Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Coincidences? I think not!

I moved into a new office today. Just as I was getting settled into the other one, where I've been since June, I was told last week that I'd be moving to a different building. After unpacking boxes and trying to get organized for most of the morning, I decided to go downstairs for a late lunch. My new building has a beautiful atrium - complete with waterfall - and several quick lunch deli type places.

As I walked through the atrium, I spotted a good friend I hadn't seen in several months. She, too, had recently moved to the vicinity, just a half-block away. "Coincidence" #1.

Nancy was munching & chatting with another woman and I popped over to say Hi. She looked at me with a somewhat shocked look on her face, and looked over to her companion. I glanced over and was equally stunned. I was looking at my sister! "Coincidence" #2.

I joined them and we started to catch up on news. Nancy shared that she had just finished a half-day training session to become a fire warden in her building. Five minutes later, a fire alarm rang throughout the atrium. "Coincidence" #3.

We looked around wondering if we should exit the building. In light of her recent training, Nancy suggested that perhaps we should. We headed over to Bridgehead Coffee House across the street. As we headed towards a free table, someone cried out my name. It was Giacomo, a work-related acquaintance from my former job. "Coincidence" #4.

I hadn't seen Giacomo since the spring. He took a five-month leave of absence from his job in order to complete a solo trek in East Africa. For stunning photos and a journal capturing his journey, check out his website. I've always enjoyed working with Giacomo. He has a great energy about him, one that - in my opinion - inspires people to want to follow his lead. Upon returning from his 3-month trip, and taking time to just be, he decided to resign from his position and nourish his passion: community radio. Hear him on Monday morning's Special Blend on CKCU. As he shared this news, I glanced over to my sister, who is currently on a one-year sabbatical to simply be and to explore her own life's calling. "Coincidence" #5.

Every single moment in this series of events was fully dependant upon the previous moment. The web of inter-connectedness was strong! I was not looking forward to moving today... yet as a result of that decision, I connected with three beautiful souls in a way I couldn't have possibly planned on my own. The Universe really does take care of its own. We need only be open to the possibility of "coincidences".


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Rattlin' & Chatterin'

Q: Why don't skeletons like the cold?
A: Because the wind goes right through them!

I daresay, I'd have to side with the skeleton on this one! I should have expected nothing less as I ran the Rattle Me Bones 5Km run this morning. Brrrrrr... Wind warning in effect - gusts in the range of 50 - 70 km/hr. Windchill of -4C. They could have easily called it "Chatter Me Teeth". :-) Still, I managed to shave a few seconds off my personal best. I'm pretty pleased with that considering that, at one point, I couldn't really tell if I was even moving forward!

Next Saturday morning, I'll be running with Hubby in the NYC Marathon's International Friendship Run. It's described as a "leisurely 4-mile jog" starting at the United Nations and finishing at Tavern on the Green restaurant in Central Park. Here's hoping there will be no rattling of bones or chattering of teeth on that run...


Saturday, October 28, 2006

Start Spreading the News...

In exactly one week from now, Hubby & I will be in Manhattan! Hubby is one of 50,000 crazy people running the NYC Marathon on November 5th. I will be one of the estimated 2,ooo,ooo crazy people standing there watching them! We fly out early, early Friday morning and will be there until Monday afternoon. Since the focus of the weekend is the race, we haven't really planned a gazillion things to do. We'd like to just go, take in the experience and see where the Spirit leads.

We'll be staying at a fairly new hotel in a central location not too far from the race finish. I fully expect to do a LOT of walking and riding the NYC subway system. I'm hoping to do a bit of shopping, and maybe I'll even use the ladies room at Sak's Fifth Avenue or something. Lord knows that a flush is pretty much all I can afford to get there! :-) The one place I am hoping to check out is The Market NYC. It's only on weekends and, apparently, new up-n-coming designers are known to sell their wares there. Focus appears to be on jewellery and handbags. Could be dangerous! Since Hubby won't be up for walking a lot on the day before the race, we'll probably head out for one of the neighbourhoods where he can find a coffee shop with high speed internet, and I'll head out on my own for a bit - credit card in hand...

Anyway, best laid plans and all that stuff... Who really knows?! I'm just excited about what lies ahead!


p.s. I cut my finger yesterday. I was thrilled! Perhaps you'll remember an earlier post where I shared my discovery of these... :-)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Images of Stillpoint...

I thought I'd share some of my favourite images from my retreat at the Still Point... I don't know what it was like in your part of the world, but the weather that weekend was perfect. Enjoy the view!


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Writings from the Still Point - Day 3 (again)

Last summer, Friends of Stillpoint had a new statue of Mary, Mother of Jesus, installed on the grounds. The space is wonderfully designed and it has become a new favourite of mine. Backing onto the river, the grotto offers a peaceful place to sit and pray and just hang out. Today, as I gazed at her beauty, the following poem came about...


O Mother Mary, what have you to teach? Your world is of the old!
Your time is past.
Your day is done.
Your legacy is cold.

Have you never known what you must do, though that was not your will? Have you never had to accept a thing? To swallow a bitter pill?!

O Mother Mary, Woman of Serenity, Be with me...

Have you never brought changes to your life, be they big or small? Have you never wondered if you had what it took to face the world at all?

O Mother Mary, Woman of Courage, Be with me...

Have you never wished you could take their pain and make it go away? Have you had to learn that was not your job, but that God would guide the day?

O Mother Mary, Woman of Wisdom, Be with me...

So now you see we're not that different; we're not so far apart.
My time is now.
My day is here.
I am woman of your Heart.

(written while basking in the warm October sun and the radiating Peace of Our Lady of Stillpoint...)


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Writings from the Still Point - Day 3


I've added a new element to my spiritual practice here at Stillpoint: running. I ran 5km (+/-) on Friday and probably 3.5 - 4km today. The 10:1 intervals are still working well for me. I run based on time, not distance, but I'm starting to get a wee sense of how far I can run in a given time.

I've recently been introduced to the concept of a spiritual practice as any activity that helps me grow in effectiveness and usefulness to God and to my fellows. This definition really appeals to me because it recognizes my desire to be of service to others, yet it allows plenty of room for self-care. In fact, it demands it. How could I possibly be of any use to God - or anyone else - if I am unhealthy, uncentred, low in energy or (insert other symptom of dis-ease here)?! The priority becomes clear.

This awareness came to me as I was running: I am keeping my body fit, which in turn allows me to maximize my efficiency and usefulness to God. Running as a spiritual practice - it just fits.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Writings from the Still Point - Day 1


I never thought I'd be grateful for an exhausted battery, but as my digital camera displayed the dire news, I realized it was a blessing. There I was, standing in one of my favourite places on Earth (tiny dock at Stillpoint) at my favourite time of the year (fall foliage), and rather than letting go and enjoying the moment, I was desperately trying to own it... to capture it so that I could have that moment again and again. And as the sun began to set over the Madawaska River, God sent me a text message: Warning! Battery Exhausted. Momentary confusion - is She talking about the camera... or about me?!

Then the lesson in that moment became clear. God was telling me: "Put the camera down and experience this gift that is before you. Don't grasp. Don't clutch. Don't hold on. I am a God of Abundance and I won't leave you wanting."

So I stood there and watched the sun make its way to the other side of the world. And when there was nothing left but the sharp scent of dusk, I realized that my own battery didn't feel quite so exhausted. Funny, that.


Makes me want to SHOUT!

Well, seems we have linking problems once again... I've sent an email to Hoops&Yoyo hoping they can get their techie guys to tell me what the heck I'm doing wrong! But they're in Europe right now, so it make take some time. In the meantime, you can go to the Hoops&Yoyo homepage and select the NEW! read our blog heading from the left menu.


Shout-out Loud...

The coolest thing ever... I got a shout-out on the Hoops&Yoyo blog!! Check out the post for October 5th. I've often wondered who these people were - and now I know they are people like me with wonderful friends like Claire. Merci Claire - t'es trop fine!

(Obviously, I'm back from my silent retreat... I have a few "paper blog posts" to add as well as several photos. I'll be posting these over the next few days.)


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Countdown to Silence...

In exactly 48 hours, I will be surrounded by Silence. Blessed, sweet silence. I didn't go on my biannual silent retreat this past spring because I attended an amazing workshop with Richard Rohr instead. As a result of that decision, it's been almost a full year since my last visit to the Still Point.

I'll be there for 4 days (minus an hour or two). I can't think of a better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than to spend this quiet time with God-in-Nature... my silence boldly proclaiming my prayer of thanks-giving.

Interestingly, the evening before heading off into the Silence, I gather with my fellow Mad Chatters - this wonderful group of friends who are determined to revive the art of pure & simple conversation around ideas (as opposed to other people). I wonder if I'll be tempted to cram in 4 days worth of talking!! :-)