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Posts from the ‘Life’ Category

The Pen

“You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.” – Alvin Toffler

We so often use the pen to merely check off our “to do” list. Initially satisfying and then suddenly shallow. Go deeper, do less, be more and create real meaning.

When we go below the surface of transactional busy living and enter what’s beneath, we expose the stories we tell ourselves. Those stories that tell us to spend time on obligations, over committing, over doing.

Each of us has a purpose, gifts to unwrap and release into the world. Spending our time and attention on these pursuits makes the world better, one dream fulfilled at a time. Yep, I get it – you have to make a “living”. Been doing that for 30+ years.

Joy and fulfillment come when we align who we are, our gifts, what we do and who we do it with. In relationship, in play, in pursuit of something bigger than ourselves and in being present in each day while it’s occurring.

I just started a new book – Redirect, Changing the Stories We Live By, by Timothy D. Wilson on the stories we tell ourselves and what we can do to change the stories that hold us back. I am looking forward to diving deep into it this weekend and not checking off the “to do” list. When we expose and let go of those old stories, we can rewrite our own story starting today.

Pick up the pen and write down what your assumptions are, what you want to do, and what “rules” that you’ve created that need to be broken. Stop asking for permission to live your life. Time to start a new chapter of thinking, doing and most importantly, living with joy, awe and even some fun. Life is short, find your light and cast it wide.

“The pen is the tongue of the mind.” – Horace “The pen is the tongue of the mind.” – Horace

In Our Depths

“The True Self is not our creation, but God’s. It is the self we are in our depths. It is our capacity for divinity and transcendence.” – Sue Monk Kidd

Gratitude and grace remind of the gifts that are present and remain ever present especially in difficult times.

It’s a heavy season right now. Serious cancer diagnoses for friends, beautiful courageous young women. No words can adequately express the deep concern and care of many who just want to do something, anything to make it better.

We so often don’t have answers to what life deals us. It requires us to let go of our plans, to trust in the darkness, to exist in the unknowing. It’s not easy. But while we are here in this place, breathing, we must continue to get up and come out swinging. Hope and trust in the waiting.

And a simple reminder to all. We never fully know what someone is going through, so always error on the side of kindness, compassion, empathy and love, without condition. Be present and fully aware so you can be a gift that someone may desperately need. Go deeper, stay longer and never give up.

You Never Know

“I would argue that nothing gives life more purpose than the realization that every moment of consciousness is a precious and fragile gift.” – Steven Pinker

“Love is the strongest and most fragile thing we have in life.” – Vanessa Paradis

“Love is the strongest and most fragile thing we have in life.” – Vanessa Paradis

Two years ago on this Sunday, I backed out of my parents’ driveway after spending the day with them as I often did every weekend. Molly and Lily in the front seat with me and my Dad standing looking out with his hand in the air waving and watching until I reached the end of the driveway.

It turned out that this would be the last day I would see him alive. He died on Thursday while I was stuck on a plane coming back from a work trip. I didn’t make it back in time to say good-bye. We spoke everyday and nothing was left unsaid, so no regrets. Only deep loss and missing him every day since and until I see him again. This coming Saturday on the two-year anniversary of his passing, I will be back on a plane for another work trip. Flying has never been the same since that day two years ago.

In a moment, life changes. And then we are reminded again of that which we so often forget. Each day is a gift and joy is found in simply spending time together.

Be present, grateful and profoundly aware of all that surrounds you each and every single day. We have no guarantees of what is to come. Love fiercely. Hug longer. Forgive often. Laugh hard. Soak it all in.

Today was a beautiful sunny day as the 60+ degree temperature slowly melted the late snow away and spring softly enters a bit late. There are many doors and seasons we pass through. Each one has its own gifts. Open them all.

If You’re Not in One of These, Start Living

As I was driving back to work after a chiropractor appointment to ease some chronic wrist, hand and neck pain, I pulled up behind a hearse at a stop light. I didn’t really notice it until I came along side it on the road.

It woke me up out of auto-pilot as I was thinking about the 500 emails I was returning to and the nonstop meetings and interruptions that make up a regular work day.

Bottom line – if you’re not in a box riding in the back of a hearse, start living! It may sound morbid but what’s even more morbid and morose is our complacent acceptance of the daily minutia and grind that steals the beauty and joy that we are meant to partake in and offer while we are here for a very short time.

So next time you’re stuck in a negative mood or worse, in a state of numb, wake up and enjoy each day starting now. Take the last-minute trip, call your Mom and Dad if you are fortunate to have them still here, laugh more, try something new, dare to be bold and bright.

Because if you’re not in one of these, you are obligated to live fully, to walk softly and to embrace your days with delight and awe. No regrets. Start living.

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.

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