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Posts from the ‘Faith’ Category

Heart Over Hustle

“What would our lives be like if our days were studded by tiny, completely unproductive, silly, nonstrategic, wild and beautiful five-minute breaks, reminders that our days are for loving and learning and laughing, not for pushing and planning, reminders that it’s all about the heart, not about the hustle?” – Shauna Niequist, Present Over Perfect

We have to stop. To be quiet long enough and often enough to hear ourselves, to see others, to find ourselves again and to stop losing ourselves over and over again. We do the same things and expect different results. In a go faster, more with less, quantity over quality, hustle over heart world, we continue to push ourselves to the very edge to see how far we can go. For what? And where? Why also comes to mind as well. If we don’t have the right answers to the questions, we need to get them.

There will always be times we need to hustle, to rally, to punch it out like a factory to keep up. But we need many more days where less is more, where we linger in the depth of the moment and invite joy in. Despite circumstances, we can choose joy over despair, spirit over speed, heart over hustle.

“Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10 (plus my addition – “and you are not”)

“To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.” – Eckhart Tolle

Where ever you are right now, choose light over dark and by casting your light, you can show others it’s possible.

Imaginary Boundaries

It's opener, out there, in the wide, open air.” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go!

It’s opener, out there, in the wide, open air.” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

We create imaginary boundaries that keep us from crossing the line into possibility and abundance. In our scarcity mindset, we fixate on change, fight change and prepare for change rather than letting change unfold and tell its own story.

Start looking past the changing leaves of fall that lead us into winter and gaze into the blue sky that remains boundless in all seasons. Imagine no boundaries and see how far you will go. Oh, the places you will go!

Cadence

“What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.” – Samuel Johnson

Last Friday, I did a 9 mile run in preparation for the Twin Cities 10 miler which is in conjunction with the Twin Cities Marathon on October 1. I’ve completed three marathons and all were at the Twin Cities Marathon – a beautiful course. I felt good that I made 9 with my sporadic and mixed training as of late. The 9 mile run builds confidence that you can do the 10 miles so that’s the main purpose of the longer run. But what really matters is the time and effort in all distances, consistency and time on your feet.

I took it easy on Saturday and did a 6 mile run on Sunday. I got my stride, my flow and was reminded of all of the reasons that I run. It was like I was floating on air and one with the run. Those joy-filled moments when all of the pieces of work and effort come together in a beautiful symphony of cadence.

So often we focus so much on the work and effort, we miss the ease of flow and cadence of the input. When we experience it, we must celebrate it by simply taking it in and letting it move us. Daily living is a mix of ups and downs, momentum and struggle. It is the downs and struggle that are the foundation of the ups and momentum, of the cadence.

Keep moving, knowing that it won’t always be easy, but we find ease and flow when we move our mindsets out of the way and let our heart and spirit lead the way into whatever path is in front of us. Practice, repetition and getting back up every single time. With each strike of your heel, you build your cadence. And suddenly effort becomes effortless.

“The more I practice the luckier I get.” – Arnold Palmer

“The more I practice the luckier I get.” – Arnold Palmer

Glorious

“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.” – Joseph Campbell

“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.” – Joseph Campbell

“Let there be many windows to your soul, that all the glory of the world may beautify it.” – Ella Wheeler Wilcox

In our relentlessly busy lives that we have created or at least allowed, words like glory, awe and sacred do not often come to mind as we speed along, unaware and on the surface.

It usually takes a serious diagnosis, death or sheer exhaustion before we stop long enough to question meaning and relevance of our days, as if they are unlimited. We have accepted ridiculous and unending demands as normal and resigned ourselves to it all without question. Stacking more and more, feeling less and less.

And yet, we need not escape to far off lands in search of illusive meaning and depth. And we cannot keep waiting for the someday of vacation or retirement to carve out our life. We need to say “yes” more to what’s important each day and follow it up with a few more “no thanks.” Our perspective expands when we finally realize that we have a choice and we exercise our choices to change our story.

We can stop living mechanically and start living soulfully, on and for purpose. Finding glory in a sun set, the sacred in simple moments and awe of the possibility that is planted inside of us waiting to be unleashed. Live bigger each day. Glorious is calling.

Halcyon Days

Lately, I’ve been listening to the songs of one of my favorite artists, Mary Chapin Carpenter. The lyrics and notes are like a warm blanket, comforting and familiar. One of my favorite lines from The Jubilee – “When we look back and say those were halcyon days we’re talking ’bout jubilee.” Halcyon is defined as a period of peace and happiness; an idyllic time.

We so often look back longing for what was because we miss the beautiful fabric of each day while we are busily on our way to the next thing. May we all realize and deeply appreciate our hacyon days and moments while we are right in the middle of them. So we can be doubly blessed now and when we look back in fondness for what was and a renewed hope for what is to come. Simple moments make up our halcyon days. Simple moments.

“If you are paying attention, then the day is going to be pretty joyful, and a lot of delight will fill it.” – Greg Boyle

“If you are paying attention, then the day is going to be pretty joyful, and a lot of delight will fill it.” – Greg Boyle

Savor Home

“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” – George A. Moore

Home is not only place. It goes beyond place. Home is people, pups, (cats even), safety, warmth, belonging and place. Savor and pursue those moments of silliness, light and joy. Conversations with friends, connections, eyes that meet and look well beyond the surface.

That’s home and what makes life not only tolerable but wonderful. Ordinary moments that transform us and make life extraordinary.  We too often succumb to dull and despair without ever giving delight a chance to show its face.

Savor all that is and hold tightly only to now, releasing the past and future to depth of being present in this very moment.

“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do... but how much love we put in that action.” - Mother Teresa

“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.” – Mother Teresa

A New Path

“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

A Good Grass Stain

“There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me.” – Thomas Jefferson

“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.

Clean Slate

“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

“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.

The Whisper of a Butterfly

“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

“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

“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.” – R. Buckminster Fuller

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