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Posts from the ‘Happiness’ Category

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

Loud Quiet

“Silence is the pause in me when I am near to God.” – Arvo Part

When we slow down and allow silence to enter, our own voice in the quiet becomes louder. The noisey voices in your head that tell you to go faster, don’t try because it’s too hard, you’re not worthy or enough are not the real you at all. It’s fear.

When faced with the choice of stepping out of the boat and facing fear or giving up and staying safe, get out of the boat. Every time.

Anything that is of value and worthy of our time and effort will be met with resistance. Push through it with one step, and then the next. Try, make mistakes, get up, try again, repeat, succeed. Don’t let the empty voices from others or the chatter in your head ever stop you from becoming your best you.

Every day, weave quiet and contemplation in, if only for 10 minutes. Take a walk in the woods and witness a symphony of birds singing, wildflowers waving and beauty unfolding. Gaze into the sky with reverence.

And in that awe and quiet, you will hear your own voice calling you to your purpose, loud and clear. Listen and move. Imagine if we all pursued our purpose and used our talents. What a world it would be!

Glide

“People tend to burden themselves with so many choices. But, in the end, you can throw it all away and just make one basic, underlying decision: Do you want to be happy, or do you not want to be happy? It’s really that simple. Once you make that choice, your path through life becomes totally clear.”

― Michael A. Singer, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

“Only you can take inner freedom away from yourself, or give it to yourself. Nobody else can.”
― Michael A. Singer, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

If we only let the wind take us to where it will rather than trying to control it all. All of the pining and consternation won’t change our ending, but it sure ruins the journey. Let go of what others think and what you overthink. Be happy in this moment and then the next and the next one after that.

Life is gliding along whether you choose to participate fully or not. So join in.

Glide.

July Bloom

“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

Late winter followed by an early summer resulting in a July bloom.

Transitions, stages, seasons. Whatever one you find yourself in right now, know that there’s always blooming, even if late. And the late bloom is an even sweeter gift reminding us that we are never done and it is never over.

Pursue your bloom, your bliss, your joy wherever you are in life. Whether close to retirement or just starting, keep trying, getting up and doing new things. With wonder and deep trust and hope that you have more in you than you believe in this moment.

Listen to your heart and go where it calls. Bloom.

“Listen! Clam up your mouth and be silent like an oyster shell, for that tongue of yours is the enemy of the soul, my friend. When the lips are silent, the heart has a hundred tongues.” – Rumi

Eat Cake

“Take life on life’s terms – one day at a time. And have fun while you’re doing it.” – Joe Perry

When I get too far ahead into the future or lag behind tangled up in the past, I need not look far to be reminded to stop, breathe, laugh and have some fun right now!

Let go, be grateful and embrace today.

Eat cake.

SIT DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“Innocence can be more powerful than experience.” – Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

“Remaining childish is a tremendous state of innocence.” – John Lydon

“Remaining childish is a tremendous state of innocence.” – John Lydon

I received the blessing of watching Liam today for the afternoon. He forced me to stop my chores, duties and obligations to fully enter what Sundays are made for – rest, repose and restoration. As he woke up from his nap, he beckoned my name to get him, no tears, just a gentle order. We had dinner and he then requested to watch Coco for the second time today, the 20th time this week and 100th time since the movie came out. His absolute favorite movie, obsession.

I negotiated a trip to the park before we started the movie so we could enjoy the burst of sun on a mostly rainy day. When we returned, we agreed on Finding Dory rather than another round of Coco.

As the movie began, I started my usual multitasking. After a minute, Liam yelled, “SIT DOWN!!” I stopped in my tracks and sat down with him to enjoy coloring and Dory’s short term memory challenges. We proceeded to enjoy the simple experience of single-tasking, un-busyness and full presence in the very moment. Brilliant.

Sometimes it merely takes the wisdom of an almost 2 year old to pull us back to what’s most important and to the gift of now. Stop and sit down. The most valuable activity that you can do is to stop and embrace the sweet gift of now.

SIT DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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