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“The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

“The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

“God changes appearances every second. Blessed is the one who can recognize God in all God’s disguises. One moment God is a glass of fresh water, the next, your son bouncing on your knees, or an enchanting woman or perhaps merely a morning walk.” – Nikos Kazantzakis

May you see the depth, beauty and dimension of each moment today and in the gift of each day that follows. Grace and gratitude.

How Rather Than What

“Faith is an oasis in the heart which will never be reached by the caravan of thinking.” – Khalil Gibran

It’s easy to focus on what. We all have a lot of “what nows” coming our way on a variety of fronts every day – health, career, family, relationships, money . . .  and the what list goes on. We let little things become big until really big things come and put it all in perspective, for a while anyway.

Rather than “what now” and “what next,” we need to measure and focus on “how” we go through the you name it “whats.” If we consistently do our best, never give up and be steady through the winds and waves when they are their strongest, we grow stronger.

A line in the sermon last week at church has stuck with me. The goal is not to be successful but rather faithful. Keep the faith. Again and again.

“To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.” – Alan Watts

“To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.” – Alan Watts

Picking Up the Toy

“Life is always at some turning point.” – Irwin Edman

On the first trip outside this morning, Molly picked up a toy in the living room and proceeded to the back yard. She does this every morning, but this morning was special. She had surgery last Monday on a torn ACL from wear, tear and arthritis. She has about 10 inches of stitches on her inner knee and a metal plate screwed in to reconstruct the function. When I picked her up on Tuesday, she was looking pretty rough but anxious to get home.

“Love one another and help others to rise to the higher levels, simply by pouring out love. Love is infectious and the greatest healing energy.” – Sai Baba

“Love one another and help others to rise to the higher levels, simply by pouring out love. Love is infectious and the greatest healing energy.” – Sai Baba

She’s been pretty somber through the week, waking up, coughing, limping around, not herself. On Thursday morning, I took her back to have them check out her coughing and it turned out she has pneumonia often caused by anesthesia.

All week, Lily has been keeping an eye on her like a hawk. Patiently waiting for her best friend to feel better and be ready to play again. The toy pick up this morning signaled that Molly is feeling better and ready to bring play back. She’s coughing less and her eyes are brightening up.  She’s on the mend and I wouldn’t expect anything else from her. She’s a combination of tough and sweet with a side of attitude.

During difficult times, we often think they won’t end or it will get worse. As we move through the waiting and worrying, healing is happening, what’s next is being written, it’s all unfolding as it is meant to be. Even though it may not feel that way, it’s reassuring to know that it will be ok soon, that we’ll be able to pick up the toy again.

Untie

“Close your mouth,
block off your senses,
blunt your sharpness,
untie your knots,
soften your glare,
settle your dust.
This is the primal identity.”
― Lao Tzu

Peace is rooted in our soul, longing to rise, remain, seen and shared. Listen. Act. A candle and mirror of peace.

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” – Edith Wharton

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” – Edith Wharton

Full Throttle

“There’s a rebel lying deep in my soul.” – Clint Eastwood

A long weekend cabin getaway was good medicine for all participants. The dogs waded in the lake, wandered in the woods, played without hesitation and rested well. On the last escape into the woods, Molly came back looking like a large skunk, unapologetic. If you’re going to go, go big, go deep, get dirty, no holding back, nothing less than full throttle.

“There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.” – Lord Byron

“There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.” – Lord Byron

When people disappoint (and they will, including you), when you question your commitments, don’t measure your input by others input or lack thereof. We only have control of how and what we invest into each day. A life well-lived comes up short if not lived at full throttle, in the present, to our complete capacity and potential. Be a full participant, not a spectator.

Delicious Ambiguity

“I wanted the perfect ending…Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end…Delicious ambiguity.”

We try to figure out the ending at the beginning, wanting to know what’s ahead. As I look back over the years, I am sure I would not have dug in, took new paths, tripped through detours if I would have know what it would take and where it would take me.

Instead of solving the mystery that is the essence of life, let go into the moment, ready and willing to be surprised, delighted, scared and awed.

Delicious ambiguity.

Reflect Light

“Life itself is exponential.” – Jeff Rich

“Life itself is exponential.” – Jeff Rich

When faced with the daily decision, reflect light. A gentle word, undivided attention, a welcoming warm smile all have a ripple effect. Simple and profound. Cast light and the world is new, transformed. Kindness, gratitude and grace move mountains.

Move a mountain today.

Summer Delight

“You must not for one instant give up the effort to build new lives for yourselves. Creativity means to push open the heavy, groaning doorway to life.” – Daisnku Ikeda

I’m still waiting for a “slow” summer. In the past week, I’ve heard several times from others that they can’t believe it’s the 4th of July already, half of the year over. Summer calls out the best in us, inviting us deep and long into each day. We take it a little easier, walk a little lighter.

On Monday evening, Jeanne and I went for a run at Como Lake. The weather shifted quickly so we cut the run short and snuck into the pavilion for a water that turned into a beer. As we listened to live big band music and watched some dancing, the skies opened wide and the rain pounded the pavement. As soon as the down pour started, three little kids rushed out of the shelter into the rain and through puddles with pure joy and delight, without hesitation.

Kids and dogs don’t overthink or complicate their life. They just live it and every damn moment of it. As you celebrate independence day, may we all find the freedom that our four legged friends and little ones have mastered.

Summer, kids and dogs are calling. Heed the call.

“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” – Anatole France

“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” – Anatole France

the grace of sensibility

“Appreciation is the grace of sensibility, of really experiencing every moment for its uniqueness and its awe. It is what enables a person to stand on a street corner, arms out wide, head up, smiling the smile of the holy and giving thanks for the depth of every moment of it. It is the posture of the heart that says life is good, I am blessed, the universe is friendly, the world is beautiful.” – Joan Chittister, Between the Dark and the Daylight

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” – Denis Waitley

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” – Denis Waitley

May you see beauty in each petal, each smile, each glance, each touch, each moment. To be open to all that IS to be discovered and savored in the everyday-ness of life. When we recognize and realize that this moment, this hour, this day our life is unfolding, there is a yearning, a calling to be ever-present and awake.

May your mind, heart, spirit and soul be full today and each day by the grace of sensibility.

Sow . . . Reap

“You have to sow before you can reap. You have to give before you can get.” – Robert Collier

As the world continues to go faster and rewards quantity over quality, width over depth, we try to convince ourselves that we can figure out the shortcut, the easy path, the magic formula that no one else has figured out.

If we are honest with ourselves and heed that still small voice, the cues and clues, we know better. There are universal truths that we can’t outsmart, outthink or outrun. Step by step, seed by seed, act by act, we build our life day to day.

For us to grow, to transform, to reap the “harvest” of life, we always must sow first and often. We can’t bypass step one – sow and go immediately to step two – reap. And sometimes what we sow doesn’t take root and the harvest never comes.

When we sow kindness, hard work, play, compassion, joy, encouragement, laughter and sprinkle it with light and love, we not only reap in due time, we reap through the mere act of sowing.

So each day, ask “what will I sow today?” The reaping will take care of itself and the harvest will be plenty.

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