• Mike Woods


Each year I choose a word to focus on for the year. This year the word I was drawn to was “Notice.” One of my learnings this year is how noticing leads to gratitude. The practice of noticing – of simply taking a second look at things – has revealed previously invisible graces.

Noticing has also involved taking a second look at my health. I have been physically slowing down – more so than growing older or being out of shape. In November there was testing on my heart. Then more testing and then some consulting which revealed some advanced arterial disease in the arteries feeding my heart. The good news is my heart muscle is very healthy.

Surgery has been scheduled and tomorrow I will be trusting:

· a bypass machine to circulate my blood,

· a ventilator to breathe for me,

· and many talented people whom I have not yet met to care for me through my bypass surgery.

Over and over this year I have noticed how we are never alone and I feel surrounded by the love and prayers of so many people. I am humbled by such attention and strengthened by it at the same time.

I told people that I am cocooning this week. Staying away from crowds and any germs that might postponed the surgery and diving deep into silence to ponder the thoughts and questions that such a diagnosis prompted.

I recently read a sermon that said:

“When you have experienced a break in (from God) - it isn’t enough to work. It isn’t enough to love our family. It isn’t enough to connect with friends. It needs to be done with single hearted passion and love and light. There is no time to hold grudges, to be afraid, and not forgive. This is the gift of urgency. Who of us does, really, have any idea, how urgent everything beautiful is?”

The time of cocooning is done. Now is the time of healing and change. And gradually health and a new respect for my heart will emerge - beautiful – like a butterfly.

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