“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.” – Allen Klein
“Life did not stop, and one had to live.”— Leo Tolstoy
The bright brilliant, unending parade of flowers remind us that life continues to unfold, bloom, burst, fade, finish and then begin yet again. Allow yourself to be surprised, to be awed, to be awakened. Look around, not back and not too far ahead. This season is overflowing with beauty – cannon ball into the deep end and flap around with delight. One has to live. Seek, soak and cast light.
“That though the radiance which was once so bright be now forever taken from my sight. Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower. We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind.” – William Wordsworth
“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“What we think is less than what we know: What we know is less than what we love: What we love is so much less than what there is; and to this precise extent, we are much less than what we are.” – R.D. Laing
Break free from the constraints and boundaries of certainty, scarcity and calculation. It is futile work to try to figure out the ending before you begin. Enter the mystery of your becoming, your gifts, your genius.
Move out a step at a time, allow the path to unfold, the beauty to take stage, front and center. A shift, a tilt, a new angle. That’s all that it takes to see the same world in a new way, the same you in a new way. It starts and end within. Use all of the colors in the box and color outside the lines.
Seek light, depth, abundance, gratitude, joy, more – all within your reach each day. Reach.
“Within the clear light of a crystal lie all of the colors of the rainbow. Within our own nature lies everything we need to find our way through the experiences of the world. Most of us only use one or two colors. We forget that we have all the wisdom, strength, patience, compassion, perseverance, and joy necessary to meet our every challenge. Radiance will shine forth from within when we open to the Radiant Light that is our True Nature.” – Ann Mortifee, In Love with the Mystery
“Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.” – Hafez
It’s a daily job, an obligation, a calling. Letting go.
Letting go of our opinions, judgment, complaints, our rightness and others wrongness to open up to love, to optimism, to fresh expansive boundless territory. Pursuing light and not stopping until we find it. We find what we pursue and expect. Be intentional and pay attention. The light remains whether we seek it or not. Seek it.
Self-awareness is the first step to self-mastery, empathy and hope – a mighty trio. Be open to surprise, expansion, depth and growth woven through ordinary days.
She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of the fear.
She let go of the judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.
Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice.
She didn’t read a book on how to let go.
She didn’t search the scriptures.
She just let go.
She let go of all of the memories that held her back.
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go.
She didn’t journal about it.
She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.
She just let go.
She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.
She didn’t call the prayer line.
She didn’t utter one word.
She just let go.
No one was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort.
There was no struggle.
It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A small smile came over her face.
A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and the moon shone forevermore…
“Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.” – Henry David Thoreau
“They say that every snowflake is different. If that were true, how could the world go on? How could we ever get up off our knees? How could we ever recover from the wonder of it?” – Jeanette Winterson
In our need to have certainty, to be right, to feed our ego, we snuggle up in our assumptions, judgments and narratives. We bucket people, circumstances and experience, creating a sense of security and stability. Building foundations on sand, we are perplexed when they crumble.
Be willing to unlearn, to go deep to the root, to see the complexity in the details. Expand your capacity for joy through sincere inquiry, rapt attention and childlike curiosity. Open to the wonder hidden in each day, go past mere knowing to understanding, nuance and transformation.
From a distance, the snow is a white blanket. Up close, a brilliant tapestry of light, art and delicate form reminding us of the beauty in the details. Invite and accept the gift of deep awareness of what already is present. Awaken your senses and embrace delight in the ordinary.
In the details, in still points, within each soul, the spark of divinity longs to be revealed and released. To your knees, remaining long enough to hear the voice of divinity.
“Your inner voice is the voice of divinity. To hear it, we need to be in solitude, even in crowded places.” – A. R. Rahman
“Solitude sharpens awareness of small pleasures otherwise lost.” – Kevin Patterson
“Once we’re awake, the struggle is often whether we live in the world of things while glimpsing the light of Spirit or in the light of Spirit while moving through the world of things. It is a practice just to be aware of which is driving us.” – Mark Nepo, Finding Inner Courage
In Minnesota, we take winter seriously. After we accept its inevitable return with a few complaints on the temperature adjustment and icy roads, we proceed to make the most of it by going out into it. I started snowshoeing this year and back at cross country skiing as well. Out in nature, in movement, breathing crisp fresh air. At the local golf course, they groom the trails as well as make snow for a small hill for snowboarding, skiing and sledding. They keep making snow all season to keep the hill in good shape.
When we accept that the only way to the other side of winter or other challenges is straight through it, we can embrace a lightness of Spirit, an ease in being. Each season offers unique gifts. There’s a quietude and solace in winter, preparation time, reflection.
Choose to move through the world awake, aware and grateful. The Spirit is all around and within each one of us ready to be held and to hold.
“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.” – Saint Francis de Sales
“I am a being of Heaven and Earth, of thunder and lightning, of rain and wind, of the galaxies.” – Eden Ahbez
As the sky darkened and the rain moved in, a stunning light show danced through the clouds. Awe fills the heavy air. The immensity and beauty of creation remind us that life is bigger than a day, deeper than our circumstances and wider than the worry that we allow into our mind.
Let gratitude, hope, optimism, faith, trust, joy and grace in to light up your heart and soul. Bigger. Deeper. Wider.
Enjoy the show.
“Mirth is like a flash of lightning, that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.” – Joseph Addison
“Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray.” – Lord Byron
“I’m continually inspired by nature, and the rainbow is one of nature’s greatest optical phenomenons. The sighting of a rainbow never fails to bring a smile to people’s faces. They signify optimism and positivity: with them comes the sunshine after the rain.” – Matthew Williamson
Suddenly, a rainbow peeked out of the clouds but for a few minutes. Brilliant hues of color, of hope, a whisper, “it’s going to be alright, breathe, trust, believe.”
As Dorothy discovered on her journey to Oz, joy, purpose and destiny are within us, not in some far off land. Return to yourself, to home in this very moment.
Find the rainbows and never, never, ever give up, ever. Trust in the waiting and wandering.
Over the Rainbow
by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg
“Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
And the dreams that you dream of
Once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow
And the dreams that you dream of
Dreams really do come true
Someday, I wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney top
That’s where you’ll find me
Somewhere over the rainbow
And the dreams that you dare to
Oh why, oh why can’t I?”
“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” – Martin Luther
The sun amplifies the depth and dimension of clouds. The sun always remains, sometimes in the forefront, sometimes from behind.
Anchor up to the light, to frivolous joy and irrational optimism. Anything less is not worthy of our time. We are so much bigger, deeper and brighter than we allow. Let go of your rules, your assumptions, your limitations. Live bigger, brighter and deeper. If not now, when?
“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” – Edward Abbey
“Do not say, ‘It is morning,’ and dismiss it with a name of yesterday. See it for the first time as a newborn child that has no name.” – Rabindranath Tagore
“Only let us live up to what we have already attained.” – Philippians 3:16
As raindrops cling to petals, embrace the beauty and depth of what already has been attained. Move into now, not looking back, nor too far ahead. When we remain aware and awake, the right path is revealed, our steps directed.
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” – Marcus Aurelius
“Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.” – Emily Dickinson
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver
What if the one question that you are asked at the end of your days, at the pearly gates of heaven are, “Did you find joy?” What would your answer be? I believe we will each individually be accountable to report out what we did with this “one wild and precious life.”
Can you change the answer now so you can get an “A” at the end of the course of life?
On a 10-mile run today, I ran the red light on the path since no cars were around, not even the sound of cars approaching. A block away from the light, I turned back and watched a biker sit and wait for the red light to turn green with no one around. She was following the rules, even if they don’t make sense anymore. Run the red and keep moving, in hot pursuit of daily joy, new constructs and possibilities when we draw outside the lines.
So as you enter tomorrow, start your day with a simple and complex question – “where will I find joy today?”
When we pursue and find joy, we become joy. A light, an energy source, a beacon, a walking smile, steeped in awe and wonder, ready and willing to be surprised.
So rather than changing the world, our circumstances, or our neighbor who irritates the hell out of us, what if we simply pursued daily joy?
Joy fosters kindness, generosity, forgiveness, curiosity, creativity, empathy, purpose, clarity and ease. Joy found must be shared – it’s the nature of joy. And if each one of us focuses, prepares and answers the one question that we may be asked at the end of our days – “did you find joy?” we may just be fulfilling our purpose and calling.
Start each and every day – “how will l find joy today?” and be ready to answer the question.
“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” – Christopher McCandless