Thinking from the heart

"Fjord" (I recently came across the artwork of Mary Southard, a Catholic nun and amazing artist ...incredible images of hope and transformation and life). Her website is: Mary Southard

Years ago, a friend of mine was looking for rural mountain property in Vermont to build a retreat center on. After a particularly long day of looking without any prospects, he got to his car and discovered that he had lost his keys. Eventually someone came by and gave him a ride home, but on the way, this man mentioned that he knew of property that was for sale, but not listed anywhere. It was the perfect spot and my friend ended up buying it and building his center.

Thinking that I need to figure out how something is going to happen, that I have to get all of my ducks in a row and have a logical, well-thought out plan, before I can move forward, is one of the most discouraging ways of thinking to fall into. The conscious mind, for all of its wonderful attributes, is severely limited when it comes to helping us live our dreams. It likes things neat, orderly, logical, safe and predictable.

There is a level of being that is beyond our conscious mind; wild and wonderful and ready to make our dreams come true, to open doors, present opportunities, make us feel like we have stepped into a world of wonder…but access to this realm, the key to entering this world, is not found in our heads. It is rarely logical, and is quite happy with not knowing, but trusting in what can been seen, at the moment, only in our imaginations.

“Logic: The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of human misunderstanding.” Ambrose Bierce

22 thoughts on “Thinking from the heart”

  1. Wow Mary, Just what I needed this morning! Having some problems at work and cannot see exactly how they are going to work out. Losing sleep..hard to feel that I am in the right place….hard to trust. thanks for the post!

    1. Karen, we are (at least temporarily in this moment of time!) twins separated at birth. I keep wanting to know how the work story ends . . . or should end . . . or will it ever end? Is this what I’m supposed to be doing? Where I’m supposed to be doing it? Some days it’s an emphatic yes, others an equally emphatic no. ‘Tis a puzzlement.

  2. It is the ego overriding the soul, is it not…and always our minds try to control. I’m organized, controlling of my own internal environment, tight-a**ed in my studio work which I’m trying not to be, and yet, to trust that things will work out as they are meant to means mentally free-falling for me. I am guilty of this every day of my life. The ego is a pest.


    1. The thought of mentally free-falling sounds wonderful! No limits. Just turning ‘it’ over to our higher power…and letting ‘it’ happen. It reminds me of all the times that Mary has told us that what we seek, also seeks us. And sometimes when we aren’t quite sure what we seek, there is that unseen energy that continues to seek us. Thanks, Mary, and everyone! Great stories and thoughts!

  3. What a gift you are to us, Mary. You bring soul into our lives with such peaceful and calming posts that quietly show us how to do it….no big fanfare, just “here’s a suggestion.” I can’t wait to get to your blog each day, for just this reason.

    Also am a big fan of Mary Southard. Her community of Sisters of St. Joseph have a really nice catalog of various calendars and gifts, and can be accessed through Ministry of The Arts (see below for website address.

    1. Oh thank you for that Suzanne, and for the extra information about Mary Southard! When I contacted her about putting her artwork on the blog she was just great.

    1. Love that Maria! My teacher says to “lead with yout heart” all the time. Yesterday my reiki lady told me that when we are formed in our mother’s womb, the heart is formed long before the brain, and the last to really need those 40 weeks in gestation, the fragile lungs. I mention this because to me it means God is lives in our heart space from the moment we are conceived, – not our heads, and think of it, even when we die, we could be ‘brain dead’ and still be living, but not so with the heart once it stops beating its life’s song. Our truest connection to the divine.

      Mary, I loved the painting by Mary Southard. Upon first glance I thought it was a Georgia O’Keiffe, (whose birthday was yesterday, as was my son’s,Carlos!) – especially the mountains reminded me of O’K. And thank you Suzanne for the link to her site. What goodies in the mail today!

      Lead with the heart, sweet flock!

  4. This morning as I folded laundry it began to sink in, how truly worry is a waste of energy and depleting, unproductive…. it didn’t stop me from worrying necessarily – but it did help me put it into perspective. I went from folding laundry to the lovely task of scooping cat litter and uncovered a little heart shaped ball, it made me gasp and laugh out loud. God is good, he certainly has a sense of humor and I was thankful for his reminder.

    1. I love this! Finding a signal/sign/message in the kitty litter! It’s perfect. I have been house and cat sitting for a friend for the past 3 weeks. And not having a cat of my own, I pretend, as I am scooping out the kitty litter, that I am mining for geodes! Never knowing what I might find! I will look with a different eye tomorrow!

    2. I saw a little part of a soap bar that looked like a heart the other day, but the kitty litter heart takes the prize for funny, and delightful Suzy!!!

  5. Yesterday’s post and today’s are so apropos to my life it’s scary. I’m a worrier. I think I must have been born worrying. My youngest son loves to tease me about that. Now we’re faced with my husband’s precarious health (86 years old, many falls); a doctor’s advice to look into assisted living (which is financially impossible); then yesterday, like a bolt out of the blue, a plot that our youngest son and his sister are hatching: that he will buy the cottage next door to his house and let us live there, rent-free. We’ve seen a realtor’s photo. It’s a cute little house (emphasis on “little”) but going there means leaving a home of twenty-plus years on which we have lavished care and imagination and a host of friends and connections (doctors, particularly) to travel from North Carolina to Michigan. We’re not afraid of cold weather. We used to live in Upstate NY and have seen as much as 50 inches of snow overnight. We’re also not afraid to relocate, having done it numerous times when my husband was a minister. It’s the idea of making decisions, sorting out and getting rid of “stuff”, and the compulsion to be in control of everything. I can mentally assent to letting go and allowing the universe to do its thing without my interference, but actually putting that into practice is something else again.

    1. Wow, Jean, you are facing a big decision and big move. But look back at your post, twice you said “We’re not afraid”. Did I ever share here that a minister I so admired once said that in the Bible, more than any other words that Jesus uttered (that are recorded in scripture anyway) are those two all powerful words: “Fear not.” Blessings to you and your family as you make your plans.

      1. Thank you, Susan. I’m reminded of a quotation:
        “When you come to the end of all the light you know,
        and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown,
        faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen:
        Either you will be given something solid to stand on
        or you will be taught how to fly.”
        — Dr Edward Teller

    2. So glad that you shared with us here Jean…we will be holding you in our thoughts and prayers for clarity and strength during this huge time of change…sending a big, feathered embrace. Love, Mary

  6. Oh Jean that is a beautiful quote! I have a friend who is starting chemo treatments and will share it with her. I think it will give her comfort.

  7. Mary and everyone, I love the quotations that are shared here so much that months ago I started a White Feather Farm Quotes folder in my documents on my Mac. I just copy and paste and click and save!, and it is just amazing in such a short time what has been amassed. If ever I were to feel a bit down on any given day, I know I could click on that folder and like iron to an anemic blood, I’d be fueled! Thank you all! – I’m also thinking of printing it out from time to time for a friend. What a potpourri of love and wisdom. One final thought for the night, – do not harbor fear in your heart – it ‘hogs’ the space for hope, resolve, and peace. (So listen up here, FEAR! There is a NO VACANCY sign in my heart! It’s already filled to capacity with loving guests!) “nightie’ night” Friends!

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