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Posts from the ‘Encouragement’ Category

Shake It Off and Smile

“Stop a minute, right where you are. Relax your shoulders, shake your head and spine like a dog shaking off cold water. Tell that imperious voice in your head to be still.” – Barbara Kingsolver

“Stop a minute, right where you are. Relax your shoulders, shake your head and spine like a dog shaking off cold water. Tell that imperious voice in your head to be still.” – Barbara Kingsolver

GOOD NEWS! You are in control of you – your thoughts, moods, assumptions. So carefully and mindfully make right choices each day. Change your thoughts, change your world. Get beyond the “why me” and worrying mindset and meditate and take action on what is most important.

It is a guarantee – we will all have setbacks and disappointments. Everyone of us. And when we move through the grief and frustration of often times deep loss and change, there will a pivot point when you must move to what is new and next.

And when defeated by the cumulation of little things, pause, take a deep breath and push the reset button. Each day is a brand new opportunity to start again. Stop carrying all of that stuff that is dragging you down and shake it off. Gratitude and a hearty smile will change your world.

“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.” – Mother Teresa

“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.” – Mother Teresa

The Flight of a Soul

“So if you think someone is brave, tell them. For they might feel frightened and small, and you will change their life. If you think someone is beautiful and aglow, tell them. For they might feel dark and lonely, and you will quiet their demons. When you reach to help someone who is stuck, you might free the flight of their soul. And they will return when you least expect, to bring you something from the sky. Never underestimate the strength of your kindness to suture the torn.” – Mark Nepo, “Things That Join the Sea and the Sky”

Life comes in waves. Some more pounding than others. Some in soft peaks, a calm ebb and flow. Our moments of distress are but moments, sometimes hours and days. Hope can be awakened through a kind word, a helping hand, in quiet listening. Hope always prevails in patience and overcomes all.

No matter how you feel or what you assume, choose kindness over fear. Even though it may seem that the struggle lingers on, the waves will settle.

Be a source of joy, empathy and encouragement. The flight of souls.

Flowers Within

“We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds.” – Aristotle Onassis

It is April 9th and it snowed again. I worked half the weekend on projects and trying to get my email down which didn’t work. I’m still at 500 emails with “to dos” attached to them. Civility is at an all-time low and adult-bullying is at an all-time high. Friends struggling with death, surgery, elderly parents. And it’s Monday and my calendar is filled with meetings that will produce more “busyness.”

Insert your list here.

We all are justified to be exhausted, frustrated and fed up. But that bus trip gets you to wasted days that never return. So despite our justifications, we must cling to hope and find joy in our winter seasons.

So much of what we suffer is outside of us – circumstances, unreasonable expectations, other people, the weather. We can and must control what’s inside so we can go out into the world and be hope and joy-filled people. To contribute to light rather than darken the darkness.

We have to intentionally, mindfully and actively choose hope over despair. So write your list, acknowledge the challenges and then move on. Also, write a list of your blessing and gifts. It will be much longer and deeper than you think. Gratitude is the bus to get on.

Find your inner “Tigger” and grow flowers within when the soil outside is still frozen and barren. And go out and beam, start a domino-effect of joy. That’s powerful. Joy over despair.

Cast light, bloom, multiply joy. Now that’s worthy of our time and attention.

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” – Pope John Paul II

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” – Pope John Paul II

Magnificent

William James

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.” – William James

“Time itself comes in drops.” – William James

Magnificent, spectacular, striking, breathtaking, delightful. We need more of these words and feelings in our daily life. Magnificent is waiting to be seen right in front of us each day. In a sunrise, a smile, a laugh, a poem, a dog’s enthusiasm to virtually everything, a song – all found in drops of time. Awe and beauty amidst the chaos and struggle. They co-exist. What we pay attention to defines our day, our life.

Find the magnificent in your day today no matter what you are going through. It may be like “Finding Waldo” to start, but the more we do it, the easier it becomes and the more we need it. Keep an eye out – there’s a spectacular day ahead.

Redefine

“Genius is the ability to renew one’s emotions in daily experience.” – Paul Cezanne

When “busy” is the only answer that you can muster when asked, “how are you?” It’s time to question the value and meaning of what you are busy with and at what expense.

Redefine the quality of your day not by the number of items checked off your “to do” list. Rather define it by depth, width and height of each day that you are awake and aware. Of moments steeped in gratitude grounded in experiences rather than mere activities.

Day 3 of no complaints, only gratitude – slow down, look around in close proximity and be in awe of the many gifts and blessings in your life right in this very minute.

Let Go and Throw the Ball

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu

I went bowling this past weekend for a little guy’s 7th birthday party. My wrists and neck have been problematic the past five months with numbness and tingling. Several chiropractor appointments later, it’s gotten tolerable. Often our aches and pains translate into our outlook and thoughts. It is precisely then that we need our spirit to take over and rise.

Rather than sitting on the sidelines, I decided to just have fun and throw the ball. First game, lots of single pins and gutters. Game two, four strikes. The turkey plus one. “X” marks the spot. Hooting and hollering ensued.

On day two of “no complaints, only gratitude,” I am reminded that we often chain the ball of cynicism around our own neck and wonder why we’re dragged down and drowning. We relinquish our power.

Let all of the reasons and justification to complain go and dump the excuses of why you are downtrodden. Get back in the game, throw the ball and embrace deep gratitude.

Chase the Ball

“Life is fragile. We're not guaranteed a tomorrow so give it everything you've got.” – Tim Cook

“Life is fragile. We’re not guaranteed a tomorrow so give it everything you’ve got.” – Tim Cook

“Beauty is a fragile gift.” – Ovid

Amidst our “first world” problems of unattainable deadlines, traffic delays, acceptable incivility and general daily irritations, life is happening right before our eyes. These days are the days – the good ole days we’ll look back on and long for even though we missed most of them in pursuit of the nonexistent.

Wake up and be present so you feel the depth and breadth of each day. This is it. Chase the ball and keep having fun in the pursuit of simple daily joy. Join in life and start participating, praising and celebrating all that is right now.

Play the board game with the kids. Make snow angels. Throw the ball. Chase the ball. Be silly. Dance like you don’t give a damn who’s watching. Laugh every flippin’ day. One life. This is it. Start living each day. Beauty abound. You now have the secret, the shortcut, the formula. Today. Be present.

Do It with Joy

“Perfect happiness is a beautiful sunset, the giggle of a grandchild, the first snowfall. It’s the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events. Joy comes in sips, not gulps.” – Sharon Draper

When we get stuck in the “whys” and “whens,” we miss out on the depth of now. Without a doubt, no one gets through life without bumps, bruises and scars. But woven through it all right in front of us is a current of grace and awe.

What really matters is not that we have challenges but rather how we go through them. With angst or joy. And we have the choice. So whatever this day brings or wherever you are at on your journey right now, choose light as you move through. Do it with joy and heart all in.

“Just imagine becoming the way you used to be as a very young child, before you understood the meaning of any word, before opinions took over your mind. The real you is loving, joyful, and free. The real you is just like a flower, just like the wind, just like the ocean, just like the sun.” – Don Miguel Ruiz

“Just imagine becoming the way you used to be as a very young child, before you understood the meaning of any word, before opinions took over your mind. The real you is loving, joyful, and free. The real you is just like a flower, just like the wind, just like the ocean, just like the sun.” – Don Miguel Ruiz

Water Off a Duck’s Back

My Dad used to say let it roll off of you like water off a duck’s back. People and circumstances can wear us down. But we can let the angst roll off our back and choose a “glass not only half full but overflowing” attitude. Abundance over scarcity.

Beneath the surface, there will always be a reason for others’ actions and attitudes that rarely have anything to do with us. It is precisely in these situations, we can put our positive outlook into action. Untested positivity is shallow. Encouragement in difficulty runs deep.

Empathy allow us to respond with support while not owning the negativity that comes along for the ride. Let the negativity bead up and roll off and hold tight to an unreasonable and unexplainable joy and light. We are so much more than our momentary setbacks. Go deep, cast light.

Spring is in there

“Earth teach me to forget myself as melted snow forgets its life. Earth teach me resignation as the leaves which die in the fall. Earth teach me courage as the tree which stands all alone. Earth teach me regeneration as the seed which rises in the spring.” – William Alexander

No matter what the season or the day of the week, there’s more underneath the surface of our daily grinding. We need to trade in the grind for joyful daily living. In the moment, present to all that is being offered and confident that beneath the four feet of snow, Spring is in there coming in due time. In the meantime, we can make snow angels and dive into the pile of fresh snow. That snow shall do its job and awaken the ground with living water. Do your job. Enjoy this day and bring that joy to others.

“Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!” – Sitting Bull

“Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!” – Sitting Bull

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