Monday, October 17, 2016

Gratitude and letting go

Image from: Yoga Inspiration

Philippians 3:12-14 ESV

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

This autumn season is one of color, beauty and celebration and as we step into the month of November our focus shifts to the coming holiday of Thanksgiving; where we enjoy the bounty of the harvest season and the company of those we love. In the midst of these cooler days, the trees that were once full of leaves are beginning to grow thin. The leaves that were once green have changed to red, orange and yellow - and now they blanket the ground like confetti. 

As I think about this yearly cycle of life, I'm always impressed with the grace and flexibility of trees. Each year, every tree shifts from winter, to spring, spring to summer, summer to autumn and finally back to winter. In the midst of living through these seasons of perpetual change, the tree continues to live - to grow and change. 

What if I could live my own life with such grace and flexibility, like the trees that line the streets where I live?

If I were to be more like this changeable tree, what would my life look like? 

This selection of verses from Philippians reminds me also of how God calls each of us to live each day with grace and flexibility. While this verse admits that as people we are imperfect, that in our imperfection, we are called to live life fully. That because of what God has done for us through Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit - that we are freed to let go - to forget what is behind us - and press on to the season ahead.

The way that trees let go of their leaves, makes the process of letting go of the past look easy; but for people this process can be difficult. We long for what is familiar and for what is comfortable - and yet God calls us to keep looking forward, to press on, and to hear and live the call of a life that's been freed through Jesus.

While on the surface, trees let go of their leaves simply; we have to remember that each tree moves from season to season living with its leaves: nurturing in spring, blooming in summer, letting go in autumn, and preparing for new life to come all winter.When the time is right, the tree lets go of what is past - and moves on to what is to come in the cold of winter; because it knows that spring is coming after that. As we observe the falling of the leaves, we can see that the trees have some wisdom in how to live in freedom, grace and flexibility - just as our text in Philippians reminds us as well. We are called to live our lives in freedom - because of Jesus Christ - and to embrace each season for what it is. God calls us to live out each season fully - to nurture, to bloom, to let go, and to prepare; as it is appropriate. But in all seasons, God calls us to "press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." As we let go of the past, our lives are freed up and space is made the upward journey of the season to come.

Do not be afraid of letting go. We have so much to be thankful for. All of the colors of our lives are glorious, but new colors need a place to grow as well. The trees have shown us, just how beautiful letting go can be...because letting go makes room for new life, a new season and a new exciting life that is yet to come.

This autumn, consider how your gift of life is one to celebrate and how your unique gifts (time, talents, treasure) can bring color, grace, and beauty to those around you! When you give your gifts to others - you take part in the autumn dance of letting go and pressing on for what is to come, because the next season is already on its way here...

                                           Painting: Holding things lightly, by: T.L. Eastman

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Summer art show

Hat Ladies T.L. Eastman July 2016

Tree of Light T. L. Eastman 2016

Keep Dreaming T.L. Eastman 2016

Solstice Sway T.L. Eastman 2016

Which images speak to you the most - why? What colors, textures are you drawn too? What feelings do these images draw to the surface. Please respond in the comments.

Thanks for your feedback.

T.L. Eastman 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

New backpack

Like the first day of school, this return requires a new backpack. There's a drive to sharpen the pencils, lay out tomorrow's clothes and pack my lunch.
This is a new adventure and my bag is packed, I'm wearing walking shoes and I'm stepping onto an uncut path.

This is the hike I've been waiting for.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

The singer's voice sang out

The singer's voice sang out.
"You ask me to be somebody I'm not - honeypot?"
"Hear that?"
She tripped.
She rested.
She shouted.
The singer stood and she danced
and she built

T.L. Eastman 2016 Black-out poetry project

Monday, June 27, 2016


Wandering thoughts lead way to paths that haven't been tred in considerable time. These ponderings bring to front what needs mended, what should be sorted and what's been unattended and sitting in dust. I've been told it's not wise to look back, so I stretch and lean forward to trails I've not traveled yet. Wandering in premise sounds grand, but in practice I've not mastered it yet. 
Nonetheless, I'm kicking up the dust.

T.L. Eastman     June 2016 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Midnight date

Waiting for sleep, but it's running late. 
This has been going on for weeks.
Sleep can't seem to keep a date.

Am I too distracted, or eager for rest. 
Closing my eyes no longer passes her test.

Perhaps I took things for granted when nodding off, was as simple as breathing and gentle as floss. 

It's not what I expected - waiting here in the night for dreams that won't leave me restless and longing for light.

It's time for us to get together - no matter our past. For sleep I'm still hoping, like peaceful slumber, will come to pass.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

What really matters

Over the last several months, I've been practicing the art of taking into account what really matters. Through a variety of circumstances I think I've become more open to embracing beauty in each moment. Thankfully, there is a little person in my life that helps me with my practice, my grandson O.
At the age of two years, O has already helped return me to a place of playfulness when we spend time together. From acting out stories with his Dr. Who action figures and dueling with toy light sabers... we play ALL DAY!
O has also helped me to slow my pace a bit. He takes note of little things that I used to miss - like cool turtles in aquariums, kettle corn stands, and stopping to look at what is creeping along a nature trail path - because he's aware enough to notice.
The sweetness O shares with me is more than cotton candy and cookies. (Yes, there is cotton candy and cookies.) But his sweetness is a gift that lasts longer than any treat that can be bought. O's sweetness and joy is a gift that fills my heart to overflowing and also calls me to continue to practice the practice of taking account of what really matters.
Here, as a novice practitioner of gratitude, is what really matters - collecting and playing with toys that stir the imagination, discovering new creatures to ooh and ahh over, sharing cotton candy and getting your face and hands messy and holding hands to carefully cross the street (before we look both ways).
Especially life filled with moments with O.
O really matters.
Thank you O, you are a gifted gratitude teacher.