All of who you are

It remains the dream of every life to realise itself, to reach out and lift oneself to greater heights. A life that continues to remain on the safe side of its own habits and repetitions, that never engages with the risk of its own possibility, remains an unlived life.*
John O’Donohue

To the warrior, greatness is not the product of ego but of service. If you live for yourself, you can settle for less. If you live for others, it require all of who you are.**
Erwin McManus

Better than fixing our weaknesses is developing our strengths.

We are told it is best to focus on what we’re not good at
and what we are good at will
take care of itself.

It is more likely that if we focus on what we are good at
then what we are not good at will take care of itself.

Because we’re pushing our limits,
From our heart outwards,
Always beyond ourselves:

May you have the grace of encouragement
To awaken the gift in the other’s heart,
Building in them the confidence
To follow the call of the gift.^

*John O’Donohue’s To Bless the Space Between Us;
**Erwin McManus’ The Way of the Warrior;
^John O’Donohue’s Benedictus: For a New Position.

The fruit of your spirit

When you live a life of obligation, it steals from you your strength. Wisdom allows you to harness your strength.*
Erwin McManus

the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control**
The Apostle Paul

In the Potawatomi language strawberries are “heart berries,”
Betraying the creation myth in which the berries grow from
the heart
of Skywoman’s deceased daughter.

A young Robin Wall Kimmerer would gather and consume these in great numbers,
An older Kimmerer ponders on more than a
berry-filled tummy, how

the gift of berries was from the fields themselves^.

It got me to thinking about the fruits of our lives,
How we produce these for others,
How we have to and we want to
because they are our heart-fruit.
And whilst people don’t always find their way to them,
Someone will.

*Erwin McManus’ The Way of the Warrior;
**Galatians 5:22-23a;
Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass.


Dozens of scientific studies have found that people who are led to experience brief positive emotions are more creative, expansive, generative,, synthetic, and loosened up in their thought.*
Dacher Keltner

You’ll happily take the destination but the truth is, the journey is too arduous.**
Seth Godin

Will our thinking soar or crash today?
What we feed our minds and hearts may turn us into a
or into an

One takes more preparation than the other –
Some hanging around,
Taking longer with new thoughts,
Reflecting on our response to these,
Not only in our heads, but in our hearts
at the beginning of a day –
We’re uncovering treasure.

*Dacher Kiltner’s Born to be Good;
**Seth Godin’s blog: Destination, risks and journeys.

What must be done

The warrior is not formed by what has been done and what can’t be done; the heart of the warrior is formed by what must be done.*
Erwin McManus

May the work fit the rhythms of your soul,
Enabling you to draw from the invisible
New ideas and a vision that will inspire.**

John O’Donohue

When it comes to getting back into running,
I can only run at least every other day –
At my age,
I could break something.

But there is something else that I have been working on for many years,
A gift I want to leave with the people I work with,
And here there is more to be done,
Every day,
And this has to include who I am becoming along the way.

What is your
“must be done?”
I want to encourage you to keep going,
Every day.

*Erwin McManus’ The Way of the Warrior;
**John O’Donohue’s Benedictus: For a New Position.

Bringing it together

That’s why they always put two blank pages in the back of the atlas.  They’re for new countries.  You’re meant to fill them in yourself.*

We have misunderstood our need to adventure. 
It is not to conquer the world but to conquer ourselves.

I’ve been collecting a few words as I’ve been reading this morning –
Strength and love,
Grace and mercy,
Hope and joy –
Leaving me with the question,
What if I were to play with these more than I do,
To bring them together in some artist-palette kind of way

*Roald Dahl’s The BFG.

Eyes of the heart

One of the best things a man can bring into the world with him is a natural humility of spirit. About the next best thing he can bring, and they usually go together, is an appreciative spirit — a loving and susceptible heart.*
John Burroughs

Here is my Secret. It’s quite simple. One see clearly with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.**
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

It’s not that we do or don’t see with the heart;
We’re all learning.

*From Maria Popova’s The Marginalian: Cosmic Consolation for Human Hardship: The Great Naturalist John Burroughs on How to Live with Life;
**Austin Kleon’s blog: How to draw what is invisible.

This day, I do not know

What you can plan is too small for you to live.
What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough
for the vitality hidden in your sleep.*

David Whyte

A morning when you become a pure vessel
For what wants to ascend from silence

To reach beyond silence
And the wheel of repitition.

In order to come to birth
In a clean line of form,
That claims from time
A rhythm not yet heard
That calls space to
A different shape.**

John O’Donohue

I do not know this day,
I have never met it before.

Before I imprint it with memory,
I can allow it to be its own freshness and newness,
Welcoming me to find my newness, too.

What will I leave in yesterday?
What will begin in me

If you are comfortable with where you are, you will never know how far you can go. If you refuse to change, then you refuse to grow.^

*David Whyte’s A Morning Poem:
**John O’Donohue’s Benedictus: For Artists at the Start of the Day;
^Erwin McManus’ The Way of the Warrior.

Paperback writer*

Whether we like it or not, the lives we live are stories. … Stories can be edited. Stories can be fixed. Stories can go from dull to exciting, from rambling to focused, and from drudgery to read to exhilarating to live.**
Donald Miller

Your job as a writer is making sentences.
Your other jobs include fixing sentences, and arranging sentences.
If this is the case – making, fixing, killing, arranging –
how can your writing possibly flow?
It can’t.^

Verlyn Klinkenborg

We can wish it weren’t so,
But to make the improvements we desire to the story we are writing for ourselves
we will need to look beyond the obvious,
Beneath the surface:

The secret to diagnosing the problem with a broken scene lies in the subtext.^^

There we will find
the things we must create, mend, get rid of and rearrange,
Words before phrases, phrases before sentences …
We get the idea.

Even the most broken stories can be improved
with the help of others
and time
and small steps.

Each society and each individual usually explores only a tiny fraction of their horizon of possibility.*^

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home i a new rhythm
For you soul senses the world that awaits you.^*

*The Beatles’ Paperback Writer to listen to;
**Donald Miller’s Hero on a Mission;
^Verlyn Klinkenborg’s Several short sentences about writing;
^^Robert McKee‘s newsletter: The Secret to Fixing Broken Scenes;
*^Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens;
^*John O Donohue’s Benedictus: For a New Beginning).

Into the different

Our future doesn’t depend on everybody being the same; it depends in each person sharing his talents, his blessings, his beliefs and his passions.*
Mary Reckmeyer

In out of the way places of the heart,
Where you thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.**

John O’Donohue

We first have to deal with the junk that gets in the way,
Errors, wrongfulness, ways of thinking
and behaving,
Hurts, ill feelings.

Journaling is a great place to begin,
To be honest and open without being destroyed,
At the beginning of the day.

To find on the other side,
New ways, fresh starts, more ideas,
Different actions,
Healing, strong emotions:
Way more different than we knew..

*Mary Reckmeyer’s Strengths Based Parenting;
**John O’Donohue’s Benedictus: For a New Beginning.