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Author Archives: ivonprefontaine

Nothing Can Be Done 2 Days Out of the Year

“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called Yesterday and the other is called Tomorrow. Today is the right day to Love, Believe, Do and mostly Live.” ~ His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Source: Nothing Can Be Done 2 Days Out of the Year

This is a wonderful reminder of the essential nature of mindfulness in our lives. To be present, is to accept that we live in one moment at a time. In each ensuing moment, our life is created.

The Real Work

I found it interesting that as I searched for a poem I typed in the words The Real Work by Wendell Berry. As Google anticipated, another search emerged: The Real Work by Gary Snyder. This book of essays emerged from a series of interviews and talks Snyder conducted over several years.

Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder are writers, environmentalists and farmers who live in Kentucky and California respectively. Together, they wrote a book called Distant Neighbours and shared their views about the real work they undertook as writers, environmentalists, and farmers. How each of them understood and wrote about real work echoed the other.

Real work happens not when we find ourselves going through the work aimlessly and mindlessly. It emerges when obstacles arise and we are mindful and attentive in our work. It holds our interest through baffling us and our being unsure of what to do next. As we work thoughtfully and our mind is employed in meaningful acts, our work sings like an impeded stream and makes us whole. It is like we our speaking through our work and its meaning to us.

It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come our real work,

and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitude

Solitude has soft, silky hands, but with strong fingers it grasps the heart and makes it ache with sorrow. /Kahlil Gibran/ Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitude

Source: Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitude

This is a short and powerful quote by Khalil Gibran accompanied by a glowing flame. It is in those moments of true solitude we find ourselves and who we are lights the path ahead.

Solitude embraces us in its questions without pre-known answers. We we engage the deepest parts of our self in conversation. Engage means to pledge and in solitude we can pledge to make a difference in the world.

Be Kind Whenever Possible

In the midst of living life, be KIND. If life is one of success, be kind and show others the way. If there is joy, lift others up and be kind. If there is a setback, be kind. This moment sha…

Source: Be Kind Whenever Possible

The post linked provides a short list of what benefits we accrue when we are kind and two quotes that support the personal need to be kind. As challenging as it is sometimes, being kind is essential to our personal well-being. We feel better when we are kind to others. When we smile, we share what is good in our life with them and acknowledge them as a person.

The Dalai Lama said to be kind when it is possible and it is always possible. Kahlil Gibran counselled kindness is a manifestation of strength and resolve. When we are kind to others, we are mindful and present to them and their needs in that moment and act towards them in an uplifting manner.

 

Solitude. A Photographic Journey.

I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least, and it is commonly more than that, sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolu…

Source: Solitude. A Photographic Journey.

The photographs are wonderful and a quote accompanies each speaking to the essential nature of spending time with our self. It is in reflective moments that we spend in solitude that we rediscover who we are in trying to make our self whole.

The Hasidic scholar, educator, political activist, and philosopher Martin Buber said “solitude is the place of purification.” Through dialogue with our self, others, and the world, we grow to understand who we are and our place in the world in relationship to others.

Absence

I’ve come to understand that absence lies at the heart of our seeing more clearly. It’s often in something’s absence that we suddenly begin to see, whatever it is, in a new light.…

Source: Absence

Jacques Derrida said one cannot speak of something without acknowledging its opposite. When we hear black, it is natural for us to think of white. He went so far as to say that to claim one is atheist acknowledges the very possibility God exists.

Absence make the heart grow fonder, particularly when we love something or someone deeply. The Khalil Gibran quote at the end is essential to how we come to appreciate what and who we have in life. It is in the moments absence we grow to understand how much we love. It is in those moments we grow to be mindful and attentive when absence turns to presence.

All That We Share (Watch!)

Video post by @davidkanigan. This is a great post from David and worth the few minutes it takes to watch it.

Source: All That We Share (Watch!)

As I watched this video, it reminded me of an undergraduate class I took. It was the only class non-special needs undergraduate students could take.

I recall how our text and professor focused on the idea that we have far more in common than what makes us difference. At the core, we are each humans and, when we see each other in that light, it makes all the difference.

When we take time and are mindful to each person present to us, we can grow and understand their presence is a gift to each of us. The differences make us each a unique star in the universe, but there is more to each of us that makes us the same.

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