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Posts from the ‘Encouragement’ Category

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“Every moment is a new beginning.” – Elie Wiesel

1 – what a great number. A chance to start anew. A fresh start. As we move into the second half of the year and July 1st moves us into the middle of summer, plan for the month ahead one day at a time with deep gratitude for summer days.

The Great Good Science Center publishes a monthly calendar filled a prompt and link each day. Set your intentions for each day and follow through with small steps to well-being, light and joy.

 

 

Drop or Arrow

“In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans.” – Khalil Gibran

“From which sense of center will we live our days: as an arrow always seeking its mark, or as a drop of water always seeking its home? Half the time, we’re so eager to get somewhere only because we’re uncomfortable with where we are. Much of the time, we’re trying so hard to keep the difficult things out that we stop letting in what is always present and beautiful.”— The Book of Soul: 52 Paths to Living What Matters, Mark Nepo

Each of us makes a choice from where we will live our days. Fluid as a drop of water or an arrow in fervent flight aiming for somewhere else. In the pursuit of what’s next, we miss what already is in this very moment. Allow movement, grace and the slow work of being so you can go deeper into the ocean of your very soul.

“As fish in their grace demonstrate, it’s not surfacing or bottoming that is our home, but our movement back and forth. That immersion brings us alive. For the slow work of being leads us to a thorough life, where the deeper currents moving through us are life-giving and empowering. And the Whole of Life rinsing through our heart and mind is what we feel and think and speak.”— The Book of Soul: 52 Paths to Living What Matters, Mark Nepo

The Light of Dusk

“In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.” – Aaron Rose

“When you possess light within, you see it externally.” – Anas Nin

When the labor of the day is over and rest is but steps away, the dusk enters and light lingers a few moments more as it slowly releases to night, to rest, to release.

When the night is over and a new day, a new beginning is but steps away, the dawn enters and light lingers a few moments more as it slowly releases to the full light of day, to awaken, to release all that was and embrace all that is meant to be if we allow.

Light remains to pull us forward, to call us to rest and to invite us to awaken to new beginnings available to each one of us if we choose to accept the invitation.

The Art of Balance

 

“Life is a balance between rest and movement.” – Rajneesh

“In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth.” – Patti Smith

Right-left. Liberal-conservative. Up-down. The answer internally and externally is found in balance. Not compromise. But in empathy, understanding, compassion and kindness. When the noise is deafening, when the meaning is hollow, go deeper by listening, by caring and by never, ever giving up despite the circumstances. It is a good life, if we dare to enter. Balance.

“The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.” – Euripides

Beginner’s Mindset

“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” – Pablo Picasso

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” – Shunryu Suzuki

Liam Bootcamp Day 2 – fun in the sun, swimming at two different beaches and a tennis lesson after a nap. Before dinner, we hit balls against the practice wall at the tennis courts up the block. After missing a few times, he wanted to go to the playground.

Rather than move on right away, I asked him to take a few more swings. This time, I held the racket with him to guide it. We took a few practice swings before getting the ball involved and I then told him to keep his eye on the ball. After a few tries, he got four hits in a row. His initial disappointment quickly turned into excitement and enthusiasm.

Sometimes we just need to take a few steps back to the beginning, to the basics and start with the fundamentals. I didn’t want him to end his first try at tennis on a low note so he didn’t want to try again. Rather, I coached and encouraged him, ending the short session on a high note.

As I gave him advice, I decide to learn the lesson too. Try new things, keep your eye on the ball, anticipate where the ball will go and enter each endeavor with a beginner’s mindset willing to learn, unlearn and have fun in the process. A beginner’s mindset is for all ages, especially non-beginners.

Open in Bloom

“Silently a flower blooms,
In silence it falls away;
Yet here now, at this moment, at this place,
The world of the flower, the whole of
the world is blooming.
This is the talk of the flower, the truth
of the blossom:
The glory of eternal life is fully shining here.”
-Zenkei Shibayama

“To lean into life requires a quiet courage that lets us find our aliveness. And the reward for leaning into life is that everything hidden becomes sweet and colorful. Or more, we’re finally present enough to receive the sweetness and color that is always there. Consider how a flower opens. It doesn’t prepare for a particular moment but stays true to a life of opening and leaning toward the light. When a flower blossoms, it turns inside out and wears its beauty in the world. In just this way, a soul opens over a lifetime of leaning into life.” — The Book of Soul: 52 Paths to Living What Matters, Mark Nepo

The Como Conservatory is now open. We didn’t go in but the windows were wide open so I dipped under to take in the flowers with all of my senses. Fresh, fragrant and leaning toward the light. I am a sucker for flowers, nature and dogs who model beauty, depth of simplicity and joy in being. We all have the capacity and calling to lean into the light and cast it to carry each other. Be open to bloom.

 

Be Your Life

“When we can live our stories and not be ruled by them, we love ourselves into being. There is a Spanish saying, Se tu vida, which means “Be your life.” This is all that is asked of us. And yet, in doing so, we can get lost in all that living engenders.”— The Book of Soul: 52 Paths to Living What Matters, Mark Nepo

Every time I want to pull back, to hesitate, to delay, to question, to judge, I hope to dive. To jump in without knowing the ending, to jump in and get wet, to jump in and do a belly flop. May we always jump into life with joy, with abandon and the capacity to be surprised and delighted.

Let your guard down, along with reasoning and certainty. Our days our numbered. Make them count.

“Given our entanglements, one of the most difficult acts of presence is not to vanish when overwhelmed by conflict or hardship. The simplest teachers in nature, such as the sun, the birds, and the flowers, are quietly heroic in this regard, not because they achieve anything, but because they remain completely true to their own nature, regardless of what happens to them.”— The Book of Soul: 52 Paths to Living What Matters, Mark Nepo

Nature’s Confetti

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’” – Robin Williams

“Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.” – Wayne Dyer

Flowers are the confetti of nature’s party celebrating full bloom, brilliant color and simple delights. When negativity and criticism is rampant, go out into nature and be captured by the simple grand beauty. Tune into abundance rather than scarcity.

Let go of your opinion long enough to entertain new ideas and possibility. Guard your joy. Start throwing some confetti rather than water. Enjoy each day and cast light.

The Right Ladder

“The true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton

“Make life your playground, not your battlefield.” – Ormond McGill

I’ve been writing most posts at the end of the day, keeping the daily “streak” going. Today will be an 89-day streak. Daily journaling has been an important part of keeping a positive mindset and being present in the classroom of life.

While nighttime is a good time for reflection, it’s also a time when we’re tired and called to rest. As a result, the posts have been shorter, a bit more surface skimming, more mechanical. So rather than merely going through the motions, I’m going to change it up to morning posts for a while to go a little deeper.

In the morning, when the world is new again, if we choose to lay down yesterday, we are offered the gift of a fresh start. We can get our ladder on the right wall by setting our intentions to be present, grateful and engaged. So rather than being tossed around by circumstances, spinning thoughts and those “irritating” people who keep showing up each day to bug us, we can go beneath the surface into the depth of life which is found in connection.

When we lead with kindness, empathy and active listening, suddenly circumstances shift and that irritating person turns out to be someone who’s struggling just like you. Our world changes when we change our perspective and get on the right ladder.

There are many lessons to be learned daily, joy to be had and playgrounds to be played on. Enjoy today on purpose and cast light.

Heaven Meets Earth

“Heaven is all around us. All we need is perception; to extol the melodies of Nature’s orchestra.”― Anurag Shourie

“Let your days become a fragrant song where heaven and earth continually collide” ― John Crowder

Nature never fails to show us how heaven meets earth each day. We decide what we see. Narrow or broad. Open or closed. Free or bound. If you are not in awe, do the opposite to change your perception and perspective. If things feel small, look up and witness beauty that remains amidst whatever is going on inside and out.

“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.” – Henry David Thoreau

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