“There are no extra pieces in the universe. Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill, and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle.” – Deepak Chopra
When it all doesn’t fit together, keep putting the pieces of the puzzle together one at a time. The big picture, the next step, the purpose will show itself when enough of the little pieces come together. Don’t overthink, freeze or give up. One piece at a time, with time and it all comes together. Faith is active. Keep the faith, and use it.
Surface for air.
Let go sooner.
Change the stories that don’t serve you well.
Release yourself from perfection, rules and regret.
Write a new page, a different ending.
Give yourself and others a break, be a sucker and believe the best.
Be kind and awake in the moment.
Break the pattern.
Create a mosaic from the pieces and see the whole imperfect, beautiful mess.
It’s yours alone.
Be present to it all.
Every bit of it.
Author of your life? – You.
“An anxious hear weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” – Proverbs 12:25
At the beginning of this day, set the path. At the end of this day, while the path may not be what was set, it will have been completed with intention and awareness. No matter what comes today, say a kind word or two. You will change someone else’s path and your own as well.
Seize the day with enthusiasm, joy and kindness.
“A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up bones.” – Proverbs 17:22
Dry bones come alive. Heart, mind, actions.
“How many lessons of faith and beauty we should lose, if there were no winter in our year!” – Thomas Wentworth Higginson
There are things in our life that change us forever. Loss of a father, mother, sister, best friend, divorce, career changes. The depth of loss can bury us. Which is alright if we know that we won’t and shouldn’t remain there. We are meant to be changed, especially through the difficulty. What was has gotten us to now and has prepared us for what’s next.
And after we go through the mourning of life shifts and earthquakes, we gradually and then suddenly awaken to gratitude to what remains and hope in what is to come. We need to go through transitions, and keep moving, to open to transformation and grace.
In the midst of your winter, always remember that the gift of spring always comes. And there are gifts in winter as well. Fight the good fight.
“All the windows of my heart I open to the day.” – John Greenleaf Whittier
“Thou hast given me so much to me. Give one thing more, – a grateful heart.” – George Herbert
Too much of our precious and finite time is spent chirping – gossiping, being offended, yipping about the weather (too cold, too hot), offering judgment before compassion and the bigger winner – complaining.
Thanksgiving should be the culmination of a year spent in gratitude. As you enter this week and the holiday season that ensues, take time each day to quietly reflect on the many gifts that you have been given as well as those that you have to offer. We are bigger than we allow ourselves to be. Let wonder back in by opening your eyes to daily blessings. Life is found hidden in moments.
This year, we took the shortcut to January in Minnesota. Single degree temps and windchill. We know winter is coming every year and yet somehow are surprised when it arrives. Rather than run from it, run right into the middle of it. Discover the gifts that even winter has to offer like a stunning sunrise on a newly frozen lake before a 3-mile run.
Just one more thing that I ask for – a grateful heart filled with awe, curiosity and wonder. Embrace Thanksgiving this week and the days to follow with an open heart and mind and a loving spirit. Gratitude brings the world to light and light to the world.
“Out there things can happen, and frequently do,
To people as brainy and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen, don’t worry, don’t stew.
Just go right along, you’ll start happening too!”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
The thing about letting go is that we need to leave it gone. Truly letting go requires completion. It’s an ending. No picking it back up again and no looking back. We cling to the past, regret, unforgiveness, fairness, judgment, guilt and the story that we wrote for ourselves that hasn’t come true. It’s familiar, so we get comfortable with, letting fear of the unknown hold us back. Replaying the past, missing out on today.
When we release all of it, really let go and move on, we create the space needed for newness and for the next chapter of our story to enter and unfold. Our happy ending is waiting for us to let it begin if we get out of our own way.
Let go for real this time and welcome the mystery and the gift of unknowing. Oh, the places you will go!
“Oh the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all.” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Viktor E. Frankl
When we step back, remove ourselves from the chaos of busy to get a more complete and full view, we discover the freedom that we already have right now, should we choose to exercise it. Our thoughts and assumptions can either free us or imprison us. If we live only with a snapshot view that this moment will be forever, we surrender our joy and freedom to be content and grateful where we are no matter the circumstances.
Life is made up of moments that weave together to create a bigger story, a beautiful fabric. Sometimes it makes sense, other times it doesn’t. But it unfolds as it should. Trust in the story as it unfolds and embrace your freedom to choose the next chapter.
If changes need to be made, make them. If they don’t, change your view. And by all means, soar.
“There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud.” – Carl Sandburg
“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
We are meant to evolve, to unfold.
When we are uncertain, feeling stuck and a bit lost in our own “neighborhood,” we are at a crossroad. Clinging and comfortable with what has been because it’s familiar and fearing the unknown. Change happens when we are uncomfortable.
The caterpillar transforms in the struggle to get out, only becoming the butterfly when breaking free from the past. We get unstuck by choosing forward motion, trusting our instinct and intuition, questioning the truth in our stories we’re telling ourselves – both past and future narratives.
Confident that going backwards or staying safe in the fork is not the path to what’s next and where we are meant to be. The past has paved the way to now and is not meant to repeat but to provide a foundation for growth. It has prepared us for change, for our talents and gifts to take root in what’s next. Sometimes it’s where we are now with a shift in our perspective, sometimes it’s somewhere new.
The answers are before and within you.
“Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power, but in character and goodness. People are just people, and all people have faults and shortcomings, but all of us are born with a basic goodness.” – Anne Frank
While running tonight at our usual Wednesday spot at Como Lake, a boy stood fishing. I’ve never seen anyone catch a fish out of this city lake. Suddenly his pole bent and line pulled tight. You could see his excitement as he softly called for his Dad.
He had a big fish on the line and wasn’t sure what to do. Before his Dad came over, a stranger walked by and started to guide him. He told him that his fishing line would break if he tried to pull it up based on the size of the fish. He gently advised him to loosen the line and walk the fish on the line to the dock so he could land it.
“God’s dream is that you and I and all of us will realize that we are family, that we are made for togetherness, for goodness, and for compassion.” – Desmond Tutu
It was a joy to witness. The goodness of a stranger helping a young boy land a big fish, one he could talk about for a long time coming. He was guessing that it was probably an 8 pound Northern.
It was sweet. It was innocent. It was lovely.
If we believe what we see on the news and political ads (pick your side – both angry and mean-spirited) as the only thing that’s real, we miss what’s truly real and good. There is more good than evil. There are more wonderful people than jerks.
Seek the good and you will find it. Seek sweetness, innocence, and loveliness. This is what we are meant to find despite the noise, chaos and distractions. Don’t fall for cynicism, anger and scarcity.
Abundance, generosity and joy. Choose these good things. Go fishing and land some light.
“Any form of complaining is the small self becoming lost in self-importance. So much energy needed for awakening is wasted on complaining. We many not be able to change our external reality, but we can transform the negative thoughts and feelings that are our reaction to that reality. We have a chance to awaken from the nightmare we create through our resistance to what is. Stopping all complaining is one of the first steps. When we cease to complain, we conserve life force for what really matters. A new world begins. Each event becomes a mysterious opportunity rather than an inconvenient vexation. A tremendous amount of life force, once bound up in feeling sorry for oneself, is released. Where there was frustration and self-pity, there is now space for appreciation to bloom. The misguided belief that life should be other than it is dissolves and in its place, acceptance flowers, joy awakens, patience blooms, and peace permeates.” – Ann Mortifee, In Love with the Mystery
It may be justified. It seems reasonable. It seems like it should help, but it makes it worse. Complaining is wasted energy that blocks gratitude. Rather than being a release, it traps us in our thoughts of scarcity, comparison and self-pity.
Last week summed up to be a bust. And I made it worse by letting external things get internal and define my entire week. And then three things happened to shift my limited view, to open up my senses again.
My sister sent me beautiful flowers. A friend texted me after our run yesterday letting me know she noticed I was quieter and that she was thinking about me. I told her I was trying to get my inner “Tigger” back and send “Eeyore” on his way. She told me she likes “Eeyore” too and it’s ok to not be “Tigger” sometimes. And then I walked by a book that I got from a friend years ago and opened it up to the page with the passage above.
These three encounters brought gratitude back into view and where it should remain, front and center. I can’t guarantee that I won’t trip and fall into the complaining trap again. But it’s worth trying to keep space open for the gifts of acceptance, joy, patience and peace.
I am grateful for those kind souls who took the time to notice and offer encouragement and support rather than answers, platitudes or solutions. We sometimes need to be merely seen. Remember, your light can bring someone else’s back. Cast light.