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The Center

universeYou know how sometimes you’re talking about an idea with someone and the exact right gems/words just fall out of your brain into your mouth? You know the kinds of words I mean, right? The ones that express the gist of the idea with precision and economy.

Well, I was talking with a friend the other day about how the center works in an individual life and in life itself when I said,

“You’re the center of your own universe, not the center of the known universe.”

And we both exhaled at the same time into a reverberating silence.

That’s it, you know. You have to be the center of your own universe. Think of it this way:

If you’re not, who is?

That’s a real question. If you don’t/won’t/can’t (or any other contraction) put yourself in the center of your own life, who will occupy that position? And how long will it take you to get to some kind of out-sized emotional reaction because of that lack of you at the center? Truth? It’s only a matter of time before you’re hurt, mad, sad, or variations on these less-than-happy themes. And who could blame you really?

Conversely, you are not the center of the known universe. That position belongs to whatever you believe in that is Greater Than You. Name It what you will. For me, that’s The Mother. For others, The Buddha. For others, Science. It doesn’t really matter what you put there as long as it’s bigger than you, and you understand where your personal universe fits inside its vastness.

To be clear, all personal universes fit inside the Universe itself. All. No exceptions. When you consciously put yourself at the center of your own universe, and fully inhabit it, it’s much easier to see how you and your personal universe fit into the known universe.

Full tilt living is the basic requirement for thriving. (Maybe we ought to change the pronunciation of that word from lih-ving to ly-ving.) So please, Beloved, be the center of your own universe, and remember that you belong in and to the known Universe—you’re just not Its center.

When Necessary

St. Francis of Assisi was one of the Bad Boys of the Saints. We hear about his love of animals. His pious heart. We hear about his precious sister in Christ, Clare. We hear about him once he started to be the gospel. What we rarely visit is his path on the way there. That’s why I love that he said this:

Preach the Gospel always. And when necessary, use words.

St. Francis came late to saintliness. His mother prayed for his soul for years, and despaired of him ever straightening up and flying right! In fact, his path into sainthood was fraught. Others preached to him, and he preached himself for a long time till he figured out that he needed to be the gospel, not just preach it.

The next time you catch yourself urging someone to do something, hold still a minute, and ask yourself a question. Am I preaching this? Or am I being it?

If you’re preaching, stop. Start Being. It speaks volumes.

Seeds XVII, 31

Inner Smile

This came to me in my Weekly Pinterest email. Upon reading it, I made it my instant, constant practice. (It’s been about a month now.) I can tell you honestly that this practice is like going through life with the best secret in the world. Very little can ruffle one in the face of an inner smile. In fact, almost nothing. Try it. You’ll see.


cc49b5de90ea51cd82c3be80f0cde114In ancient China, the Taoists taught that

a constant inner smile,

a smile to oneself,

insured health, happiness and longevity.


Smiling to yourself is like basking in love:

you become your own best friend.

Living with an inner smile

is to live

in harmony with yourself.