We go into a new year looking to change, “fix” and improve who we are. To be better, to hit the high mark, in hot pursuit of our best selves.
We are halfway through January – the most motivating month of the year – a fresh start and new beginning. Before you let the month, the next day, slip away in pursuit of something “better” than you, stop, celebrate and honor you as you are right in this very moment.
No changes, no improvement, no perfection. Not future you, not high performance you. You as you are right now, unapologetic, imperfect and beautiful you filled with strength, resilience and character. What you’ve overcome, rode straight though, survived and thrived to arrive at the person you are right now.
We wane on our resolutions because we don’t recognize, appreciate and notice the person we already are right now. Time to light the fireworks, bring out the balloons and strike up the band to celebrate current you just as you are.
Happy You Day!
“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” – John Milton
I found this card and wanted to keep it as a reminder that the line from A to B in this life is not straight, no matter how much we prepare, worry and plan. We forget to find joy in each day in pursuit of someday, the next thing and perfection. Rather than keeping it, I gave it to a friend at work for her birthday. I thought it was an excellent birthday reminder to celebrate the other 364 days during the year, not worrying about the detours, potholes and traffic on the path. Enjoy the daily journey, no matter what course you’re on right now.
Life is short and we realize that when we have less of it left. Figure that out early and start enjoying the journey today. We get distracted about the details of the map and struggles along the way that we miss the beautiful scenery on the path.
The swirls on the journey are often the sweetest moments. And we miss them thinking that we should be somewhere else. Slow down, see today and enjoy the swirls that always get us to our right destination. Follow the signs and signals in your heart rather than loud distracting horns of the world.
The journey always makes sense going backwards. Flip that truth and know that the path you’re on will make sense someday. Enjoy your forwards while you are present in them.
Practice 360 degree gratitude for where you’ve been, where you are and the promise of where you’re going. Enjoy the your journey, swirls and all.
of your own way;
of the fast lane;
of your limiting thoughts;
of judgment and assumptions;
of unforgiveness and regret;
of your ego;
of the past;
of what others think.
Get into …
fresh crisp air;
the slow lane;
cutting new paths;
assuming the best;
a new mindset filled with possibility, joy and growth;
a soft heart filled with empathy and compassion;
advice-free and quiet listening.
Empty the old to make room for new. Out and in.
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu
“Your days are short here; this is the last of your springs. And now in the serenity and quiet of this lovely place, touch the depths of truth, feel the hem of Heaven. You will go away with old, good friends. And don’t forget when you leave why you came.” Adlai Stevenson I
Serenity Now is one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes when Frank Costanza gets a relaxation exercise tape to practice saying “serenity now” to calm down. It starts out with a soft chant and quickly becomes a loud frustrated yell. My favorite gift this year so far is the serenity now button from my hair stylist Christine.
We do need serenity now and it’s in our reach.
Rest and recharge daily;
Stop spiraling thoughts and negativity;
Let go of the past, all of it but the lessons;
Release resentment, it’s only hurting you;
Stop comparing and complaining;
Anticipate and plan for good days;
Believe beyond current understanding;
Lighten up and pursue your lost sense of humor;
I haven’t been practicing what I preach above the past few weeks but intend to recommit to real serenity now.
This time of the year is difficult for many people with loss of loved ones, fractured relationships and frustration with life not going as planned. In parallel and along side loss, we can and must choose hope, joy and delight to hold our hand on this winding journey. You have permission to both laugh and cry. You are not alone and are very human.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.” – Reinhold Niebuhr
The wisdom to know the difference indeed.
Let joy in and cast light. Serenity now!
“Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2
When I committed to daily writing about optimism for 30 days in October, it shifted and focused my attention. I felt more present in my days and aware of my many blessings. The habit of expressing gratitude daily renews our mind.
Writing synthesizes my thoughts, fosters understanding and creates new connections. This month, I’ve lagged on my writing for both Cast Light and Start3Things. Too busy. Running from one commitment to the next. Impossible checklists. The result is dull, bland living. Yuck. Enough.
The world is not going away. Creating and carrying out commitments to ourselves make us more capable to contribute meaningfully to other areas of our life. Choosing light, searching for wonder and joy hunting are daily priorities and pursuits worthy of our time.
Stop the busyness. Break the patterns. Begin each day with an intention to renew your mind. Create space for delight and joy that are fueled by positivity, hope and optimism.
“Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.” – Joyce Meyer
As I waited in a four-block line just to check my luggage, people started complaining. It’s understandable to be frustrated when we are inconvenienced. I was a bit concerned about making my flight as others were as well. However, complaining and worrying won’t ever change the outcome and it makes the journey a drag.
A woman ahead of me asked the airport staff “what’s the strategy on the line?” The staff person looked at her and calmly answered, “patience.” Patience as a strategy? Brilliant!
We overdo, over-complicate and want to control everything. And in the process, we make our lives miserable and spread it to others too. When we focus our energy on what we can control and let the rest unfold as it will, we have suddenly have more “magical” days.
Listen carefully to your thoughts and words. Choose patience, optimism and light. Have a magical day, indeed!
“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” John Quincy Adams
“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it – but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
“The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome. The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse.” – Helen Keller
It’s safe in the harbor of the past, assumptions and sameness. But we are built for adventure, discovery and high seas living. For beautiful sunsets, for gliding across open waters and yes, for waves and high winds.
Resilient, strong and ready for overcoming and victory, living each moment fully. Stay the course, keep the faith, trust your journey.
No more wasted days. Only vibrant awareness of possibility and abundance. Enter the marvelous richness of uncharted waters. Pull the anchor up, furl the sails and venture out into the open, deep water.
Day 30 of 30. I’ve written a post for 30 days focusing on optimism and the power of positive thinking which results in positive living. I’ve not been perfect in my thinking and doing, but I have been more aware of how I start my day and where I allow my mind to wander. A habit is formed in 30 days and optimism is good medicine.
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” – Proverbs 17:22
“There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why.” – William Barclay
If we do it right, our birthday should be just another day of gratitude, light and joy. Happy Birthday to me and to my golden retriever Abby who’s 3 years old today – my birthday mate. This girl was one of a few bright lights in 2016. Liam, my little Lion King, was the other gift that year.
Celebrate each day like it’s your birthday and last day on this earth. One day, you will be right. No “do-overs,” this is it. Let go of what’s behind that’s holding you back and savor each day.
Discover why and pursue it vigorously. Gratitude is a gift that keeps giving and expanding at the same time. Make it another good day.
“Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years.” – Ausonius
“Kindness is a passport that opens doors and fashions friends. It softens hearts and molds relationships that can last lifetimes.” – Joseph B. Wirthlin
I found the perfect rug to put on my garage doorstep where I pass through several times a day to let the girls out to the backyard. It reminds me that I’m blessed and to acknowledge it by noticing.
We need reminders, prompts, smacks to the head to be mindful and fully present in now. When we practice gratitude daily, it becomes a habit and second nature. When our “inlook” changes, our outlook changes as well.
Carry deep gratitude and thankfulness across each threshold you pass and leave kindness as you journey through to the other side. Kindness spreads gratitude.
“Whatever we are waiting for – peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach
“The principle of nowness is very important to any effort to establish an enlightened society.”― Pema Chödrön, How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind
“IN the morning when you wake up, reflect on the day ahead and aspire to use it to keep a wide-open heart and mind. At the end of the day, before going to sleep, think over what you’ve done. If you fulfilled your aspiration, even once, rejoice in that. If you went against your aspiration, rejoice that you are able to see what you did and are no longer living in ignorance. This way you will be inspired to go forward with increasing clarity, confidence, and compassion.”― Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chodron
Remain in nowness and moments overflow with enough. No yesterday, no tomorrow, just this moment. Clarity. Confidence. Compassion. Open your heart and have a grateful day.
“Nowness is the sense that we are attuned to what is happening. The past is fiction and the future is a dream, and we are just living on the edge of a razor blade.”― Chögyam Trungpa