Happy Woman

Happy is an Inside Job

To live a good and happy life, the Cherokee elder warns his grandchild to feed the “good wolf”.  And Jesus gives us the Beatitudes as a marvelous template for how to feed our better selves (the good wolf).  

Notes from Lee Ann’s midrash on the Beatitudes (with particular attention given to the first beatitude of Matthew 5:3):

  • Put exclamations all over the text instead of making the beatitudes a series of statements.  In the Greek, there are no “blessed ARE”s!
  • Instead of “Blessed are the poor in spirit…Blessed are the meek,” try, O the joy of the poor in spirit, of the mourners, of the gentle, of those who sincerely care for what is right and good, of those pure in heart, of those who make peace, of those tormented by fear!   Feels different, doesn’t it?
  • Matthew 5:3–O the joy of the poor in spirit: theirs is the kingdom of Heaven
  • “Poor in spirit” = those who are empty or those who empty themselves like a bowl; those who are curious and know that they do not know it all; those who are beginners; those who want more than the material things of this world.
  • “Theirs IS the kingdom of Heaven” = our treasure is here and now; we are responsible for what we get and how we respond.

The spiritual life controls everything.  The kingdom of heaven is here now.  The presence of God and Spirit is here with us, among us.  The treasure is here, but it’s up to the seeker, to each of us to make our world a heaven on earth.  We are responsible for what we get and how we respond.  Remember the two wolves.  The wolf that appears is the one that we are feeding.  The good wolf appears when we have opened ourselves, emptied ourselves of the love of money, property, vanity, fear…emptied ourselves of arrogance, self-absorption, emptied ourselves of our certainty.  When the bowl is empty it can be filled…and filled with treasure that is beyond our wildest imagining.  This is a good beginning place…to have a beginner’s spirit that is open, hopeful, expectant, curious and loving.  Let your bowl be empty and fill it carefully with good things because the contents of your bowl will attract one of two wolves.  Let it be the good wolf.  May your life be the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth.

If you want to connect with Lee Ann, ask questions or suggest ideas for the podcast and community, please contact her HERE.

About the Author Lee Ann Hopkins

"Smile and the world smiles with you." That's the motto she lives by. Lee Ann is perfectly imperfect and unabashed about it even as she strives for higher and "better" every day. Both her can-do and her foibles are as fabulous as her smile. So take a moment and breathe in Lee Ann's "hooray" for today! Ms. Hopkins is host of the podcast Hooray Weekly, founder of The Hooray Daily and Hooray Living, a speaker, writer and do-gooder, who believe-it-or-not has been a public-interest attorney and clergywoman for longer than she cares to admit. Check out her books, You Are All That: Creating a Great Life with Affirmations, and Hooray for You: 365 Get-Up-and-Go-Go Quotes for Your Year. When you write her, send along a clergy and attorney joke. She loves 'em!

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