Telling Their Stories

History is, for the most part, written about men, by men, telling the tales of men or that interest men. Thus we are left with few clues to the lives of the women who shaped history, who even though they were granted less power used their influence to shape their worlds. I ran across an interesting tweet today about one medieval queen I knew nothing about, and now want to learn more about her … if there is any more to be learned.

Check out #earlyenglishqueens on Twitter for more introductions to women whose stories should not be forgotten.

To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Invocations and Blessings

Reviewing John O’Donohue’s collection of poetic prayers

“Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,

May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.”

For Equilibrium, a Blessing, by John O’Donohue

I recently finished my morning readings of John O’Donohue’s Book of Blessings and it was truly a blessing for my soul. It’s a book ideal for those times in your life that mark an occasion – a birth, a death, a new home, a new job, retirement, but I read it daily and found it to be an ideal start to my day. He thought of everything — my husband has an old friend whose son was arrested last year for a serious crime, and it’s hard in those situations to even know what to say or do. This book has a blessing for the parents of a child who is imprisoned, and it made me weep it was so touching and heart-felt. It is an ideal book to have handy when you need to give or receive a blessing of any kind. Read it, and your heart will thank you.

You may purchase a copy of the book from an independent bookseller here.

May your day be overflowing with blessings…

Each day the world blesses us with its beauty. Soak it in.

Kindling Courage,

and Finding a Path of Plentitude at One With Your Life’s Desire

I am learning to find ease in risk … the safety and security that have seduced me for so much of my life are slowing losing their attraction. I’m 61 years old — if not now, when? I once served on a panel asked to describe a lesson learned from taking a big risk. Each of us agreed that, whether the risky venture had turned out to be successful or not, we were glad we had taken the leap. The question we asked ourselves, then, was if we all were glad we had taken the risk, if it always enhanced our life in some way — why do we nonetheless continue to fear it?

Do you know John O’Donohue’s poem, “For a New Beginning”? It resonates with me, and to carry it in my heart I’ve worked this month to memorize it. I recited it from memory for the first time this morning, in perfect conditions, as I sat on a sandy, mostly empty beach and watched the dawn create the new beginning of this day. I hope it encourages you to kindle your courage enough to step out into that new beginning that’s been quietly whispering, patient yet persistent, waiting for you to leave behind what no longer serves you and step onto a new path, to live at one with your life’s desire.

For a New Beginning
John O’Donohue

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,

Where your thoughts never think to wander,

This beginning has been quietly forming,

Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,

Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,

Noticing how you willed yourself on,

Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety

And the gray promises that sameness whispered,

Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,

Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,

And out you stepped onto new ground,

Your eyes young again with energy and dream,

A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear

You can trust the promise of this opening;

Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning

That is at one with your life’s desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;

Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;

Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,

For your soul senses the world that awaits you.