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Posts from the ‘Hope’ Category

Always Earned

This afternoon, I received the Marine Corp Marathon shirt and medal for finishing. This year was different, which is an understatement to describe 2020. I registered in March, trained all spring and summer and it was canceled in August.

I trained for months, so I decided to keep going through fall and run it in the Twin Cities in October. I ran it a week early to beat a possible October snow. Sure enough, it snowed the week after I ran it. I was grateful to run in 30 degree sunny weather rather than snow. I’ve taken the past week and a half off to rest up from over six months of training five days a week. I’m getting restless and thinking about the next goal line, the next long run.

I’m not one for medals, but this one is a special one to be sure. It marks an earned effort over months to run 26.2 miles and finish, even if I was not able to run it in Washington DC with the Marines.

This year has been marked by a tremendous amount of uncertainty and angst. And also along side of it, plenty of blessings and self-awareness, even joy if we chose to succumb.

No matter what happens after the election or where this pandemic will lead next, we are bigger, stronger and deeper than our circumstances. Keep rising while also allowing yourself to indulge in generous self-care.

No one knows what will happen next, but we do know the strength and resilience of the human spirit when set free.

Meaningful progress and outcomes – always earned. Hope and grace – always given.

Snow or Snowman

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau

It snowed this week, and the lamenting began. Snow in October? It’s too early. Winter is going to be too long. One more thing in a year of constant change, fear and uncertainty. What’s next? (I have my money on the locusts.) No doubt if there ever was a year in recent history to complain, worry and be cynical about, 2020 is the winner.

We believe that things happen “to” us rather than “for” us. A simple yet profound shift from “to” to “for.” Just because we don’t understand “why” doesn’t mean there’s not a reason, one that will be revealed in time with the requirement of perspective, distance and reflection.

We forgo today’s opportunity for joy and meaning in pursuit of the illusive and perfect “someday” which does not exist or the “past” where we remember only but a slice that serves our narrative of the “good old days.”

In addition to the snow this week, it was a week filled with non-stop technology problems at work. Like the weather, also out of our control. My nephew Liam came over Thursday for a few hours. He immediately asked me to go out to build a snowman and make snow angels.

Kids, in their infinite wisdom until we screw them up with “adulting,” see the snowman and the angels in an October snow. They run into it rather than away from it. They see the “for” rather than the “to.” The early snow happened for them so they could build a snowman and lay staring up at the sky moving their legs and arms in delight to bring angels to earth.

The choice each of us needs to make daily is whether we see the snow or the snowman. It determines whether we will live present in each moment grateful for the gifts and blessings that we are swimming in, even in a pandemic. “to” or “for”? I’m going for the “for” rather than “to” as much as I can. And when I forget, I have a snowman and snow angel from my 4 year old life coach Liam to remind me of the best choice of “for.”

Blossoms of Hope

“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

Angel of Hope

“God’s mercy and grace give me hope – for myself, and for our world.” – Billy Graham

“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

When in the heat of the moment, in the desire to react quickly rather than thoughtfully, at the very tip of weariness, hope wins when we choose it. Hope and joy are daily decisions that we need to consciously make again and again. Never let your guard down and let your joy be stolen by circumstances, stray thoughts or other people.

As Monday lived up to its reputation today, I thought of the Angel of Hope statute in Duluth that we walked by a few weeks ago. I was reminded to let it all go and enter grace, gratitude and ease. When your earthly journey becomes heavy, let go of the unnecessary and take flight.

Be kind, generous, grateful and filled with optimism especially when you don’t feel like it. Get your hope wings on. Look up and cast light.

Joy Economy

“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

“You can make positive deposits in your own economy every day by reading and listening to powerful, positive, life-changing content and by associating with encouraging and hope-building people.” – Zig Ziglar

Nothing like a trip to the Farmer’s Market with friends for fresh veggies and flowers to seize one of the many joys of summer. Joy is found in simple things we weave through each day.

Never underestimate the need to make daily deposits into your own economy to cash in on the riches of a life lived well in the depth of daily joy.

“Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.” – William James

Drop or Arrow

“In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans.” – Khalil Gibran

“From which sense of center will we live our days: as an arrow always seeking its mark, or as a drop of water always seeking its home? Half the time, we’re so eager to get somewhere only because we’re uncomfortable with where we are. Much of the time, we’re trying so hard to keep the difficult things out that we stop letting in what is always present and beautiful.”— The Book of Soul: 52 Paths to Living What Matters, Mark Nepo

Each of us makes a choice from where we will live our days. Fluid as a drop of water or an arrow in fervent flight aiming for somewhere else. In the pursuit of what’s next, we miss what already is in this very moment. Allow movement, grace and the slow work of being so you can go deeper into the ocean of your very soul.

“As fish in their grace demonstrate, it’s not surfacing or bottoming that is our home, but our movement back and forth. That immersion brings us alive. For the slow work of being leads us to a thorough life, where the deeper currents moving through us are life-giving and empowering. And the Whole of Life rinsing through our heart and mind is what we feel and think and speak.”— The Book of Soul: 52 Paths to Living What Matters, Mark Nepo

Drops

“Without rain, there is no life.” – Jerry Yang

“Raindrops will always carry their dreams & hopes with them, no matter where they go.”― Anthony T. Hincks

Like drops on leaves after a refreshing rain, we are held. Softly, gently embraced. Things don’t need to be perfect to allow joy, light and gratitude to permeate our daily experience. Discern what’s inevitable and what’s optional.

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”― Haruki Murakami

Heaven Meets Earth

“Heaven is all around us. All we need is perception; to extol the melodies of Nature’s orchestra.”― Anurag Shourie

“Let your days become a fragrant song where heaven and earth continually collide” ― John Crowder

Nature never fails to show us how heaven meets earth each day. We decide what we see. Narrow or broad. Open or closed. Free or bound. If you are not in awe, do the opposite to change your perception and perspective. If things feel small, look up and witness beauty that remains amidst whatever is going on inside and out.

“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.” – Henry David Thoreau

The Embrace of a Breeze

“We never look deeply into the quality of a tree; we never really touch it, feel its solidity, its rough bark, and hear the sound that is part of the tree. Not the sound of wind through the leaves, not the breeze of a morning that flutters the leaves, but its own sound, the sound of the trunk and the silent sound of the roots.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

It was a beautiful, sunny, breezy day. The trees swayed and didn’t break. Moved and stretched. Embraced and flowed. The leaves danced and held on. May we bend and not break. Breath and flow. And sway with joy.

Let Sunday set the tone for the week. Carry it forward to seize the magic and delight. Each day, even Mondays, especially Mondays, are a gift. Open it and celebrate. The embrace of the breeze. Be held.

“What you really want for yourself is always trying to break through, just as a cooling breeze flows through an open window on a hot day. Your part is to open the windows of your mind.” – Vernon Howard

The Path

“The feeling remains that God is on the journey, too.” – Saint Teresa of Avila

Some of the path is paved. Much needs to be broken. May we keep moving down the path with our eye on moving through, moving on and reaching new destinations that come from forward motion. No looking back but only to not return. Eyes ahead, open to new paths, to new discoveries, to new self.

Journey Into The Interior
by Theodore Roethke

In the long journey out of the self,

There are many detours, washed-out interrupted raw places

Where the shale slides dangerously

And the back wheels hang almost over the edge

At the sudden veering, the moment of turning.

Better to hug close, wary of rubble and falling stones.

The arroyo cracking the road, the wind-bitten buttes, the canyons,

Creeks swollen in midsummer from the flash-flood roaring into the narrow valley.

Reeds beaten flat by wind and rain,

Grey from the long winter, burnt at the base in late summer.

— Or the path narrowing,

Winding upward toward the stream with its sharp stones,

The upland of alder and birchtrees,

Through the swamp alive with quicksand,

The way blocked at last by a fallen fir-tree,

The thickets darkening,

The ravines ugly.

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