“It is the hopeful, buoyant, cheerful attitude of mind that wins. Optimism is a success builder; pessimism an achievement killer.” – Orison Swett Marden
“Namaste means that my soul acknowledges yours –
not just your light, your wisdom, your goodness,
but also your darkness, your suffering, your imperfections.
It is a recognition and acceptance of the inexplicable
divine absurdity, the miraculous woven into the ordinary,
light and darkness intimately entwined in magical, messy humanity.
It means that I honor all that you are with all that I am.
So, namaste, my fellow travelers.
I’m so glad we’re on this trek through the universe together.” ― L.R. Knost
May you harness your thoughts to find the magic in simple moments
The depth of your soul
The expanse of your heart
The power of your intentions and attention
The energy of gratitude.
“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.” – Marcus Aurelius
“Faith does not need to push the river because faith is able to trust that there is a river. The river is flowing. We are in it.”― Richard Rohr
Sunrise and sunset
Ebb and flow
A new day, a fresh week
Enter the flow and ease
From motion to stillness
A waterfall of grace and gratitude
Do the heartwork, the soul tending.
HEARTWORK by Suzy Kassem
“Each day is born with a sunrise
and ends in a sunset, the same way we
open our eyes to see the light,
and close them to hear the dark.
You have no control over
how your story begins or ends.
But by now, you should know that
all things have an ending.
Every spark returns to darkness.
Every sound returns to silence.
And every flower returns to sleep
with the earth.
The journey of the sun
and moon is predictable.
is your ultimate
“That is what happens when you put your soul in charge of your life. You dare to claim the sky. That sky is different for everyone. For one person, maybe the sky is having a baby, being a parent, growing a family. But for another it’s never having kids; it’s traveling the globe; it’s saving the world… You know your sky. And if you don’t, it’s because you haven’t listened closely enough.” ― Elizabeth Lesser, Marrow: A Love Story
“Whatever is happening, whatever is changing, whatever is going or not going according to my plans—I release my hold on all of it. I leave behind who I think I am, who I want to be, what I want the world to be. I come home to the great peace of the present moment.”― Elizabeth Lesser, Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow
Put light hunting and joy fishing on your “to do” list every single day;
Play, wander, listen, move from doing to being;
Go deeper, stay longer, linger;
Find cracks and crevices to let light in to break of the density of your thinking, your opinions, your resistance;
Move from mind to heart and back again to build a bridge, a connection, a thruway;
Write new endings and beginnings to your story a paragraph at a time with your daily thoughts, intentions, words and actions;
Yield to light and joy;
Dare to claim your sky.
“May you listen to the voice within the beat even when you are tired. When you feel yourself breaking down, may you break open instead. May every experience in life be a door that opens your heart, expands your understanding, and leads you to freedom. If you are weary, may you be aroused by passion and purpose. If you are blameful and bitter, may you be sweetened by hope and humor. If you are frightened, may you be emboldened by a big consciousness far wiser than your fear. If you are lonely, may you find love, may you find friendship. If you are lost, may you understand that we are all lost, and still we are guided—by Strange Angels and Sleeping Giants, by our better and kinder natures, by the vibrant voice within the beat. May you follow that voice, for This is the way—the hero’s journey, the life worth living, the reason we are here.”― Elizabeth Lesser, Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow
“I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.” – J. B. Priestley
“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
The first day of a new month, a new week, the daily sunrise invite us into the gift and magic of new beginnings, of clean slates. Each day, we are offered a fresh start to lay our thoughts and opinions down to allow light and color in.
In our control, it’s a decision, our daily work, not to be taken lightly. We hold the key to the locked door of old thoughts of the past and future. Use your imagination, unlock the door and cross the threshold into the present moment.
When our circumstances don’t change, it’s an invitation, prompt and calling for us to change our perspective, our rules, our ways. When we untether our happiness and contentment from circumstances and other people, we move through storms and dry seasons, finding a calm, a peace that passes understanding. Change your thoughts, change your day, change your life.
The Greater Good Science Center offers a monthly happiness calendar with daily prompts to create a habit of starting each day new again. Letting go, open heart and hands to receive the gift of now is a daily discipline and rigor. Choose what you will do with this day.
“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
“…I heard an architect say that a contemplative building is not one built for meditating, though meditation may take place there, but more a building where the inside is larger than the outside. It made me realize that anything that does this, that makes the inside larger than the outside, leads us to our core. And breathing there gives us peace.” – Mark Nepo, Finding Inner Courage
May you love yourself enough to travel within to make your inside larger than the outside.
May you love others enough to invite them to the same journey.
May you find peace, joy and light in this very day.
Accept the invitation. Take the trip daily.
“It is a constant challenge to find our center, our core, and to stay there long enough to uncover our capacities. Both require a steady movement inward.” – Mark Nepo, Finding Inner Courage
“The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect. – Brené Brown
Like the rings of a tree, begin with the core but don’t stop there. Move out ring by ring into the world, anchored in self-acceptance and authenticity. Take your unique imperfect self and dive into experiences wrought with uncertainty, hone your talents and give away all of the gifts you’ve been given.
You belong. You are worthy. The world needs you. Dream and then put legs under it by doing the work. Show up for your life each day. Time’s not waiting, nor should you.
“I spent a lot of years trying to outrun or outsmart vulnerability by making things certain and definite, black and white, good and bad. My inability to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability limited the fullness of those important experiences that are wrought with uncertainty: Love, belonging, trust, joy, and creativity to name a few.” – Brené Brown
Be present today. Get off the sidelines, move from spectator to participant. Stay in the arena of life. Strive. Try again and again. Err. Miss. Victory. Enthusiasm. Devotion. Dare greatly. Keep going.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ― Theodore Roosevelt
“Depth must be hidden. Where? On the surface.” – Hugo von Hofmannsthal
“The greatest explorer on this earth never takes voyages as long as those of the man who descends to the depth of his heart.” – Julien Green
Teaching is the activity, learning the outcome, growth the reward. You cannot teach people who don’t want to learn, starting with, including and ending with you. Our futile efforts to change others, circumstances beyond our reach drains energy, shadows light and surrenders the joy of the journey.
If but only for a few minutes a day, lay down your expectations, assumptions and opinion long enough to examine them with sincerity. Determine what’s on you, on others and on no one. What’s fact or fiction? Internal or external? Road marker or roadblock? There are signs and wonders abound when we pause long enough to see what is already in front, within and surrounding us.
When observation and reflection do their job without assistance, create two piles. Rocks and flowers. Leave the rocks behind and pick up the flowers to move forward with ease. This is the lifelong process of becoming and unbecoming, planting and harvesting, learning and growth, caterpillar to butterfly ,a thousand deaths and two thousand rebirths.
Search for information, you get knowledge. Keep going, insight. Keep going, changed behavior. Keep going, invisible walls appear, crumble and transform to windows and doors. Go beyond information to knowledge to insight to action to transformation. It is on you and in you, hiding in plain sight the entire time.
It’s impossible to have four walls with no windows and doors and expect to thrive. To journey beyond survival, we need windows for light and fresh air and doors to cross thresholds to our ever becoming.
God’s not waiting on others to change or your circumstances to change. He’s waiting patiently and lovingly for you to change, unmoved by others or circumstances, from a place of abundance, not scarcity.
A hammer swing at a time, start breaking holes in the walls to create windows and doors. Let light and fresh air in to heal and restore. Enter wide open spaces, breath deeply, absorb and cast light.
“Surely there is grandeur in knowing that in the realm of thought, at least, you are without a chain; that you have the right to explore all heights and depth; that there are no walls nor fences, nor prohibited places, nor sacred corners in all the vast expanse of thought.” – Robert Green Ingersoll
“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti
Life is circular and cyclical and we live it linearly. When we think we’re done, beyond and past something, it pops up again to remind us to “finish the sentence.” We need to cross the “t” and dot the “i” before we can complete the sentences with a period rather than a comma.
Emotions, triggers, attachments that weigh us down and keep us circling back to learn the lesson, to see ourselves differently and act accordingly. Until we resolve and integrate our experiences, disappointments, incomplete narratives, we will keep going back to finally learn the lessons so we can move on. It requires us to keep rising up, never giving up. When we get caught in the net of the same and progress seems distant, the question to ask is not why or when but “what is the lesson I need to learn?”
Some lessons are harder, deeper and more complex. Keep at it and unravel the mystery. Class is always in session, learning is optional. When we don’t learn the lessons, we remain in the same “grade” until we do. Disparate pieces come together to complete the picture when we step back and find the missing pieces and fill the hole. The full story always comes looking back so keep working your way through the middle to the finish line. And when you arrive, celebrate and know that you are prepared for the next start line.
“Though nobody can go back and make a new beginning… Anyone can start over and make a new ending.” ― Chico Xavier
And in the learning, always be open to hope, joy and light. It is a journey, enjoy it.
“Gratitude is not a limited resource, nor is it costly. It is abundant as air. We breathe it in but forget to exhale.” – Marshall Goldsmith
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” – Marcus Aurelius
Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius was the Roman Emperor during the Antinone plague which lasted 15 years, resulting in 5 million deaths, 1/3 of the population lost. During this time, his journal turned into the classic Meditations, which can inform and guide us especially now. In our most challenging times, we must choose to keep going in the darkness and to never let our spirit be kept down but for more than a brief moment. Fall two times, get back up three times.
Focus on what’s good, hold tight to hope and never ever give up. There are plenty of dark and heavy moments. And woven through it all is goodness, light and growth. Light always remains and works its way through. Streams, beams and then full sunlight. Take time several times throughout the day to stop and breathe.
Strength, resilience, gratitude, joy and hope. Carry on. Breathe. We are and will be alright.