Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Full of Grace

1. Having my secretary's emergency rush to the hospital turn out to be a medication problem rather than the stroke/heart attack scenario we all originally thought.

2. Cortisone shots

3. Creme brûlée by candle light

4. Soft and soulful sexy time

5. A surprise visit from Beanie, just because she missed us.

Friday, February 17, 2012

And the Winner Was . . .

After meticulously cutting up identical strips of paper, writing each commenter's name on each one, and tossing them in a teacup, the winner of my Generosity Day gift was my good friend Laurie.   However, in the spirit of the occasion, she generously offered to pass it to the next person (apparently after 30+ years of friendship we have exchanged enough gifts.)  So I repeated the process, and  the new winner is Kim, which pleases me more than I can say.    And since I am not going to cut up any more scraps of paper, I will insist that she graciously accept whatever gift I come up with for her.    This will be fun.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Full of Grace - Generosity Day

Last year, Sasha Dichter, Chief Innovation Officer for Acumen Fund, converted his month-long "Generosity Experiment" into a global Generosity Day. The idea was simple: to celebrate Valentine's Day as a day of "sharing love with everyone, of being generous to everyone, to see how it feels and to practice saying “Yes.” Let’s make the day about love, action and human connection – because we can do better than smarmy greeting cards, overpriced roses, and stressed-out couples trying to create romantic meals on the fly."

Sasha suggests, "Give to people on the street. Tip outrageously. Help a stranger. Write a note telling someone how much you appreciate them. Smile. Donate (more) to a cause that means a lot to you. Take clothes to GoodWill. Share your toys (grownups and kids). Be patient with yourself and with others. Replace the toilet paper in the bathroom. All generous acts count!"

Do something generous today - anything - and leave a comment telling me about it.  Or if you don't want to share details, just say that you'll participate.   I will chose one name at random and send you something to thank you. 

Happy Generosity Day!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Missing Peace

It’s been a long time since I have been in a church. So long I can’t actually remember. And then I attended two funerals in two weeks. Both celebrated with masses at a Catholic church.

I have never been comfortable at a Catholic mass. All the stand up, sit down, kneel, confuse me. The incense gives me a headache. Christ, in agony, staring down from a cross. Ugh. The genuflecting, bowing and crossing yourself is too complicated for me. And ever since I was little and watched a priest do the ceremony to prepare communion, I always thought it was a magic show and he would pull a rabbit out of the chalice. I still hope for it.

And yet as soon as I sat in this church, I had the same feeling I always do - a feeling of deep peace. Sanctuary. Surrounded by the Spirit, whatever that might be. It is a feeling I can easily achieve in almost any empty church/synagogue, at an empty beach or out in the deep solitude of a forest.  Unfortunately, I don’t get as many opportunities to frequent these places as I used to.

When I belonged to a church, I would often go and just sit in the sanctuary alone. That was before the interim pastor strangely accused me of being in love/obsessed with her and the elders, without ever even speaking to me, let me know I was no longer welcome there.  Even just to sit alone in the church on a weekday.

And then last year’s knee surgery took away my usual hikes into the wilderness. Grrr.

Purposely arriving early, I sat in this church waiting for the mourners to file in and the mass to start, and was reminded how much I have been missing this feeling. Not the attending church. No, I think my spirituality and beliefs have evolved way past that. What I am missing are those special places of solitude where I find that feeling, that peaceful sigh of the soul.

It has been a grueling couple of years both physically and emotionally for me. The healing has been hard work, but very productive. I have reached a level of emotional calm that I didn’t think possible.  Now I want to spend time listening to my inner heart.  To let my soul breathe in and out.  To find out what’s next. To experience that missing peace.

So I am writing this as a reminder to myself. To seek out more quiet, spiritual places. There must be other spaces that have that sacred sense of wonder and otherworldlyness. Any places that do it for you?

As a follow up, I just found out that the interim pastor who went on to have her own church, has been recently let go from that church.  Seems she creates problems wherever she goes.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Full of Grace

1. Taxes done and e-filed.  Nice return expected.

2. Being able to share grief.

3. Reconnecting with a great childhood friend. (And we did it without facebook!)

4. Cappuccino brownies.

5. Sharing the Superbowl with the same friends for 21 years.