“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.” – Mary Oliver
“Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.” – Gerard De Nerval
Flowers, sunrises, sunsets, children and dogs all have one thing in common. They burst with the glory of God, uninhibited. Their colors, brilliance, simplicity, innocence, and sheer joy call us back to our true selves, to a longing that won’t be silenced until we acknowledge, engage and fulfill our purpose.
Amazement is their gift to us all.
Find your vivid color, your bliss, your genuine delight and pursue it with vigilance and fervor. Gratitude requires attention and awareness of this very moment, no more, no less.
Busily going through the motions is not worthy of this one precious life. Start each day new again, filled with possibility and hope. Be amazed and let it do its work on you.
“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” – Leo Buscaglia
People, circumstances, worry, assumptions, judgments and our very own mindset steals our joy. Be on guard and acutely aware that joy is a choice and often not the easy one. Misery not only loves company, it longs for a crowd. And the complaining spirals into quicksand that sucks us in.
There’s plenty of justification for carrying a heavy load. But at the end of our life, our regrets will lie in not seizing our blessings, knowing those closest to us better and becoming our best self. So fill your mind with good thoughts and your heart with unreasonable love. Be kind and gentle, laugh more, let go, foster gratitude, grasp enthusiasm and silliness, forgive and by all means, guard your joy. It is truly the only thing worth holding tightly to.
“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
“There’s something just magical about flight. Period.” – Graham Hawkes
“The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” – Bertrand Russell
No further than a playground swing and magic unfolds. The delight of flight. The sheer joy in simple play. Children have it figured out and what we can learn from these wise souls. No over complicating. No distractions. They enter each moment as an explorer, an adventurer, a believer of goodness and light in the world. It is only when we grow up that we dull our wits and surrender our joy.
We can transform our days by sharpening our wits. Take back your joy.
“One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.” – Henry Miller
“I try to avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward.” – Charlotte Bronte
When given the option of accepting worldly things or striving for something more, something meaningful, the only viable option that we have is to look up. Beyond ourselves, above the fray, higher than our assumptions and limited view.
Tough day, tough week, tough month. It’s but a blink in the eternity of time. And if we don’t let it go, it remains a stronghold and steals our days. So move on, let go of the need to figure it all out right now, trust with conviction and look up.
The universe, the beyond is so much greater than our imagination. Transcend your burdens and absorb the light of your blessings.
“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” – Sidonie Gabrielle Colette
So much of life is made up of multitasking, noisy distractions and the busy pursuit of what’s next. The velvet rut of familiarity convinces us to stay put, going rapidly through the motions.
Speed suffocates gratitude and numbs our spirit.
Slow down and breath. Do something different, even the smallest thing, each day. Then again and again until each simple act transforms ordinary days into an extraordinary life. Let awe and possibility takes root again.
Make each day sacred and joyful by participating fully in the moment. Realize your wonderful life right now while you are in it.
“Be happy. It’s one way of being wise.” – Sidonie Gabrielle Colette
“The yoke you wear determines the burden you bear.” – Edwin Louis Cole
“We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday’s burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.” – John Newton
Today is enough.
We cling and carry too much. Resentment, anger and unforgiveness are heavy loads. All that has gone by has brought us to today. So learn the lesson and let the weight of going through it go.
Be naive and believe the best in others, knowing that they struggle just like you. Be forgiving for you will be required to be forgiven. Be kind and it is returned to you by the simple act of giving it away. Love without condition or judgment, the real definition of love.
Blink. And it’s over. Life moves swiftly with little time to be stuck in the past. Time to lighten the load and move on. There’s a beautiful horizon to reach, one single day at a time. Travel lightly.
“Awe is the finest portion of mankind …In awe, one feels profoundly the immense.” – Goethe
“Aaah, summer – that long anticipated stretch of lazy, lingering days, free of responsibility and rife with possibility. It’s a time to hunt for insects, master handstands, practice swimming strokes, conquer trees, explore nooks and crannies, and make new friends.” – Darrell Hammond
Watching the kids jump off the bus today brought me back to those days in May filled with anticipation of school getting out for the summer. The excitement of hanging out with friends, swimming, biking and carefree days. Just pure ease that summer demands.
So often, we appreciate days and moments the most in the rear view mirror rather than when we are in the midst of them. As you move into these sweet days of summer, be present and aware while you are in them, tune out the noise. Pay attention to moments rather than fictional “some days.”
Take long walks, enjoy an ice cream cone, read a book or take a nap in one of those adirondack chairs or hammocks that are always empty. This day, this moment is the substance, depth and breadth of life.
Get on the bus. The journey is the destination.
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney
The door handle to the garage has been slipping for a few months. Wear and tear, getting more difficult to open. About three weeks ago, it made it on the list to pick up and I reluctantly picked it up a last week. It sat in the box staring at me as I passed by. Each time, I told myself that I would get to it when I had time.
I’ve never put on a door handle and it looked complicated. So I procrastinated and created a wall that got bigger the longer I put it off, a giant stopping me in my tracks.
Well, the giant fell tonight. I put it in and it works. Victory! So often we create giants that prevent us from even trying. Or we believe others when they tell us that we can’t do it.
But when we move, those giants fall with the simple step of starting, of risking failure. And sometimes we do fail, but we never start in the same place when we try and start again. And so many times, if we dare to pursue the feat, the giant falls and we win.
Giants fall, doors open.
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney
“Do not waste time dreaming of great faraway opportunities; do the best you can where you are. Open your petals of power and beauty and fling out the fragrance of your life in the place that has been assigned to you.” – Orison Swett Marden
Chaos, busyness and circumstances eclipse gratitude, awe and joy. We put off living fully to the illusive someday. When you can dance and sing amidst difficulties, you have triumphed and achieved “a peace that passes all understanding.”
Don’t lose days, months, years waiting for perfect timing to start living. Today is the day to begin anew, to be present in each moment and see what’s right in front of you for the very first time. Hold your gaze a bit longer and witness the greatness in a mere petal of a flower, the solace in an embrace and the ease that grace offers.
In Act III of Thorton Wilder’s play Our Town, Emily views moments in her life after she is dead. “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?—every, every minute? Emily asks this question of the Stage Manager after she has revisited her twelfth birthday. The Stage Manager answers that humans indeed do not realize life, except for perhaps the “saints and poets, maybe.”
Realize your life fully each day while you live it – the sacred poetry.
“Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray.” – Lord Byron
“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” – Maya Angelou
As we move through life’s many difficulties and worries, it’s often hard to see beyond the struggle, the light behind the clouds. And then suddenly, a brilliant bright rainbow breaks through the clouds and offers the gift of hope and the promise of grace to make our way through to the other side the only way we can. A day at a time.
Life goes both fast and slow as does death. We spend much of our time waiting and longing for what’s next, what may be easier. Even amidst the clouds and rain, we can give ourselves permission to find joy and light, if but for a moment. The bow after the rain comes when its purposes is complete, whether we understand it or not. When you are in the clouds, hold on and when you are not, be the rainbow.