“The plains—the wonderful great big sky—makes me want to breathe so deep that I’ll break.”
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” —Viktor Frankl
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space”. The truth is, many people don’t even notice that there is a space between stimulus and response. In fact, that space may be so miniscule, we simply react to a stimulus rather than respond. But the space is there, and there are things we can do to expand it.
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
This week the Jewish holiday of Purim and the Hindu holiday of Holi overlapped, as they sometimes do. I am not sure there is a more delightfully instructive contrast between two religious holidays on the calendar. There’s something about the way they’re celebrated that sheds some light on some oft-overlooked human spiritual needs. Continue reading
The last week has left me reflecting a lot on virtue: what does it look like when it shows up? I’m trying not to sink down into pondering the ugly, murky crater that is virtue’s absence. Spending too much time staring at a trainwreck of bad behaviour has never done my soul any favours: whether I feel superiority or despair, it’s the opposite of edifying. “Well THAT person has made awful choices” doesn’t exactly make me jump up and sparkle with good energy. “The world is filled with horrible people doing horrible things, hope has left the building”, makes me want to lie down and not get up.
Possibly it’s a lot more worthwhile to spend energy reflecting on the good, on what’s beautiful and righteous and dignified. I don’t mean empty Pollyanna daydreams, either (they annoy me in a similarly lie-down-forever kind of way). I mean the kind of right-doing that makes me want to get up and fight for the same cause. Continue reading
“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.”
The Feast of the Epiphany just passed, for Christians. So I’ve been musing on the other meanings of the word “epiphany”.
It is one spectacular word. In addition to describing human experiences some would refer to as “encounters with the divine”, this word can also refer to those moments when we’re “seeing the light” all of a sudden, or those moments when our perspective shifts and we feel like we’re “seeing things as they really are”. These days, we might also call that a “lightbulb moment”. “Epiphany” refers to powerful experiences of renewed perception and understanding. An epiphany could happen to anyone. Continue reading