“She just let go.”

She let go.
Without a thought or a word,
she let go. She let go of the fear.
She let go of the judgments. She
let go of the confluence of
opinions swarming around her
head. She let go of the committee
of indecision within her. She let
go of all the ‘right’ reasons.
Wholly and completely, without
hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice .
She didn’t read a book on how to
let go. She didn’t search the
scriptures. She just let go. She let
go of all the memories that held
her back. She let go of all the
anxiety that kept her from moving
forward. She let go of the
planning and all of the
calculations about how to
do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go. She
didn’t journal about it. She didn’t
write the projected date in her
Day-Timer. She made no public
announcement and put no ad in
the paper. She didn’t check the
weather report or read her daily
horoscope. She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she
should let go. She didn’t call her
friends to discuss the matter. She
didn’t do a five-step Spiritual
Mind Treatment. She didn’t call
the prayer line. She didn’t utter
one word. She just let go.

No one was around when it
happened. There was no
applause or congratulations. No
one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing. Like a
leaf falling from a tree, she just
let go. There was no effort. There
was no struggle. It wasn’t good
and it wasn’t bad. It was what it
was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let
it all be. A small smile came over
her face. A light breeze blew
through her. And the sun and the
moon shone forevermore.. ♥
~ Reverend Safire Rose
~ (Or is Ernest Holmes the author? Or someone else? I gather it is unclear…)

Notes · Words


“To laugh often and much to win the respect of intelligent people and affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child a garden patch or redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.”

-–Bessie A. Stanley (often misattributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson–http://emerson.tamu.edu/Ephemera/Success.html)


Mother Teresa’s resumé of her philosophy of life

Life is an opportunity, avail it.
Life is a beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is costly, care for it.
Life is a wealth, keep it.
Life is love, enjoy it.
Life is mystery, know it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, brace it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is life, save it!
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
–printed in Mother Teresa: A Complete Authorized Biography, Kathryn Spink, 1997



“We can do not great things, only small things with great love. It is not how much you do but how much love you put into doing it.”
–Mother Teresa (quoted in The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical, Shane Clairborne, 2006)



Every time, it’s a miracle. Here are all these people, full of heartache or hatred or desire, and we all have our troubles and the…year is filled with vulgarity and triviality and consequence, and…there’s this life we’re struggling through full of shouting and tears and laughter and fights and break-ups and dashed hopes and unexpected luck—it all disappears, just like that, when the choir begins to sing. Everyday life vanishes into song, you are suddenly overcome with a feeling of brotherhood, of deep solidarity, even love, and it diffuses the ugliness of everyday life into a spirit of perfect communion. Even the singers’ faces are transformed…I see human beings, surrendering to music.

Every time, it’s the same thing. I feel like crying, my throat goes all tight and I do the best I can to control myself but sometimes it gets close: I can hardly keep myself from sobbing. So when they sing a canon I look down at the ground because it’s just too much emotion at once: it’s too beautiful, and everyone singing together, this marvelous sharing. I’m no longer myself, I am just one part of a sublime whole, to which others also belong, and I always wonder at such moments why this cannot be the rule of everyday life, instead of being an exceptional moment during a choir.

When the music stops, everyone applauds, their faces all lit up, the choir radiant. It is so beautiful.

In the end, I wonder if the true movement of the world might not be a voice raised in song.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery, 2006 (Translated from the French by Alison Anderson)



Empowerment refers to increasing the spiritual, political, social, or economic strength of individuals and communities. It often involves the empowered developing confidence in their own capacities.

  • The ability to make decisions about personal/collective circumstances
  • The ability to access information and resources for decision-making
  • Ability to consider a range of options from which to choose (not just yes/no, either/or.)
  • Ability to exercise assertiveness in collective decision making
  • Having positive-thinking about the ability to make change
  • Ability to learn and access skills for improving personal/collective circumstance.
  • Ability to inform others’ perceptions though exchange, education and engagement.
  • Involving in the growth process and changes that is never ending and self-initiated
  • Increasing one’s positive self-image and overcoming stigma
  • Increasing one’s ability in discreet thinking to sort out right and wrong

–Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empowerment, 27 September 2010

Would you change anything about  these statements regarding “empowerment”?

  • Words


    We cannot change the world by a new plan, project or idea. We cannot even change other people by our convictions, stories, advice and proposals, but we can offer a space where people are encouraged to disarm themselves, to lay aside their occupations and preoccupations and to listen with attention and care to the voices speaking in their own centre. How important it is to become empty in order that we may learn is well illustrated in the following Zen story:

    Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.  Nan-in served tea.  He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.  The professor watched the overflow until he could no longer restrain himself.  ‘It is overfull.  No more will go in!’  ‘Like this cup,’ Nan-in said, ‘you are full of your opinions and speculations.  How can I show you Zen unless you first empty  your cup?’

    To convert hostility into hospitality requires the creation of the friendly empty space where we can reach out to our fellow human beings and invite them to a new relationship.

    –Henri J. M. Nouwen, Reaching Out, 1975



    When we focus on clarifying what is being observed, felt, and needed rather than diagnosing and judging, we discover the depth of our own compassion.

    –Marshall B. Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication:  A Language of Life, 2nd ed.



    “When we were young, we were told that poetry is about voice, about finding a voice and speaking with this voice, but the older I get I think it’s not about voice, it’s about listening and the art of listening, listening with attention. I don’t just mean with the ear; bringing the quality of attention to the world. The writers I like best are those who attend.”
    –Kathleen Jamie, Scottish poet born on this date in 1962



    More from The Healing of America by T.R. Reid (p.87):

    Everyone in Japan is required to sign up with a health insurance plan.  This is a “personal mandate,” an issue that became controversial during the 2008 presidential election in the United States.  Every nation that relies on health insurance has that requirement (except the USA), and in Japan the mandate is not controversial at all. “It’s considered an element of personal responsibility, that you insure yourself against health care costs,” Dr. Ikegami (the country’s best-known health care economist) told me [T.R. Reid].  “And who can be against personal responsibility?”


    More Words on health care

    Another quote from T. R. Reid’s The Healing of America:  A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care:

    “…it seems certain that the French will continue to emphasize equal access to medical care–the basic rule that anybody, regardless of race, income, or occupation, can go to any doctor and get the same treatment as anybody else.  Whenever the French talk about health care, they invoke the concept of solidarité, the notion that all French citizens must stick solidly together to help one another in time of need.  ‘The solidarity principle, explains Professor Rodwin, “requires mutual aid and cooperation among the sick and the well, the inactive and the active, the poor and the wealthy, and insists on financing health insurance on the basis of ability to pay, not actuarial risk.’

    A French physician, Dr. Valerie Newman, put the same idea a little more bluntly when I asked her why the French system is so focused on free access to any doctor or hospital. ‘It would be stupid to say that everybody is equal,’ she began.  ‘Some are rich and some are poor.  Some are beautiful, some aren’t.  Some are brilliant, some aren’t.  But when we get sick–then, everybody is equal.  Everybody must have equal right to the best medical treatment we can provide.’  Now Dr. Newman was excited as she rose to her rhetorical climax. ‘That is the  basic rule of French health care,’ she said.  ‘Surely, that’s the basic rule of health care in every country.’

    Well, not quite.  Equal access for all is the basic rule of health care in almost every developed country–but not the United States.”  (pp. 64-65)