“For me to be a saint means to be myself. Therefore, the problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I am and of discovering my true self. — Thomas Merton [Source: The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University.]
Please take 16 minutes to watch this TED Talk by C. Noel Bairey Merz, director of the Women’s Heart Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. This is information we all, women and men alike, need to know and take to heart.
Vulnerability—being imperfect—is what makes us human, authentic, and lovable. — Joan Borysenko, Ph.D. [From The Blessings of Imperfection Magazine May, 2004]
Have a hanky or a big box of tissues ready before you start this video. You will need them.
“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures. And however undramatic the pursuit of peace, that pursuit must go on. ” — John F. Kennedy [Source: Address to the United Nations General Assembly, 1963]
Our follower of the month for February is Don Scrooby. Don Blogs at Candid Impressions. Take a minute to stop by and say hello.
A Woman and a Woolly Necked Stork
She was a wonderful woman, full of compassion and a good friend. One morning she stepped out of her kitchen and there standing in the doorway of her lounge, was a Woolly Necked Stork. She thought she was dreaming, but the Stork was as real as the porridge she had just made for herself.
Why had the Stork come? Was it a sign? Was it an omen of some sort? Was something good or bad about to happen? Merle (not her real name) being a practical woman, knew it was none of these. The bird had arrived because it was hungry. The drought was taking its toll. Birds do strange things in times of drought. Merle turned and went back in to the kitchen and came out with a piece of cheese. Giving its wings a shake the stork stepped forward and pecked the cheese from her hand. An unforgettable moment for Merle.
And so started a year- long relationship with at least two visits a week. Then, as sudden as the Woolly Neck arrived, she stopped coming and never returned. Something of Merle departed as well.
Eventually Merle went and lived in England. It was hard for her to leave. Just before leaving she composed a poem about her visiting stork. I was deeply touched by a haunting and beautiful last line, “Will the Woolly Necked Stork remember me.” Merle died in December last year.
I often think of those two, Merle and the Woolly Neck. I wonder if those moments of meeting are inscribed on some universal and invisible hard drive just waiting to be experienced again. I can’t believe that moments like those are ever lost.
About Don: “I’m a fellow observer and struggler through life, an avid reader and always seeking to discern the underlying beauty and naturalness in all of life. I also enjoy photography and the mixing of images with words.” Stop by and visit Don at: http://candidpresence.wordpress.com/
“My aspiration does not consist so much in defending my truth but rather to live it out”. —Raimon Panikkar
“A religious man is a person … whose greatest passion is compassion.” — Abraham Joshua Heschel in New York Journal-American (5 April 1963) [Source: wikiquote]
Physical movement and exercise are essential for the proper functioning of the human body but it can be easy to go overboard. We’ve all experienced that after the initial pain, endorphins kick in and exercise not only starts to feel good, you might not want to stop.
The good news is healthy exercise does not have to involve training for a marathon or lifting weights, although I do enjoy weight machines when I have access to them. There are so many physical activities available that get you up and moving, from walking, running, dancing, tennis and golf, to soccer. If you’ve always enjoyed team sports join a league or start a team where you work. This adds a social component to your exercise. If you really enjoy classes sign up at a gym or community center. It will be easier to engage in physical activities that you actually enjoy.
There are immense social pressures to be fit and thin. It is always a good thing to get up off the couch and move. Just remember life is a balancing act. Don’t let your exercise routine throw you off balance.
“To commune daily with God in deep meditation, and to carry His love and guidance with you into all your daily activities, is the way that leads to permanent peace and happiness.” — Paramahansa Yogananda [Source: Self Realization Fellowship]