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Today is Easter Sunday.
Somewhere along the way, it seems that this holiday has become all about bunnies and eggs and pretty dresses and chocolate. But to me, it is about so much more.
To me, Easter is all about rising. I’m not just talking about the way that Jesus rose from the dead, although in a way that’s my metaphor. I’m talking about the fact that today can be a moment when each of us chooses to rise in our own lives.
As I wrote last Sunday, my brother Timothy and I spent this past weekend at a retreat in New Mexico that was organized by Father Richard Rohr. Timothy had asked me for time together, and so off we went to listen, to learn, to connect, to be with one another, and to be at one with ourselves. (His beautiful daughter Rose joined us, too.)
Father Rohr was joined by Wm. Paul Young, best-selling author of “The Shack,” and Cynthia Bourgeault, a modern-day mystic and Episcopal priest. It was an amazing, moving and profound experience on so many levels, and it culminated with a beautiful mass.
For me, the retreat was the perfect way to go into Holy Week. It gave me time to think about life, think about my own story, and think about the highs and lows of life — not just of my own, but of all of ours. For as Father Rohr said, if you have a soul, then you must acknowledge that everyone else does, too. They also have highs and lows and dark and light.
That beautiful truth was one of so many takeaways I had from the weekend.
Here are 20 profound truths that I thought were worth sharing with you:
2) Revelations happen from the inside out, not the outside in. Allow for them.
3) We think we need to know someone before we can love them, but divine thinking is to love before you know. Love unconditionally.
4) One of the biggest challenges we face today is loss of meaning. Find meaning wherever you can.
5) Religion has become too centered on sins. We were taught that our sins separate us from God, but that’s not true.
6) If you always have to convince your parents to love you, then you never trust that they do. Note to parents: focus on the love your child is seeking.
7) There are moments in all of our lives when we are blind, then we see. Open your mind to other ways of thinking and seeing. That will get you out of the dualistic frame of mind of good vs. bad or right vs. wrong. Open your mind to a third way. It’s more creative and playful.
8) The contemplative mind approaches things in their completeness. Be contemplative in action. They actually go together.
9) Most thinking is simply the result of an obsessive mind. Find ways to turn yours off.
10) You have to pull the rug out from under yourself. Only then can you live in the flow. In choosing to accept the unknowing that life presents, you’ll be able to accept the flow.
11) Wholeness is when the way of your being matches the truth of your being. And the truth is, you are a very good creation. Note to self: accept this truth as it is.
12) The opposite of more… is enough. Remember that.
13) In order for your “yes” to matter, your “no” has to matter, too.
14) Everything comes down to your capacity for presence. Your mind dwells in the past and the future. Work with it to focus on the present.
15) Most of us carry shame in our bodies, so we punish them. Integrating your mind and body helps you be present.
16) See yourself as doing God’s work. My takeaway: if you see yourself this way, see others as doing it, too.
17) We often hold onto other people’s stories of ourselves. Know your own story and tell it.
18) Electricity can only operate in a circuit. There has to be a giver and a receiver. Remember that.
19) You will know what you need to know when you need to know it.
20) Your experiences are yours and yours alone. My takeaway: rise to your own calling. Each and every one of us has a calling, a mission, and a purpose. Our challenge on this day and all days is to rise to that calling.
The final thought I will leave you with today is this: I would never have gone to this retreat had my brother Timothy not asked me for the time. I’m so glad he did.
My takeaway: when someone you love asks you for time, take it. You will have your own glorious list of takeaways.