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The Messiness of Life

Messiness exposes vulnerability. I will admit, vulnerability is not my strong suit. I do prefer self-sufficiency. And rising above. And yet, self-reliance sounds laudable, but can be an obstacle, because it is difficult to say the words “help” or “thank you.” So, here’s the good news: There is power in embracing vulnerability. And vulnerability never exempts us from the sacrament of the present. Because vulnerability allows us to rest in that touch, that blessing.

—from the book This Is the Life: Mindfulness, Finding Grace, and the Power of the Present Moment by Terry Hershey

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Unabashed Joy Is Already Inside of Us

Let us pause and remember that savoring isn’t something you add or acquire. Unabashed joy is already inside. It springs from within. It is a well of abundance that you draw from. So, savoring is not a technique. And savoring is never an end unto itself. It is always fueled by gratitude. And gratitude lights up our senses. We enter into, we show up to the needs and cares of this day. I suppose that it’s a chicken or egg scenario. And which comes first, I’m not sure. I do know that savoring makes space for gratitude. And gratitude begets savoring. Either way, we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of the present.

—from the book This Is the Life: Mindfulness, Finding Grace, and the Power of the Present Moment by Terry Hershey

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Listen to This Moment

A Hasidic rabbi was interrupted by one of his followers while he was tending his garden, “What would you do, rabbi,” the student asked, “if you knew the messiah was coming today?” Stroking his beard and pursing his lips, the rabbi replied, “Well, I would continue to water my garden.”

So, before we decipher life, let us see life.

Before we wish for another life, let us feel this life.

Before we give in to “if only,” let us listen to this moment.

Before we succumb to “someday,” let us inhale this day.

Before we trade in this life for the life we “should” have, let us taste this life.

Each of the above is a choice; a choice to be open. To be available. To be curious. To be alive. To be willing to be surprised by joy. To know there is power in the word enough.

—from the book This Is the Life: Mindfulness, Finding Grace, and the Power of the Present Moment by Terry Hershey

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Live Without Holding Back

I have lived most of my emotional and spiritual life with a heart condition. Because I have lived cautious and afraid, holding back my heart because of what it might cost, or require of me. Or fearing (running from) my brokenness, not believing that an open and broken heart is an invitation to live my days giving, creating, embracing, connecting, savoring, and celebrating. It is no wonder that, too often, I do not see. Hundreds of years ago, in an era much more fraught than ours, St. Francis learned to live without holding back his heart. His antidote to confusion and paralysis was a return to simplicity, one step at a time, one person at a time, one good thing at a time, the right-in-front-of-you idea of searching for the light even while living with the darkness. His genius was that he saw what was hidden in plain sight. It was so simple it is almost impossible to see; we are wired to be present.

—from the book This Is the Life: Mindfulness, Finding Grace, and the Power of the Present Moment by Terry Hershey

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Living Intentionally and Fully Alive

Living intentionally and fully alive—from a place of groundedness, being at home in our own skin—is not a technique. Nor is it a kind of mental Rubik’s cube, to be solved. There is no list. But if we demand one, chances are, we pass this life by—the exquisite, the messy, the enchanting, the wondrous, the delightful, the untidy—on our way to someplace we think we ought to be.

—from the book This Is the Life: Mindfulness, Finding Grace, and the Power of the Present Moment by Terry Hershey

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The Power of Enough

We know there is power in the word enough. We carry this capacity to honor the present into every encounter and relationship, meaning that we honor the dignity that is reflected by God’s goodness and grace. Every encounter, every relationship, is a place to include, invite mercy, encourage, receive, heal, reconcile, repair, say thank you, pray, celebrate, refuel, and restore.

—from the book This Is the Life: Mindfulness, Finding Grace, and the Power of the Present Moment by Terry Hershey

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Live in the Mystery of God's Love

Did you ever have one of those days where the whole idea of God was just too much to think about? As if trying to “get a handle” on God was like trying to kiss the moon? If the mystics are right (and usually they are because they see things much differently than we do) then you were probably closer that day to God than any other day in your life. How is this possible, you ask? How can God be close to you (or you to God) when God seems so far away or not at all? Even better, how can God be close to you when you are totally confused? This is my answer to you: God is a mystery of humble love. It is a mystery that you cannot reason or try to figure out. You must simply live in the mystery. This is my hope for you—that you may live in the mystery of God’s humble love.

—from the book The Humility of God: A Franciscan Perspective  by Ilia Delio, OSF

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Using Our Creativity for Others

A Christian celebration of humanity consists in lovingly midwifing our fellow humans into full being. One of our God-given endowments is creativity, the ability to cooperate with God in the inauguration of the kingdom. We’re called to use this creativity in nurturing our brothers and sisters as full members of that kingdom, and we do this by going out of our way to help them recognize and affirm themselves as images of God. In concrete terms, this means performing the acts of charity listed in the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew: clothing the naked, tending the sick, visiting the imprisoned, giving food and drink to the hungry and thirsty. Celebrating the sheer existence of others often demands that we do the dirty work of easing the material burdens that inhibit them from arriving at a conscious appreciation of their own holiness.

—from the book Perfect Joy: 30 Days with Francis of Assisi  by Kerry Walters

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