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Posts from the ‘Happiness’ Category

Open Your Eyes

“The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.” – Aldous Huxley

Magic happens when we open our eyes to see what’s in front of us now. It’s not in the past or the future. Life is happening right in this very moment. Notice, grasp and soak it in. This day will not return so make the most of it while in it.

Children remind us of what we must return to so we can live fully. Wonder, laughter, silliness, delight, awe, no judgment, unconditional love.

Find joy today. Simply, open your eyes anew.

“Childhood means simplicity. Look at the world with the child's eye - it is very beautiful.” – Kailash Satyart

“Childhood means simplicity. Look at the world with the child’s eye – it is very beautiful.” – Kailash Satyart

A Kind Word or Two

“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.

Just One More Thing

“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.

Let Go for Real, Your Life is Waiting for You to Arrive

“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!

Rhthym

“The ocean is a mighty harmonist.” – William Wordsworth

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.” – Thomas Merton

There’s a rhythm to life. An ebb and flow. When we only focus on the ebb and ignore the flow, we fight the rhythm that remains steady and strong. We wrestle with God by clinging to our own plans, our own limited view, our past, our future and to our stubborn ways.

Ease up and enter into the ebb and flow. Find the rhythm, dive deep into gratitude and be confident in the unfolding of purpose and meaning that will be revealed.

The Pen

“You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.” – Alvin Toffler

We so often use the pen to merely check off our “to do” list. Initially satisfying and then suddenly shallow. Go deeper, do less, be more and create real meaning.

When we go below the surface of transactional busy living and enter what’s beneath, we expose the stories we tell ourselves. Those stories that tell us to spend time on obligations, over committing, over doing.

Each of us has a purpose, gifts to unwrap and release into the world. Spending our time and attention on these pursuits makes the world better, one dream fulfilled at a time. Yep, I get it – you have to make a “living”. Been doing that for 30+ years.

Joy and fulfillment come when we align who we are, our gifts, what we do and who we do it with. In relationship, in play, in pursuit of something bigger than ourselves and in being present in each day while it’s occurring.

I just started a new book – Redirect, Changing the Stories We Live By, by Timothy D. Wilson on the stories we tell ourselves and what we can do to change the stories that hold us back. I am looking forward to diving deep into it this weekend and not checking off the “to do” list. When we expose and let go of those old stories, we can rewrite our own story starting today.

Pick up the pen and write down what your assumptions are, what you want to do, and what “rules” that you’ve created that need to be broken. Stop asking for permission to live your life. Time to start a new chapter of thinking, doing and most importantly, living with joy, awe and even some fun. Life is short, find your light and cast it wide.

“The pen is the tongue of the mind.” – Horace “The pen is the tongue of the mind.” – Horace

Seek the Good

“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

“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.

In the Details

“Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” – Hans Christian Andersen

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” – Mary Oliver

When we get caught up in things not in our control, we forego the simple beauty calling out to us in the details of a mere flower. The complexity in the simple. The delight in a moment. The joy in connection.

Overwhelmed? STOP. LOOK AROUND.

Really look. And the only words that you can possibly utter will be “thank you!”

We have so very much to be grateful for even in challenging times. A purpose for every season to be sure. Wherever you are at, remember that you are enough. You are worthy. You have what it takes.

Lighten up. Savor now. And drink in the color and beauty in simple details. In the miracle of a flower.

Nectar to Honey

“Happiness radiates like the fragrance from a flower and draws all good things towards you.” – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

“The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them.” – Saint Francis de Sales

“The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them.” – Saint Francis de Sales

Joy is a choice and our highest calling. When we can find joy each day, despite our circumstances, we have found the sweet nectar of a good life filled with gratitude. Float lightly in search of nectar and the honey will follow.

The Intersection

“At the intersection where your gifts, talents, and abilities meet a human need; therein you will discover your purpose.” – Aristotle

Most of our day is spent skimming the surface of our “to do” list. Multiple and multiplying demands, pulled in so many directions that we are a spinning top, going no where fast. Completion of tasks is not the purpose of our life.

Developing and using our talents is a worthy purpose. Finding joy where we are right now is the best place to be and remain. Be gratefully aware of the gifts that have been bestowed on you. The future will unfold from the decisions and choices that we make today. So choose well.

If you are struggling to align your actions and activities with your purpose, get off of the “busy” roller coaster and ask yourself some questions that you already know the answer to deep down.

What do you enjoy doing? Where do you feel most satisfied? What is something that has been placed on your heart that you’ve always wanted to do? Where do lose a sense of time when you are doing it?

Answer these questions.

Try new things. It is in trial and error that we discover what we don’t like and most importantly what we do like. When we enter a flow is where we should expend our energy. Slow down, go deeper and your purpose will reveal itself. It is brilliantly obvious and in you right now. Find it and then act on it.

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle

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