Although my creative Muse was on vacation or dormant for the last couple of months, scraps of paper with scribbled words still accumulated on my desk, in my handbag, and in the car. All carried words of wisdom that somehow continue to make their way to me. I’ve decided that one of my missions in life seems to be to share as much collective and collectable wisdom as I can. So here’s the latest and the greatest!
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life, by what we give.” Sir Winston Churchill
“You and I share the serenity of understanding – a warm glow in the silences between us. When we have talked and
talked and come to the end of words, the speech of our hearts continues on………… Anonymous
“If I have achieved anything in my life it is because I have not been embarrassed to talk about God.” Jim Forest
“If you wish to travel far, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fear.” Cesare Pavese
“Your spiritual growth does not happen when you are peaceful and content. It happens when you get angry, sad,
greedy, jealous, critical, impatient. It happens when you lose your “spiritual mask” and realize that you are not
superman or –woman, but just an ordinary human being learning how to love.” Paul Ferrini
“No matter what age you are, or what your circumstances might be, you are special, and you still have
something unique to offer. Your life, because of who you are, has meaning.” Barbara De Angelis
“The lure of the distant and difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are.” John Burroughs
“You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work
for it, however.” Richard Bach
“Woman must come of age by herself ………. She must find her true center alone.” Ann Morrow Lindbergh
“Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance towards the summit keeps
the goal in mind, but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point.” Harold B. Melchart
“Happiness exists more in small conveniences or pleasures that occur every day than in great pieces
of good fortune that happen but seldom in the course of life.” Benjamin Franklin
Here’s to the next time. May I wish you all a peaceful, healthy, abundant and joy-filled 2012!
After our stay with friends Greg and Sherry in Minnesota, Rich and I headed west then south through the Dakotas down through Iowa and into Missouri. We had planned to stay in a small town just outside Kansas City. This was no random choice. We were going to spend a couple of days with some very dear friends from our time in Naples, Italy. I had been a team member on many CREDO Personal Growth Retreats with Rod, and Richard and I had both been involved with the CREDO Marriage Enrichment Retreats with both Rod and his wife Trish.
Rod and Trish had made a flying visit with us about three years ago here in Jacksonville. They had been doing some east coast travelling and decided to dip down a little lower than originally planned to spend a day or so with us. That had been the first time we had seen each other since they had left Naples, Italy back in the mid-nineties. So we were very excited to be seeing them again. However, even though they were the primary reason for choosing to make Kansas City a stop on our 4,252 mile retirement ride, I had a secondary motive for wanting to stop there.
During the period 1989-91, Richard was transferred to a ship that was home-ported in Norfolk, VA. Although it wasn’t my first visit to the USA, it was the first time that I had lived here. It proved to be a very difficult time for me. The culture and way of life over here is drastically different from Europe. Everything over here involves distance and there is very little public transportation. And the distance factor enters into creating relationships with other people. In Europe everybody knows everybody. In Norfolk I found it very difficult to make friends; people seemed to live in their own boxes.
However, through a specific fellowship that I am involved with I did manage eventually to create some meaningful friendships. One lady in particular, Gert, became a very good and close friend. In the spring of 1991 Gert gifted me with a a subscription to Daily Word, a small daily reflection booklet that is published by UNITY. That booklet became my lifeline. It is the most positively uplifting daily meditational book that I have ever read. Wherever I went, Daily Word travelled with me, and I have continued to renew the subscription every year since then. I have used their twenty four hour prayer line many times over the years and it is such a comfort and a joy to make a call and get a real person on the other end who truly cares about whatever issue may be bothering me in the moment, and who is willing to pray with me and offer comfort.
Inside the front cover of the Daily Word each month there is a photo of the Silent Unity Chapel. There is always a light on in the top tower of this building and the photo intrigues me. Every time I see it I think, wow that’s where the prayer ministers are who receive all the phone calls and pray with all the callers – at any time of the day or the night every single day of every year. For the last fifteen years I have held a small dream to go there and visit. And here we were, planning to go to Kansas City and I knew that Unity Village was located somewhere close by. So when Rod asked if there was anything particular that we wanted to do/see in the area, I jumped right on it.
On Friday 26th August, we set off with Rod and Trish to go visit the Unity campus. I had no idea what a spiritual treat I was in for; God was in a most generous mood that day. Upon arrival we parked in the main parking lot right in front of the Book Store and Café. We decided to go in there because we figured that we could get information as to the layout of the campus and get directions to the Silent Unity building and chapel. The store was an absolute delight and we perused for a while. The staff was so helpful and we bought a couple of items and received a map of the campus. Imagine my joy when I found out that there was a large, handicap accessible labyrinth laid out on the ground immediately opposite the store. Rich, Rod, and Trish were quite happy to indulge my desire to walk the labyrinth and so with a happy heart I took my walk. Below is a video that Rich made and towards the end there are some still photos that he also took.
While I was walking the labyrinth, a large red-shouldered hawk came and rested at the very top of a tree on the edge of the labyrinth and watched me as I made the eleven circuits. His photo is here below.
When I had finished my walk we all went through a walkway and up some stairs to go visit the Silent Unity Chapel. Nothing quite prepared us for the beauty that lay before us at the top of the stairs. The campus buildings were laid out in a long oblong design and centered in the middle of them was a beautifully designed formal garden with fountains and pools. The whole thing made me think immediately of Europe and of St. Augustine, Florida because there was a Spanish flair in the design. I could have stayed there for hours. It truly filled my heart and soul with great happiness.
We wandered along and crossed the a small bridge over the central pool then headed toward the chapel. Trish and I went inside noting that there were two other people already there – a man and a woman. As we entered, the woman turned around toward us and said, “we are just about to do a guided meditation, would you like to join in?” We both assented, and spent the next fifteen minutes being guided through a beautiful reflection. This was another highlight of the trip for me. We spent a little more time walking around the campus and taking in the peacefulness and serenity of that place, before heading off to have a lovely lunch together.
So these are the last group of wise words that came to me as we were doing our retirement ride. I know there will be many more words of wisdom to share with you, there are so many wise people past and present! But these particular words just seemed to jump out of the woodwork wherever I found myself in those twenty days traveling this continent.
“Life is a mirror – if you frown at it, it frowns back; if you smile at it, it returns the greeting.” (Chinese proverb)
“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” (Jim Rohn)
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” (Marcel Proust)
Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, in as much as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid.” (John Keats)
“Take time every day to do something ridiculous.” (Philipa Walker)
“Insist on yourself. Never imitate.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
“Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.” (Thomas Merton)
“You’re the strongest person I ever met, she said, I said, you too and we decided we’d know each other a long time.” (Brian Andreas)
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” (Helen Keller)
“Most people don’t know there are angels whose only job is to make sure you don’t get too comfortable and fall asleep and miss your life.” (Anonymous)
“Your outer world reflects your inner world; peaceful thoughts produce peace.” (Joan Gattuso)
“Every artist was first an amateur.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
I have already accumulated more quotations to share with you, so it won’t be long before another “Shared Wisdom” posting reaches you. I think my secondary mission in life may be to spread these words to as many people as possible.