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Look Up

“One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.” – Henry Miller

“One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.” – Henry Miller

“I try to avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward.” – Charlotte Bronte

When given the option of accepting worldly things or striving for something more, something meaningful, the only viable option that we have is to look up. Beyond ourselves, above the fray, higher than our assumptions and limited view.

Tough day, tough week, tough month. It’s but a blink in the eternity of time. And if we don’t let it go, it remains a stronghold and steals our days. So move on, let go of the need to figure it all out right now, trust with conviction and look up.

The universe, the beyond is so much greater than our imagination. Transcend your burdens and absorb the light of your blessings.

A Wonderful Life

“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” – Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

So much of life is made up of multitasking, noisy distractions and the busy pursuit of what’s next. The velvet rut of familiarity convinces us to stay put, going rapidly through the motions.

Speed suffocates gratitude and numbs our spirit.

Slow down and breath. Do something different, even the smallest thing, each day. Then again and again until each simple act transforms ordinary days into an extraordinary life. Let awe and possibility takes root again.

Make each day sacred and joyful by participating fully in the moment. Realize your wonderful life right now while you are in it.

“Be happy. It’s one way of being wise.” – Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

Load

“The yoke you wear determines the burden you bear.” – Edwin Louis Cole

“The yoke you wear determines the burden you bear.” – Edwin Louis Cole

“We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday’s burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.” – John Newton

Today is enough.

We cling and carry too much. Resentment, anger and unforgiveness are heavy loads. All that has gone by has brought us to today. So learn the lesson and let the weight of going through it go.

Be naive and believe the best in others, knowing that they struggle just like you. Be forgiving for you will be required to be forgiven. Be kind and it is returned to you by the simple act of giving it away. Love without condition or judgment, the real definition of love.

Blink. And it’s over. Life moves swiftly with little time to be stuck in the past. Time to lighten the load and move on. There’s a beautiful horizon to reach, one single day at a time. Travel lightly.

Strivings Cease, Prayer Ensues, Peace Enters

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” – Meister Eckhart

A simple glance, a quiet moment, a sliver of pause prompts a prayer. Of gratitude. Of depth. Of awareness. Sacred, holy and awe-filled moments surround us awaiting to be released into our very being. In play. In joy. In letting go of all that we carry that is not ours. A small, soothing voice of calm. Strivings cease, peace enters with ease. Amen.

“Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress.
And let our ordered live confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

Breathe through the hearts of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake,
wind, and fire.
O still, small Voice of calm.”
– John G. Whittier hymn, Dear Lord and Father of Mankind

Aaah and Awe

“Awe is the finest portion of mankind …In awe, one feels profoundly the immense.” – Goethe

“Aaah, summer – that long anticipated stretch of lazy, lingering days, free of responsibility and rife with possibility. It’s a time to hunt for insects, master handstands, practice swimming strokes, conquer trees, explore nooks and crannies, and make new friends.” – Darrell Hammond

Watching the kids jump off the bus today brought me back to those days in May filled with anticipation of school getting out for the summer. The excitement of hanging out with friends, swimming, biking and carefree days. Just pure ease that summer demands.

So often, we appreciate days and moments the most in the rear view mirror rather than when we are in the midst of them. As you move into these sweet days of summer, be present and aware while you are in them, tune out the noise. Pay attention to moments rather than fictional “some days.”

Take long walks, enjoy an ice cream cone, read a book or take a nap in one of those adirondack chairs or hammocks that are always empty. This day, this moment is the substance, depth and breadth of life.

Get on the bus.  The journey is the destination.

Crisp Colorful Brilliance

“I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen.” – Anne Lamott

“Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.” – Jose Ortega y Gasset

The clarity and crispness in a single petal. The depth of purple as the flowers open their arms and drink in the sun.

Search relentlessly for flowers. For color and hue. For music coming from the trees dancing in the wind, from a beating heart. Focus and listen intently. Pinpoint the blessings in the simple things.

What we pay attention to truly does define our days. Choose well and transform each moment into magic and wonder. Our treasures do not last forever so savor them now. Go deep into gratitude and rapt attention.

Crisp. Colorful. Brilliance.

Giants Fall

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney

The door handle to the garage has been slipping for a few months. Wear and tear, getting more difficult to open. About three weeks ago, it made it on the list to pick up and I reluctantly picked it up a last week. It sat in the box staring at me as I passed by. Each time, I told myself that I would get to it when I had time.

I’ve never put on a door handle and it looked complicated. So I procrastinated and created a wall that got bigger the longer I put it off, a giant stopping me in my tracks.

Well, the giant fell tonight. I put it in and it works. Victory! So often we create giants that prevent us from even trying. Or we believe others when they tell us that we can’t do it.

But when we move, those giants fall with the simple step of starting, of risking failure. And sometimes we do fail, but we never start in the same place when we try and start again. And so many times, if we dare to pursue the feat, the giant falls and we win.

Giants fall, doors open.

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

Lilacs and Bubbles

“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton

Bubbles, lilacs and children invite wonder, hope and joy. Lingering and delighting in the simplicity of the moment. Light, fragrant and awe without question or doubt.

Bubbles burst, the sweet aroma of lilacs fades swiftly and children grow up. Yet, the invitation, the calling remains within. A soft voice whispering us back to our most pure selves. To an acute awareness of the brevity of life and the promise of daily joy beyond our worries, our circumstances, our past, our future.

Our capacity for joy is far larger than we allow into our realm. Float like a bubble released into air, breathe in the fragrance of summer, leap with great abandon.

Dream BIG. LIVE BIGGER!

Lilacs and bubbles.

“The true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton

“The true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton

Life While You Live It

“Do not waste time dreaming of great faraway opportunities; do the best you can where you are. Open your petals of power and beauty and fling out the fragrance of your life in the place that has been assigned to you.” – Orison Swett Marden

Chaos, busyness and circumstances eclipse gratitude, awe and joy. We put off living fully to the illusive someday. When you can dance and sing amidst difficulties, you have triumphed and achieved “a peace that passes all understanding.”

Don’t lose days, months, years waiting for perfect timing to start living. Today is the day to begin anew, to be present in each moment and see what’s right in front of you for the very first time. Hold your gaze a bit longer and witness the greatness in a mere petal of a flower, the solace in an embrace and the ease that grace offers.

In Act III of Thorton Wilder’s play Our Town, Emily views moments in her life after she is dead. “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?—every, every minute? Emily asks this question of the Stage Manager after she has revisited her twelfth birthday. The Stage Manager answers that humans indeed do not realize life, except for perhaps the “saints and poets, maybe.”

Realize your life fully each day while you live it – the sacred poetry.

Pursue with Confidence

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” – Thorton Wilder

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” – Thorton Wilder

My niece Jenna graduated from law school yesterday. What a wonderful moment for her and for all of those in her life cheering her on. When we truly love, we share in each other’s struggles and triumphs.

As with all lasting victories, it was achieved through hard work, diligence, uncertainty and long hours. There are no short cuts and the daily journey is the substance of a meaningful life. So as I see this young confident woman, wide-eyed and enthusiastic, in the beginning of her career as I am on my 30th year of my own, I tell her and all other young women to keep up the hard work, never let your enthusiasm and optimism be depleted and keep diving in no matter what others say or think. Be your own person and be kind. Return to yourself again and again anchored in deep faith that you have a purpose here and be gratefully aware that God is behind you, aside you and ahead of you every single step of the way.

And on this day that we honor mothers and those who have given love like a mother to others, feast on your life now as you are in it and know that your love has carried so many to find their own journey. Pursue your life with confidence and light.

Love After Love by Derek Walcott

“The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.”

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