“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” – Leo Buscaglia
People, circumstances, worry, assumptions, judgments and our very own mindset steals our joy. Be on guard and acutely aware that joy is a choice and often not the easy one. Misery not only loves company, it longs for a crowd. And the complaining spirals into quicksand that sucks us in.
There’s plenty of justification for carrying a heavy load. But at the end of our life, our regrets will lie in not seizing our blessings, knowing those closest to us better and becoming our best self. So fill your mind with good thoughts and your heart with unreasonable love. Be kind and gentle, laugh more, let go, foster gratitude, grasp enthusiasm and silliness, forgive and by all means, guard your joy. It is truly the only thing worth holding tightly to.
“To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.” – Eckhart Tolle
“There’s something just magical about flight. Period.” – Graham Hawkes
“The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” – Bertrand Russell
No further than a playground swing and magic unfolds. The delight of flight. The sheer joy in simple play. Children have it figured out and what we can learn from these wise souls. No over complicating. No distractions. They enter each moment as an explorer, an adventurer, a believer of goodness and light in the world. It is only when we grow up that we dull our wits and surrender our joy.
We can transform our days by sharpening our wits. Take back your joy.
“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” – Sidonie Gabrielle Colette
So much of life is made up of multitasking, noisy distractions and the busy pursuit of what’s next. The velvet rut of familiarity convinces us to stay put, going rapidly through the motions.
Speed suffocates gratitude and numbs our spirit.
Slow down and breath. Do something different, even the smallest thing, each day. Then again and again until each simple act transforms ordinary days into an extraordinary life. Let awe and possibility takes root again.
Make each day sacred and joyful by participating fully in the moment. Realize your wonderful life right now while you are in it.
“Be happy. It’s one way of being wise.” – Sidonie Gabrielle Colette
“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” – Meister Eckhart
A simple glance, a quiet moment, a sliver of pause prompts a prayer. Of gratitude. Of depth. Of awareness. Sacred, holy and awe-filled moments surround us awaiting to be released into our very being. In play. In joy. In letting go of all that we carry that is not ours. A small, soothing voice of calm. Strivings cease, peace enters with ease. Amen.
“Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress.
And let our ordered live confess
The beauty of Thy peace.
Breathe through the hearts of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake,
wind, and fire.
O still, small Voice of calm.”
– John G. Whittier hymn, Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
“Awe is the finest portion of mankind …In awe, one feels profoundly the immense.” – Goethe
“Aaah, summer – that long anticipated stretch of lazy, lingering days, free of responsibility and rife with possibility. It’s a time to hunt for insects, master handstands, practice swimming strokes, conquer trees, explore nooks and crannies, and make new friends.” – Darrell Hammond
Watching the kids jump off the bus today brought me back to those days in May filled with anticipation of school getting out for the summer. The excitement of hanging out with friends, swimming, biking and carefree days. Just pure ease that summer demands.
So often, we appreciate days and moments the most in the rear view mirror rather than when we are in the midst of them. As you move into these sweet days of summer, be present and aware while you are in them, tune out the noise. Pay attention to moments rather than fictional “some days.”
Take long walks, enjoy an ice cream cone, read a book or take a nap in one of those adirondack chairs or hammocks that are always empty. This day, this moment is the substance, depth and breadth of life.
Get on the bus. The journey is the destination.
“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton
Bubbles, lilacs and children invite wonder, hope and joy. Lingering and delighting in the simplicity of the moment. Light, fragrant and awe without question or doubt.
Bubbles burst, the sweet aroma of lilacs fades swiftly and children grow up. Yet, the invitation, the calling remains within. A soft voice whispering us back to our most pure selves. To an acute awareness of the brevity of life and the promise of daily joy beyond our worries, our circumstances, our past, our future.
Our capacity for joy is far larger than we allow into our realm. Float like a bubble released into air, breathe in the fragrance of summer, leap with great abandon.
Dream BIG. LIVE BIGGER!
Lilacs and bubbles.
“The true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton
“Do not waste time dreaming of great faraway opportunities; do the best you can where you are. Open your petals of power and beauty and fling out the fragrance of your life in the place that has been assigned to you.” – Orison Swett Marden
Chaos, busyness and circumstances eclipse gratitude, awe and joy. We put off living fully to the illusive someday. When you can dance and sing amidst difficulties, you have triumphed and achieved “a peace that passes all understanding.”
Don’t lose days, months, years waiting for perfect timing to start living. Today is the day to begin anew, to be present in each moment and see what’s right in front of you for the very first time. Hold your gaze a bit longer and witness the greatness in a mere petal of a flower, the solace in an embrace and the ease that grace offers.
In Act III of Thorton Wilder’s play Our Town, Emily views moments in her life after she is dead. “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?—every, every minute? Emily asks this question of the Stage Manager after she has revisited her twelfth birthday. The Stage Manager answers that humans indeed do not realize life, except for perhaps the “saints and poets, maybe.”
Realize your life fully each day while you live it – the sacred poetry.
“I lean and loaf at my ease… observing a spear of summer grass.”― Walt Whitman
May you find loafing and ease each day to –
To just be. Let go of doing. Quiet both the outside and inside voices and listen to stillness for clarity. Observe where and what you are paying attention to. It is when we are in the vast wilderness that we return to discover who we are and always have been. Observe a spear of grass.
“Never lose the childlike wonder. Show gratitude… Don’t complain; just work harder… Never give up.” – Randy Pausch
When we were young, we were light on our feet, untethered. Each day a new adventure filled with delight and awe. Naïve, they say. So we grew up and got “real.” We traded possibility and fun for rules and limitations. We allowed other voices in and proceeded to become “wise” by over-complicating it all. “Yes!” was swiftly replaced with “no.”
My great nephew Liam was born the same year that my Dad and my two dogs Molly and Lily passed away. He was and still is a bright light, an oasis in the desert. And he just keeps getting better by the day.
“Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” – Mark 10:15
He runs with joy. Uninhibited, pure sweet joy. And he invites me in to his world to be silly, to dance and sing like no one is watching. And if they are, who cares, they can join in too. I enter his beautiful, innocent world filled with wonder and all of the stuff that clutters and distorts life floats away with the bubbles he chases into the sky as he yells “bubbles!”
Each of us has the capacity and the calling to run with joy, to chase bubbles and to see the world through the eyes of our inner child who keeps asking us to come out and play.
Enjoy your life unbound and with splendor. And by doing so, you give others an invitation to join you and if but only for a moment to find solace in difficulty and the rainbow after the rain. Run with joy.
“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus
“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” – Albert Camus
Mid-April and 17+ inches of snow in Minnesota this past weekend. No doubt, it has been one long winter that continues on. Circumstances, other people, the weather take up too much of our time. We lament and try to change things that we can’t change. In the midst of this effort, we are missing out on our life.
It’s pretty simple, yet we’ve made it hard. We either hibernate or we find the invincible summer inside and burst out into the world, regardless of what’s in our peripheral vision. Our ability to focus our attention and time on what’s important and of meaning has never been more important.
If 17 inches of snow can defeat us, we need to work on our resilience and more importantly our sense of humor needs some exercising. Flex your joy muscles today and bring summer to the winters that surround you, even in July. However, I am not convinced that snow is not possible in July based on this past winter. Bring it on!
Sometimes, you need to get the lawnmower out in the snow.