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Be Positive, Really?

“We all emit energy patterns and, because we’re sensitive, we’re all affected by those patterns. The current of our presence is powerful, whether we realize it or not. And we’re responsible for the energy patterns we emit. Beneath all our words, we either welcome others as equals or we distance and judge them.” – Mark Nepo

We all go through struggles, through difficult times – some shorter, some longer, some ongoing. Yet through all of our struggles, there are always things to be grateful for, to laugh about, to be hopeful for. In challenging times, we discover the depth of our blessings, the width of our strength and the height of our resolve.

While being positive, having faith, choosing light is the most fulfilling way to live each day, it’s not the easiest path. There are some days that negativity trumps optimism. To deny feelings is to delay them. What we don’t deal with always returns in different ways. And when we go through those days, we so often learn our most important lessons like empathy, kindness and compassion.

The next time someone is quiet or distant, don’t dismiss them or worse yet, flippantly say “be positive.” We all know we should “be positive” but for some real reason we can’t muster it up in that moment. Listen for what you don’t hear. See what’s not so obvious. So often the best advice we can give is silence and quiet presence.

Be positive? Absolutely. Do everything you can do that leads you back to authentic optimism that carries you through and shows others the way through your actions not words.

The Rain

“Faith is not simply a patience that passively suffers until the storm is past. Rather, it is a spirit that bears things – with resignations, yes, but above all, with blazing, serene hope.” Corazon Aquino

There’s a calm and beauty in lightning, in the rhythm of rain falling to the ground. No matter what storms may be present or are to come, we can bear it all with faith. There are days we question, doubt and hope wanes.

But the beauty of life is found in the gift of each new day. In a chance to start again, to believe, to hope and to let the sun turn the grass green again.

“The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain.”- Rabindranath Tagore

“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.”- Rabindranath Tagore

 

This is Your Life, Are You Who You Want to Be?

“We ‘reorder’ our lives when we choose spirit over the illusions of physical circumstances. With each choice we make, we either become more involved in the illusory physical world, or we invest energy into the power of spirit… Each time we choose to enhance our internal power, we limit the authority of the physical world over our lives, bodies, health, minds, and spirits. From an energy point of view, every choice that enhances our spirits strengthens our energy field; and the stronger our energy field, the fewer connections to negative people and experiences.” – Caroline Myss, PhD, Anatomy of the Spirit

As I was driving to work yesterday on autopilot, my thoughts focused on my overwhelming “to do” list, one line from a song playing on the radio suddenly caught my attention – “this is your life, are you who you want to be?”

Songs, books, nature, art all have a way of capturing our attention, bringing us back to center, to the important questions that need answers. Signs, seeds, and clues surround us begging for our attention, to wake us up and give meaning to our days.

Take yourself off auto pilot, cruise control – look and listen to what’s all around. You will be surprised what you see and hear. Suddenly, awe and wonder enter into your noisy busy, busy world that you’ve convinced yourself that you must participate in. Slow down so you can answer the questions that really matter, that define your life.

This is your life, are you who you want to be? If you don’t like the answer, do something different. Not sure what to do? Listen closely, the answers are there.

If Then, Only, When

If we do not center ourselves how can we be steady;
If we do now slow down, how do we find meaning;
If we do not rest, how do we find solace;
If we do not reflect, how do we find purpose;
If we do not look, how do we see beauty in our midst;
If we do not create, how will we be created.

Center
Slow
Rest
Reflect
Look
Create

If then
If only
If when

Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta

“You and I have been created for greater things. We have not been created to just pass through this life without aim. And that greater aim is to love and be loved. Give yourself fully to God, who will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in his love than in your weakness. Never think that a small action done to your neighbor is not worth much. It is not how much we do that is pleasing to God, but how much love we put into the doing.” – Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa is being canonized a saint today. We often think of saints as being super-human, perfect, without flaw. I was surprised to learn that for most of her life, with the exception of one month in 1958, she lived in spiritual darkness, feeling abandoned by God. Saint John of the Cross called this “the dark night of the soul.” We all go through dark nights of the soul, but to spend a life there and still love the way Mother Teresa did is stunning.

Saint Mother Teresa lived out unconditional love her entire life despite what she felt inside. She chose every day to enter deeply into a wounded world to love and heal others. Despite her spiritual turmoil that lasted for most of her life, she saw beauty and light in the world, serving God faithfully with an unfailing trust.

Each of us is called to pursue with vigor and resolve our own blooming, our best selves, our calling. Saint Mother Teresa is a wonderful model and inspiration to show us how to cast light regardless of what we are going through. Welcome to the communion of saints Mother Teresa.

“As long as we are persistence in our pursuit of our deepest destiny, we will continue to grow. We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom. It happens in its own time.” – Denis Waitley

“As long as we are persistence in our pursuit of our deepest destiny, we will continue to grow. We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom. It happens in its own time.” – Denis Waitley

How old?

“We are always the same age inside.” – Gertrude Stein

May you feel as young as a wide-eyed optimistic teenager with wisdom from experience, softened rather than hardened from the years. We fritter away so much time trying to control that which is not ours to control. What’s inside of each one of us is truly our own, within our own control. Never surrender that control to others or circumstances.

Our world is created from inside, so choose your thoughts well with an open heart and a forgiving, light spirit. It’s easy to succumb to worldly reality, becoming old and stale. Don’t. Forever young.

“The habit of being happy enables one to be freed, or largely freed, from the domination of outward conditions.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

“The habit of being happy enables one to be freed, or largely freed, from the domination of outward conditions.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Toast

“Thank you, God, for this good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough.” – Garrison Keillor

One of my favorite memories of the Minnesota State Fair is my parents coming out on Sunday after the 5k Milk Run, listening to music and having a beer or two with my friends. Yesterday was the first one without Dad, so we toasted the good memories and the good life we have even when it’s difficult.

“No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” – Calvin Coolidge

“No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” – Calvin Coolidge

True friends show up in the difficult times as well as for the toasts to honor people who remain with us even when they are gone.

Toast your life today and those who are in it right now. It is a good life. We need only open our eyes and see the light.

Claim It

“No desire will ever be placed in you by the Holy Spirit unless He intends to fulfill it. So let your faith rise up and soar away to claim all the land you can discover.” – S.A. Keen

We have right within us what we need each day. It’s not off in far off places, other people or in the mythical “someday” we create in our heads. It’s within us, this very moment. We need only suspend our search and be found. Then we can move to what’s most important and written on our hearts. Then we can begin to live the life we were called to fulfill.

Uncover it and let your light shine.

Don’t, Don’t Miss This Day

“If every moment is sacred, and If you are amazed and in awe most of the time when you find yourself breathing and not crazy, then you are in a state of constant thankfulness, worship and humility.” – Bernice Johnson Reagon

In our frantic pursuit of who knows what, don’t miss this day. The one thing that this year has revealed in my search for understanding is that what is most important and remembered forever are the moments that we spend in simple conversation and connection, in laughter and in tears.

Be present and awake each day. And when you drift to the past or race to the future, grab yourself by the collar and pull yourself back to now. Our ordinary days offer a profoundness that we often only discover after they are gone. Capture the profound in the midst of unfolding.

Make your words more meaningful, embrace a bit longer, awaken to the sacredness of each day. Don’t ever dismiss or miss this day and the joy it offers. Ever.

Lower the Boat

“This journey has always been about reaching your own other shore no matter what it is, and that dream continues.”- Diana Nyad

“This journey has always been about reaching your own other shore no matter what it is, and that dream continues.”- Diana Nyad

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

How often we remain on the lift, dry and safe. Lower the boat, oars in and start paddling. Each day, a step at a time, our journey unfolds in pursuit and movement. Lower the boat. Better yet, drop it in and get out there. The horizon changes when we move toward it.

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