NANCY G. SHAPIRO

FINDING CALM IN THE MIDST OF CHANGE

The Power of Commitment

January 25, 2019

 

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance…" 

- William Hutchinson Murray (1913-1996), 

from his book The Scottish Himalayan Expedition.

 

A friend wrote a kind email acknowledging the difficulty of finding land or a house to call our new home, a search we've been on for eight months. He used the word commitment in his note, and I woke up with the word whispering to me this morning.

 

For the path and view to a home have been blurry and out-of-focus lately, like this accidental, abstract photograph I found in my phone the other day. I have no idea how it happened, though as I look more carefully, it contains a beckoning beauty—a reminder that at times the best of intentions sway and tilt toward harrowing confusion, that what this particular moment is asking of us is patience, ongoing diligence, and yes please, those unforeseen incidents of the beneficial kind that Murray must have encountered on his expeditions.

 

How to step more gracefully into the powerful flow of focus + intention during seemingly upside-down times is one more practice I'm committing to on the Road to Calm—after all, focused intention was how I wrote The Book of Calm—it still lives somewhere in my bones. Even as the next step remains unknown, the way unclear, and our intrepid camper named Imagine2 waits out in a snowy field, ready for our directions and the momentum of Providence.

 

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Calming Practice: Attention to Beauty

 

The great poet Mary Oliver died January 17, 2019.

Her poems were songs to the immense healing power of beauty.

 

Look around you at all things unnoticed.

Look up at the distances contained in the sky,

at the mystery underneath your feet.

Bathe in beauty's soothing balm.

And open your heart to the singing that Mary Oliver has gifted us.

 

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