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Empathy

“Empathy is the most mysterious transaction that the human soul can have, and it’s accessible to all of us, but we have to give ourselves the opportunity to identify, to plunge ourselves in a story where we see the world from the bottom up or through another’s eyes or heart.” – Sue Monk Kidd

Stop. Get outside of your own head. Look in the eyes of another and listen intently and with quiet empathy. No judgment, no solutions, no platitudes. Listen and see the world through their eyes and heart and find your own in the process. Connect, be present, be kind. Cast light, love and empathy. Every. Single. Day.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Little Pauses

“If you are losing your leisure, look out; you may be losing your soul.” – Logan Pearsall Smith

“We will be more successful in all our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we’ll also have a lot more joy in living.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Speed over depth
Multi over single tasking
Loud over quiet
Busy over slow
Quantity over quality

Make different choices, get different results. Pause. And then pause again. Go deeper, slower and stay longer in each moment.

Deposits

“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” – Margaret J. Wheatley

“What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action” – Meister Eckhart

“What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action” – Meister Eckhart

Sometimes doing nothing is everything. Time for reflection, no rushing, just being. We spend down our “back account” unaware until we are depleted. Withdraw after withdraw, going faster, winding up nowhere, running on empty.

Take it off autopilot and take back the wheel of your days. Start planting, making deposits each day so you can harvest a good life.

No planting, no harvest.

Deep Down

“You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.”– Thomas Merton

You will be free when you move past competition and comparison with others and pursue with vigor and enthusiasm your true authentic self. No apologies, nothing to prove, no permission needed. Get comfortable with yourself, learn and grow.

The days turn quickly into years so be yourself now, uninhibited and unchained. Regardless of circumstances and challenges, keep going, confident that either things will move or you will be moved when the time is right.

Go deep down and release that hindered spirit and let it lead you back to you.

Blank Slate

“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” – Helen Keller

“Every human is an artist. And this is the main art that we have: the creation of our story.” – Don Miguel Ruiz

“Every human is an artist. And this is the main art that we have: the creation of our story.” – Don Miguel Ruiz

Your story is yours to write. It’s a blank slate waiting to be completed by you, not others. The past few weeks, I’ve felt invisible for a variety of reasons that don’t really matter in the overall scheme of things, of what’s really important. And I have a blessed life, so imagine those who aren’t as fortunate, who’s circumstances are truly dire and out of their control.

We need to make others visible, to see them, the authentic human behind the two-dimensional stereotype. To pull our head up from our technology, from our ridiculously busy lives and lock eyes, to connect to our humanity.

Each day is a blank slate to write our own beginning, middle and end, to rise higher than we think we can and to choose invincible over invisible. We can be kind, encouraging and generous, especially when others are not. Write your story.

Holding Up the Light

“Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.” – Helen Keller

“There are little gems all around us that can hold glimmers of inspiration.” – Richelle Mead

“There are little gems all around us that can hold glimmers of inspiration.” – Richelle Mead

When we give up perfect to accept the gift of the present, unexpected and imperfect, we can live authentically and hold our light up no matter what.

We may and will stumble and fall, no doubt. But we must get up again and again, never quitting.

When necessary, I let myself be ticked off for up to 24 hours and then move on. Learning lessons required and letting go of the pain required too. Grudges grow heavier. Release the burdens of regret and remorse. True and lasting light is always there, regardless of circumstances.

Some moments, hours, days are better than others. That’s a fact. But when we are grounded in light, shadows are temporary and illuminate the brilliance of light.

Heads up, smile and carry your light.

Heart Over Hustle

“What would our lives be like if our days were studded by tiny, completely unproductive, silly, nonstrategic, wild and beautiful five-minute breaks, reminders that our days are for loving and learning and laughing, not for pushing and planning, reminders that it’s all about the heart, not about the hustle?” – Shauna Niequist, Present Over Perfect

We have to stop. To be quiet long enough and often enough to hear ourselves, to see others, to find ourselves again and to stop losing ourselves over and over again. We do the same things and expect different results. In a go faster, more with less, quantity over quality, hustle over heart world, we continue to push ourselves to the very edge to see how far we can go. For what? And where? Why also comes to mind as well. If we don’t have the right answers to the questions, we need to get them.

There will always be times we need to hustle, to rally, to punch it out like a factory to keep up. But we need many more days where less is more, where we linger in the depth of the moment and invite joy in. Despite circumstances, we can choose joy over despair, spirit over speed, heart over hustle.

“Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10 (plus my addition – “and you are not”)

“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

Where ever you are right now, choose light over dark and by casting your light, you can show others it’s possible.

I See You

“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” – William James

On a quick run in the neighborhood yesterday, I passed a boy on a bike and he said “I see you.” I knew he wasn’t talking to me. He was playing a little game of hide and seek with a friend. But I perked up with the words “I see you.” Isn’t that all we ask for? To be seen, to be heard, to be acknowledged.

In a noisy world, we can get lost and we can lose others on the rapid journey to nowhere. Pay attention and notice more of what’s around you right now. This is it. This is life. Enjoy it.

And when you don’t feel seen or heard, get outside of yourself. Look and listen more to others so they can be seen and heard. You will then discover yourself in them. Never alone. Always seen. I see you.

Imaginary Boundaries

It's opener, out there, in the wide, open air.” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go!

It’s opener, out there, in the wide, open air.” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

We create imaginary boundaries that keep us from crossing the line into possibility and abundance. In our scarcity mindset, we fixate on change, fight change and prepare for change rather than letting change unfold and tell its own story.

Start looking past the changing leaves of fall that lead us into winter and gaze into the blue sky that remains boundless in all seasons. Imagine no boundaries and see how far you will go. Oh, the places you will go!

Cadence

“What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.” – Samuel Johnson

Last Friday, I did a 9 mile run in preparation for the Twin Cities 10 miler which is in conjunction with the Twin Cities Marathon on October 1. I’ve completed three marathons and all were at the Twin Cities Marathon – a beautiful course. I felt good that I made 9 with my sporadic and mixed training as of late. The 9 mile run builds confidence that you can do the 10 miles so that’s the main purpose of the longer run. But what really matters is the time and effort in all distances, consistency and time on your feet.

I took it easy on Saturday and did a 6 mile run on Sunday. I got my stride, my flow and was reminded of all of the reasons that I run. It was like I was floating on air and one with the run. Those joy-filled moments when all of the pieces of work and effort come together in a beautiful symphony of cadence.

So often we focus so much on the work and effort, we miss the ease of flow and cadence of the input. When we experience it, we must celebrate it by simply taking it in and letting it move us. Daily living is a mix of ups and downs, momentum and struggle. It is the downs and struggle that are the foundation of the ups and momentum, of the cadence.

Keep moving, knowing that it won’t always be easy, but we find ease and flow when we move our mindsets out of the way and let our heart and spirit lead the way into whatever path is in front of us. Practice, repetition and getting back up every single time. With each strike of your heel, you build your cadence. And suddenly effort becomes effortless.

“The more I practice the luckier I get.” – Arnold Palmer

“The more I practice the luckier I get.” – Arnold Palmer

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