Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bowl of the Year

I've been reading Sue Bender's Everyday Sacred. The cover image is a simple bowl and since Bender is a potter, the bowl is a central theme in her book. Bender thoughtfully reflects on the monk's beggar bowl, with which he asks for his daily nourishment.

It occured to me that a year is like a bowl - circular, complete, repeating from one year to the next, with an arbitrary beginning / ending point. And yet each year, unique.

What has filled your 2009 bowl? What did you ask for? What came to your bowl unbidden? Perhaps your bowl was filled with ease, perhaps challenge or hardship, certainly it was filled with change.

No matter what your year bowl contains, I imagine it is rich and savory. Yet you may want to spice it up a bit, or perhaps add an accompaniment to cool it down.

Bring your year bowl into your heart space and feel deep appreciation for a year of nourishment, for the gift and blessings of the year. Feel gratitude as well for the challenges, which may take some time to reveal their lessons or blessings.

Lastly, carefully cleanse your bowl and prepare it for a new year of offerings.

May your new year bring you peace.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Importance of Appreciation

"If there is a sin against life, it consists not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life." Albert Camus

How often do you find yourself wishing 'if only...' If only I could sing. If only I had more imagination. If only I were taller, shorter, smarter, funnier. Oh, the list goes on.

How much of our life we waste by failing to acknowledge and appreciate our own gifts. As we pine away for a different talent or gift, the world suffers the loss of our own 'grandeur'.

As we approach a new year, I ask you to take a hard look at yourself. Do you minimize your creativity, humor, writing ability, or perhaps capacity to care for others? The world is not served by your denial of your gifts and strengths.

I would like to challenge you to embrace your strengths and talents and find a way to share them. Not only will other beings on the planet benefit, YOU will also find greater inner peace and joy in your life.

Happy Holidays to all.

photograph by Danilo Rizzuti on