“There is nothing holier in this life of ours than the first consciousness of love, the first fluttering of its silken wings.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.” – Ray Bradbury
When a butterfly’s wings are together, they are thin as a piece of tissue paper, camouflaged amongst the flowers. Invisible. Unseen.
Oh, but when they expand. Oh, when they dare to expand. From east to west, wingspan broad, immense and heroic preparing for flight.
May we walk, better yet, may we float, fly and transcend though this life with wings spanned. Letting go, light as air and filled with delight and joy. Bright, brilliant and wider than we ever could imagine.
Expand your wings and discover their span. Take flight.
“I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?’ – Zhuangzi
Relaxing over a long holiday weekend, I am discovering yet again the necessity and utility of stillness, play and fun. Time in the sun and on the water, conversations and laughter. No schedules, demands or meetings.
We hurry and hustle to get to the next “thing” that we don’t realize that we have already arrived where we are meant to be in this moment. On this 4th of July weekend, celebrate freedom on all levels. Independence from trappings of limiting beliefs, unforgiveness, worry, and “shoulds.”
Slow down and be grateful for your imperfect, unfinished and blessed life. We keep arriving each day.
“Life is an adventure, it’s not a package tour.” – Eckhart Tolle
“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.” – Joseph Campbell
Abby is nonstop in the water at the lake, a dog fish chasing ball. After returning from dinner, rather than calling it a night, we went back down for one more leap into the lake. A little skinny dipping by the moonlight.
When presented with the option to go to bed or to go down for one more dip in the lake, always choose skinny dipping by the moon. Joy is soon to follow. Adventure is available to all!
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharlal Nehru
“Every moment is a new beginning.” – Elie Wiesel
1 – what a great number. A chance to start anew. A fresh start. As we move into the second half of the year and July 1st moves us into the middle of summer, plan for the month ahead one day at a time with deep gratitude for summer days.
The Great Good Science Center publishes a monthly calendar filled a prompt and link each day. Set your intentions for each day and follow through with small steps to well-being, light and joy.
“In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans.” – Khalil Gibran
“From which sense of center will we live our days: as an arrow always seeking its mark, or as a drop of water always seeking its home? Half the time, we’re so eager to get somewhere only because we’re uncomfortable with where we are. Much of the time, we’re trying so hard to keep the difficult things out that we stop letting in what is always present and beautiful.”— The Book of Soul: 52 Paths to Living What Matters, Mark Nepo
Each of us makes a choice from where we will live our days. Fluid as a drop of water or an arrow in fervent flight aiming for somewhere else. In the pursuit of what’s next, we miss what already is in this very moment. Allow movement, grace and the slow work of being so you can go deeper into the ocean of your very soul.
“As fish in their grace demonstrate, it’s not surfacing or bottoming that is our home, but our movement back and forth. That immersion brings us alive. For the slow work of being leads us to a thorough life, where the deeper currents moving through us are life-giving and empowering. And the Whole of Life rinsing through our heart and mind is what we feel and think and speak.”— The Book of Soul: 52 Paths to Living What Matters, Mark Nepo
“In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.” – Aaron Rose
“When you possess light within, you see it externally.” – Anas Nin
When the labor of the day is over and rest is but steps away, the dusk enters and light lingers a few moments more as it slowly releases to night, to rest, to release.
When the night is over and a new day, a new beginning is but steps away, the dawn enters and light lingers a few moments more as it slowly releases to the full light of day, to awaken, to release all that was and embrace all that is meant to be if we allow.
Light remains to pull us forward, to call us to rest and to invite us to awaken to new beginnings available to each one of us if we choose to accept the invitation.
“Life is a balance between rest and movement.” – Rajneesh
“In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth.” – Patti Smith
Right-left. Liberal-conservative. Up-down. The answer internally and externally is found in balance. Not compromise. But in empathy, understanding, compassion and kindness. When the noise is deafening, when the meaning is hollow, go deeper by listening, by caring and by never, ever giving up despite the circumstances. It is a good life, if we dare to enter. Balance.
“The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.” – Euripides
“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” – Pablo Picasso
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” – Shunryu Suzuki
Liam Bootcamp Day 2 – fun in the sun, swimming at two different beaches and a tennis lesson after a nap. Before dinner, we hit balls against the practice wall at the tennis courts up the block. After missing a few times, he wanted to go to the playground.
Rather than move on right away, I asked him to take a few more swings. This time, I held the racket with him to guide it. We took a few practice swings before getting the ball involved and I then told him to keep his eye on the ball. After a few tries, he got four hits in a row. His initial disappointment quickly turned into excitement and enthusiasm.
Sometimes we just need to take a few steps back to the beginning, to the basics and start with the fundamentals. I didn’t want him to end his first try at tennis on a low note so he didn’t want to try again. Rather, I coached and encouraged him, ending the short session on a high note.
As I gave him advice, I decide to learn the lesson too. Try new things, keep your eye on the ball, anticipate where the ball will go and enter each endeavor with a beginner’s mindset willing to learn, unlearn and have fun in the process. A beginner’s mindset is for all ages, especially non-beginners.
“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” – Dr. Seuss
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” – Albert Einstein
There are many quotes from my day with Liam today. My favorite one is “You have to use your imagination.” Well isn’t that an underused muscle. My worry, complaint, uncertainty, judgment, work too much, multitasking and consternation muscles are very strong. They get a lot of use, overuse actually.
This weekend, I am going to “imagination bootcamp” with my camp counselor Liam and his capable assistants Abby and Sasha. Two trips to the playground, a pizza party and three ball throwing practices later, it is a good start to bootcamp. What’s next? Toy Story 2 snuggling next to my best pal of course. Tomorrow – Como, swimming, tennis ball hitting and some Disney movies later, there should be many lessons to be learned.
This is a no work, no worry weekend. Let the games begin. Imagination, look out, we’re coming for you!
“Imagination is the eye of the soul.” – Joseph Joubert
“A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world.” – Leo Buscaglia
“Wherever you are, be there totally.” Eckhart Tolle
No matter the season, these two always know how to have fun. Summer brings rolling in the grass and some serious ball chasing. When I get caught up in my “to do” list and my swirling thoughts, they bring me back to focus on gratitude, presence and joy.
Life is not a continuous puzzle to solve, a checklist to be checked off, a hot pursuit of what’s next. Life is hidden right in front of us in simple moments, in a walk with a friend, in laying next to your best pal and flipping a tennis ball into the air to show off your ball handling skills.
Breathe, laugh and take it all in.
“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.” Jon Kabat-Zinn