“In oneself lies the whole world and if you know how to look and learn, the door is there and the key is in your hand. Nobody on earth can give you either the key or the door to open, except yourself.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti
Frozen by our resistance to change, we hold firm to our predictable world. And as we grasp to familiarity, change marches on, prompting us to move with it, to become. When we worry less about change that is inevitable, we open up to being changed and growth ensues.
As we open to being transformed, the frozen surface we’ve built to protect us cracks under the current moving deep within, an unstoppable force. Release the need for control and let the water furl and float with a natural sacred ease grounded in faith and grace.
“Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.” – Marcus Aurelius
“The winter solstice has always been special to me as a barren darkness that gives birth to a verdant future beyond imagination, a time of pain and withdrawal that produces something joyfully inconceivable, like a monarch butterfly masterfully extracting itself from the confines of its cocoon, bursting forth into unexpected glory.” – Gary Zukav
“Too many of us go to our graves with our music still inside.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes
As I looked at my house light tonight at dusk, I noticed the image of a butterfly as the light spread its wings. What we choose to see guides our day, our way.
To release our music before we go to our graves, we must keep pushing through the cocoon to go from the caterpillar to the butterfly. Transformation takes time and then suddenly, it enters softly like a whisper.
Keep pushing. You never know when that last ounce of pressure and persistence will be your breakthrough, the tipping point. Release your light, your music, your true self – the butterfly.
In a number of halting moments recently, I am reminded yet again of the importance of defining who and what we let in. The theme of the week, month, year is “do more, faster.” But no matter how fast and far we run, it will never be enough. The spectators and critics will want more, more and more.
When we run our own race, dance our own dance, defining what we give ourselves to, we discover what we already know deep down – we are more than enough. When we show up, fully participate, give and be our best, the critic is silenced.
Discouragement is easy to be found, felt and shared to be sure. But we are called to a deeper, more meaningful life each day, beyond the obvious and below the surface. When we define who we are rather than letting others do so, we live out our potential, unfolding to our calling.
Define your day, define your life. And along the way, be kind.
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” – Maya Angelou
How many days, years, wasted pondering, pining, worrying about that which we have no control? Thoughts, assumptions and judgments creating stories that aren’t real, illusions. He said/she said. She thinks/he thinks…What if, why?
Do and give your best and let the results take care of themselves. Look for the best in others and the best is drawn out. Think good thoughts and goodness presents itself. Slow down, lighten up, take it in, let it go and most importantly enjoy the ride. It is but a short one at that.
“To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.” – Eckhart Tolle
While the world measures “success” by distance, speed and status, our life is truly lived and measured by depth, connection and substance found in simple moments. Foster joy, depth and meaning each day. What’s real and true is right in front of you, right now.
“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.” – Thomas Merton
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharlal Nehru
“I said to myself, I’m going to quit complaining! I’ll keep quiet especially when the ungodly are around me. But as I stood their silently the turmoil within me grew to the bursting point. The more I mused, the hotter the fires inside. Then at last I spoke and pled with God: Lord, help me realize how brief my time on earth will be. Help me to know that I am here but a moment more.” – Psalms 39:1-6
It is so easy and tempting to join in with the complainers, the “chirpers.” Those who criticize and choose to see nothing but shadow. But the chirping merely breeds more of the same, producing nothing of value. The higher road has plenty of room for all and often a hard one to take. But with one step at a time and an acute awareness that we are here but a moment, the high road is the only journey worth the trip. So when the choice arises, and it will several times a day, choose light. See the beauty, be the beauty.
“Any idiot can face a crisis – it’s day to day living that wears you out.” – Anton Chekhov
In a crisis-filled world, some chance and much self-inflicted, may we move into each day with intention, fortitude and utter gratefulness of our gifts. Blessings are rooted deeper than weeds, yet we often miss them as we lament the weeds. When we lighten up, laugh and let go, we awaken to our life that is planted and blooming in everyday, simple and profound moments.
May your senses be overwhelmed with the fragrance, boldness and beauty in each petal of the bouquet of this day.
“Accustom yourself continually to make many acts of love, for they enkindle and melt the soul.” – Saint Teresa of Avila
“In the pain, the agony, and the heroic endeavors of life, we pass through a refiner’s fire, and the insignificant and the unimportant in our lives can melt away like dross and make our faith bright, intact, and strong.” – James E. Faust
When we melt into rest and quiet the noise of thoughts derived from the outside, we are reminded of what we already know. What and who’s most important rises to the top again and the remainder is put aside out of the way where it belongs.
Find rest, solace and melt into yourself so all that is of your heart and soul takes front and center stage in each day of your story.
“It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” – Brother David Steindl-Rast
When going through difficulties, it seems unauthentic to “fake” it, to experience and share joy. Almost as if we are cheating on misery if we don’t give it our full effort. But it is precisely in our ability to muster gratitude for what we have amidst dry times that we find an oasis, if not merely a cup of water that sustains us through to times of plenty. For life is a circle of beautiful and bland, plenty and want, as we unfold and unfurl into a full and genuine being.
We all have our theories of what should be, how things should go. And then reality hits and our theories don’t play out in practice. Faith must be walked out during the tough times to be true and real, to pass the test.
If you find yourself in times of want, hold on and be grateful enough to uncover joy mixed in the angst. If you find yourself in times of plenty, be especially grateful and share your blessings to lighten the load for those in want. Each one of us carries our own burdens beyond our smiles and when we find the oneness of our humanity, the load lightens. Plenty is abundant and deep and want is scarce and fleeting.
Embrace and be grateful for all 360 degrees of each day.
“Those who stand at the threshold of life always waiting for the right time to change are like the man who stands at the bank of a river waiting for the water to pass so he can cross on dry land.” – Joseph B. Wirthlin
As the New Year enters, believe and trust that the doors you choose to open and close are leading to your destiny and purpose. Some will be heavy, some will be light. Each one prepares you for the next. Cross the threshold.
“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.” – Aldous Huxley