“Life is a pilgrimage. The wise man does not rest by the roadside inns. He marches direct to the illimitable domain of eternal bliss, his ultimate destination.” – Swami Sivananda
We so often think struggles linger forever and bliss is but a rare passing moment. Even in our struggles, we can find bliss. They co-exist. Yet, we can choose which one we will amplify, what tune we will dance to.
Things are settling down for me for the first time in a long while and new things are entering. But not completely, there are still moments of struggle. But I am not going to forebode bliss to anticipate and plan for struggle. Accept the bliss and keep it close to guide you through the struggle. It lives and breathes beside and within us.
When I lose the path to my bliss, I need not look far to be reminded of the joy found in daily life. A dog’s smile, a baby’s laugh, a heartfelt conversation with a trusted friend. These are the places of true, deep bliss amidst the simple moments in life. March in.
“Just think of any negativity that comes at you as a raindrop falling into the ocean of your bliss.” – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” – Havelock Ellis
“Let us be grateful to people (dogs) who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust
Sasha joined our family today. Abby is thrilled.
A year ago, I lost my Samoyed Molly and then in October, I lost my Golden Retriever Lily. I have been looking for a Samoyed for almost a year and when it fell through a couple of times, I got a Golden Retriever in December.
Abby will be nine months soon and Sasha is four months. When the opportunity came up a few weeks ago with a breeder, I couldn’t pass it up. It just felt right. The “rules” would say you shouldn’t get two puppies. Wait, it’s too soon.
The one thing that I’ve learned in the past year after losing my Dad and two dogs within 5 months of each other is that life is short and the rules we make up really don’t matter.
God works slow and fast, in His own time, which usually doesn’t align with our own. There have been days that have dragged and months and months of waiting. Seemingly for no reason at all, stuck in the waiting. And then suddenly, something new comes together rapid fire. The waiting comes to an end and we’re tossed into the next chapter of our life in a moment’s notice.
All that has come before brings us to this day, whether we can figure it out or not. So when we let go of our rules, stop trying to “outsmart” God and trust Him, we can enter fully into what is and be in grateful awe of this very moment.
“Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun.” – Randy Pausch
“I am going to keep having fun every day I have left, because there is no other way of life. You just have to decide whether you are a Tigger or an Eeyore.” – Randy Pausch
Today, and each day going forward, have fun, no matter what’s going on. There will never be a time in life when there are not challenges woven through the victories. Create your little wins by having fun.
Don’t wait for a loved one to die or a health diagnosis to learn that life is so very short. Give more and receive all there is right now in this moment. Be grateful for the gift of this day and put some bounce in your step – choose Tigger.
“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.” – Khalil Gibran
With rapt attention, Abby watches for the bounce of the ball so she can catch it on one bounce. The sheer joy that a tennis ball can bring. And when she catches it on one bounce, she’s captured the world in that very instance.
Every single day, she carries the same carefree feeling that summer and Fridays bring – delight. It’s there for each of us too if we would let our guard down and put the brakes on the race car of busyness, jamming one more thing into the day. For what exactly? Mediocrity. Efficiency. Quantity over quality. It’s never enough and it never will be.
Slow. Breathe. Play. Laugh. Forget. Give. Surrender to life. Chase the ball.
“Just watching an animal closely can take you out of your mind and bring you into the present moment, which is where the animal lives all the time — surrendered to life.” – Eckhart Tolle
“The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.” – Henry Miller
Abby is six months now and getting sweeter by the day. She went to the vet today to get spay. A bit tired and worn, she came out with the cone so she wouldn’t open up the wound. It takes a while to get used to it. A few stumbles and underestimating the width of the cone, she hit a few walls. And then she figured it out.
The cone makes you look up and be aware of your surroundings to maneuver. No way to have your head down like we do staring at our phone to respond immediately to the next work email emergency or ridiculous request that’s needed “ASAP.”
Nope, when you have the cone on, you keep your head up, rapt with attention and mighty aware of all that is in right now, here in front of us.
Next invention! Cones for humans.
“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.” – Brene Brown
“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” – e. e. cummings
Abby is 5 months old today.
Puppies and babies change so much each day that we count the months rather than the years. We could all enjoy our days more if we counted each one rather than looking too far ahead or behind.
When I had to pick between two puppies three months ago, I chose Abby when she looked deeply into my eyes. She still does and melts my heart each time. From 8 to 32 pounds and almost all of her adult teeth are in, which is great for my arms. Those puppy teeth are razor sharp.
Happy 5 Month Birthday Abby and for making each day a new adventure, filled with fun and joy. Can’t ask for much more than that.
“Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun.” – Randy Pausch
“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” – Guillaume Apollinaire
“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” – Charles Mingus
As the spring tries to break the final grip of winter, a cold wind rustles the leaves free from the thawing ground. The perfect scenario to chase the floating leaves down the path. And Abby takes up the challenge to pursue each one with vigor and focus.
How simple. Mere happiness in the moment, in pure being. Plenty of leaves to chase.
“Abundance is a process of letting go; that which is empty can receive.” – Bryant H. McGill
“Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts.” – Alan Cohen
I have to convince Abby to let go of the ball so I can throw it again. She holds it so tight as if it’s the only ball that ever existed. She is slowly figuring out that if she lets it go, play can resume.
We hold tight to many “balls” like the past, unforgiveness, regret, resentment, all at the expense of the many gifts found in the present moment, today, right now. We assume scarcity rather than accept abundance.
Your “command” for this day and going forward in your training for living a good life – “release.” Let go of the unnecessary and hold tight to the “balls” of joy, delight, laughter and most important, gratitude.
“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” – Helen Keller
Each of us walks our own path, yet we are not alone. Sometimes the road is smooth. Sometimes it is fraught with potholes. Most of the time, it is a bit of both. The choice that is always ours to make is our response. Often the obvious and justifiable response is frustration and complaining. The illogical and unreasonable response is joy and gratitude.
Here’s to being more illogical and unreasonable. We can all use a lot more joy and gratitude. Abby has figured it out to be sure. Joy beats frustration, paws down.
“Relax! Life is beautiful!” – David L. Wolper
“Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.” – Lao Tzu
When we’re young, we’re agile, flexible. We bend and don’t break. Experience, time, age changes us. We become rigid, rule-following, hard as rock in our ways, leading with “no,” “can’t,” “it’s too late.” Yet we have a choice to lead with “yes,” to choose differently.
So as you enter this day, start with “yes” and follow it with several more “yeses.” Be flexible and loosen up a bit. We become more agile with practice. We become more of what we want to be with practice, actually.
Laugh more, be silly, let go of all the “shoulds,” “musts” and “have-tos.” Be like water, or like puppy Abby. Softer, flexible, irresistible.
“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.” – Bernard Williams