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The Heart of Abundance

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If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things that are missing. If you don't have love in your life, no matter what else there is, it's not enough.
If you think well of others, you will also speak well of others and to others. From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. If your heart is full of love, you will speak of love.
Me: "It's all about love, isn't it?"
The Universe: "Yup... Isn't it obvious?"

Entrée:  A Special Occasion - Author Unknown
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My brother-in-law opened the bottom drawer of my sister's bureau and lifted out a tissue-wrapped package. "This," he said, "is not a slip. This is lingerie." He discarded the tissue and handed me the slip. It was exquisite; silk, handmade and trimmed with a cobweb of lace. The price tag with an astronomical figure on it was still attached. "Jan bought this the first time we went to New York, at least 8 or 9 years ago. She never wore it. She was saving it for a special occasion. Well, I guess this is the occasion." He took the slip from me and put it on the bed with the other clothes we were taking to the mortician. His hands lingered on the soft material for a moment, then he slammed the drawer shut and turned to me. "Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special occasion."

I remembered those words through the funeral and the days that followed when I helped him and my niece attend to all the sad chores that follow an unexpected death. I thought about them on the plane returning to California from the Midwestern town where my sister's family lives. I thought about all the things that she hadn't seen or heard or done. I thought about the things that she had done without realizing that they were special.

I'm still thinking about his words, and they've changed my life. I'm reading more and dusting less. I'm sitting on the deck and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I'm spending more time with my family and friends and less time in committee meetings.

Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experience to savor, not endure. I'm trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them. I'm not "saving" anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event-such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, the first camellia blossom. I wear my good blazer to the market if I like it. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries without wincing. I'm not saving my good perfume for special parties; clerks in hardware stores and tellers in banks have noses that function as well as my party-going friends. "Someday" and "one of these days" are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it's worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.

I'm not sure what my sister would've done had she known she wouldn't be here for the tomorrow we all take for granted. I think she would have called family members and a few close friends. She might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think she would have gone out for a Chinese dinner, her favorite food. I'm guessing - I'll never know.

It's those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew that my hours were limited. Angry, because I put off seeing good friends with whom I was going to get in touch someday. Angry, because I hadn't written certain letters that I intended to write - one of these days. Angry and sorry, that I didn't tell my husband often enough how much I truly love him. I'm trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives. And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special. Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift from God.

About the author:

Like many other stories from the Internet, the attribution of this touching story cannot be verified... 

Main Course: Fill 'er Up!
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Martin Luther King, Jr. was often jailed in the process of raising the consciousness of the world, as were many who walked that path before him. On one occasion, the Baptist ministers in a southern town were fearful to march beside him. He would, after all, move on after stirring up the people, and they would be left to pay the price of thinking differently about the rights of people of all colors, they thought. Nothing would change down here, so why bother?

What might have happened had he written letters to them, chastising them for not standing beside him in what he believed was right? He could have written venomous letters to them about not backing him in the public eye, calling them cowards and traitors to the movement. It was a crucial time in the Civil Rights Movement, and their show of support would have certainly helped.

He did write the ministers from his jail cell, but not to make them feel bad about their choice. He wrote to them about the love in his heart for all people, forgiving the ministers while understanding the reasons for their choice to stay home. He asked them once again for their help, and this time he got it. He took Luke quite seriously when he wrote, "release, and ye shall be released." (Luke 6:37)

His heart was abundant with love, just as the apostle Luke said it should be, and it worked.

What is the abundance of the heart? Luke said that what's in there will be returned in great measure. If there is an abundance of love in my heart, I will have a greater measure of love returned to me. It is the abundance of the heart that causes me to be who I am. And, that is why Luke teaches that if I forgive people who have not been gracious to me, I will have "a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over." The measure I give will be the measure I get back. (Luke 6:38)

So, it can't hurt to take a few moments out of every day and see what's in there. For "the good man, out of the good treasure of his heart, brings forth that which is good." I would do well to remove ill will, anger, resentment and every other bad thing that there is too much of in this world. Then, I can fill 'er up with love, and spread it around.

And get it back, in great measure.

Michael Rawls, Friday's Inspiration © 2003

Second Helping: Listen for Heart Whispers by Nancy Bishop
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What if you started to listen for what your heart whispers to you? How might your life be different if you followed your heart? The answers may not make sense to the rest of the world and the path may not look like one that anyone else would want to follow. The point is that when you are living an authentic life, you are making your own path. The path begins when you take steps to move forward in your life.

Your heart is always calling you, in your dreams, or it may be what is keeping you up at night. You will also feel its urging in your waking hours. Dare to follow it, dare to believe in yourself, for that is where your power lives. It is when we choose to ignore the heart’s gentle calling that it begins to get louder. Sometimes there is so much static in our lives it keeps us disconnected from our hearts and then it takes a huge crisis or event to get us to pay attention, change our ways, or move in another direction.

Remember our hearts need “soul food” to keep our spirits healthy and strong. What is your particular brand of “soul food?” Is it music, colors, art, poetry, connections with family and friends, adventure, bird songs, flowers, dancing?

Discover the “soul food” that feeds your spirit. Pay attention to those things that send goosebumps up and down your skin, or make the hair on the back of your neck electrify with excitement. Have a reserve of “soul food” so that you never suffer from a hungry heart.

Don’t forget to check in with your heart on a daily basis. Ask for it’s guidance and assistance then quietly listen for your heart whispers. 

About the author:

Nancy Bishop is a Life Coach and Inspirational Writer. Her "special-tea" is to work with women who want to find more time, energy and abundance for the things that really matter in their lives. She also publishes a free monthly newsletter! Visit to find your cup of tea, and contact her to get things brewing. She can be reached at 603-357-4597 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Eastern Tea-Time) or click here to email Nancy.

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