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Posts from the ‘Life’ Category

Slow Ride

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” – Mahatma Gandhi

When we’re tired, overcommitted and multitasking our way through our days, we lose our “salt” our flavor. We merely go through the motions to just get through. We’re trying to fish deep waters while going full throttle on a jet ski. And the faster we go, the more shallow our pursuits become.

We think we’re going to be the one who finds the secret, the way to have it all. Going faster or finding some magic shortcut only gets us to nowhere more quickly. We need to say no in order to say yes to what we most desire. We need to let go of what others may think, stop seeking approval and hold tight to the steering wheel of our own life.

Slow down, take care of yourself so you can care for others and pursue that which is in your heart. When we do what we care about with those who mean the most to us, the chaos we’ve raced into becomes background noise. Find color, joy and ease of being in each day. Take the slow ride.

Even through Asphalt

“Indeed, this life is a test. It is a test of many things - of our convictions and priorities, our faith and our faithfulness, our patience and our resilience, and in the end, our ultimate desires.” – Sheri L. Dew

“Indeed, this life is a test. It is a test of many things – of our convictions and priorities, our faith and our faithfulness, our patience and our resilience, and in the end, our ultimate desires.” – Sheri L. Dew

“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” – Carl Jung

Beauty and light have the power to breakthrough whatever we are going through. If (when) times are difficult or unclear, hang on tight to hope, let go of fear and trust in your purpose unfolding as it should.

As a flower has the strength to break through asphalt, find your resilience and resolve and by all means reach for the light.

You are made to break through, not break down. Keep going.

The Years are Short

“The days are long, but the years are short.” – Gretchen Rubin

Today is the one year anniversary of my Dad passing away. Pictures, stories and memories flood my mind every day. Lots of tears and laughter this last year, more tears I think. Missing will never go away and gratitude for our relationship grows deeper.

I loved, appreciated and respected him while he was here and even more so now that he’s not. Yet even though he’s gone, he shows up in so many ways. In expressions, in places, in people, so he remains in the fabric of each day. Perfect by no means and none of us are but a man of integrity, faith and resilience. I carry what he taught me and try to be and do my best, again, not perfect by any means.

So hug your loved ones a bit longer today. Be grateful and find laughter in each and every single day. Celebrate and laugh more.  Life is very good and we need to discover that daily so we can live a full and joyful and sometimes difficult life. Sometimes, the days are long and most definitely, the years are short.

“Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

“Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

It’s Happening

“The regret of my life is that I have not said ‘I love you’ often enough” – Yoko Ono

Life is happening, whether we recognize it or not. And so often we do not. We let busy define our life, but as fast as we go, as many checks we check off our “to do” list, we remain unsatisfied, unsettled. And then that soft persistent voice whispers over and over again, “there’s more!”.

So we run faster, add more to our over-scheduled lives. Again, more incomplete. That uncomfortable, bothersome, empty feeling is our wake-up call. So stop hitting the snooze button.

No grand gestures, no complicated plan, no broken resolutions. Start now – tune in to each day and realize that the “more” is found in less, in gratitude, in slowing down, in kindness, in delight, in laughter (and even in tears), in loving more deeply, in forgiving, in living each day as if it’s our only one remaining.

Damn, it’s hard to do. But that persistent pesky voice isn’t going away. And if we don’t heed the call, our call, we will be one of the many souls that have gone before who look back in regret wanting a “do-over.”

There are no “do-overs.” It’s happening right now – life is happening. Participate.

The Next Chapter

“The story of life is quicker than the blink of an eye, the story of love is hello, goodbye.” – Jimi Hendrix

The story of our life, each chapter, unfolds as it should. This year, the chapters that I’ve written and that have been written for me, I do not understand right now. But each chapter builds on the next as the plot thickens and the characters that enter our story gently hold our hand and lead us deeper into our story.

For many years, I’ve shared the stories, antics and adventures of Molly my Samoyed and Lily my Golden Retriever. My parents made it in here quite a bit as well. They have been the main characters for so long that where they end and I begin is hard to separate. We define each other. Those closest to us make us our best self as they patiently hold us through our not-so-best self.

Losing Dad in April, Molly in June and Lily in October has left me wandering a bit, trying to get back to my center. As I have bided time, as we all must, I’ve have accepted my “new” normal and continue on. And while it often seems like forever, we do heal, we do become whole again in a different way.

And now the next chapter.  Abby, a sweet golden retriever who will be joining my family on December 16th. As we mark our days of loss, we must also mark our days of joy and anticipation. And joy is so much sweeter when we’ve been on the other side.

“If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.” – Orson Welles

“If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.” – Orson Welles

Abby follows a long line of best friends who have come before to shape me with their canine wisdom and unconditional love, making me a better human. Greta, Misha, Elly, Molly, Lily – my characters that have come before remain in my story even today. No one or nothing that ever comes before is ever truly gone. The best of them remain in us. Abby joins a line of wonderful characters and she will be her own unique character, bringing all new adventures and creating the next chapter.

Our life is not one word, one line, one page, one chapter. It is woven together to make up a composition. Keep writing your story and allow others to write on the pages as well. The final chapter will come all too soon, so enjoy today’s page and cast light.

May I

“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” – William Shakespeare

May I see . . .
the beauty that is hidden in plain sight, everywhere
the depth of another, found through the door of their eyes

May I hear . . .
the symphony of the wind, inviting all to dance
the brilliant advice and answers offered only in silence

“Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light.” Theodore Roethke

“Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light.” Theodore Roethke

May I feel . . .
compassion for others, knowing that we all share the weight of struggle
joy in my heart that surpasses circumstances

May I be . . .
grateful for the blessings, even during difficult times, especially perhaps
present and at peace knowing that I am where I am meant to be

May I not seek permission to live but do so with all the I see, hear, feel and am. Every day, with all that I have in that moment.

The Struggle

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

In the struggle, we find our grit, our resolve, our resilience, our heart, our spirit, our very soul. Clarity shows itself in our darkest days and draws us to lighter ones. A life that is truly lived is not easy and it is astoundingly beautiful at the same time.

So if we decide we are vested and committed to life, we push through, we get up, we cry hard, we physically ache, without fear or restraint. Laughter, gratitude and hope return and we will join them when the time is right.

“We all hope for breakthrough rebirth moments.” – Dane Cook

“We all hope for breakthrough rebirth moments.” – Dane Cook

The whole of life is found in both joy and sorrow. Do not rush or dismiss either, each is integral to growth and fruition. So do not avoid the struggle or assume that it is permanent.

Each one of us is struggling with something, whether apparent or hidden. Be kind and gentle. Love carries us in this life and draws us to the next.

Vast

“Always keep your mind as bright and clear as the vast sky, the great ocean, and the highest peak, empty of all thoughts. Always keep your body filled with light and heat. Fill yourself with the power of wisdom and enlightenment.” – Morihei Ueshiba

It is when we get above the clouds that we discover the vastness of all that is beyond our imagination, without limits. The texture, richness and beauty that surrounds, invites and engulfs us, in this very moment in time…stunning.

“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” – Martin Luther

“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” – Martin Luther

An Ordinary Day

“Nothing is too small. Nothing is too, quote-unquote, ordinary or insignificant. Those are the things that make up the measure of our days, and they’re the things that sustain us. And they’re the things that certainly can become worthy of poetry.” – Rita Dove

We live our days steeped in habits, following routines, checking off lists, getting things done. We feel satisfied but not quite complete. Relationships, thoughts, words, how we give and live each moment completes the whole picture.

April 28th was just another ordinary day. Work travel, quick trip to Boston for a potential client presentation. The night before, my regular goodnight call with Mom and Dad for “small” talk, love you and talk to you on the way back and we’ll see you on Friday. Another ordinary day.

Ten minutes before the flight back from Boston with co-workers/boss/friends, I get the call from my brother John. Dad fell. He’s done that before – broken arm, broken hip. I told him that I would get wireless on the plane and to text updates. A two and half hour flight and I’ll be there. Five minutes before departure the text came in that it was serious. Ten minutes later, the last rights. An hour later, “Dad has passed.” Another ordinary day that is nowhere near ordinary.

As I’ve pondered, wandered, contemplated, laughed, hugged and cried my way through the past 19 days, things that bothered me before don’t mean much anymore. Little things, memories of ordinary days with Dad, Mom, family and friends have amplified. Daily moments keep appearing to remind me of living and loving well.

I keep noticing the “little things,” – the replacement trees that Dad and Mom gave to me to plant some new life after two of my trees fell on my house are hearty and full. Rain, sun, seasons and time have done their job. The recliner in my living room that was “Dad’s” chair.

“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.” – Carl Jung

“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.” – Carl Jung

When I would leave Mom and Dad’s house on Sunday, I would get the girls in the car, go back in for one more hug and Dad would stand in the door with his hand raised, as I did the same in return until the end of the driveway. The door slowly closed as I glanced left for one more look.

The overwhelming, kind and compassionate support of so many has moved us through these days gently. In cards and conversations, I’ve realized what’s causing the most angst. The suddenness of it all. A fall and four hours later gone.

Dad was diagnosed with stomach cancer and Barrett’s Esophagus about four years ago. Each time, we went to the Mayo Clinic every three months, we quietly prepared for the “worst case scenario.” Dad was scheduled to go back to the Mayo Clinic last week for his one year check up. It was the longest time that they gave him since the diagnosis was good. We had prepared for a “long” goodbye, not for a short one.

So as we reluctantly accept our “new normal,” I am vividly reminded that there are no ordinary days and it is the ordinary days that will be remembered and treasured the most.

Absorb, celebrate and appreciate each and every ordinary day. All stringed together they culminate into a beautiful, meaningful, memorable and purposeful life that is filled with sweet memories and depth. Plant and grow many trees in this life, a forest.

2190 Days

“There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why.” – William Barclay

It’s Lily’s 6th birthday today. Lily wakes up around 5:00 am every day (yes, even the weekends) with a boundless enthusiasm, boisterous curiosity and a smile that won’t quit. And she demands that Molly and I join in. A paw to the shoulder, her butt up in the air, head down and then the famous flop on top of me, she’s ready to start the day and she needs her pack to join in. Every morning, she wipes the slate clean, starts anew in the hunt for delight.

Lily’s life is measured in moments and days. A lesson she teaches and reteaches me when I forget and go astray. And for the past 2190 days of her life, she has made my life and Molly’s more fun, rich and meaningful. The strut in her walk with her ear flipped back when she was a puppy remains strong and intact today. She’s loving life and it’s loving her right back.

“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” Dr. Seuss

“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” Dr. Seuss

So Happy 6th Birthday or 2190 Days Celebration of Really Living Life Lily. May we all be so wise, kind and generous in sharing wonder and awe by living each and every moment on purpose and with purpose.

“It takes a long time to become young.” – Pablo Picasso

“It takes a long time to become young.” – Pablo Picasso

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