“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
“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.”
Take time off.
Minutes. Days. Repeat.
Enter the woods.
Step into the water.
Leave worry by the wayside and do not return to reclaim it.
Embrace the air, sun and water.
Let it embrace you back.
Wandering, wondering with no schedule.
Take it all in until the sun sets.
What we carry defines what carries us.
Witness beauty in each day.
Let it permeate your bones and change you.
Breathe deeply with all of your senses.
Lay down the unnecessary to make space for what truly is necessary.
Count your days so you make each one count.
Awe, delight and gratitude – all side effects of this joy prescription.
“Life is the flower of which love is the honey” – Victor Hugo
“He who postpones the hour of living is like the rustic who waits for the river to run out before he crosses.” – Horace
“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”– Frances Hodgson Burnett
“Write your worries in the sand, carve your blessings in stone.” – Robert F. Kennedy
“Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.”– Jim Carrey
“Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.” – Rene Magritte
“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” – Pablo Picasso
As I ran by the Como Conservatory on my 10-mile run on Sunday, the flowers growing from the pond stopped me in my tracks. Every day, nature is a brilliant art gallery, a gift to open again and again as if we’ve seen it for the first time. May butterflies, flowers and bees always command my attention, delight and awe.
Life is either a series of hassles and hurdles or blessings and beauty. While I’m not batting a thousand, I pray that I always choose the blessings and beauty option.
We are only asked to be alive in this moment, fully aware and deeply grateful for simple beauty.
“This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” – Henry David Thoreau
“The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.” – Henri Nouwen
“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.
“There is nothing holier in this life of ours than the first consciousness of love, the first fluttering of its silken wings.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.” – Ray Bradbury
When a butterfly’s wings are together, they are thin as a piece of tissue paper, camouflaged amongst the flowers. Invisible. Unseen.
Oh, but when they expand. Oh, when they dare to expand. From east to west, wingspan broad, immense and heroic preparing for flight.
May we walk, better yet, may we float, fly and transcend though this life with wings spanned. Letting go, light as air and filled with delight and joy. Bright, brilliant and wider than we ever could imagine.
Expand your wings and discover their span. Take flight.
“I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?’ – Zhuangzi
“Silently a flower blooms,
In silence it falls away;
Yet here now, at this moment, at this place,
The world of the flower, the whole of
the world is blooming.
This is the talk of the flower, the truth
of the blossom:
The glory of eternal life is fully shining here.”
“To lean into life requires a quiet courage that lets us find our aliveness. And the reward for leaning into life is that everything hidden becomes sweet and colorful. Or more, we’re finally present enough to receive the sweetness and color that is always there. Consider how a flower opens. It doesn’t prepare for a particular moment but stays true to a life of opening and leaning toward the light. When a flower blossoms, it turns inside out and wears its beauty in the world. In just this way, a soul opens over a lifetime of leaning into life.” — The Book of Soul: 52 Paths to Living What Matters, Mark Nepo
The Como Conservatory is now open. We didn’t go in but the windows were wide open so I dipped under to take in the flowers with all of my senses. Fresh, fragrant and leaning toward the light. I am a sucker for flowers, nature and dogs who model beauty, depth of simplicity and joy in being. We all have the capacity and calling to lean into the light and cast it to carry each other. Be open to bloom.
“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’” – Robin Williams
“Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.” – Wayne Dyer
Flowers are the confetti of nature’s party celebrating full bloom, brilliant color and simple delights. When negativity and criticism is rampant, go out into nature and be captured by the simple grand beauty. Tune into abundance rather than scarcity.
Let go of your opinion long enough to entertain new ideas and possibility. Guard your joy. Start throwing some confetti rather than water. Enjoy each day and cast light.
“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napoleon Hill
“As long as we are persistence in our pursuit of our deepest destiny, we will continue to grow. We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom. It happens in its own time.” – Denis Waitley
The lupines are almost in full bloom. The purple is working its way from the roots to the tips. A few more sunny days like today, they will be in full bloom. Lupines are nitrogen-fixing plant that extract nitrogen from the air and converts it to a form for its growth and other plants in the process.
May we be patient and persistent in our pursuit, pruning and cultivating our own bloom so others may bloom as well.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” – Buddha
May we be quiet.
May we listen.
May we reach out.
May we seek truth.
May we be gentle.
May we pursue justice.
May we seek peace.
Real peace that changes hearts.
New day. Same prayer.
May we listen.
A peace that passes all understanding.
“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.” – Francis of Assisi