5-Minute-Meditation: Appreciate

By Joanne Klassen

We see things not as they are

but as we are. (The Talmud)

Four-year-old Joey is more interested in action than art. He’d rather ride his bike fast or race cars on an imaginary speedway. Still, he created a large yellow, blue, and brown portrait of his mum that he held with pride at his school’s Mother’s Day parade.

When I showed a photo of Joey’s art to Joey’s seven-year-old cousin, Ben, he said, “That’s very good work. It looks like George Washington.”

Although the adults chuckled, and this story may be repeated in the family for years, what stays with me is something deeper, “a pearl of great price.” We all saw the same art with different eyes.

Ben’s honest, unbridled appreciation of his younger cousin’s creation and his affirmation of Joey helped me see and celebrate the excellence he saw.

How often do I see only a fraction of the beauty in others and our limitless world? I want to hang on to the joyful energy of Ben’s spontaneous appreciation as I move through the day ahead.

With wide-open eyes, I look deeply and appreciate 

the beauty and excellence that surround me.

© Joanne Klassen 2016

Appreciate was originally published in “Creative Journey Five Minute Meditations for Transformation” Published by Heartspace Writing School.

Biography –Joanne Klassen

Author and Heartspace founder, Joanne began facilitating personal development programs in 1975. Her career and life changed in 1998 when she received a vision for Transformative Life WritingTM which is now offered to teens, adults and seniors around the world. Joanne’s ideal day includes writing, singing to a baby, visiting thrift shops and walking along the river with her husband Ted in Winnipeg, Canada.

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5-Minute-Meditation: Shine

By Brian Hay

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled

by a spark from another person.

(Albert Schweitzer)

My lighthouse is Mom, who has stood by me throughout my life. She was proud of my accomplishments in becoming a successful lawyer, a father, and a husband. Yet, she was also there to support me in my darkest times, when all of my achievements were almost lost.

Mom saw the best in me, even when I behaved badly and let her down. In my darkest hours, I isolated myself, holed away from the world at the shock of my losses. She remained by me and supported me, but also showed me the light, led me back to stand on my own and rejoin society, to be responsible and become caring for others.

Today, to witness Mom’s memory now sometimes failing her, sometimes struggling to know where she is and what is going on, it is my turn to be there for her. I would like to be Mom’s lighthouse now, her beacon of light, solid on the shore. Mom knows she’s in the right place as long as she can see my light.

I remain rock-solid in my healthy life, to shine the light for my loved ones to be able to see the shore.

© Brian Hay 2016

Shine was originally published in “Creative Journey Five Minute Meditations for Transformation” Published by Heartspace Writing School.

Biography –Brian Hay

Brian Hay is a retired lawyer and a writer. He completed Transformative WritingTM studies at Canadian Mennonite University and received facilitator certification at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Center, European Centre for Life Writing for TransformationTM, in Birmingham, England. Brian took motorcycle lessons after he turned 60, consistent with Michelangelo’s motto: “I’m always learn-ing …” He loves reading books about writing and daily personal/spiritual reflection. Since 2012, he has envisioned and helped guide this book to completion.

Don’t Watch Bambi on Mother’s Day

Wonderful reflection for Parents and Grands

DonWings

Yesterday was Mother’s Day and a digital detox day for me. We did brunch at home, shopped for planter supplies, and planted a few flowers in the morning. In the afternoon we settled in to watch some movies and rest. In paging through our available kid-friendly movie selection, we ran across Bambi. I said, “Hey, we haven’t seen this one for awhile, want to watch it?” My little agreed, so we settled in.

It didn’t take long for her to ask, “Is this where he loses his mother?” A question that would be repeated several times throughout the movie.

What mother hasn’t contemplated what her child’s life would be like without her? Isn’t it this thought that keeps us from running off to a tropical island on days we’ve had enough? Kids make us show up. Especially little kids. They make us be present. Because what if I wasn’t…

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5-Minute-Meditation: Awaken

By Moira Fitt

When the most important things in our life happen we quite often do not know, at the moment, what is going on. (C.S. Lewis)

Quite suddenly, lying there in the dark, my student husband asleep beside me, I had a dawning realization of the sheer enormity of what I had just done: given birth to new life, our first child.

After all the waiting, the tension and activity of a long day, we three were quite alone as midnight struck. Beside me, lying in our old “bottom drawer”, wrapped in a warm blanket, lay our new baby son sleeping peacefully, innocent of the life that lay before him.

The darkness filled with a jumble of emotions I could not disentangle: relief that the long months of waiting for this day were now over; fulfillment in accomplishing the first task of motherhood; the excitement and joy of being a family. Then, the overwhelming fear of the huge responsibility that lay before me dawned. This tiny baby would be dependent on my care every minute of every day for some time—and my life would never be the same again.

I now appreciate the impact of motherhood on young mothers; the ties and responsibilities which absorb all the time and energy one has to meet another’s needs, 24 hours a day. The total focus that motherhood demands, the exclusion of self in the process.

I truly value the love and devotion of motherhood.

© Moira Fitt 2016

Awaken was originally published in “Creative Journey Five Minute Meditations for Transformation” Published by Heartspace Writing School.

Biography –Moira Fitt

Moira is a Quaker and feels that her Life Writing for TransformationTM skills, poetry and healing are all inspired by the inner creative spirit to help her and others to discover their potential. In 1986, she began designing and facilitating personal development courses for “women returners”, alongside her education guidance role in Cornwall. She retired to enjoy her grandchildren, swimming, and relaxing in the New Zealand sunshine.

5-Minute-Meditation: Hug

By Joanne Klassen

We all need a hug in the morning, and one at the end of the day, as many as possible squeezed in between, just to keep life’s troubles at bay.

(Ben Sands)

Ray was an older gentleman I met in my twenties when I was facilitating a training program in his community, a two-hour drive from where I lived. He never knew his mother and spent many years in hospitals as a child and an adult.

When Ray brought me a rose from his garden, I gave him a spontaneous hug. He wrote in a note that this was the first hug he had received in fifty years, since his father’s death. Each week Ray helped clean up after class and waited for a hug.

In our electronic age, “pseudo” contact—by e-mail, internet, and texting—is on the rise, while physical contact decreases. Whether a handshake, a hug or a touch, respectful touch between people affirms our bond in the human family.

Although he was thirty years my senior, Ray sent me a Mother’s Day card each year for over twenty years. He wrote, “When you hugged me, I felt accepted and loved. I think that’s what a mother does.” I miss Ray and need the reminder he gave me of the importance of hugs.

I open my arms and my heart to embrace

others in appropriate, respectful ways, 

remembering that family can be anyone.

© Joanne Klassen 2016

Hug was originally published in “Creative Journey Five Minute Meditations for Transformation” Published by Heartspace Writing School.

Biography –Joanne Klassen

Author and Heartspace founder, Joanne began facilitating personal development programs in 1975. Her career and life changed in 1998 when she received a vision for Transformative Life WritingTM which is now offered to teens, adults and seniors around the world. Joanne’s ideal day includes writing, singing to a baby, visiting thrift shops and walking along the river with her husband Ted in Winnipeg, Canada.