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By My Side

“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” – Mother Teresa

“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” – Mother Teresa

Molly went in for her spring grooming last week. Lily knew something was up when we were leaving and tried to nose her way out the door with us. The same way Molly does when I take Lily for her allergy appointments. Molly was gone for four hours. When I brought her home, Lily pounced on Molly with elation as if she was gone for four months. Never saying a word, they communicate volumes.

One of my favorite quotes is from St. Francis of Assisi, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” Our actions – what we do, our follow-through, time and attention offered freely, promises kept, a long gazing look, a smile mean so much more than empty words unfulfilled. It’s a noisy world. Make your actions and words count.

Twigs, Buds and Blooms

“Life is lived on levels and arrived at in stages.” – Edwin Louis Cole

Life is a mix and often opposites – joy, sorrow; mountains, valleys; excitement, boredom; yin, yang. And each area at different stages and variations, cycles. Some areas are deep in quiet hibernation, some on the edge of budding and some in the brilliance of full bloom.

The full bloom moments pull us through the barren desert, giving hope and proof of our strength and resilience. And we are drawn out into full bloom by soaking up light and letting time do its job.

We never know what someone else is going through. We have the power to add to their burden or lighten the load. Pay attention, ask, listen. Kindness and light can transform twigs to beautiful fragrant flowers. Cast light.

“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.” – Helen Keller

“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.” – Helen Keller

Overflowing

“Life is full and overflowing with the new. But it is necessary to empty out the old to make room for the new to enter.” – Eileen Caddy

“Life is full and overflowing with the new. But it is necessary to empty out the old to make room for the new to enter.” – Eileen Caddy

“And our job – in finding God, in being God; in finding truth, in being truth, in finding love, in being love – is to meet the world at the surface where Spirit slips out through every cut.” – Mark Nepo, Reduced to Joy

In the circle of searching, finding and being, life is overflowing, filled with all of the ingredients for our happiness. In gratitude, we discover that we have all that we need here and now. More than enough.

The Hunter

“Searching is half the fun: life is much more manageable when thought of as a scavenger hunt as opposed to a surprise party.” – Jimmy Buffett

At times we get stuck in the rut of our thoughts and circumstances. We wait for something to move us when we need to hunt up joy and light to get a new perspective, to get unstuck.

From the excitement of a squirrel pouncing from tree to tree to the delight of a leaf blowing down the path, Lily understands the bounty found in curiosity and attention to the very moment she’s in. Fully present with ears perked up and bounce in her step, she does not wait for adventure, she pursues it.

My happy little hunter emerges herself deep in the present, senses fully engaged in new sights, sounds and smells. She’s discovered that all that we need is close at hand ready to be captured by our hunting spirit.

“My aim in life isn't so much the pursuit of happiness as the happiness of pursuit.” – Charles Saatchi

“My aim in life isn’t so much the pursuit of happiness as the happiness of pursuit.” – Charles Saatchi

 

Unbound

“As you make choices to let go of attachments that no longer work for you, your options seem to grow and expand. But what you are really doing is increasing your perspective, as all possibilities were there all along.” – Don Miguel Ruiz, Jr., The Five Levels of Attachment

What seems to be loss becomes gain when we release our tight grip on what was so we can reach for what’s next. And what has been is part of the journey that has prepared us for today. So no regrets or what ifs, just forward motion to what’s waiting for us now that we are ready. It’s all a part of the whole journey, the growth, the pain, the process of becoming more authentic.

“The sky broke like an egg into full sunset and the water caught fire.” – Pamela Hansford Johnson

“The sky broke like an egg into full sunset and the water caught fire.” – Pamela Hansford Johnson

And as the sun sets on this chapter, our ego, fears, self-imposed limitations fade as we release them and ready for the depth of abundance in the next sunrise. In letting go of the attachments that now bind, we discover what’s of lasting value, hiding right in front of us.

Partake

“A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.” – Mahatma Gandhi

May the hope, love, mercy, forgiveness, redemption and resurrection of Easter permeate your soul and free your spirit today and every day. Partake in the awe and wonder freely given. Each day offers a new beginning, a fresh start, a second, third and fourth chance.

“The True Self is not our creation, but God's. It is the self we are in our depths. It is our capacity for divinity and transcendence.” – Sue Monk Kidd

“The True Self is not our creation, but God’s. It is the self we are in our depths. It is our capacity for divinity and transcendence.” – Sue Monk Kidd

Say YES! to that still, soft, persistent voice calling you to your True Self. Let your light shine brightly, breaking the darkness.

Grace, joy and light – Happy Easter.

Passes All Understanding

“I have become sure that if all I know about God is that my God is the fullness of life and the consummation of hope, the light on the way and the light at the end, then I will live my life in the consciousness of God and goodness everywhere, obscure at times, perhaps, but never wholly lacking.” – Joan Chittister

If left to our own understanding, many days, some people and the crosses that we each bear don’t make any sense. This Holy Week that starts with palms and celebration moves rapidly to betrayal, desertion, denial and unimaginable suffering. Three days later, despair transforms through resurrection. Light overcomes dark. Always.

And through all of our trials, should we dare to have the faith to believe, we discover and capture a peace that passes all understanding.

This week is ultimately about love, without condition in its highest form, showing us the way through the valleys and the mountains. On the cusp of Easter, go deeper, stay longer and find that peace.

In-between

“Life is one big transition.” – Willie Stargell

“Life is one big transition.” – Willie Stargell

Not still winter yet not quite spring.
In-between.
On the edge.
The grip of winter slowly releases allowing hints of spring to appear.
Moments gather to days and transition time prepares us for transformation.
Releasing what was for what is to be, to the new, the next.

The sun and the rain do their job melting the ice’s resolve.
Blue breaks through the white and the frozen evolves into water.
Gently giving way for the next season.
That which occurs does so in the right time.
Not hurried, prodded or pushed.
In due time, not our time.

Signs and Wonders

“A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles.” – William Hazlitt

I walked into the living room this morning and Lily was sitting in the recliner with a “what’s up” look. She lightened the moment and I just started laughing. The only way to start the day. Every day Lily and Molly bring a new attitude with a focus on fun, present and living right in the moment of joy.

“Stop a minute, right where you are. Relax your shoulders, shake your head and spine like a dog shaking off cold water. Tell that imperious voice in your head to be still.” – Barbara Kingsolver

“Stop a minute, right where you are. Relax your shoulders, shake your head and spine like a dog shaking off cold water. Tell that imperious voice in your head to be still.” – Barbara Kingsolver

There are signs and wonders all around us if we tune in and listen. A jolt back into what’s real and true, well beyond  all of the dissent and distractions.

Last Saturday when I was walking in a daze through the grocery store in my running clothes and my hair pulled back, a deaf woman stopped me. I thought she would ask for help to find something. She looked me in the eyes and mouthed while her hand circled her face, “you are beautiful” and walked away.

To say the least, I was taken back. I certainly didn’t feel beautiful. This blessed encounter has stayed with me deeply since that moment, a reminder to release our inner beauty and draw it out in others.

Sometimes we are the receiver of signs and wonders and sometimes we are called to be the signs and wonders to others. Our higher power (I prefer God), our true self walks right into our day and makes it so very much more than ordinary.

A word, look, smile – change a day, change a life.

The Marvelous

“Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous.” – Bill Moyers

Enter today eager to create, transform, inspire. In turn, be ready to be created, transformed and inspired. All that is present this very moment longs and waits to be found with simple curiosity and childlike wonder.

Push beyond the mechanical motions, comfortable habits and seemingly mundane. Demand more of yourself. We are called to dive deep into the marvelous center of now. Learn, teach, learn again, every day. Create and be created. Cast light and the marvelous is revealed.

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