoga practice is one of my favorite ways to connect with the resiliency needed to move through daily life. The simplest movement can have the most profound effect.
Lenten Resiliency Tip – 2/19 by Nathan Holst
A big part of my resiliency practice in the winter is exercise, and in particular, cross country skiing. It’s a time that allows me to get connected to my body, to experience the beauty of the woods, and allow all my emotions to compost inside me. I went to Lester today and drank in the incredible white pines and cedars in the brilliant sunlight. For me, there’s nothing quite like it, and it keeps me grounded like nothing else.
Lenten Resiliency Tip – 2/18 by Pastor Greg Briggs
One way to be more resilient is to create a little time and space for yourself. In the winter, I’ve found it in the few minutes it takes to warm up my car in the morning and evening. I claim that time to breathe and see how I am feeling.
Ash Wednesday, February 17 by Pastor Greg Briggs
I’m going to let you in on a little secret, Ash Wednesday is one of my favorite holy days, thought it took me some time to get to that point. I think it’s gotten a bad reputation because it really isn’t about feeling guilty, or sinful. Instead, it is the ritual marker to begin a holy practice of reflection on our intertwined humbleness and greatness. We are earth and ashes, and we are part of God’s creation. Sometimes we need to be reminded of one side more than the other, but we can’t lose sight of either.
So, my resiliency tip today is a quote from the Chronicles of Narnia, by CS Lewis, which was one of my favorites when I was a child.
You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve,” said Aslan. “And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth. Be content.”
grace and peace, Pastor Greg
Pastor Greg has recorded a short video that explains the meaning of Ash Wednesday. You can view it by clicking here.