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Posts from the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Fresh and Refresh

“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.

One of my daily non-negotiable rituals is meditation using Insight Timer. This morning I chose, or perhaps it chose me, the poem She Let Go by Safire Rose as spoken and composed by Jac Godsman.

She Let Go
by Safire Rose

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…

 

Beauty in the Details

“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

The Light of Spirit

“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

Light Show

“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

The Rainbow

“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
Bluebirds fly
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
Bluebirds fly
And the dreams that you dare to
Oh why, oh why can’t I?”

 

Behind the Clouds

“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

Cling

“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

Did You Find Joy?

“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

Holy

“Pure, holy simplicity confounds all the wisdom of this world and the wisdom of the flesh.” – Francis of Assisi

These are holy, sacred days. Don’t miss or dismiss them. This time, this rare moment is our return to ourselves. Take the trip, go there. There’s a mystery and unknowing and it’s alright and more safe than we know. This time is calling each us back home to our core, our center, to our very being.

Accept the invitation and embrace the moment, for it will pass quickly. Rapt attention, pure joy and deep awareness. Enter and welcome yourself home. Embrace and savor this sacred holy time. Let go of the chaos and enter a peace that passes all understanding.

“O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling and scatter there Thy cheerful beams.” –  Saint Augustine

A Living Prayer

“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.” – Anne Lamott

“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” –  Anne Lamott

A cloudy warm end to the day. A daily run to breathe in the gift of fresh open air. Routine. Habit. Ordinary. And then suddenly, out of the dry leaves of Winter, brilliant deep crisp purple and orange pop out to awaken and sharpen the senses. The ordinary transforms to extraordinary, to delight, to the unexpected. The first and not last sign of Spring, of life, of expansion, of hope, of color invites us in with open arms. A living prayer. An embrace.

Seasons, cycles, certainty, uncertainty and clarity merge. In the midst of transition, of waiting, of the precursor to Spring, wandering in the desert with the oasis around the corner, we find life vibrant and more than well. Planting season, filled with complexity, mystery, light and color.

“When hope is not pinned wriggling onto a shiny image or expectation, it sometimes floats forth and opens.” – Anne Lamott

This is holy, sacred, hopeful time. Take a knee. Offer a prayer. Let go of the familiar. Be prepared to be surprised, to fully enter awe. It’s all around. Wake up!

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