Monthly Reflections




  • Reflection - March 2017   Last summer a comment from an avid swimmer in British Columbia reawakened a valuable truth. When I mentioned a scrape on her arm, Kathy nonchalantly explained, "I get some every summer from the sharp-edged barnacles on the rocks. When my grandson started swimming with me I told him he was bound to get these cuts. One day he called across the water in a proud voice: "I got one, Grandma!" Her grandson obviously accepted this as part of the price for a free-spirited frolic in the ocean. Kathy's comment reminded me that hardly any of us find something rewarding without also having to accept the effort, hardship, challenge, steady determination and vulnerability that often accompany what we ...
    Posted Mar 6, 2017, 9:26 PM by Nancy DeBiasi
  • Reflection - December 2016    "What Are You Asking for This Christmas?"  by Joyce RuppInstead of focusing on material presents, let us request from the Heart of the Holy what most strengthens our souls and enlivens our love. \This Christmas I ask for: Hope, the north star in my soul, that it may always point me toward the Light of the World. Stillness, to sweep through my restless mind, emptying it of the cluttered debris and floating negativity. Non-violence, that every thought, word, deed and desire, low gently from me like a brook caressing unmovable stones. Savoring, to remember with gratefulness, moments of beauty and people's goodwill that prompted gladness. Other-Centeredness, for the tightly held part of self, that ignores ...
    Posted Feb 13, 2017, 3:39 PM by Nancy DeBiasi
  • Reflection - January 2017 "Where do you find your joy?" Cindy's question surfaced in our conversation about dismal conditions here and elsewhere on the planet - such as surging violence, increasing suicides, heartless politicians, greater hostility and less respect for people with differing views. I stumbled and mumbled a few words in response to Cindy's query, but couldn't offer much that day. The next morning I reflected on the question: Where do I find joy? I gathered a surprisingly long list of items. None had a megaphone quality but each held definite worth for keeping hope close by. Among the list: A sliver of sunshine after lengthy seasonal gloom, the gesture of a stranger's kindness, hundreds of geese circling above ...
    Posted Feb 13, 2017, 3:35 PM by Nancy DeBiasi
  • Reflection - February 2017 A spiritual life is simply a life in which all that we do comes from the center, where we are all anchored in God;  a life soaked through and through  by a sense of God's reality and claim, and self-given to the great movement of God's will.  ~ Evelyn Underhill  The above quote from the English writer and mystic rests at the opening of my 2017 journal. Her wise description of the "spiritual life" (written more than eighty years ago) inspires me to be "anchored in God" at this particular time in history. So much in politics and social media threatens to throw me off balance with its disturbing ferocity. I recognize how easily I can be set ...
    Posted Feb 13, 2017, 3:10 PM by Nancy DeBiasi
  • Reflection - November 2016        Winter invites me once more.... to go within the within...         Hibernate. Gestate.... Wander around the inner domain        without a concern for what may, or may not surface.                            (My Soul Feels Lean     Here in Iowa the autumn season has generously spent its energy on vivid colors and warm weather. The frigid winds of winter wait impatiently to have their way. This past month the land provided enriching lessons about spiritual growth as I drove through the Midwest to give retreats on "Little Pieces of Light." I noticed how the corn and soybean fields sat stripped of their summer crops. Gardens revealed empty vines and wilted flowers. Orchards gave quick evidence of having yielded their fruitful produce. Tree branches lost their thick ...
    Posted Nov 16, 2016, 1:41 AM by Nancy DeBiasi
  • Reflection - October 2016      In Blessed Among Us Robert Ellsberg's depiction of Black Elk, the far-seeing Lakota medicine man, reminds me of Linnea Good's song, There Is a Time. This song contains the lyric, "There is a time when each will lose a dream most dear." How true this was for Black Elk. When just nine years old, he received a powerful vision calling him to help his people. Black Elk gave himself generously to this vision but eighteen years later the dream shattered when the U.S. army killed over 300 of his Lakota tribe in the massacre of Wounded Knee. With his vision torn to shreds, Black Elk felt devastated but he did not buckle under the pain or ...
    Posted Nov 16, 2016, 1:58 AM by Nancy DeBiasi
  • Reflection - September 2016     Bioluminescence. That's something I had not experienced until this past August. One evening I joined a small group of women in British Columbia to travel by auto in the twilight, across a small island, over wooded hills, past munching deer on roadsides. We arrived at a small beach, flashlights in hand, and walked down a steep incline to settle beside washed-ashore logs. There we waited until darkness fully descended. When it did so, into the water we went, the brave ones out into the cold ocean, the wimpy ones like me wading near the shore. As soon as our bodies moved in the dark water, tiny sparks of light glowed in the waves like fireflies. Zooplankton, miniscule creatures ...
    Posted Nov 16, 2016, 1:42 AM by Nancy DeBiasi
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