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Start, Stop, Detour, Lost, Found, Start Again, Finish

“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” – Rabindranath Tagore

There are many steps between starting and finishing. Starting is always the first step, so get to it. The secret to finishing is to keep going, moving through the stops, detours and falls. Our plans, the maps we draw out with great precision, so often don’t work out exactly as designed. Go where you are being drawn to and let go of the map when necessary. We so often are found amidst being lost.

So if your “plans” don’t seem to be working out and the finish seems far off, you are where you need to be in this moment. And you are closer than you think so keep going. There are not a lot of straight, short roads from start to finish on what’s most fulfilling.

The formula: start, stop, detour, lost, found, start again, finish. Most importantly, enjoy the journey, it’s a short one to be sure.

Tree Yoga

“Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.” – Albert Camus

“Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.” – Albert Camus

“I have woven a parachute out of everything broken.” – William Stafford

The tension between bending and breaking – life is made up of both. We learn how flexible we can be when we bend and let go. We learn how soft we must become when we break and must start anew.  Each has its place. Each has its time. You’ll be surprised how far you can bend and you will come out stronger from the breaking times. Both require relinquishing our ego, a fight not easily won.

Time for some tree yoga.

Spring-phony

The gift of spring lies in the simultaneous joining of promise and fulfillment to create a beautiful symphony of fragrance that radiantly flows from the soft petals of glorious color. All is made whole again with the onset of spring.

I am reminded a childhood hymn:

“For the beauty of the earth
For the beauty of the skies
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies
Over and around us lies

Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our joyful hymn of praise

For the beauty of the hour
Of the day and of the night
Hill and vale and tree and flower
Sun and moon and stars of light
Sun and moon and stars of light

Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our joyful hymn of praise”

When praise is far from your thoughts and lips, remain quiet until you can hear, see and feel the symphony of spring. And when winter arrives as it surely does, remember the symphony of spring can remain in our heart, if we allow.

Spring-phony all around, hill and vale.

Amen.

Cone

“The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.” – Henry Miller

Abby is six months now and getting sweeter by the day. She went to the vet today to get spay. A bit tired and worn, she came out with the cone so she wouldn’t open up the wound. It takes a while to get used to it. A few stumbles and underestimating the width of the cone, she hit a few walls. And then she figured it out.

The cone makes you look up and be aware of your surroundings to maneuver. No way to have your head down like we do staring at our phone to respond immediately to the next work email emergency or ridiculous request that’s needed “ASAP.”

Nope, when you have the cone on, you keep your head up, rapt with attention and mighty aware of all that is in right now, here in front of us.

Next invention! Cones for humans.

“I don't have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness - it's right in front of me if I'm paying attention and practicing gratitude.” – Brene Brown

“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.” – Brene Brown

Trust the Color

“The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius

“I prefer living in color.” – David Hockney

“I prefer living in color.” – David Hockney

No matter the storm, no matter the wind that tries to break your sails, trust the color. When you don’t feel it the most is when you should trust the most. Know that as you search for color in each day, you are not alone. We all long to harness and hold it tight. And when trust comes to fruition, become the color to brighten the world, even dare to do so in the waiting. That’s real trust.

With open hands, eyes and heart, color will suddenly pop out, loud and clear, a symphony fills the air with hope and joy.

Trust the color. It is there. Always. Look.

The Years are Short

“The days are long, but the years are short.” – Gretchen Rubin

Today is the one year anniversary of my Dad passing away. Pictures, stories and memories flood my mind every day. Lots of tears and laughter this last year, more tears I think. Missing will never go away and gratitude for our relationship grows deeper.

I loved, appreciated and respected him while he was here and even more so now that he’s not. Yet even though he’s gone, he shows up in so many ways. In expressions, in places, in people, so he remains in the fabric of each day. Perfect by no means and none of us are but a man of integrity, faith and resilience. I carry what he taught me and try to be and do my best, again, not perfect by any means.

So hug your loved ones a bit longer today. Be grateful and find laughter in each and every single day. Celebrate and laugh more.  Life is very good and we need to discover that daily so we can live a full and joyful and sometimes difficult life. Sometimes, the days are long and most definitely, the years are short.

“Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

“Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Honeycomb

“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” – Proverbs 16:24

There are days when I struggle writing for the blog. When I don’t feel like casting light so I remain quiet, thinking that’s more authentic than to write something I’m not feeling in that moment. But that’s the point, no one feels positive and upbeat all the time or much of the time for that matter. We need to work on it until it becomes natural and the only reasonable option when choosing between light and dark.

I’ve read this line from Proverbs many times before, but today it revealed itself in a new way. Pleasant words are healing to the bones. Healing! I’ve focused more on the honeycomb – the sweetness of being positive, which is often irritating when I don’t feel it deep down. It seems shallow, unauthentic. But our thoughts and words can keep us in the desert or heal us and bring us to the oasis. So if you’re not “feeling” positive, so what, do it anyway. There’s healing in those pleasant, sweet words.

Green Light

“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” – Bruce Lee

“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” – Bruce Lee

What we “go” on, what we pursue, what we say “yes” to defines our very life. So often we say yes when we should say no and no when we should say yes. Or even worse, we don’t answer at all, we freeze, delayed by an overwhelm of options or believing that there are no options at all.

Open your eyes and see the abundance that is found in this day. Choose wisely, but by all means choose. What we don’t do is what we most regret.

So savor more, give more, be grateful more, be kind more and always choose optimism which is a daily decision. The light is green, GO.

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” Confucius

Blossom Time

“It is the hour to rend thy chains, the blossom time of souls.” – Katharine Lee Bates

Easter proves that  light shall always overcome darkness. When we think it’s over and nothing remains but mediocrity and despair, Easter breaks through the clouds and shows its brilliance and strength.

“The world today doesn't make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?” – Pablo Picasso

“The world today doesn’t make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?” – Pablo Picasso

Often we may not see or feel it, but, the light remains, especially behind the thin clouds, sustaining and pulling us through.

This year, life has felt like a Picasso painting , abstract and out of order. And yet, glimpses of light keep breaking through the cracks and soften the heart.

Redemption, rest, realignment, hope, faith, light and, of course, love. Easter has come.

Anniversaries

We live our days in moments, often unaware of how special each one is, and we mark our lives with milestones and transitions – birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations and passings.

Today, my parents would have been married 58 years. See more on my parents in this post on their 53 years in 2012 on all that they taught me that remains this day, if not even stronger than ever before.

In 17 days, we mark the one year anniversary of my Dad passing away suddenly on April 28, 2016. The suddenly was good for him for sure, but not so much for us. We all still miss him every day and expect to the rest of our days. And the missing shows up in ordinary days, ordinary moments that we would have laughed about the same things or debated the topics of the day. It shows up in the first Christmas and the first Easter without him at the table.

So celebrate moments with those you love for those oh so ordinary moments will be what you most remember and cherish when they are no longer here. Forgive more, laugh harder, hug longer and be grateful for the many gifts that we all have that go unnoticed every day.

Happy 58th Anniversary Mom and Dad. Your commitment, perseverance, grit, faith and unconditional love transcends time and connects heaven and earth.

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