A friend gave me a beautiful calendar over the holidays. It was created by the Sisters of St. Joseph and is filled with not only beautiful artwork but equally beautiful poetry. Each day contains a thought or affirmation to take with you as you go about your walk in the world. Here is just a sample: ‘Examine your life-are you loving it?’ ‘Work from your heart.’ ‘Work like God – no task too humble. No scheme too grand.’(R. Doughty)’ Commit to a daily meditation practice.’ ‘ Embrace courage like the Magi.’
I have this calendar in a place where it is present to my morning ritual of getting out the door. As I make lunch, eat breakfast, brush my teeth, and comb my hair, this calendar of invitations is never far away. I am happy to say that most mornings I have the good sense to read the wisdom that is written in the tiny inch-square space that makes up an outline of a month. A month of my life. Thirty or more days that are pure gift and never to be lived again.
Somedays when I look at the little box filled with words I am amazed at how much I needed the message that was right there for the taking. As I walk away from the calendar I tuck that little seed into my mind for germination. Truth be told sometimes I never think of the exact words again but the seed is there just the same. Work from my heart? Gotcha. Embrace courage like the Magi. I’m on it. Am I loving my life? Well,am I? (Are you?)
Having these little post-its clinging to me all day can counteract the other lint that can get stuck to my body on a normal day. If I have had the radio on in my car I can have all manner of negativity riding on my clothes, trying to seep in to find a place on my skin. Messages of greed and scarcity and never enough. Advertisements for all the things I need to be ‘my best’, ‘most beautiful’, ‘successful’ self. Coarse and angry words flung from one person to another without thought for the damage they produce. Even if the words were not aimed at me, I have now been privy to them and they live in my psyche. Before I know it they could creep into my heart. What then?
Have you ever thought about all the words and messages that come your way in any given day? Are they messages that build up or tear down? Are they words that call you to your best self or do they allow you to align yourself with all the angry messages so often spoken? Are the phrases that cling to your coat ones that help bring about the common good?
I am thankful for this calendar which reminds me that I have a choice as to what guides my daily walk. I can choose to work like God and be a humble mover in the world. I can also make a choice to try to create a grand scheme to dismantle the harsh and hurtful words that can make up our public discourse.
In these final days of January, before I turn the calendar’s pages to see what February holds, I am going for the Grand Scheme. I invite you to join me…….