August Monthly Musings
Oh, summer why do you end so quickly?
I do love the cooler beautiful months of September and October, but am already missing the fellowship, outsideyness, and blue skies of August.
Outsideyness? Is that a word? This summer, on the good to best days, I hit the pause button as often as I can to linger on my backyard deck and breath in God’s stillness. Savor this season.
Writing this column each month, reflecting on the past 30 days, gathers the gifts of time into my soul. Gratefulness grows and joy rises. Time races by, but moments embraced, remain rich treasures to behold.
Each month I look back at what I am discovering, learning, and exploring in life – I call these my monthly musings. Capturing these special moments gives meaning, depth, and delight to life. Let’s wake up to the wonders in the ordinary all around us.
I record what I notice on the pages of my Monthly Musings Journal. You can use anything, scrapes of papers, a journal, or a calendar. Copies of my Monthly Musings Journal are available on Amazon and are a convenient way to keep track of the little things in life we often miss. Or if you want to click the button at the end of this post to get a FREE copy of my one-sheet Monthly Musings handout.
Monthly Musings Lesson Learned:
I discovered stillness within.
I wrote about my silent retreat two weeks ago and the primary spiritual practice I experienced this time (and most times) was stillness.
Often, I have a sense of “entering” the stillness, like crossing a threshold of silence and peace. I get restless waiting for that precious moment that arrives unexpectedly usually 24-30 hours into the quiet time away.
- Stillness creates a sanctuary space for my soul.
- Stillness soothes and sustains my spirit.
- Stillness silences the sounds so I hear my own heart and recalibrate its rhythm to God’s cadence.
This year stillness emerged anew. I felt a merging of God’s sacred space with a deep point of stillness within my own soul.
Our heavenly Gardener weeded and cleared the land buried inside of me, so a place of stillness budded and grew. He tenderly gave it light and nourished it roots so this new life would flourish then and once I came home.
Stillness from within. What a gift I continue to treasure and hold up to God’s hands for further cultivation and blessing.
I am grateful for stillness.
While on retreat I reread Mansions of the Heart – Exploring the Seven stages of Spiritual Growth by R. Thomas Ashbrook.
I have always found Teresa of Avila’s image of the seven mansions both intriguing and challenging and this book presents her ideas in new and contemporary ways. This is one book I will continue to read often to continue to stretch and grow.
Here is a good article about how to turn any vacation into a pilgrimage.
And you can never not learn from Parker Palmer, especially when he shares Mary Oliver.
One last good read is an old, but new to me, way to help when faced with a question you are unsure of how to answer. A new trick for discernment.
Monthly Musings Word of the Month:
We all know August as a noun for this past month but did you know it is also an adjective?
August can also mean:
- inspiring reverence or admiration;
- of supreme dignity or grandeur,
August is an august time of year!
Monthly Musings Wise Words to Remember:
James Clear shared this in his newsletter:
“Qualities that lead to increasing intelligence:
1. The curiosity to experiment and explore.
2. The honesty to observe the world as it is, not as you wish it to be.
3. The humility to kill your favorite ideas when you learn something new.
4. The consistency to repeat this cycle for life.”
What do you think of his list of ways to increase intelligence?
This is a quote from Tim Grover, an athletic trainer used by Micahel Jordan and many NBA players resonated with me. He described the three things he asks of every player:
“I don’t care how much you can lift, how fast you can run, how many pull-ups you can do, or whether you can hit a three while blindfolded. There are only three things I ask of every client… Show up, work hard, and listen. That’s it. It requires no talent, no special genetics, or any skill whatsoever to show up, work hard, and listen.”
Good advice for our daily living too.
Fun and Innovative Ideas I Discovered:
I love the Pilot FriXion erasable gel pens, both regular and colored ink. I keep them with my calendar as being erasable it is easy to change dates when events get rescheduled.
How was your August?
If you want a copy of my cheat sheet, I have made it into a free downloadable printable and you can just the button to get the free printable. I compiled these sheets plus additional information in a book, a two-year journal that is available on Amazon. I don’t want to lose the loose sheets of paper and think having it in a book form will make it more of a keepsake. Keep all YOUR musings in one place.
What did you learn in August? Please share – I would love to hear about your journey and all your life lessons.