Each day, we can choose what we project and reflect. If you are not in a place now to project what’s within, reflect the sun until your inner light is ignited again. Light within and without. Cast it.
Posts from the ‘Everyday’ Category
The past two days, I’ve had the privilege of picking up my great nephew Liam from full-day school. It’s been the highlight of my week since he’s my life coach and best friend. Each day, 10 minutes into the drive back to my house, he’s fallen asleep exhausted, out like a light. I’ve looked at him and it sums up the way many of us are feeling these days.
After hour upon hour of zoom meetings and running as fast as possible to figure out how to save the world of business and take care of our family, it’s natural to be worn out. So as we move through this reality, I’ve come to two conclusions:
- Go easy on yourself and allow yourself space and grace to feel what you feel without judgment;
- When you’re ready, ask “now what?” – we need time to process and grieve and then we need to figure out what’s next and what we are going to do about it.
This is one rare occasion in our collective life that we are really “all in this together” so let’s give each other a break, be kind, empathetic and supportive.
Rest, give yourself a break. There is light, joy and hope now and ahead.
“The spiritual life is not a life before, after, or beyond our everyday existence. No, the spiritual life can only be real when it is lived in the midst of the pains and joys of the here and now.” – Henri Nouwen
Flowers, butterflies, summer sun. When the weight of the world hovers, nature displays brilliant beauty, the sacredness in ordinary days and the surety of seasons. A year from now, this day will be but a memory and we will all be in a different place, with new pains and joys.
We are called to be present amidst the depth and breadth of the history we are living right now. And we have a choice to trudge through in misery and angst or faith and trust. Light or dark. Hope or despair.
May we choose to float, to transcend, to transform no matter the circumstances, to dance despite the outlook and take the road less traveled of optimism. We will land in the same place a year from now. Misery is optional.
“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.
“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
“We never look deeply into the quality of a tree; we never really touch it, feel its solidity, its rough bark, and hear the sound that is part of the tree. Not the sound of wind through the leaves, not the breeze of a morning that flutters the leaves, but its own sound, the sound of the trunk and the silent sound of the roots.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti
It was a beautiful, sunny, breezy day. The trees swayed and didn’t break. Moved and stretched. Embraced and flowed. The leaves danced and held on. May we bend and not break. Breath and flow. And sway with joy.
Let Sunday set the tone for the week. Carry it forward to seize the magic and delight. Each day, even Mondays, especially Mondays, are a gift. Open it and celebrate. The embrace of the breeze. Be held.
“Get busy watering your own grass so as not to notice whether it’s greener elsewhere.”― Karon Waddell
On our daily jaunt into the woods, I let the girls off leash to run full throttle. Abby chases balls in an open field trying to catch them on the first bounce and Sasha chases her. It brings a new joy to them each day like it’s the first time. Dogs and kids are experts on being fully present and aware of the moment at hand, or paw in this case.
When I threw one of the balls, it went over the barbed wired fence by the water tower. I threw the second ball but Abby was intent on the ball on the other side. She suddenly downgraded and became human, focusing on the other side while a ball was by right next to her and easily accessible. How often do we reach for something out of reach when the same and often better is right in front of us?
Wake up and see what’s in reach and embrace it with gratitude. If we don’t recognize the blessings that are already in front of us, it’s impossible to receive new blessings. The grass and the ball are not always greener on the other side.
Happy ending to the story – I decided not to scale the barbed wired fence, but my arm did fit underneath and Abby walked out of the woods with two balls in mouth. Big win.
Like many public spaces, Como Conservatory is locked down. We often run/walk by to see if the windows are cracked so we can peer inside to see the beautiful flowers and breathe in the fragrance. Outside looking in.
Flowers, nature, friends, families, dogs, prayers, long walks and runs, music, poetry, fresh air are sources of light that have always filled us up. Our awareness of these blessings is more vivid now. Accept the good and the challenging days as they come anchored in hope. Find joy in ordinary moments, not looking too far back or too far ahead.
Look inside yourself with mercy and grace, see the beautiful flowers, take a deep breathe. Each one of us is doing the very best we can in this moment. It’s the first pandemic in our lifetime so there’s no script on how it should work. We have the strength, resilience and capacity to get to the other side so keep going, no matter what!
One of my favorite poems is Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese:
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
“All things will be produced in superior quantity and quality, and with greater ease, when each man works at a single occupation, in accordance with his natural gifts, and at the right moment, without meddling with anything else.” – Plato
As I took a 5-minute break from a day jammed with “zoom” meetings, I looked at Abby sprawled on the couch and she sent me a glance to remind me to settle in, stretch out and relax. She’s a wonderful relaxation coach.
With the completion of my home project – painting and new floors – and a few big projects at work, I’m ready to jump into the next activity to keep “busy.” We are made for more than busy and activity. We are built for purpose and depth with a side of delight.
Celebrate the finish, be open to see new beginnings and enjoy the journey of mere being.
“Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.” Thich Nhat Hanh
“Because of the dog’s joyfulness, our own is increased. It is no small gift. It is not the least reason why we should honor as well as love the dog of our own life, and the dog down the street, and all the dogs not yet born. What would the world be like without music or rivers or the green and tender grass? What would this world be like without dogs?” ― Mary Oliver, Dog Songs
When we settle in and settle down, allowing relaxation to restore and rejuvenate, we gain new perspective. A shift, a turn of the head and the world becomes new from the inside out. Don’t waste days wallowing, wading and willowing. Rest up, look up and relax. It’s all good and going to be good with the fullness of time. In the meantime, let go and relax.
This public service announcement is brought to you by my life coaches Abby and Sasha – the model fun makers and relaxation queens. Lighten up, it makes the journey so much sweeter.
“We will be more successful in all our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we’ll also have a lot more joy in living.” – Thich Nhat Hanh