Author Archives: Vicki Flaherty

About Vicki Flaherty

I feel most alive when I am creating, whether through my writing and poetry, gardening and photography, or simply living my life each day. Running and yoga enrich my being. Travel opens me to new possibilities and greater awareness. I am happiest when I’m with my husband Jim. I share my gratitude for all the gifts in my life on my This Abundantly Delicious Life blog. I find a special joy in helping people succeed. I’ve done something valuable when I’ve helped a colleague or friend see their brilliance and express their full potential. I have awesome opportunities to do this as an industrial/organizational psychologist through leadership, mentoring, coaching, career and other talent programs. I try to encourage Leading with Intention at my blog of this name. As a breast cancer survivor, I found comfort and hope in writing. Poetry flowed through me like a river of healing during my diagnosis and treatment, which I share on my Mostly My Heart Sings blog, that I might offer encouragement and a place of grace and heart for those seeking comfort and hope along their journey.

The Heart

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Ah, the power of the heart…

Find Your Middle Ground

The heart is quiet rather than noisy, intuitive rather than deductive, lives entirely in the present moment and is at every moment accepting of reality as it is. Moreover, the heart does not seek to distance itself from, or dominate anything or anyone by labeling. It accepts rather than rejects, finding similarity rather than alienation…

via The heart — Mindfulbalance

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May I

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Touched and inspired today by Rolf Gates, author of Meditations on Intention and Being, and his Day 131 passage about courage:

“I love the true heart of humanity, and the most beautiful thing I have ever seen is the private courage it takes to be willing to look at oneself with an open heart and an open mind, seeking only to know what is true.”

As I wrote the quote in my journal, a prayer for today flowed from that place:

May I 
by Vicki L. Flaherty

May my heart and mind be open
May I see what is true
May I have clarity of purpose and seek the greater good
May I be kind and open with others, and myself
May I be intentional in my choices and actions
May I feel alive and filled with joy and gratitude
May I be courageous in facing my fears
May I have the strength to live in integrity with my values
May I be filled with hope
May I hold positive expectations and possibility
May I move through my day with grace
May I bring a calming heart presence to wherever I am

We start out thin and green

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“We start out thin and green, and each time the sky grows dark, we think we will break, but the downpour makes us grow, though never straight, always twisting for the light, and, strangely, the more we reach above the earth, the deeper something in us fingers its way down, and it is this – our unseen fingers reaching for the core –  that keeps us from blowing away. Now there is no more running and very little swaying, and up till now, there have been many languages, though none that could be heard, just a creak at dawn and a moan at night, and sooner or later, we are brought down. It doesn’t matter how. We are undone. But stacked we burn, and here the poetry rises from us, leaving wisdom in the ash.”

~Mark Nepo quoting an old man he met at a gathering

* I took the photo taken in Sagres, Portugal

All clear

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My inspirational message of the day, from TUT’s Universe: While someone might choose to face lack, disease, and adversity in their life, it would never be their “destiny.” Just strategically placed hurdles that will sooner teach them to fly. NOW, spread your wings.

I’m delighted, just hours after my previous post to report that all IS clear! After a few stressful moments with two doctors and a technician surrounding the ultrasound machine, exploring like adventurers in a new land, I discovered that the 2mm lump is a benign cist! Nothing new in this territory! YAY!

Yes, it looks like this was a hurdle, strategically placed, to remind me of my power to fly!

* The photo was taken in New York City at a flower shop on the street, where dozens of magnificent bouquets lined the sidewalk. I picked it because it looks like it is about to take flight.

I thought it was all clear

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Yesterday, I was crystal clear what an important milestone this particular doctor visit was: my 5-year mammogram. I felt confident it would be clean, but not completely certain. I took time before my appointment to sit quietly with myself and to explore what I was feeling. I discovered I was not afraid. Mostly I was curious.

My radiologist was super – showed me the image and complimented my peck muscles. She said that because my muscle was so defined, it was easy for her to see that she got all of my breast in the image. I have to say it was an impressive solid bar of muscle – I’ll keep up with my daily 30 push ups! 🙂

I can’t even express how relieved I was when my oncologist told me the mammogram was clean. I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

You can imagine how the wind was knocked out of my sails when, during her examination of my breast, she felt a lump under my nipple. We agreed probably nothing to be concerned about, but best to be safe.

So I am once again waiting, and wondering. However, with all the training I’ve been doing – being present in the moment – I am not letting the story run away. I am present here and now, and know that whatever comes, it’s a journey that will enrich my life in ways I can’t even comprehend.

In fact, this event has already led to so many touching moments, including special prayers and intentions with family and friends. I feel I am being held in rich soil and opening to the sun.

Related posts:

* I took this photo in New York City at a flower shop on the street, where dozens of magnificent bouquets lined the sidewalk.

Monday Morning: Let Me Rise Up

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A sweet reminder and lovely aspiration…

Live & Learn

red ovenbird,

When I rise up
let me rise up joyful
like a bird

When I fall
let me fall without regret
like a leaf.

~ Wendell Berry, “Prayers and Sayings of the Mad Farmer” from The Mad Farmer Poems


Notes:

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The work of the inner pilgrim

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“…No matter the shore before us, the swell and toss of the sea never ends. When brought to the crest of the swell, we can see as far as eternity and the soul has its perspective, but when in the belly of those waves, we are, each of us, for the moment, lost…the work of the inner pilgrim is to keep eternity in our heart and mind’s eye when dropped in the belly of our days.” ~Mark Nepo

* I took this photo in San Agustinillo, Oaxaca, Mexico

Passageway for everything larger than you

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“It seems that any moment of interest or pain or adversity can surprise us into the larger totality of life, breaking our current limits and allowing us the chance to redefine ourselves in regard to the larger sense that is upon us…We can never be prepared for everything. No one person can anticipate all of life. In face, over-preparation is yet another way to wall ourselves in from life. Rather, we can only prepare for how we might respond to the gift of surprise that often moves in on us faster than our reflex to resist.”

~Mark Nepo, The Gift of Surprise in The Book of Awakening

 

Inspired yet again by Mr. Nepo and ready to embrace the day and all its possibilities…

* I took this photo in San Agustinillo, Oaxaca, Mexico

Let it out

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Inspired again by Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening) whose reading for today was about how we were born to sing – to give voice to our feelings, and about how letting things out, like cries of fear or pain, lets new things come in.

He confirms for me that when I write poetry my heart singing. Singing all kinds of songs, not just of joy and peace and light but also of pain and fear and the lost way. Like a little miracle, sometimes the soothing inflow would come immediately upon the releasing outflow – almost like a single expression (e.g., Strong and The Me I’ve Always Been).

I recall the day I got the call confirming a cancer diagnosis and sobbing out loud in fear and anger. I didn’t realize that was a song. Indeed that act let out so many feelings and created space for new things to flow in, like hope and love and grace. Some of my poems reflect a deep hard-to-understand agony (e.g., Into the Vortex), and even though the salve doesn’t come immediately, it always comes (e.g., Invited came in the same day as Into the Vortex).

So today I am reminded to look inside, sing what I find, and sit in grace for the open space to fill.

 

* image courtesy of http://www.my-wall-decal.com/