Welcome to the beginning of a new project called Rise Up Reflections September 2015. I started on September 10, 2015, and plan to give it a go to see how it informs and centers me in the Spirit to create useful content on Rise This Day. My hope is that what I share here will get the creative juices flowing in areas that I might not have thought about otherwise. Thanks for visiting.
September 30, 2015: What do I have in abundance? What part of this abundance is longing to be shared?
This question caused me to pause. It took me a day or two to answer it. As I begin retirement, I’m aware that I have a number of things that I want to give and share with others…but in due time. Two very present passions of mine are writing and photography, which I have been doing for decades now. My hope moving forward is to hone these two mediums as ongoing sources of value to people who visit Rise This Day. After being retired for one year I will then be reaching outward and sharing more of whatever it is I have in abundance.
September 28, 2015: To what color would you love to write an ode? What might it say?
Odd question, I feel. I’m more inclined to write prose. And when I do so, I’m hanging out with orange, green, blue and sometimes purple! The world needs more purple.
September 26, 2015: When has someone given me the right kind of help just when I needed it?
I read this the morning it was posted. But it was also our youngest and last daughter’s wedding day, to which I was officiating. So maybe at that time I didn’t want to think about something happening that required another person’s help that day! A few days later I can see the question more clearly!
Oftentimes my wife gives me the right kind of help when I couldn’t/wouldn’t see that I needed it! So that’s always the first and most significant and ongoing sources of help for me. Next comes my support and oversight committee that guides my ministry among Friends. They have been, and continue, to support me spiritually, emotionally and personally during this year of transition. And last…but which never feels last, is my dog, who melts my resolve and gets me away from the computer to just love her up, take her outside and rough-house with her or go for a ride and walk along a trail.
September 27, 2015: How can I stretch my heart to love bigger? To love more of the world?
This question has me thinking about Isaac Pennington, one of our early Quaker luminaries who said, “Now let us see what love can do.” From this I take, sometimes we just need to think about love, loving others and what praying into love and being more mindful of what love is and can do, for those around us and for the world at large. It’s easy to love what we like. What I marvel with a sense of awe are those folks out there who can also love what they don’t like, who can find ways to love even those who have hurt them in one way or the other. These people, they are the saints.
September 25, 2015: What dream lives on in me?
To one day be able to return to do hands-on healing work with others who request it. I just don’t feel that it is a safe environment these days for men in the wake of the sexual abuse crisis within the Catholic Church and within other denominations. So I look for others ways to promote experiences and places of healing for those who seek it.
Mid September 2015: Who has gone before you in your work for whom you are grateful?
Most specifically, Father Phil Kelly and Alvin Glaser, two of the three founders of the Dartmouth Youth Commission. (I just retired from there after 31 years of very good work.) But there are so many trailblazers who came before in so many areas. I’d need days to name just some! Heck, I’m grateful every time I turn my computer on that somebody made this possible too…and the Internet, and my cameras, and on and on…
September 10, 2015: What opportunity is calling me to be fearless?
I found this question so powerful and gripping that I immediately launched into a post which you can read here. (It’s a bit different from how I responded within Rise Up Reflections).
Well, I am about to retire after doing social work with children and their families for the last 31 years. I can honestly say that I have enjoyed my work right up until the moment I leave for good in three days time! I also know that it is time for a change, for me and for the public agency that I work for.
The opportunity that I am praying into involves doing “no- new- thing” for one year so that I can focus primarily on my photography and writing. Many people have asked, “So what will you do now, Kevin, once you retire?” (Interesting how working people always ask this question, while those retired for a while do not.) But since I have been very open about what I want to focus on for a year, the only fear I might have is not succeeding or not carrying out my plan. Other than that, I suppose I do feel fearless as I begin this new chapter of m life.