Monday, April 4, 2011

Henry David Thoreau quotation on an inspirational magnet by Raphaella Vaisseau

One of my favorite Thoreau quotes is this: "Above all, we cannot afford not to live in the present." When I was ordained as a minister in the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness in 1978, a portion of my ministerial blessing was about "giving in to the moment I'm in,” thus allowing my spiritual gifts to awaken (one of which is creativity). I took the blessing seriously and worked at understanding what it is to live in the present. Meditating helped. Practice is key.

Later, when I became a full-time working artist in 1997, I began to create little reminders on magnets (and posters) of words and quotes that inspire me and others. I decorated the words with my art and still look at them every day as I do my work and live my life. I practice continuously to live in the moment I’m in.

I’ve noticed that even while walking on the beach, I sometimes become aware that my head is down and I’m absentmindedly looking for shells on the sand beneath my feet while I’m walking. Then I remember, and lift my head. I take a deep breath, and take note of where I am. I look up and see the clouds in the sky. I feel the warmth of the sun on my skin. I notice the other people around me. I listen to the sound of the waves crashing on shore, and the birds calling out to each other as they glide overhead.

I feel a kinship with Thoreau when I walk. His words remind me to appreciate the beauty that surrounds me and to live in the present, in the here and now. In every moment. Again and again.

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