A Centering Hymn

I recently heard the following hymn. It was new to me. I am drawn to its words, like poetry. Of course, you can substitute any word for God or Spirit if those words don't work for you.

Come and Find the Quiet Center

Words by Shirley Evena Murray

©1992 Hope Publishing


Come and find the quiet center in the crowded life we lead,

Find the room for hope to enter, find its frame where we are freed:

Clear the chaos and the clutter, clear our eyes that we can see

All the things that really matter, be at peace and simply be.


Silence is a friend who claims us, cools the heat and slows the pace,

God it is who speaks and names us, knows our being, touches base,

Making space within our thinking, lifting shades to show the sun.

Raising courage when we’re shrinking, finding scope for faith begun.


In the Spirit let us travel, open to each other’s pain,

Let our loves and fears unravel, celebrate the space we gain:

There’s a place for deepest dreaming, there’s a time for heart to care,

In the Spirit’s lively scheming there is always room to spare!

This One Beautiful and Precious Life

Beauty is the illumination of your soul.  ~~John O'Donahue


Continual reminders of how precious life is: 

  • witnessed a car roll-over and bounce a couple of times on a busy interstate right before my eyes. (I searched and searched on-line to find out what happened.  Never found anything so I'm hoping that means everyone in the vehicle survived.)
  • hearing of the death of a radio host, at the same age as my husband, who I feel I grew up with as I listened to him throughout high school, college, and grad school
  • frequently seems to be that someone I know or a friend or relative of someone I know has cancer
  • someone posts a picture on facebook of a newborn baby
  • something circulates around the internet that brings tears to my eyes

I get lonely sometimes and then I get an encouraging comment to a post on this blog, instagram, or Facebook or I attend an on-line video chat led by two friends and the loneliness dissipates for awhile.  My husband or kids hug me close and all is right with the world.  I'm reminded how important it is to take the time to smile at a stranger or ask an acquaintance how they are doing, and really mean it.  Spread some kindness so others can also feel less alone.

I see artwork, hear a song, or read a novel and am amazed at what others can create.  What they bring to the world brings light and happiness to my corner.   I wonder what I can share with you, dear reader.

This life we live, the soul work that we do, is painful and joyful and heart-wrenching and full.  It. is. beauty.

Incidentally, should I ever decide to get another tattoo, it just might very well be that quote above. 



On Spontaneity, Play, and Purple Hair


You'll have to read along or scroll down to read about the purple hair.

On the Myers-Briggs Type Indictator, a popular personality test, I am a "J."  That means that I am often organized, planful, and scheduled.  Spontaneous is not a word that most people would use to describe me.  This past Sunday on the Twitter chat called Spiritchat the topic was Spontaneity.  I didn't realize it until the chat began that Spontaneity and Play have a lot in common.

Here are some tweets from that chat and the person who tweeted them in parentheses.  You could substitute the word play or playful and the meaning would often still be the same. 

Characteristics of spontaneity:

Spontaneity is the purest expression of authenticity. (@KateNasser)

Spontaneity is the nature of spirit. Always in the moment, allowing the flow, decisions based on feeling. (@alexisdaria)

“The essence of pleasure is spontaneity.” ~Germaine Greer (@EmeliaSam)

Spontaneity Is Like A River: IT Tells You To Be Open In Life And Go With The Flow (@MaureenAOpene)

Nature is spontaneous. Not to be spontaneous is to be unnatural. (@Jon_Lap)

Babies and children are spontaneous by nature...indicating our natural state (@JanetNestor)

Being spontaneous means being aligned with our true spirit. (@carryitforward)

Spontaneity seems like a process of cultivating re-discovery of the kid within me (@AjmaniK)

This advice on being more spontaneous:

If we stifle spontaneity, we tend to block the flow ~ of love and blessings (@AjmaniK)

We can leave room for spontaneity by NOT over packing our schedules (@alexisdaria)

At first, we may have to pencil it in. Think back to recess...lots of spontaneity during those 15 min (@JoanneGuidoccio)

It's a lot easier to be spontaneous if we are present in the moment! (@carryitforward)

Cultivate our spontaneity by practicing open mind, open heart... open to receive, open to try positive things (@ThinDifference)

To be spontaneous, one must say: bring me whatever I need in my life - and then be willing to go with it (@healingmuse)

Cultivating a playful attitude. Releasing shoulds and oughts. Even for just a moment. (@playcrane)  Yes, that's me!

Stories of Spontaneity

My favorite part of the chat was when @EmeliaSam, who facilitated that week, asked participants to share what the last spontaneous thing was they had done.  Here they are.

Danced in Whole Foods with two bags of chia seeds using them as maracas (@KdK3_Love)

I sing out loud as often as possible, even though I'm not a good singer...it makes me feel awesome (@CoachRims)

Spontaneous dance party in my apartment, one attendee- me, but I always have fun (@merryb923)

Yesterday bought the kid in front of me at Dairy Queen his cone. Had my wallet out anyways. You should have seen his face (@mscator)

Gave myself purple streaks in my hair last night. feels fun, creative, playful, youthful, freeing = alive (@playcrane)

So I'm wondering, why NOT be more spontaneous more often?