Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Everyday’ Category

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.

Unsubscribe

“Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.” – Kevyn Aucoin

On average, I sift through 350 emails per day in my work email and another 100 plus in my home email. That doesn’t include about 100 emails that get stopped by the spam blocker. Probably three quarters of the emails are junk or email I am not interested in so I delete them rather than going the extra step and unsubscribing so I don’t have keep dealing with them.

We spend much of our day responding and reacting rather than creating and producing. But the good news is (and there is always good news) that we have a choice. We can unsubscribe to the noise in our technology, the noise in the world and the noise in our heads that distract us from living well. And not only can we unsubscribe, we can subscribe and opt in to that which is most important – becoming the person we are called to be through kindness, gratitude, service and light.

Start opting in and subscribing to joy each and every day and let the noise fade to the background and dissipate into thin air where it belongs.

Show Tunes

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” – Victor Hugo

My great nephew Liam who’s six months old actually smiles when I sing, so naturally, I sing. I downloaded a few show tunes this week to add some “depth” to my performances of made-up songs  – Singing in the Rain, Good Morning and Oklahoma. A little Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds go a long way.

Music, art, prose pull us beyond our routine daily-ness to a higher calling of simple delight and soulful connection. Feeling out of sorts? Pick up an umbrella and start dancing and singing in the rain.

Ordinary Every Day IS the Gift

“Perfect happiness is a beautiful sunset, the giggle of a grandchild, the first snowfall. It’s the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events. Joy comes in sips, not gulps.” – Sharon Draper

As I scrolled through years of photos on my phone, I landed on a photo from April 25, 2016. An ordinary day, a Monday, a most ordinary day.  A moment captured of Molly enjoying one of her favorite toys in the backyard.

“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say 'thank you?'” – William Arthur Ward

“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘thank you?’” – William Arthur Ward

At the time, as with most of ordinary days, I had no idea how important this ordinary day was or so many that came before or those to follow. So often, we pass through days like these, unaware of all of the gifts found in simple moments as we pursue and wait for the next interesting thing.

Three days later, Dad passed away and that not-so-ordinary day of April 28th was the start of a series of not-so-ordinary days of loss. Unexpectedly again, Molly passed away on June 27 and Lily on October 4.

Ordinary days become extraordinary when we look back in deep appreciation, after they occur. But we are summoned to gratitude and awe right now in this moment, in the ordinary every day moments. That’s the gift that we need not pursue or search for. It is right in front of us, right now.

Pause and look around each day with rapt attention to what is in the present. Take a picture with your phone, but more importantly in your heart. These days will not come again and we don’t know when those not-so-ordinary days will enter to change our lives forever.

Capture and experience with delight the silly, subtle and sweet moments of every day. That is the gift.

Effort, Indeed

“Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times.” – Aeschylus

“Effort at times” may be an understatement. When we realize that we are bound so often by our mindset and that we have choices, we are free. Choices to stay, to leave, to speak, to remain quiet. Not choosing is an answer too, one that leaves us where we are until we finally listen to that voice that will not be silenced until we act on it.

Don’t leave your happiness to chance. Make a choice(s) each day to listen, to act, to ask and not merely accept the lowest common denominator. Work, play, ask, receive, give, laugh, cry, delight and honor this very day. Effort and then receive the fruits of the effort.

Thrust

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” – Alan Watts

Often change is thrust upon us and we have absolutely no control. Bouncing relentlessly on the waves, our boat a drift, we long for the shore. Yet during the storms, we can anchor ourselves in that which we can control, shifting our eyes to the light that guides us to shore when the time is right.

And when the waters calm, and they always do, we discover yet again what is most important and worthy of our attention, effort and awe.

Amidst the ebb and flow of life, in the storms and the calm, search for moments of joy and peace. They surround us hidden in the every day.

“There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” – Willa Cather

“There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” – Willa Cather

Tripping Along

“Thinking will not overcome fear but action will.” – W. Clement Stone

Lessons most often appear in the rear view mirror after we’ve gone through. Yet if we remember, those truths can carry us through what’s next. With trust and and an ounce of hope, we can get through. We overcome not one fell swoop in dramatic fashion but by tripping along. Sometimes falling down, always getting back up and moving ahead even if we have no clue where we are going or what’s next.

“Keep on going and the chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I have never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down.” –  Charles Kettering

Daily Grace

“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The fabric, the very essence of life, is found in the daily-ness of it. Beauty, blessings and mystery are present to each of us in the thread of moments, the pattern of days and revelations that unfold in months and years.

Never take your days or those who are in them for granted. Be present, in awe and deeply aware of the fragility and grace that embraces, carries and holds each of us whether we realize it or not.

“For me, every hour is grace.” – Elie Wiesel

“For me, every hour is grace.” – Elie Wiesel

Open and Still

“When everything is moving and shifting, the only way to counteract chaos is stillness. When things feel extraordinary, strive for ordinary. When the surface is wavy, dive deeper for quieter waters.” – Kristin Armstrong

Pause and create pockets of silence each day with rapt attention. From the sacred quiet at the rise of the day to the gentle peace offered as the sun drifts to slumber, stillness calls to restore, renew and inspire. No sense of time or tasks to check off. Present in the present. Discovering the poetry found in a walk, a smile, a flower.

Open, still and ever so grateful.

“Only when your consciousness is totally focused on the moment you are in can you receive whatever gift, lesson, or delight that moment has to offer.” – Barbara de Angelis

“Only when your consciousness is totally focused on the moment you are in can you receive whatever gift, lesson, or delight that moment has to offer.” – Barbara de Angelis

Surrounded

“He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.” – Albert Einstein

“Time itself comes in drops.” – William James

“Time itself comes in drops.” – William James

We are surrounded with beauty and brilliance. What we focus on becomes our day, our life. Wonder, awe, delight and joy are choices, disciplines that we must hone and foster amidst daily living. Practice gratitude and blessings are amplified, taking their rightful place.

%d bloggers like this: