I’VE BEEN THINKING
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.
NEWS ABOVE THE NOISE
POPE FRANCIS OPENS LAUNDROMAT FOR THE HOMELESS
We all wonder what we can do to rise up and meet the challenges of our times. This Easter Sunday, I wanted to share the story about Pope Francis opening a free laundromat for the homeless in Rome. Pope Francis never ceases to amaze me and the news of him doing this filled me with joy. This goes way beyond providing the homeless with washing machines. This is about providing the homeless with dignity and respect.
What is one act of charity that you have witnessed lately? Share your story with us.
RUTH BADER GINSBERG: STRONG. AMBITIOUS. FEMININE.
Hillary Clinton’s comments last week about ambitious women being unlikable made me sad (for all of society, not just women). But this photo of Ruth Bader Ginsberg that made its way around the Internet this week gave me hope and made me smile. I just love how she’s rocking it here. What an icon. Here’s to strong, genuine, stylish, smart women everywhere. May they be likable, admirable and honored.
P.S. Thanks to all of you who wrote in last week to share your thoughts about Hillary Clinton’s comments. Many said you found them to be painfully accurate, but others let us know that you haven’t experienced this in your own lives. If you have an opinion on any of the topics we cover in today’s Sunday Paper, you can share them with us here.
THE PULITZER PRIZE: PROOF THAT QUALITY JOURNALISM IS STILL ALIVE
The 2017 Pulitzer Prizes were awarded on Monday. In an age when the credibility of the news media is constantly called into question, the Pulitzer Prize is proof to me that quality journalism is alive and needed more than ever. I’m grateful for all of my fellow journalists out there who believe in the power of their profession to report the truth.
Art Cullen, a small-town Iowa newspaper editor, hugs his son Tom after learning that he won a Pulitzer Prize for his editorial writing. His story is a great one worth reading. (Photo Courtesy The Storm Lake Times)
VIEWS: PASSIONATE PEOPLE/POWERFUL PERSPECTIVES
“Silence Is a Process that Transforms Us From an Etching of Our Potential to the Fullness of Ourselves.” — Joan Chittister
I have long admired my friend Sister Joan Chittister for being such a spiritual visionary in our complex world. Her upcoming book Radical Spirit shares 12 simple ways to achieve healthy spiritual living. Here today, she shares one of those steps: the power of incorporating silence into our lives.
“I Didn’t Believe My Father’s Soul Could Have Alzheimer’s.” — Patti Davis
Like me, Patti Davis is a child of Alzheimer’s. She learned a lot caring for her father, Ronald Reagan, and today, she uses what she learned to help others. Six years ago, Patti started a support group called Beyond Alzheimer’s to provide a place for LA caregivers to connect. Her message for all caregivers: if you can remember the soul of the person you love, it will inform how you deal with their illness.
“For Things to Truly Change, We Must Dare to Embrace Altruism.” — Matthieu Ricard
Matthieu Ricard is a Buddist monk whose philosophies on compassion, altruism and happiness are revered around the globe. He is someone who has devoted his life to spirituality and has used his teachings to help change the world. (Matthieu’s TED Talk on “The Habits of Happiness” has been viewed by nearly 7 million people.) We honor him here today for using his voice to help build a more conscious, caring and compassionate society.
SUNDAY REFLECTION: WISDOM FROM MY FAVORITE BOOK
Last week, I shared my favorite poem, Mary Oliver’s “The Journey”. This week, I wanted to share other words that have touched my life — these from my favorite book, “The Gift From the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. This book is a must-read for any woman of any age. I often give it to loved ones as a gift, and I re-read it at least two times a year. Enjoy.
A THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK AHEAD
MY MISSION: YOUR MIND
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SHOP WITH A PURPOSE
“I just put the finishing touches on my first coloring book and I couldn’t be more proud!”
“Color Your Mind” is for people with Alzheimer’s and the people who love them. It’s innovative, informative and inspiring, and I love that it’s filled with creative ways to stimulate your mind. I hope you’ll pre-order a copy and use it to connect with your loved ones.
“I Don’t Go Anywhere Without It!” — Maria
Thanks to all of you who write to us each week with your perspective. Below are just three of the powerful responses we received last week.
ON AMBITIOUS WOMEN: “I believe it can be harder for ambitious women in a man’s world. But what I really believe is that if you come from the heart with integrity and honesty you can achieve anything. It is about your connection with others. Using how men are treated compared to women is just an excuse.”— Faye Triantis
ON MAKING TIME: “The comment made to your brother about Moroccans having time when we do not as Americans rang true to me. I deal with tourists arriving on my island of Maui every day. Here, the pace is slower, we do not honk at each other, and we are more considerate. My lesson learned here is that you need people, you need community and you need to connect on a positive basis to everyone you meet.” — Lea Taylor
ON THE GOLDEN RULE: “I thoroughly enjoy reading this paper and appreciate the thoughtful analysis of world events balanced with family milestones and positive philanthropic success stories. As a Catholic woman registered as a Republican, when sermons and leadership often disappoint, God’s message for me is clearest when I see others living the Golden Rule.” — Kim Szatowski
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