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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

Glorious

“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.” – Joseph Campbell

“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.” – Joseph Campbell

“Let there be many windows to your soul, that all the glory of the world may beautify it.” – Ella Wheeler Wilcox

In our relentlessly busy lives that we have created or at least allowed, words like glory, awe and sacred do not often come to mind as we speed along, unaware and on the surface.

It usually takes a serious diagnosis, death or sheer exhaustion before we stop long enough to question meaning and relevance of our days, as if they are unlimited. We have accepted ridiculous and unending demands as normal and resigned ourselves to it all without question. Stacking more and more, feeling less and less.

And yet, we need not escape to far off lands in search of illusive meaning and depth. And we cannot keep waiting for the someday of vacation or retirement to carve out our life. We need to say “yes” more to what’s important each day and follow it up with a few more “no thanks.” Our perspective expands when we finally realize that we have a choice and we exercise our choices to change our story.

We can stop living mechanically and start living soulfully, on and for purpose. Finding glory in a sun set, the sacred in simple moments and awe of the possibility that is planted inside of us waiting to be unleashed. Live bigger each day. Glorious is calling.

Halcyon Days

Lately, I’ve been listening to the songs of one of my favorite artists, Mary Chapin Carpenter. The lyrics and notes are like a warm blanket, comforting and familiar. One of my favorite lines from The Jubilee – “When we look back and say those were halcyon days we’re talking ’bout jubilee.” Halcyon is defined as a period of peace and happiness; an idyllic time.

We so often look back longing for what was because we miss the beautiful fabric of each day while we are busily on our way to the next thing. May we all realize and deeply appreciate our hacyon days and moments while we are right in the middle of them. So we can be doubly blessed now and when we look back in fondness for what was and a renewed hope for what is to come. Simple moments make up our halcyon days. Simple moments.

“If you are paying attention, then the day is going to be pretty joyful, and a lot of delight will fill it.” – Greg Boyle

“If you are paying attention, then the day is going to be pretty joyful, and a lot of delight will fill it.” – Greg Boyle

Simple Kindness

“The words of kindness are more healing to a drooping heart than balm or honey.” – Sarah Fielding

“The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them.” – Saint Francis de Sales

“The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them.” – Saint Francis de Sales

In the aftermath of natural disasters, in the loss of a loved one, we witness empathy, kindness and generosity of spirit. But we need not wait for the worst-case scenario to show kindness. Each day we can model and show kindness to both loved ones and strangers.

You may never know the impact of an encouraging word or smile so don’t miss your chance to leave someone whole and fresh. Speak and show kindness each day. As it raises another, it brings you along for the ride.

P.S. Check out  an awesome blog and movement on kindness from a very good friend – Minnemama Adventures. What we model for our children, they repeat, so be kind to all!

 

 

Slow Ride

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” – Mahatma Gandhi

When we’re tired, overcommitted and multitasking our way through our days, we lose our “salt” our flavor. We merely go through the motions to just get through. We’re trying to fish deep waters while going full throttle on a jet ski. And the faster we go, the more shallow our pursuits become.

We think we’re going to be the one who finds the secret, the way to have it all. Going faster or finding some magic shortcut only gets us to nowhere more quickly. We need to say no in order to say yes to what we most desire. We need to let go of what others may think, stop seeking approval and hold tight to the steering wheel of our own life.

Slow down, take care of yourself so you can care for others and pursue that which is in your heart. When we do what we care about with those who mean the most to us, the chaos we’ve raced into becomes background noise. Find color, joy and ease of being in each day. Take the slow ride.

Time More Than Times

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison

“Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years.” – Ausonius

We spend a good part of our life competing, going faster in the pursuit of the prize. And I love a good competition as a way to keep improving and challenging myself to stay in the game. Never been a fan of showing up trophies.

As the years have passed, I have a new appreciation for time rather than recording new times. Time with good friends and family with an acute awareness of the brevity of time. Not only showing up but trying and not accepting anything less than doing our best, whatever that may be.

Today, we ran the Minnesota State Fair Milk Run, a tradition. We all run different paces. Rather than worrying about my time, I wanted to run for the experience of time with friends who are a part of the fabric and color in my life. We didn’t set any records but created a memory to treasure, especially when things change as they always do.

Enjoy each day, laugh and cast your bright light over those shadows that the world pulls us to. Be present with people and create time for yourself for gratitude and the sacred awareness of the blessings in your life. Dive deeper into this moment, rather than racing through your life.

Confidence

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie

It’s my great nephew Liam’s first birthday party tomorrow. I got him a radio flyer bike stroller about a month ago. I hesitantly opened the box tonight. I put it off because I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to put it together. As I imagined, it came in several pieces. I laid them all out and started in. One step at a time and an hour later, it’s done.

Often times we don’t start or hold back because of a lack of confidence. Yet the only way to build confidence is by diving in and trying. What are you holding yourself back from doing because of those voices in your head psyching you out from even trying? Those voices either planted by others or yourself? Or are you holding back because it won’t be perfect? Perfect is not the enemy of good, it’s the enemy of ever getting things done.

Get busy – make mistakes, practice, stay in the game and never give up before starting. Pursue that endeavor that’s whispering from within – painting, running a race, writing or even putting together a radio flyer.


“It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

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