Word of the Week

If you and I were to sit down and have a conversation, how would you say your week has been?

You might offer basic details like the mood of your office or your family, if you traveled or stayed at home, and/ or if you did anything special just for fun.

Such is just how we talk to each other, right? But in any given week, there is so much that lies deeper beyond any particular comings and goings. You are filled with joy about things you don't share widely. You are bothered by things you don't mention. You are confused by things you don't yet have words for.

To this, enter our word of the week, underneath: so as to be concealed by something else.

Today, I'm wondering what has been underneath the events of your week?

I bet you've seen the graphic that has made the rounds of social media showing an iceberg. Here's one example. As it relates to human relationships, what is on top of the iceberg are things like appearance, behaviors and personality traits-- things we might notice about one another right away. But what is underneath are things like trauma, family history, cultural experiences, mental health, or beliefs and so much more! While unseen, what lies underneath are the most powerful parts of what makes us, us.

I'm always struck by these diagrams because they paint a stark picture of how little we see without soul work and intention.

It also reminds me of the timeless truth that "what you see is not always what you get."

For, you can so easily talk yourself into being "ok" when it's not true. You can easily say you are doing something for a reason that has nothing to do with that reason. Or, you can so easily assume things about others that is a part of your reality, not theirs.

We humans are beautiful but complex creatures!

Would you be interested in pondering more about what is underneath your life today? Start here: find some space to be still. Take a walk. Sit in your favorite spot. Get a pen out if you are a journaler. And do this: ask what lies underneath ____? And expect tools to show up as teachers over the course of the next several days.

I love the wisdom of Parker Palmer who writes in his fabulous book, Let Your Life Speak this, "Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am.”

What is underneath always wants to be revealed-- we just have to listen and look long enough to hear and see it! I look forward to hearing more about how you are doing this brave work.



Good Sunday morning, friends!

Have you ever just felt like you needed to fade in the background for a bit? Not join in a conversation at a party? Go to bed early just so you could have some peace from those in your household?

To situations such as these, enter this week's word: quiet. I love this definition of quiet - free from noise or uproar.

When is the last time your life felt like that?

I think there's an assumption when a person goes "quiet" that they are checked out. Or they are avoiding something. Or maybe even depressed.

But not always, right?

Quiet can be a natural response to the situations of our world that are full of big emotions that just need time and space to be processed and lived through. Quiet, in fact, can be a spiritual invitation of deeper faith. In so many faith traditions of the world, there are stories after stories of those having experiences with God while quiet.

Often times quiet is a gift life MUST give us so that we can hear.

I love how Author Parker Palmer expands on what quiet means when he writes: “Solitude does not necessarily mean living apart from others; rather, it means never living apart from one’s self. It is not about the absence of other people-it is about being fully present to ourselves, whether or not we are with others. Community does not necessarily mean living face-to-face with others; rather, it means never losing the awareness that we are connected to each other.”

Quiet, you see, can help you love more richly, more authentically and be more connected to the person that God made you to be. Quiet-- no matter your personality preferences-- can be one huge tool that can help you love not only yourself but others around you with more clarity.

So, this week, I would love you to try this. Find one hour. Plan nothing. Be quiet (even if you are moving about in the world). And be open to what happens. I bet something will . . .

Know I'm on a quiet journey with you!



P.S. Several years ago, I found myself in a quiet season when my husband's job took our family to a part of the country where I couldn't work in a traditional way for a couple of years .I wrote this post at that time about what I was learning. Maybe if you are in a quiet season right now, it might resonate with you as well.