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Posts from the ‘Everyday’ 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

Wild Thing

“To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower Hold infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour.” – William Blake

“To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower Hold infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour.” – William Blake

“Tell me what you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver

The innate beauty of wild flowers is their carefree nature and brilliant color. They bloom strong in tall grass and weeds, taking root and standing tall. Nothing snares them from fruition. Nothing and no one.

What’s holding you back? Your made up “rules and regulations” of what should be or should have been? What others think? Fear or worthiness?

Release the past and the future. Go uninhibited and with vigor into each moment and day, knowing that this is your one and only precious life. And stop asking permission to bloom.

Talk a walk on the wild side. Show your colors wild thing.

Oh So Ordinary Days

“Well, that’s what life is – this collection of extraordinarily ordinary moments. We just need to pay attention to them all. Wake up and pay attention to how beautiful it all is.” – Alexander Payne

It’s been five years since I’ve done a big yard project. Last week, I rented the roto tiller and tilled up the weeds along the side and back of the garage. Yesterday, I finished the resetting the block edging, Today, the rock and dirt were delivered. Seven hours later, the rock is in its place. Dirt spreading and grass seed is on the agenda tomorrow.

Five years ago, the project was tilling and sod after the back yard tree was removed with a crane. Today, the missing piece in this yard project was Dad. And it’s days like these that I miss him most. He would have gone with me to the rock store after he measured the area and did the calculation to get the exact amount of rock that I needed. He would have handed me the shovel and held down the landscape fabric. After we were done, we would go grab a beer and toast to getting the job done.

“Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.” – Earl Nightingale

“Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.” – Earl Nightingale

While I always appreciated the help, what I really valued the most was the easy conversation and time spent with my best friend and Dad. As I shoveled the rock into the wheel barrel today, I imagined Dad sitting in the adirondack chair just hanging out with me making the hard work enjoyable.

The daily moments and ordinary days are what we remember the most so don’t miss them while you are in the middle of them. Be present and deeply grateful for those oh so ordinary days.

Eternal Youth

“Take a course in good water and air; and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you.” – John Muir

Reflection and remembering are the stepping stones on the path of gratitude and awe. A simple walk in the woods can transform our minds and surface our spirit. Rather than busily moving through time we become immersed in it, unaware of the clock and deep in the moment.

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

In quiet repose, we move from reaction and positioning to creation and mere being. Amidst the waving trees, in the rhythm of the stream, in the heart of the meadow, we are called to enter and join the sweet harmony of nature. Eternal youth flows uninhibited and free for the taking.

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.

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.

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