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Virtues Path for a New YearDecember 31, 2013
Today I spoke at the funeral of a young man who died suddenly this week, his earthly light snuffed out much too soon. His mother was inconsolable as we all gathered around her and witnessed his burial. Long awaited rain came and it seemed fitting that the heavens wept with us. Death, as always, brings perspective. What is it that really matters? What do we love? What is our purpose? Are we living our fullest lives?
A master was asked, "Where is the path?" He replied, "Keep walking."
A new year arrives tonight. Another page. Another chance. A fresh opportunity to decide what is that we plan to do, as poet Mary Oliver asks, "with your one wild and precious life", to discern the truest path.
- This year, what virtue calls to you deeply? One that seeks to be cultivated, to be seeded, nurtured and practiced, in order to bloom in your life at this season?
What virtue is so strong, so keenly practiced that it is a comfort, a staff to walk with, a presence that you bring to the ones you love and serve?
What needs to be said that hasn’t yet been said? Who needs and craves your appreciation? Tell the truth. Do it now.
- What is the Teachable Moment before you? The lesson that keeps coming around, hopeful that you will catch on, get a glimpse of the eternal possibility within you? What virtues do you need in order to embrace it with courage and wholehearted willingness?
- What Boundaries do you need to build to protect your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health? Which of those needs the most tending? What is it you want to ask of the people who love you? If they are incapable or unwilling, then what? How will you restore justice to yourself and others? How will you safeguard your contentment?
- How will you Honor the Spirit this year? What spiritual practices, journeys, or wild places call to you? How will you honor the dignity, the soul of every person whose path you cross?
- As a Spiritual Companion, first to yourself, what is the deepest longing of your soul? What do you need to heal in order to grow up or grow in to your true self, your true capacity? How well do you listen, really listen to those who are grieving, or joyful, or needing someone to be their story-keeper?
This is a meditation that came to me two decades ago for a woman in one of my retreats, one who has since become a sister-friend:
There has always been so much to do and see and be.
I am an adventurer.
I am ready for the adventure that will carry me to the uncharted waters in my soul.
I am willing to discover still waters.
To dive deep and true.
I cannot stand on the shore any longer.
It's now or never!
This my life.
May we all dive deep into Truth this new year of 2014. For it is there we find the path we are meant to take.