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Posts from the ‘Encouragement’ Category

Simple Deep Bliss

“Life is a pilgrimage. The wise man does not rest by the roadside inns. He marches direct to the illimitable domain of eternal bliss, his ultimate destination.” – Swami Sivananda

We so often think struggles linger forever and bliss is but a rare passing moment. Even in our struggles, we can find bliss. They co-exist. Yet, we can choose which one we will amplify, what tune we will dance to.

Things are settling down for me for the first time in a long while and new things are entering. But not completely, there are still moments of struggle. But I am not going to forebode bliss to anticipate and plan for struggle. Accept the bliss and keep it close to guide you through the struggle. It lives and breathes beside and within us.

When I lose the path to my bliss, I need not look far to be reminded of the joy found in daily life. A dog’s smile, a baby’s laugh, a heartfelt conversation with a trusted friend. These are the places of true, deep bliss amidst the simple moments in life. March in.

“Just think of any negativity that comes at you as a raindrop falling into the ocean of your bliss.” – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

“Just think of any negativity that comes at you as a raindrop falling into the ocean of your bliss.” – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Catching Lightning

“Human life is as evanescent as the morning dew or a flash of lightning.” – Samuel Butler

“Human life is as evanescent as the morning dew or a flash of lightning.” – Samuel Butler

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison

Lightning has been dancing in the skies for over an hour as storms take their time to roll in. It took me over 30 clicks to get this photo. It was a wonderful reminder to never quit and the wins come in the numbers, in consistently trying until that one time hits just right.

You are closer than you think. Keep going and trust that ongoing effort with time will create results. Lightning will strike. Catch some lightning.

Seed = Harvest

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.” – Mother Teresa

I planted grass seed about 10 days ago. It’s starting to pop up, slowly. The first week, nothing. Kept watering and waiting and still nothing. Then I noticed more in the morning – it grew during the night. Now it’s filling in but still a bit patchy but working its way through the surface, taking root. More each day and getting stronger.

Plant some seeds and plan on some quiet waiting. The seed will take hold in due time, with water, light, darkness and of course patience. By all means, plant some seed, the only path to harvest.

“Talk unbelief, and you will have unbelief; but talk faith, and you will have faith. According to the seed sown will be the harvest.” – Ellen G. White

“Talk unbelief, and you will have unbelief; but talk faith, and you will have faith. According to the seed sown will be the harvest.” – Ellen G. White

Rejoice

“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.” – Eleonora Duse

“Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.” – Michel de Montaigne

“Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.” – Michel de Montaigne

I imagine that we will get to the end of our days and realize that we did not rejoice enough. Simple delight, arms up in the air, cognizant of the many opportunities for joy before us each day.

We will regret acts and words unsaid as well as the unkind ones that were spoken. What we considered so utterly important will fade to nothingness and the measure of our life will be how kind we were and how much we loved, unconditionally.

Rejoice today and carry on each day so when you look back it will be with a deep sense of gratitude and completion, knowing in your soul that the treasure of your life was well spent. Rejoice.

Contradictions

“It’s a deep joy that comes from making intentional choices about how we’re going to live our lives despite our circumstances. Despite the darkness of our circumstances, joy does come in the morning.” – Laura Story, When God Doesn’t Fix It: Lessons You Never Wanted to Learn, Truths You Can’t Live Without

One of my favorite musicians whose music speaks honestly and authentically to the heart and spirit is Laura Story. Her song Blessings shifts my narrow view every time. One line that stands out – “what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise.” I am finishing her book on the many trials in her life and one concept hit the mark – “joy that contradicts circumstances.”

It’s easy to be upbeat and happy in the good times. It contradicts all we think we know doing the same when we are amidst the trials we all have. We should be downtrodden, we have reason, we have cause. But when we allow God’s joy to enter our hearts, it simply transcends all reason and is filled with contradictions. It’s simply unreasonable and unfathomable. And that’s why God doesn’t make sense and is the only thing that makes any sense at the same time.

Be unreasonable and radical. Choose joy that contradicts circumstances. Joy blooms every morning, breath the beauty in, accept joy.

“In contradiction and paradox, you can find truth.” – Denis Villeneuve

“In contradiction and paradox, you can find truth.” – Denis Villeneuve

Sculpt

“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” – Michelangelo

“A beautiful thing never gives so much pain as does failing to hear and see it.” – Michelangelo

“A beautiful thing never gives so much pain as does failing to hear and see it.” – Michelangelo

The clean edges, the grace of form, the transformation to a work of art comes with time, patience and effort. And the statute is never really done. What life are you sculpting for yourself? What is shaping you and what are you shaping in return? Shaping or chasing?

We want to know the ending before we begin. But that’s not how life works. And when we forego the mystery of the journey, we miss the heartbeat of life, the beauty of it really. Open up and let life in. Trust that you are where you need to be and immerse yourself in each moment. The task of the sculptor is to discover it.

Choose Tigger

“Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun.” – Randy Pausch

“Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun.” – Randy Pausch

“I am going to keep having fun every day I have left, because there is no other way of life. You just have to decide whether you are a Tigger or an Eeyore.” – Randy Pausch

Today, and each day going forward, have fun, no matter what’s going on. There will never be a time in life when there are not challenges woven through the victories. Create your little wins by having fun.

Don’t wait for a loved one to die or a health diagnosis to learn that life is so very short. Give more and receive all there is right now in this moment. Be grateful for the gift of this day and put some bounce in your step – choose Tigger.

Harness

“Thought is the wind, knowledge the sail, and mankind the vessel.” – Augustus Hare

“Thought is the wind, knowledge the sail, and mankind the vessel.” – Augustus Hare

“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

There is so much energy surrounding us each moment to receive and give. And when we find it and adjust the sail to work with it, we harness the wind and our sails take flight. Potential is attained.

Too much time is flittered away in worry, struggle and fear. Open your sails into the wind and let delight, gratitude and joy take you away. Witness your world transforming before you.

We have what we need for right now. Harness the wind. Take flight.

Plant Seeds

“It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a harvest in the Autumn.” – B.C. Forbes

I’ve had two fifty year old trees fall and have to be cut down in my yard in the past 10 years. After clearing them, I immediately planted new trees, knowing that it wouldn’t be in my lifetime that I would see the same beauty and shade that those wise old trees had given.

As I looked out my window tonight on the pink sky with soft rain falling, I saw the outline of that little tree that was planted not so long ago and how far that it had come. It’s offering its own beauty and shade.

“Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

When it comes down to it, we can hold to the past and long for what was, not moving forward or we can plant new seeds and anticipate new bounty and beauty for us to be nourished by.

Plant seeds each and every day and let time do its work. Suddenly, you’ll look up and there will be a lush tree where there was once seemingly barren ground.

Start, Stop, Detour, Lost, Found, Start Again, Finish

“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” – Rabindranath Tagore

There are many steps between starting and finishing. Starting is always the first step, so get to it. The secret to finishing is to keep going, moving through the stops, detours and falls. Our plans, the maps we draw out with great precision, so often don’t work out exactly as designed. Go where you are being drawn to and let go of the map when necessary. We so often are found amidst being lost.

So if your “plans” don’t seem to be working out and the finish seems far off, you are where you need to be in this moment. And you are closer than you think so keep going. There are not a lot of straight, short roads from start to finish on what’s most fulfilling.

The formula: start, stop, detour, lost, found, start again, finish. Most importantly, enjoy the journey, it’s a short one to be sure.

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