Category Archives: Mindfulness

May I Remember to Pray

When my partner and I were looking for a home to purchase together, we made a list of needs and wants, a budget, and agreed how we would handle differing priorities. After several months of looking at listing after listing online, stopping at open houses, and touring homes with our real estate broker, our discouragement was palpable. We had been commuting between three locations and it was starting to take a toll on both of us, yet we couldn’t see ourselves living in any of these homes. We began to wonder if buying a home was the right move at this time.

It came to me to pray, to ask for help, to seek Divine guidance. Less than 24-hours later, a listing popped up on my screen. I opened it expecting once again to be disappointed. But I couldn’t believe my eyes. This listing seemed to include everything we needed and wanted, was in our price range and I could see us living there.

Enter our front door and you’ll pass by a cross we received on the occasion of our house blessing, which was officiated by an Episcopal priest and a group of visiting Tibetan monks.

Trusting the Outcome

The daughter of a real estate broker, I know buying property on impulse seldom pays off. Fortunately for us, my partner was out of town for 10 days. Our realtor arranged for me to the see home first. We made an appointment to see it again in 10 days when my partner returned. I loved this home so much I feared we would lose it. In an attempt to quell my anxiety and to help us make a prudent decision, I prayed that if the house was meant to be ours, everything would work out and if it was not, for the ability to accept the circumstances with grace. Long story short, we now live in what we call our “Dream House” or “Casa di Sogni” in Italian.

Tibetan Monks blessing the Dream House . . .

Too often, I forget to pray. Life tosses me around, as it will, and I choose to struggle. Sooner, but more often later, it hits me. Ask for help from my Higher Power.

I’ve prayed daily for a number of years. However those petitions are general and often for people or organizations in need.

Praying for myself is an act of humility. It is an admission and a remembrance that I need help during times of a global pandemic and in everyday life and work situations.

I pray for the wisdom to remember to pray.

With gratitude,

Sherry

Acknowledging the Divine in All

What path do you choose to walk in the world . . .

About 20 years ago, it came to me “to see the Divine in each person.”  This would prove far harder than I realized.  It’s easy for me to see the Divine in those I hold dear or who share my values and life experiences.  But in those with whom my views clash or with whom common ground has not been built?  Well, that’s another story.  My ego is remarkably adept at jumping in to instantly justify the beliefs I hold, my solutions, or the validity of my position.  None of which really matters in this particular endeavor.

May you walk in the world with your grace . . .

Steps Along the Way

This intention has taught and continues to teach me 1) to step back and take a breath or two or three, 2) to check my judgments, 3) to listen deeply internally and externally, 4) to ask questions without attempting to shame or persuade, and 5) to seek to understand.  I have also learned that this resolve doesn’t demand that I agree with, condone or excuse.  It simply requires me to move through exchanges, encounters, and situations acknowledging the Divine spark which I choose to believe resides in each person. 

May you move in a way that honors you and all you meet . . .

Building Relationships

Initially, I found myself engaging in “idiot compassion,” an implausible practice I now define as allowing myself to be harmed or taken advantage of or being too kind or mute when, in fact, a situation required a response or accountability.  Over time, I came to see that denying the Divine spark I bring to a situation is no more helpful than denying the Divine spark of those around me.

The partisanship of our day can make this a dizzying, and seemingly impossible, path.  However, I have noticed that I am at my best when I knowingly take time to forgive myself when strong opinions swamp me.  For me, gentleness, curiosity and forgiveness pave the way for building relationships and, more often than not, witnessing the Divine.  

Deep gratitude,

Sherry

“What’s Your Motto?”

This question posed at one of the recent Democratic primary debates stuck with me.  Upon hearing it, images of two of the nearly century-old homes we owned previously popped in to my head.  As anyone who has a history of tending older homes knows, these beautiful, complicated dwellings almost always come with gorgeous woodwork, old world charm and a seemingly endless list of of repair and remodeling possibilities.

Leave each home better than we found it” became our motto.  Had we possessed unlimited resources, we could have spent thousands, or hundreds of thousands of dollars, and literally years, returning these historic homes to their former glory.  However, for us, cost WAS a factor, as were time and life constraints.  These real-world considerations required that we get creative, think outside the box, prioritize and make decisions that worked for the home, the neighborhood, and us.

Reflecting on the images of those homes, I realized that my motto is to leave a situation a little — or a lot — better than I found it.  Born into white, over-privileged circumstances in the 1950s, I was raised to believe that with sound choices and hard work, I could make a difference.  Only years later would I come to understand that not everyone had the advantage to be born into such optimistic and upwardly mobile circumstances.  To believe that she or he or they can affect change and leave a situation better than they found it.

Still, it’s my motto and I’m sticking to it even as I admit that there are times when I fall short or that others believe – and rightly so — that I’ve fallen short.  It’s a motto that I hope increasing numbers of people will claim.  Humankind’s capacity to create separates us from other species on the planet.  While we don’t always use this miracle of a gift to the best advantage for ourselves, for one another and for the planet, it is still a gift within our reach.

Regardless of your motto, may we be butterflies for betterment in these swiftly changing times,

Sherry