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Passion and a soft heart

Brené Brown tells the story of meeting a young woman at a media conference. She is excited to meet the woman (an accountant / jeweler) because she had bought a beautiful pair of earrings from the woman’s online store.
“How long have you been a jeweler?” Brené asks.
Blushing, the young woman answers, “I wish. I’m just a CPA. I’m not a real jeweler.”
Brené writes, ‘I thought to myself, I’m wearing your earrings right now, not your abacus.’ She pointed to her ears, “Of course you’re a jeweler.” The woman smiles and replies, “Well, I don’t make very much money doing that. I just do it because I love it.”
Since when did our passion require an apology?
Or, let’s ask it this way; since when did paying attention to and following our heart require some kind of justification?
And tell me, what’s the detriment in being “just a” CPA?
It’s as if there is some capricious seed of scarcity that takes root in our spirit, and measures everything we do, or yearn for, or desire, against some unattainable bar of “never enough.” For whatever else happens, when it comes to our heart, we believe–and convince ourselves–that we’re not jeweler enough. Or writer enough. Or parent enough. Or friend enough. Or… fill in the blank… enough.

There is a disconnect. And we don’t remember that we do indeed have what it takes; to give, create, care, reinvent, manage pain, and to make new. We forget to trust the power and capacity of our heart.
There is no doubt that our sense of not enough is exacerbated in a world under a cloud of uncertainty and fear. Days when we don’t have words (or solutions, or prayers) enough.

There are two sides of this coin. One, we are susceptible to the cultural hook that what we are paid for, is who we are. And we park our identity there. “So… what do you do?”
Two, we sell our passion (and the light in our heart) short. And we never ask (or want to be asked), “So, what fuels you? What makes you glad to be alive?”
No wonder we attach our well-being to the wrong measurement. Today my heart needed Howard Thurman’s encouragement, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Easy? No. Worth it? Yes. What happens when we trust the power and capacity of our heart? In a truly life-giving novel, Shoes of the Fisherman, Morris West writes, “Yesterday I met a whole person. It is a rare experience, but always an illuminating and ennobling one. It costs so much to be a full human being that there are very few who have the enlightenment and the courage to pay the price… One has to abandon altogether the search for security, and reach out to the risk of living with both arms. One has to embrace the world like a lover, and yet demand no easy return on love. One has to accept pain as a condition of existence. One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing. One needs a will stubborn in conflict, yet open always to the total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying.”

My friend Jinks helps me. When we are able to name, and to see, and to live out the unrecognized beauty (sufficiency) inside — a “positive inflation” — we are able to live that truth from the inside out.
And from this paradigm I see differently.
No, I don’t change reality (the circumstances that surround me).
However, I do change my presence. From a presence of scarcity to sufficiency.
It is sufficient enough to know that today is a good day to live and to make a difference. This is a good day…
To embrace the world like a lover.
To right a wrong. To forgive (beginning with myself). To be a jeweler.
To love. To embrace. To offer a hand, or a kind word. Or both.
To take a risk. To hope. To offer hope. To find sanctuary. To offer sanctuary.
To imagine. To delight. To wonder. To wander. To sit still. To laugh out loud.
To question. To dance. To drink that bottle of wine (the one that’s been saved for a special occasion). To savor. To give… and to give again.

And even after reading, and reciting aloud, that list, I need to be honest and tell you that some days I just want to shut down. Or give up. I’m done fighting. And I wonder if I have what it takes.
I had one of those moments this week. So, on my walk, I tell the sheep. “I have a confession. I feel done trying and caring. Life is too mind-numbing. And I’m embarrassed to say so.” I stood for a while, waiting for great advice or at least a few ideas on how to get my act together.
They kept grazing, and then one looked up and said, “You just need to know we’re glad you’re here.”

Today in the New Yorker, I saw this from Lawrence Lindell. “Repeat after me. I don’t have to have it all figured out today. Waiting for things to be over, or to heal, or force people to be who I want them to be, or force myself to be who others think I am. I can be who I am right now. I am enough.” It made me smile big. And did my heart good.

Our sky is blanketed with an eerie gray. For a few days now, it’s been a smoke infused sky.
We are told it’s from the fires south of us, in Oregon, where tragedy from the fires has reared its head. It is a long way for clouds to travel. While it is not easy to breathe, it does help us remember and think of those still in harm’s way. And to care about our planet, now groaning in pain.
Today is National Grandparent’s Day. I didn’t need to read the researcher tell me that “Grandparents and children have a special connection that is proven to both make grandparents live longer, and also make children more emotionally resilient.” You see, my Grandmother made that truth come alive, and live in my heart. 

Quote for your week: What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world. Paul Hawken 

Note: Brene’s story is from her book The Gifts of Imperfection

I’m grateful for those who have joined us for the NEW Sabbath Moment Daily Dose. I know our inboxes are sufficiently chockablock. But if you’d appreciate a daily reminder, to live with a soft heart;  to create a place for sanctuary, empathy, inclusion, compassion and kindness, a space where we are refueled to make a difference… join us. Tuesday through Friday. A quote, a paragraph and a prayer to refuel us. This is in addition to Monday’s Sabbath Moment.

My new book is here. Order today. The Gift of Enough–a journal for the present moment (Franciscan Media).
I love to write. Since I was a boy, paper and pencil have been on my list of favorite things. Now, I’ve added a nib pen. As a boy, I journaled. I still do. Some years, writing every day. All journals have this in common: They give voice to what is inside. They become safe space. In that way, journaling is like a sanctuary: a time and a place that allows us—gives us permission— to pause. To look inside and to embrace what is here, what is alive and well. To embrace our enoughness. Think of this “sanctuary” space as a dose of grace. It bestows gifts upon us… stillness, gladness, calm, mystery, delight, discovery, learning and peace. This resonates because it is in our DNA to be renewed, nourished, replenished and spiritually hydrated. The Gift of Enough: A Journal for the Present Moment 

Plus… A new eCourse available at no cost – This Is The Life. I will be announcing Zoom gatherings for September.
Other eCourses at no cost.
Join our eCourse Retreat. The Power of Pause.
Join our eCourse Retreat. Sacred Necessities.
The retreats are available to anyone. No cost. Sign up today.


Today’s photo credit — We are all one with God guiding us… Brooks Falls, Alaska, where the Brown bears catch salmon… Donna OBrien thank you Donna… Keep sending your photos… send to [email protected]

Yes, your gift makes a difference..Donation = Love…
Help make Sabbath Moment possible. I write SM because I want to live with a soft heart; to create a place for sanctuary, empathy, inclusion, compassion and kindness… a space where we are refueled to make a difference. SM remains free.
(By check: PO Box 2301, Vashon, WA 98070)

New Book… The Gift of Enough
Special for Sabbath Moment readers… Become a SM Sustaining Partner, and this book is my gift to you. 

eCourse Retreats. Available to anyone who wishes to join us. There is no fee. Sign up today.
This Is The Life
Sacred Necessities
The Power of Pause

Sabbath Moment Daily Dose. Sign up today. (This is in addition to the Monday Sabbath Moment)

NEW Audio SM… Enjoy — Do not be dismayed
Join us every Wednesday… Audio Sabbath Moment

Join me on Facebook. And Instagram. Every day, a quote or two, to pamper your soul, and make you smile.

In the mailbag… because your letters affirm us all…
–Dear Terry, My mom shared your Sabbath Moment emails with me many years ago. She has been following your posts for a long time and I believe even went to one of your events a few years back. She is the wisest person I know and has, for my whole life, journaled every morning (what I see as a form of a sabbath moment for her each day). I am forever grateful that she shared your work with me. Especially in this uncertain time and a time of personal transition as I have recently become a mother myself, your Monday emails and the new Daily Doses have been such a grounding and centering way to begin my day and focus on what is actually important.  Thank you for your emails and all you are doing. I just finished a book that my mom lent me and much of it has paralleled the content of your emails in the last few weeks so I wanted to share. It is called Small Graces by Kent Nerburn. It is all about choosing to value the ordinary, to hope in the good that fills our lives and to find joy in the present. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and thank you again for the light you are bringing through your work. Best, Katie
–Hi Terry, Just a large thank you for your daily thoughts and writing!  A dose of positivity is so much needed in these troubling times. While reading this morning’s Sabbath Moment daily, I was reminded of a book by Richard Farina, “I’ve Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me”.  If you are not familiar with him, he was a poet, writer, folk singer and married to Joan Baez’s sister, Mimi. The book title was made into a song and I mainly remember it was sung by Nancy Sinatra and some guy and I think The Doors did a version of it way back when.  Anyway, the title seems accurate for me now and I thought I would share the trivia with you. Thank you again for your thoughts and honesty.  I appreciate them each day. Blessings, Paula
–For the second night in a row I was awakened in the dark by the high pitched, sissy sounding call of an elk cow through the aspens and thin air at 10,000′.  It seemed improper for me to complain.  Your thoughts reminded me why.  In mental replay, it became a prayer.  Thank you. Ron

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Keep risking that your heart’s desire is trustworthy.  There is always another, deeper step you can take toward more complete trust.   It will be this way until every act of every day is simply sacred.  It may not feel like enough; sometimes it feels like nothing. But it is sufficient because it is real.  Gerald May

We seldom notice how each day is a holy place
Where the eucharist of the ordinary happens,
Transforming our broken fragments
Into an eternal continuity that keeps us.
Somewhere in us a dignity presides
That is more gracious than the smallness
That fuels us with fear and force,
A dignity that trusts the form a day takes.
So at the end of this day, we give thanks
For being betrothed to the unknown
And for the secret work
Through which the mind of the day
And wisdom of the soul become one.
John O’Donohue
Excerpt from, ‘The Inner History of a Day’

Collect for Pandemic Sanctuaries
God, we find you in different cathedrals, under arches of oak trees and windows of sky, in singing of cicadas and prayer of deer.
You are present in the architecture of creation, in blessings of breezes and sermons of stars.
Your word is present here, and we do not need altars and pews to hear it.
As your world cares for us, let us care for it, for the sake of your son, your word with us on earth, Jesus Christ. Amen.
(Cara Ellen Modisett)

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