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The Acorn

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” – Marianne Williamson

Doable – 20 minutes a day. Morning and evening, bookend your day with a gratitude practice to create meaning and depth of the space in between. It takes repetition, practice, intention, attention and mindfulness to bear fruit of joy, peace, delight and awe. Do the work.

Take inventory of blessings and gifts, be grateful in this very moment. If we can’t see what already is, it will be impossible to ever be satisfied. Pursue light and expansion, leaving fear and scarcity in the dust.

Each of us is the gardener of our own life. Stop waiting for others or circumstances to change to produce steady-state contentment for yourself. Plant your own seeds of gratitude, whole-heartedness, optimism, kindness, generosity, enthusiasm, imagination and light.

Growth, gratitude and expansion come from an active cycle of planting, cultivating, waiting and harvesting the bounty found in mere seeds. What we actively plant, we actively reap. If we plant nothing and expect a harvest, we come up disappointed, empty again and again. Plant the seeds, seek the light.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

The strong oak begins with one acorn. Plant, cultivate, harvest.

“The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg, and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities.” James Allen

The Bait

“Wisdom begins in wonder.” – Socrates

“Hope is such a bait, it covers any hook.” – Oliver Goldsmith

The bait is all around waiting for our response. Choose with intent between contemplation and complaint, between optimism and gloom, between resentment and release, between scarcity and abundance, between clarity and clouds, between ego and soul, between the past and now. We dance in between, play it safe in the middle. Make a conscious decision and recommit daily.

Dare to take the bate of beauty, joy, light, of seeing snow laying on the bud at the tipping point of spring where winter releases its grip and transformation comes in the change of seasons. Allow wonder, awe and ease to do their work and sit in reverie.

“Sit in reverie and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Colors of the Moment

“There are infinite shadings of light and shadows and colors… it’s an extraordinarily subtle language. Figuring out how to speak that language is a lifetime job.” – Conrad Hall

“We are made from the past, and for the future. Both are embedded in the present moment. Without the pain and sweetness of what came before, and the enticing lure and heart-pounding fear of what comes next, we cannot celebrate the fullness of the living moment.”— Elizabeth Lesser

Start new each day fully present in gratitude and joy. Return to the simplicity and depth of this moment. Create your reality daily with the fresh eyes and rapt attention. You hold the brush. Paint this day with vibrant colors in your thoughts, words and actions.

“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life.” – John Burroughs

 

Radical Peace

“The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace.” – Carlos Santana

After Jesus rose from the dead, He visited the apostles three times. They were locked in a room in fear. The first thing Jesus said when he appeared each time was “Peace be with you.” Since he wasn’t there the first time, Thomas didn’t believe until he touched His hands and side the next time Jesus returned. Then he believed, only when he saw Him. The third time, Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit on to them to remain with them and the world, the thread to make the Birth, Death and Resurrection alive to us today if we allow and invite it in. If we believe without seeing. The first thing the world says is crucify. The first thing Jesus says, even today, is “peace be with you.”

I am no scholar, theologian or minister, so a “professional” would probably cringe at my summary. And weaving quotes from Santana and Jim Hendrix would really put some in a tailspin. Those who are not “religious” already stopped reading this or never started.

I am just an ordinary person trying to make sense of the world, my place in it and how to leave the place and others better than I found them while enjoying the journey.

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.” Jimi Hendrix

The world feels really heavy right now and it has for over a year with the pandemic, politics, social unrest, division, judgment, violence, racism of all kinds. All of it rooted in anger, unforgiveness and fear. So rather than join the mobs, how can you be radical and offer peace, light, forgiveness and hope?

There are gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit that Jesus left behind to join us on our daily journey:

The gifts: wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, fear of the Lord, piety.

The fruits: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control

Accept the gifts, produce the fruit. Peace be with you. Radical peace.

“Harmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay.” – Sallust

 

Luminous

“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense.” —Rumi

When I turned on my laptop to write my daily post, the camera lit up for facial recognition to bypass the log in. I leaned in and a message popped up: “Too close, move farther away.” When I leaned back a bit, it worked. If I was too far away, it would probably say, “Too far, move closer in.” I didn’t expect to get my post today from the Artificial Intelligence on my laptop, but here goes.

When we get too close in or too far away, stuck in a fixed mindset, ego and spiraling thoughts, go in the opposite direction. Scan and then zoom. Zoom and then scan. It’s a dance. Live with intention and attention rather than by accident.

“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.” – Allen Klein

Search for color and light, find color and light. Choose awareness and gratitude over speed and scarcity. Find awe in the ordinary. Surrender your need to be right, to know everything, allowing the mystery and unknowing to expand and deepen to your very soul.

“There is a land beyond the ego’s striving to be “better than,” or its fears of being “less than.” That land is where we know ourselves to be both sovereign and connected—“ part of” as opposed to “better or less than.” When you come home to the truth of who you are in the marrow of your soul, you begin to break the ego-shell.”— Marrow: A Love Story by Elizabeth Lesser

Blank Slate Day

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Elizabeth Appell

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Make today a blank slate.
Draw new lines.
Get out of the box of old thinking.
Lay down all burdens to walk lightly through just this one day to taste how you can live.
Move out into nature and absorb the energy and newness of spring.
Let winter go, come out of hibernation and start anew.
Hunt for flowers breaking the softened ground amidst leaves that lingered from last fall.
Invite your imagination to come out and play.
Breathe in the fresh air deeply and expand your lungs.
Feel the blood rushing through your veins and your heart pumping.
You are alive!
Get to it.
Live!

“To live in the light of a new day and an unimaginable and unpredictable future, you must become fully present to a deeper truth – not a truth from your head, but a truth from your heart; not a truth from your ego, but a truth from the highest source.” – Debbie Ford

Juno

“Most of us today were parented and socialized in such a way that, by the time we reach adulthood, our Genius is so covered over with shoulds and shouldn’ts that we often don’t know where to look for our Juno, our Genius, our authentic self. In fact, the whole notion seems questionable. Is there really such a thing as an “authentic self,” a “real self”? I say yes. Perhaps it is suppressed or scuffed up, but it can be liberated; it can be polished. I have personally experienced this. after years of trying and failing, and then trying more and succeeding by fits and starts, I know now that when I get my small ego and my frightened reactivity out of the way, my authenticity, my soulfulness, will rush in and fill the confines of my being. It will guide my steps and gratify even the toughest times with a sense of meaning. Your Juno or Genius must be courted. Although it is strong and luminous, your guardian spirit is unassuming and even shy. It responds to persistent yet kindly biddings. Once awakened, it outshines everything false within you and in your life. But it needs room and time to stretch as it stirs. Your Juno, your Genius, they know who you are—they know you suffer from a case of mistaken identity.”— Marrow: A Love Story by Elizabeth Lesser

Beyond our emotions, circumstances and ego, abundance, energy and light wait patiently for our return. Suspend and release limiting beliefs, momentary moods and move into the expanse and depth of your Juno – your Genius.

Mindset is important, but “soul-set” is the path. Tend to your soul garden daily through meditation, reflection and exploration. Allow thoughts and feelings that bind, limit and tether to come, go and pass on by, making space for equanimity, ease and light.

Excellent 3 minute talk on aligning with the energy of abundance on Insight Timer to get you moving into this day with your GPS set and headed in the right direction. Realign, start fresh, embrace your Juno and enjoy the ride.

Blue or Grey or Both

“You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.” – Pema Chodron

“To be nobody but
yourself in a world
which is doing its best day and night to make you like
everybody else means to fight the hardest battle
which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.”
― e.e. cummings

What do you see? The grey clouds or blue skies peeking through. Or both. What you look for, you find. If you look for the blue, you find it, not denying the grey, for the clouds make the blue even more brilliant. Take off old glasses and put on new glasses to see the same in a new light.

Become aware of your thoughts, words, what you see and do not see. Who influences you, who inspires, who leads you away from you? Return to yourself and keep on the path to becoming, unfolding and discovering. Look and listen without judgment or assumption, allowing wonder and awe to make their way through the cracks of time and experience. Create new experiences.

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” – Mary Oliver

Keep paying attention to find new things that are not ahead or behind but all around and available in this very moment.

“may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old

may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it’s sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young

and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there’s never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile”
― e.e. Cummings, e.e. Cummings: Complete Poems 1904-1962

Vim and Vigor

“Great effort is required to arrest decay and restore vigor. One must exercise proper deliberation, plan carefully before making a move, and be alert in guarding against relapse following a renaissance.” – Horace

“Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.” – Samuel Ullman

When we forget or get distracted, there are signs and signals all around to wake us up to the present moment, to gratitude and awe. I find it in nature, in the greening of spring grass, amidst awakening of slumbering flowers, at the dog park with the girls and in watching kids lost in play.

We need to do less “adulting,” “reality” and judging and more noticing, searching and observing. Break the hard ground, bud and bloom. Celebrate today with your attitude, thoughts and actions.

“Die to everything of yesterday so that your mind is always fresh, always young, innocent, full of vigor and passion.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

The Good Fight

“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” – Christopher McCandless

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” – Leo Buscaglia

I started yesterday with focus, attention and intention. Meditation. Exercise. Positive mindset. After a day of meetings, I ended the day tired, worn out and sick of everyone. All the negativity, the weariness, the heavy weight people bear and share. Overcounting burdens, undercounting blessings, bypassing bliss. I’ve done it too. I just don’t want to stay there anymore.

We are so much more than our fickle feelings, deeper than our temporary circumstances. When we refuse to engage and respond by allowing feelings to pass by without fuel or expansion, we detach from being victims of negativity to victors of optimism, hope and resilience.

We all have bad days. Let them happen, but not too many. Precious time is being wasted in the spirals we enter and allow others to pull us in. Your mindset is under your control so allow others to be who they are and fix what’s yours to fix – your own outlook and perspective. You can have empathy and offer hope at the same time.

Looking up at the sky last night with the sun breaking through the clouds as the rain prepared to enter, my consciousness rose above the day, breaking the earthly bonds of heaviness, equilibrium returned, a steady joy state.

“If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment.”- Carlos Santana

Allow feelings to enter, pass and be released. Ease and peace will enter with no effort. The gift of grace. Accept it. Offer it to expand it. Fight the good fight, the right fight.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” – 2 Timothy 4:7

 

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