“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison
“Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years.” – Ausonius
We spend a good part of our life competing, going faster in the pursuit of the prize. And I love a good competition as a way to keep improving and challenging myself to stay in the game. Never been a fan of showing up trophies.
As the years have passed, I have a new appreciation for time rather than recording new times. Time with good friends and family with an acute awareness of the brevity of time. Not only showing up but trying and not accepting anything less than doing our best, whatever that may be.
Today, we ran the Minnesota State Fair Milk Run, a tradition. We all run different paces. Rather than worrying about my time, I wanted to run for the experience of time with friends who are a part of the fabric and color in my life. We didn’t set any records but created a memory to treasure, especially when things change as they always do.
Enjoy each day, laugh and cast your bright light over those shadows that the world pulls us to. Be present with people and create time for yourself for gratitude and the sacred awareness of the blessings in your life. Dive deeper into this moment, rather than racing through your life.
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie
It’s my great nephew Liam’s first birthday party tomorrow. I got him a radio flyer bike stroller about a month ago. I hesitantly opened the box tonight. I put it off because I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to put it together. As I imagined, it came in several pieces. I laid them all out and started in. One step at a time and an hour later, it’s done.
Often times we don’t start or hold back because of a lack of confidence. Yet the only way to build confidence is by diving in and trying. What are you holding yourself back from doing because of those voices in your head psyching you out from even trying? Those voices either planted by others or yourself? Or are you holding back because it won’t be perfect? Perfect is not the enemy of good, it’s the enemy of ever getting things done.
Get busy – make mistakes, practice, stay in the game and never give up before starting. Pursue that endeavor that’s whispering from within – painting, running a race, writing or even putting together a radio flyer.
“It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish.” – J. R. R. Tolkien
“Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ‘crackpot’ than the stigma of conformity.” – Thomas J. Watson
When the path is not clear, keep going. Stopping won’t make it any clearer, neither will be going back. When the fear doesn’t fade, do it afraid. Break a new path. Discover what is out in the world and more importantly what is in you. The path just for you is waiting to be made by you.
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”- Marie Curie
“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” – Audrey Hepburn
Words matter. Actions even more. We so often have an opinion on everything and advice for others that we wouldn’t take ourselves. The noise of nothingness is loud, drowning out what’s real and true.
There are more good people than bad, and everyone has a story that we don’t know. Ask and then listen. There is more depth and substance to people, so go beyond the surface and dig a little deeper. It’s easier to define others and put them in a box than to find our common humanity and complexity. We’re all trying to figure this life out, become who we are called to be and fulfill our purpose. Hopefully. And if we focused on that, what a world this would be.
Give the benefit of the doubt, be kind, lighten up, laugh more, drop your perceptions which are often misperceptions and be naively hopeful and filled with joy. Take the time to encourage someone each day rather than say nothing or worse, being critical. It is often hard to do in world that asks for more and more of us and gives less and less. But I am convinced it’s the only viable choice that we have to live well and in the moment each day.
Cast your light today, early and often. Words and actions.
“There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me.” – Thomas Jefferson
“Breathless, we flung us on a windy hill, Laughed in the sun, and kissed the lovely grass.” – Rupert Brooke
You know you’re having fun when you have a grass stain on your head and a smile ear to ear. When is the last time you had a good grass stain and a hearty smile? Too long for me I must say.
Lighten up and take it all with a bit less seriousness. Too much worry, too much work and no play makes our days drudgery. Our regrets will center on not being in the moment when it was happening and realizing the joy that was ours for the taking. “Someday” is an excuse to put off your life.
Schedule time each day to search out a good grass stain and a smile that sprouts from within.
“We live between the act of awakening and the act of surrender. Each morning, we awaken to the light and the invitation to a new day in the world of time; each night, we surrender to the dark to be taken to play in the world of dreams where time is no more.” – John O’Donohue
The pure joy of being around dogs, often more than humans, is their innate ability to enter each day with a clean slate. No grudges, regrets, needless worries or consternation. Just letting go into the sheer delight of seeking and finding adventure in the ordinary. May we all be blessed with daily gratitude, a deep sense of play and heartfelt silliness so we can awaken to the blessings abound and share them generously with others.
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy
Dive into each day with a simple, naïve and irrational openness and awe. The other way of living really doesn’t add up to much so there is no real choice. It’s pretty obvious. Don’t overcomplicate it and enjoy today.
Get your eraser out. Wipe the slate clean.
“For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.” – Leonardo da Vinci
“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly.” – R Richard Bach
I have been seeing more butterflies lately, or perhaps I am noticing them more as they awaken me to be present in the moment. God whispers through butterflies, through a soft breeze and in the brilliant colors of fragrant wild flowers. We need only be quiet to take notice and hear the roar of whispers that surround us, calling us deeper.
We so often believe the lies in the noise of this world and discount the silence. That’s what distractions are meant to do. To lead us away from our true north, to guide us down a path not of our own.
Break out of your cocoon and allow the transformation of the caterpillar to unfold. We are called to flight, to dance softly and gently in the sky. To release the bindings of the earth and taste heaven before our time.
“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
“Indeed, this life is a test. It is a test of many things – of our convictions and priorities, our faith and our faithfulness, our patience and our resilience, and in the end, our ultimate desires.” – Sheri L. Dew
“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” – Carl Jung
Beauty and light have the power to breakthrough whatever we are going through. If (when) times are difficult or unclear, hang on tight to hope, let go of fear and trust in your purpose unfolding as it should.
As a flower has the strength to break through asphalt, find your resilience and resolve and by all means reach for the light.
You are made to break through, not break down. Keep going.
“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
Honor each day with rapt attention and utter joy. Be your best self. And when you come up short, start again. Give generously. Laugh early and often. Put your phone down, lift your head, look around and most importantly look deeply into your fellow human beings’ eyes. Take in the abundance of beauty abound with gratitude and awe. And, by all means, have fun.
Waste no time. Amen.
“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“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