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Posts from the ‘Encouragement’ Category

The Unknowing

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

We want to know the end before we start. We hesitate, freeze, hold back, analyze and run the opposite direction of the unknowing. We take comfort in the familiar, especially when it’s time to move on. But it is in the unknowing, in the mystery, we find our true capacity, strength, depth, resolve, resilience and at its core, our very soul and its longing.

Keep moving and release the hollow fear that is holding you back from fullness of living, from the very breath of life. Return again and again to a beginner’s mind, ready to learn, to make mistakes, to risk being the fool. For the fool is unhindered from what others think and self-imposed limitations. The fool transforms into a genius by moving swiftly into the unknowing until it becomes known.

Move fiercely into the unknown and discover with a renewed enthusiasm where the road less taken will lead you.

“Oh the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all.”

― Dr. Seuss

Skimming Rocks

“When everything is moving and shifting, the only way to counteract chaos is stillness. When things feel extraordinary, strive for ordinary. When the surface is wavy, dive deeper for quieter waters.” – Kristin Armstrong

Growing up around lakes, we would pick up rocks and see how far we could skip them across the water. Finding flat shaped rocks and throwing side arm, the rock barely touching the surface. Distance over depth.

The demands of our “do more with less and do it as fast as you can” world is like having a bottomless mountain of rocks skimming for distance. And it’s a pretty hollow activity that produces little relevance and quality in our days.

We worry about machines taking over our jobs. I hope they do so we can stop producing like machines and creating like humans, as we are meant to do. We have so much more deeper down than we pursue. Those individuals who are creating to their full cognitive ability and capacity are those who go deeper, linger longer and have said “no thanks” to more with less.

I am in hot pursuit of less pursuit, of going deeper, lingering to allow my mind to absorb rather than process. Beauty is found in simplicity and depth. Every one of us has the same 24 hours to work with. We need to make different decisions, take different actions to get to a different place. Each day we need uninterrupted quiet time to pursue depth. Multi-tasking and frantically jumping from one thing to the next is skimming rocks. Slow down and tap into the depth of your being so you can discover who you are meant to be and what you are here to contribute to this world.

Less mindless production, more sweet fruit. Find your light and cast it.

“In this world of ours, every believer must be a spark of light, a center of love, a vivifying ferment for the mass; and it will be that all the more as, in the depths of his being, he lives in communion with God.” – Pope John XXIII

Every Mile

Listen for and open your eyes to the signs, cues and clues whispering to reassure that you are where you are meant to be now. Nothing, not one step, is wasted. So keep moving. living and learning. Don’t stall or get stuck in the past and never accept less than what God has in store for you. The faster we go, the farther we get behind. Tune out the noise of busyness, slow down and enter the rhythm of daily life with deep gratitude.

I just discovered a new song from Nicole Nordeman and have been playing it over and over – Every Mile Mattered. There are many moments we question where we are at and why. It’s reassuring to know that every mile mattered and it’s gotten to us where we are now and will be the path that prepares us for what’s next.

“But it’s history
It don’t define you
You’re free to leave
It all behind you
Every tear brought you here
Every sorrow gathered
It’s history
And every mile mattered
Every mile mattered”

Every mile that has been and all that is to come matters. Be present and anchor your days in joy, faith and trust. Turn up the music and bust a move.

Cosmos and Order

“In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.” – Carl Jung

May you find cosmos and order today. It’s grounding to know that there’s a reason for all that is happening in our lives even if we don’t know it in this moment. Overcome your circumstances with your spirit. Grasp gratitude. Press on, fearless and fierce. Don’t wait for joy to find you. Pursue it in simple moments and embrace it each day.

Cosmos and order are holding you. Let go.

Deposits

“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” – Margaret J. Wheatley

“What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action” – Meister Eckhart

“What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action” – Meister Eckhart

Sometimes doing nothing is everything. Time for reflection, no rushing, just being. We spend down our “back account” unaware until we are depleted. Withdraw after withdraw, going faster, winding up nowhere, running on empty.

Take it off autopilot and take back the wheel of your days. Start planting, making deposits each day so you can harvest a good life.

No planting, no harvest.

Deep Down

“You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.”– Thomas Merton

You will be free when you move past competition and comparison with others and pursue with vigor and enthusiasm your true authentic self. No apologies, nothing to prove, no permission needed. Get comfortable with yourself, learn and grow.

The days turn quickly into years so be yourself now, uninhibited and unchained. Regardless of circumstances and challenges, keep going, confident that either things will move or you will be moved when the time is right.

Go deep down and release that hindered spirit and let it lead you back to you.

Blank Slate

“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” – Helen Keller

“Every human is an artist. And this is the main art that we have: the creation of our story.” – Don Miguel Ruiz

“Every human is an artist. And this is the main art that we have: the creation of our story.” – Don Miguel Ruiz

Your story is yours to write. It’s a blank slate waiting to be completed by you, not others. The past few weeks, I’ve felt invisible for a variety of reasons that don’t really matter in the overall scheme of things, of what’s really important. And I have a blessed life, so imagine those who aren’t as fortunate, who’s circumstances are truly dire and out of their control.

We need to make others visible, to see them, the authentic human behind the two-dimensional stereotype. To pull our head up from our technology, from our ridiculously busy lives and lock eyes, to connect to our humanity.

Each day is a blank slate to write our own beginning, middle and end, to rise higher than we think we can and to choose invincible over invisible. We can be kind, encouraging and generous, especially when others are not. Write your story.

Holding Up the Light

“Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.” – Helen Keller

“There are little gems all around us that can hold glimmers of inspiration.” – Richelle Mead

“There are little gems all around us that can hold glimmers of inspiration.” – Richelle Mead

When we give up perfect to accept the gift of the present, unexpected and imperfect, we can live authentically and hold our light up no matter what.

We may and will stumble and fall, no doubt. But we must get up again and again, never quitting.

When necessary, I let myself be ticked off for up to 24 hours and then move on. Learning lessons required and letting go of the pain required too. Grudges grow heavier. Release the burdens of regret and remorse. True and lasting light is always there, regardless of circumstances.

Some moments, hours, days are better than others. That’s a fact. But when we are grounded in light, shadows are temporary and illuminate the brilliance of light.

Heads up, smile and carry your light.

Heart Over Hustle

“What would our lives be like if our days were studded by tiny, completely unproductive, silly, nonstrategic, wild and beautiful five-minute breaks, reminders that our days are for loving and learning and laughing, not for pushing and planning, reminders that it’s all about the heart, not about the hustle?” – Shauna Niequist, Present Over Perfect

We have to stop. To be quiet long enough and often enough to hear ourselves, to see others, to find ourselves again and to stop losing ourselves over and over again. We do the same things and expect different results. In a go faster, more with less, quantity over quality, hustle over heart world, we continue to push ourselves to the very edge to see how far we can go. For what? And where? Why also comes to mind as well. If we don’t have the right answers to the questions, we need to get them.

There will always be times we need to hustle, to rally, to punch it out like a factory to keep up. But we need many more days where less is more, where we linger in the depth of the moment and invite joy in. Despite circumstances, we can choose joy over despair, spirit over speed, heart over hustle.

“Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10 (plus my addition – “and you are not”)

“To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.” – Eckhart Tolle

Where ever you are right now, choose light over dark and by casting your light, you can show others it’s possible.

I See You

“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” – William James

On a quick run in the neighborhood yesterday, I passed a boy on a bike and he said “I see you.” I knew he wasn’t talking to me. He was playing a little game of hide and seek with a friend. But I perked up with the words “I see you.” Isn’t that all we ask for? To be seen, to be heard, to be acknowledged.

In a noisy world, we can get lost and we can lose others on the rapid journey to nowhere. Pay attention and notice more of what’s around you right now. This is it. This is life. Enjoy it.

And when you don’t feel seen or heard, get outside of yourself. Look and listen more to others so they can be seen and heard. You will then discover yourself in them. Never alone. Always seen. I see you.

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