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Posts from the ‘Inspiration’ Category

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!

Anchor UP

“Lent is a time to renew wherever we are in that process that I call the divine therapy. It’s a time to look what our instinctual needs are, look at what the dynamics of our unconscious are.” – Thomas Keating

“O lord, make this Lenten season different from the other ones. Let me find you again. Amen.” – Henri Nouwen

Well this is certainly a Lenten season different from any other in our lifetime. The world is upside down, on lock down and tipsy turvy to say the least. What we’ve anchored ourselves in the past has been uprooted.

Trying to understand, to predict, to plan is out of our control in this moment but will come in due time. So rather than wallowing in consternation, chaos and confusion, do the opposite. If you want to coil up and stay in, get out. If you want to keep everything in motion, stop and rest. It’s difficult to explain the unexplainable of these rare days. Go deep, enter the quiet and anchor up. Settle into the unexplainable, mystery and waiting time.

Rather than running/wandering at our usual meeting spot today at Como, four of my running group friends met up (6 feet apart) in St. Paul for a new adventure through the beautiful brick-laid streets of the Summit Avenue area – historic and beautiful, past Garrison Keillor’s home and the James J. Hill House. Up and down stairs, hills and then wrapping up at the beautiful Cathedral of St. Paul.

Gazing up at this phenomenal holy architecture, this sacred offering, puts it all in perspective. The cross rests firmly on the top pointing our eyes up, reminding us to anchor up, to keep the faith. Tomorrow is the 5th week of Lent – desert time filled with more waiting, patience and anticipation. Easter is two weeks from tomorrow and most likely won’t be celebrated in church followed by a family gathering – the first time ever. This year, we must be Easter people in our heart, soul and spirit.

The desert is always followed by the oasis so keep going, stay hopeful and hold tight amidst the solitude, wandering and the unknown. It’s going to be more than alright. Anchor up.

Space – The Final Frontier

“Space the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. It’s continuing mission. To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before.” – Star Trek monologue

Time starved, too busy, overcommitments are no longer an excuse, so let’s get to the work of open space – the final frontier to our joy, reflection and purpose. Like many, I’m cleaning and organizing a room at a time. Clearing clutter. Writing and running every day. The garage will be punched in the face this weekend. I’ll also be trying to narrow down 752 paint color choices for the first -floor paint project in April.

I dare challenge you to savor this time. To explore strange new life, worlds and civilizations of your thoughts, dreams and aspirations. Boldly go where humans avoid at all costs and blame busy and commitments. Don’t miss these moments right now. Return to yourself. The deep. The murky. The complicated. The discovery. The delight. Home.

Break the habit and comfort of mental “to do” flurry and focus on one thought, on “one room at a time.” We have a lot of unstructured time coupled with uncertainty right now. If we get stuck in the uncertainty, we will miss the gift of unstructured and open time.

For so long we’ve been caught in the “fog” of busy and not enough time.  Now we are presented plenty of time and could easily fall into the fog of “uncertainty” and “binge watching” our life away.

Imagine. Explore. Be bold – go into uncharted territory – this is the path to the #otherside and beyond!

Oh Come All Ye Faithless, Hopeless and Lost

Today, the most sacred of days for Christians, we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, a baby born in a barn, rejected from the beginning. As I savored Celine Dion’s renditions of Oh Come All Ye Faithful and Oh Holy Night, it occurred to me that we are called to invite not only the faithful, but the faithless, hopeless and lost into the miracle of today.

No religion or denomination owns today or fully comprehends the grace, love and mercy that is given without condition. It is a celebration for all humankind – the hurting, the struggling and the imperfect.

And those of us who believe in the birth, crucifixion and resurrection are expected to share the love, kindness and awe born on this day. Less talking, more showing in how we live it out each day. It requires humility, forgiveness, acceptance and a big dose of joy.

Today and each day ahead, a weary world rejoices. Join us in unexplainable hope, faith, love and light. We are the imperfect, the faithful that falter and the found who go astray. There’s plenty of room at the table. Oh holy night indeed.

“O holy night the stars are brightly shining

It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices

For yonder breaks a new glorious morn

Fall on your knees”

Merry Merry Christmas!

Where Heaven Meets Earth

“Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.” – C. S. Lewis

“The world is full of poetry. The air is living with its spirit; and the waves dance to the music of its melodies, and sparkle in its brightness.” – James Gates Percival

The water touches the sky:
Heaven meets earth;
Waves roll in natural rhythm;
Ebb and flow;
The horizon expands beyond our thoughts;
Poetry, dance and sparkle;
Lifted and grounded as Heaven meets earth.

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