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Posts from the ‘Flowers’ Category

Vim and Vigor

“Great effort is required to arrest decay and restore vigor. One must exercise proper deliberation, plan carefully before making a move, and be alert in guarding against relapse following a renaissance.” – Horace

“Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.” – Samuel Ullman

When we forget or get distracted, there are signs and signals all around to wake us up to the present moment, to gratitude and awe. I find it in nature, in the greening of spring grass, amidst awakening of slumbering flowers, at the dog park with the girls and in watching kids lost in play.

We need to do less “adulting,” “reality” and judging and more noticing, searching and observing. Break the hard ground, bud and bloom. Celebrate today with your attitude, thoughts and actions.

“Die to everything of yesterday so that your mind is always fresh, always young, innocent, full of vigor and passion.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

Easter Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Elizabeth Appell

“And why, you may ask, spend precious time searching for something as elusive as a soul? Why not leave it where it hides—near to us, yet so difficult to find and sometimes dangerous to follow? There are two reasons: First, you search for the soul for the sake of your own life—for purpose, for meaning, for strength, for freedom and peace and love. Second, you search for your soul for the sake of everyone else. You do it for your family, your children, your coworkers, the whole world. The world needs your originality, your ideas, your humor, your creations. All of this is alive and well within you, hiding somewhere near you, beneath the layers, down, down, down, into the soul.” — Marrow: A Love Story by Elizabeth Lesser

We forego the everlasting gift of Easter Sunday, if we neglect to carry it forward into Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…and each day going forward. Not just a drive-by holiday, the story of the Cross to resurrection is life-changing, world-changing.

That relief and lightness that people are feeling about getting the vaccine after going through year of a pandemic is but a glimpse of what Easter living offers, present in each day beyond frustrations, fleeting feelings and what the world says is true. That lightness will pass as we resume “normal” whatever that may be. We’ll replace it with the next worry, the next dilemma. It’s exhausting. The eternal light of God was, is and always will remain true and available to all freely, no matter what humans say, do, deny or pursue, thinking it can be found somewhere else. Somewhere else is here on Easter Monday.

To get to here, there is a lot of letting go of resentment, anger, unforgiveness, opinion, judgment, assumptions that shape our life and steal our joy, wonder and awe.

No one makes the decision but you so if you are all good, riding high and where you want to be, carry on, you’ve figured it out. If you’re struggling, searching and unsatisfied, Easter Monday is here and will remain no matter your choice. Consider your options. It is up to you.

“People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Flowers and Weeds

“My appointed work is to awaken the divine nature that is within.” – Peace Pilgrim

“To realize that you are not your thoughts is when you begin to awaken spiritually.” – Eckhart Tolle

To get flowers, you need to plant seeds, to bury bulbs in the dirt. Weeds need no help. They sprout on their own and can easily take over our landscape if we allow. Flowers require intention, attention and nurturing to flourish and bloom. Plant good seeds to take root and sprout to overshadow the weeds. Flowers and weeds will always co-exist. Nurture the flowers, stop feeding the weeds.

To arrive at a higher elevation, a steady state of joy and contentment, we need to focus on the flowers as we coexist with the weeds. It’s not enough to pull the weeds of negativity. Weeds keep coming back (our thoughts, other people, circumstances). We need to plant the seeds of optimism to absorb the energy and beauty of flowers.

Infuse positive thoughts, allow optimism to do its work. Get out of weed-only existence and dance in the field of flowers, open your lungs and breathe it in. Dance here awhile, every single day.

“Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.” – Frank Herbert

Pathways

“If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads.” – Anatole France

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” – Buddha

The space between two end points.
The pathway.
The middle.
The journey.
This is where life is lived.
We must start to finish.
The pathway is filled with ordinary days.
Sacred if we allow.
Holy if we invite.
Joyful is we accept.
We carry the weight of life in our neck and shoulders.
The neck is the pathway between the heart and mind.
The shoulders are where we carry weight that is not ours to carry.
Lay it down.
Tune into your heart and let it lead to clear the path to the mind.
A flower blooms without fail when the pathway from the dirt through the stem is open.
To absorb water and nutrients.
To breath in the sun.
When the path is winding with detours, delays and distractions, return to your heart to open the pathway.
Let sun and water do their work.
Roots and blooms.
Open pathways.

“A blessing is, finally, something wild. It leads us where we did not imagine to go, and never in a straight line. That is the nature of a blessing—and the nature of God, who meets us in each moment, within time and beyond it, encompassing us season by season in a circle of grace.” — Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons by Jan Richardson

A Bit Longer

“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.” – Henry Ward Beecher.

“Whether we like it or not, God intends to give us what we need, not what we now think we want.” – C.S.Lewis.

When I went into the kitchen to get my water with lemon and coffee to start the day, one of the stems of my amaryllis plant with three blooming flowers had broken overnight, holding on by a thread and laying to the side of the pot. I cut the thread that remained away from the bulb, filled a crystal pitcher and promptly put the stem in the water to see if I could hold on a bit longer to the full bloom. When it withers and has its full time, I will discard it, but for now I’ll linger in gratitude of the beauty that is available to me now.

Flowers, music, art, quiet time, reflection are simple ways to foster a sense of gratitude, deepen awareness of the present moment. We have an accurate count of what is missing in our life, perhaps even an inflated one. Focusing on the depth of the valleys, we forego the height of the mountains that exist along side concurrently.

We discard and dismiss, racing off to what we think will want, only to be disappointed when we arrive to our destination and it is not what we thought it would be. It is impossible to find happiness outside of self.  It is the root, the start and the end. Embrace the present in deep gratitude and awareness while glancing to the future filled with hope and anticipation. The past, our circumstances, other people are out of the realm of our control. Our attitude and outlook is ours alone.

Lyrics from Kathy Mattea’s song Standing Knee Deep In A River sums it up well – “knee deep in a river, dying from thirst.”

“Why I ever let them go…
They roll by just like water, and I guess we never learn.
We go through life, parched and empty
Standin’ knee deep in a river, and dying of thirst…”

Root each day and every day in gratitude. Knee deep in a river, overflowing in abundance and satisfied with now. Capture and take full account of both blessings and burdens, valleys and the mountains. Stay a bit longer in gratitude, steeped in the present moment.

Mirrors and Souls

“You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.” George Bernard Shaw

Look into the mirror first before pointing it at others. Deep into your own eyes, beyond the surface of being judge, prosecutor and jury, to your very soul, with kindness and understanding. Quiet the critic and advice-giver to gently examine and fully observe your whole life, blessings and burdens, progress and detours, full inventory. Gratitude over griping.

Criticism has never grown a flower. Light, dark, nature, nurture, water, patience and time are the ingredients for full bloom.

“Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.” – Thomas Carlyle

When you have gone beyond the surface of the mirror through the door of your eyes to your soul, you are prepared to hold up a mirror for, not at, others to show them their own soul and light within. That is the purpose and the gift of the mirror.

Self-awareness, self-acceptance and love are the roots of empathy, healing and purpose. This individual lifetime journey will transform the world as we each discover our interconnectedness, the “we” beyond the “me,” the “us” and not the “other,” our similarities and the beauty in our differences.

Mirror and soul work – light the candle, be the mirror.

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” – Edith Wharton

Steeps, Tints, Swells

“People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?” – Thich Nhat Hanh

“The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within.” – William Cullen Bryant

A bulb in dirt five weeks ago, now on the tipping point of bloom. Native to South America, Amaryllis are tropical bulbs that are harvested in the summer and then chilled to prepare them to bloom. Given light, water and time, the flower bursts on the scene in brilliant red, a glimpse of spring amidst the restoration of winter.

Seasons and cycles teach us to sow, take root, seek light, be nourished by water and patiently wait for the certainty of bud, bloom and burst to unfold in due time. From dirt to bloom, seed to harvest, winter to spring, start to finish to start again, we discover the journey of the circle, the flow of the river.

Steeps, tints and swells.

“The earth’s crust has not yet stopped heaving and plunging under our feet. Mountain ranges are still being thrust up on the horizon. Granites are still growing under the continental masses. Nor has the organic world ceased to produce new buds at the tips of its countless branches.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Full Bloom

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”- Wayne Dyer

“Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.” – Gilda Radner

Ease into the unknown, embrace uncertainty, hold what’s necessary and release what weighs you down, what blocks your path. Lessons often unfold in hindsight with time and distance, with no recourse to change course. Awareness beckons, invites and welcomes learning in real time, in the very moment, deepening moments and amplifying time.

Awareness first. Lessons in the moment. Change certain, growth optional. Choose growth, expansion, gratitude and joy. Fight the good fight.

“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor E. Frankl

Blossoms of Hope

“Lord save us all from old age and broken health and a hope tree that has lost the faculty of putting out blossoms.” – Mark Twain

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” – Albert Einstein

Beyond circumstances and this time, hope remains, rooted deep in our soul. Waiting patiently to be invited, embraced and held tight to carry us through and beyond. When we look through a lens of gratitude, we discover so much more than a thread of hope, we find a rope of hope. Thick, resilient and strong, a net holding us softly and firmly.

Be open to the possibility to see now differently. Invite awe and enter each moment knowing that you are co-creating your experience. Choose your thoughts, words and actions carefully for they shape your reality.

Blossoms of hope are blooming all around. Look for them and they will appear everywhere.

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.” – Emily Dickinson

Rewire

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu

“Meditation is a process of lightening up, of trusting the basic goodness of what we have and who we are, and of realizing that any wisdom that exists, exists in what we already have. We can lead our life so as to become more awake to who we are and what we’re doing rather than trying to improve or change or get rid of who we are or what we’re doing. The key is to wake up, to become more alert, more inquisitive and curious about ourselves.”– Pema Chodron

From the time I read The Power of Positive Thinking over 30 years ago, I’ve had a deep interest in psychology, optimism and purpose. It’s why I launched Cast Light over 9 years ago and launched Start3Things last year.

Advancements in neuroscience over the past two decades have provided new insights on how we can rewire our brain to positively impact our daily life. We are “wired” to see negative more than positive. It’s called negativity bias. I just started an online course on Meditations to Change Your Brain to gain new strategies and insights to expand my perspective and go deeper.

With mindfulness and meditation, we can exercise our brain and keep discovering, learning and growing. Meditation can steady your mind, focus attention, reduce stress and prompt creativity. I can’t think of a more important time than right now to pursue this practice daily to plan and prepare for each day and to get to the other side of the pandemic and well beyond.

While there are many meditation apps available, Insight Timer is actually free and has over 55,000 guided meditations. It’s an easy way to rewire our brain to find joy, light and calm in each day. If each of us pursued this for ourselves, imagine the state of the world. Start with your world first and see what the world can become in this very moment.

“To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still.”– Jiddu Krishnamurti

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