October 21, 2018
Each week in our Living Arts Weekly blog post, we begin with a quote about the topic at hand. Let me just say that Google is my best friend in finding an appropriate quote each week. (Seriously, what did people do before Google? They probably read a lot more. Note to self: read more, google less.) Interestingly, this morning when I did an internet search for a quote about “settling”, everything that popped up was a quote about not settling for less than you deserve in life. The overriding message was: Don’t settle! You deserve better! There was not one quote that surfaced in my search about settling in, settling down or quieting one’s self. Not one. Thus, you won’t see a quote at the top of today’s blog post.
This says something to me about our modern life. “Settling” has become something to avoid. Striving, now that’s what we modern parents and caregivers are supposed to do, right? Continuing to craft ourselves is, of course, a very good thing. Children learn by imitation, and offering them an example of a striving human being is a great gift to them. Sometimes we tip from striving to struggling, as we struggle to be the best we can be, to offer our children the things and experiences we want for them. All this struggling, the relentless pursuit to live our “best” lives, can leave us feeling anxious and seriously unmoored. And the message we give to the children is: I am never enough. What we have is never enough. Is that what we want our children to learn? There is something to be said for taking a look at our less-than-perfect life, and our less-than-ideal self, and finding contentment.
So this week, I invite you to settle. Settle in to your life, imperfect as it may be; settle down with a cup of your favorite beverage; and settle those to-do lists and expectations for a bit. Acknowledge how far you’ve come, and rest in gratitude.
Blessings on your settling,
Mary O’Connell, Your Living Arts Weekly blog editor
One of LifeWays’ online students, Edith, wrote recently:
“I would like to get rid of fear! Fear at not being or doing enough, fear of the unpredictability of life. I was thinking today that “no fear” can be an affirmation to practice everyday. Just by knowing that everything is and will be all right, I can really be more present in my now, finding more mindfulness in little simple things and making sacred space inside my soul for the wonders of life. It seems easy, but as we know it takes a lifetime of practice!”
If this resonates with you, write Edith’s affirmation on a piece of paper – “NO FEAR” – and hang it somewhere you’ll see it often. Or, you can download and print the lovely photo above here.
One really helpful way for you and your family to “settle” is to create a life-sustaining rhythm in your home. A healthy home rhythm, unique to your family, allows you to feel more connected and experience more moments of joy together. LifeWays North America offers a wonderful self-paced course, designed by Kerry Ingram of Mothering Arts, called Healthy Home Rhythms. The online course is only $40, and this is the best gift you can give your family! The printable seasonal rhythm wheels are truly works of art, and will inspire you to create and maintain a healthy home rhythm all year long. Learn more about Healthy Home Rhythms here.
Meet our LifeWays North America board! We recently gathered for our annual board meeting, and we love to sing together. One morning, as we shared our favorite autumn songs with each other, I was able to capture this one on video. It is a sweet, nurturing song that you can sing to your little ones as they drift off to sleep with their jack-o-lantern glowing in the window.
Loosening the grip of fear and anxiety can be challenging in today’s world. At our board meeting, we worked with a wonderful verse from Rudolf Steiner, and it is still hanging above my desk at home. Several times a day, I read this verse and it really helps me to settle and trust in the ever present help of the spiritual world (my favorite part!)
Meditation for Courage
We must eradicate from the soul
all fear and terror
of what comes toward us out of the future;
We must acquire serenity in all feelings and sensations about the future. We look forward
with absolute equanimity to everything that may come,
and we must think only
that whatever comes is given to us
by a world directive full of wisdom.
It is part of what we must learn in this age,
namely, to live out of pure trust without any security in existence,
trust in the ever present help of the spiritual world;
Truly, nothing else will do if our courage is not to fail.
Let us discipline our will,
and let us seek the awakening from within ourselves
every morning and every evening.
Feel free to print it out, and share in the comments how you are working with this verse!