“When everything is moving and shifting, the only way to counteract chaos is stillness. When things feel extraordinary, strive for ordinary. When the surface is wavy, dive deeper for quieter waters.” – Kristin Armstrong
Growing up around lakes, we would pick up rocks and see how far we could skip them across the water. Finding flat shaped rocks and throwing side arm, the rock barely touching the surface. Distance over depth.
The demands of our “do more with less and do it as fast as you can” world is like having a bottomless mountain of rocks skimming for distance. And it’s a pretty hollow activity that produces little relevance and quality in our days.
We worry about machines taking over our jobs. I hope they do so we can stop producing like machines and creating like humans, as we are meant to do. We have so much more deeper down than we pursue. Those individuals who are creating to their full cognitive ability and capacity are those who go deeper, linger longer and have said “no thanks” to more with less.
I am in hot pursuit of less pursuit, of going deeper, lingering to allow my mind to absorb rather than process. Beauty is found in simplicity and depth. Every one of us has the same 24 hours to work with. We need to make different decisions, take different actions to get to a different place. Each day we need uninterrupted quiet time to pursue depth. Multi-tasking and frantically jumping from one thing to the next is skimming rocks. Slow down and tap into the depth of your being so you can discover who you are meant to be and what you are here to contribute to this world.
Less mindless production, more sweet fruit. Find your light and cast it.
“In this world of ours, every believer must be a spark of light, a center of love, a vivifying ferment for the mass; and it will be that all the more as, in the depths of his being, he lives in communion with God.” – Pope John XXIII
“If you are losing your leisure, look out; you may be losing your soul.” – Logan Pearsall Smith
“We will be more successful in all our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we’ll also have a lot more joy in living.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Speed over depth
Multi over single tasking
Loud over quiet
Busy over slow
Quantity over quality
Make different choices, get different results. Pause. And then pause again. Go deeper, slower and stay longer in each moment.
“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” – Margaret J. Wheatley
“What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action” – Meister Eckhart
Sometimes doing nothing is everything. Time for reflection, no rushing, just being. We spend down our “back account” unaware until we are depleted. Withdraw after withdraw, going faster, winding up nowhere, running on empty.
Take it off autopilot and take back the wheel of your days. Start planting, making deposits each day so you can harvest a good life.
No planting, no harvest.
It’s opener, out there, in the wide, open air.” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
We create imaginary boundaries that keep us from crossing the line into possibility and abundance. In our scarcity mindset, we fixate on change, fight change and prepare for change rather than letting change unfold and tell its own story.
Start looking past the changing leaves of fall that lead us into winter and gaze into the blue sky that remains boundless in all seasons. Imagine no boundaries and see how far you will go. Oh, the places you will go!
“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.” – Joseph Campbell
“Let there be many windows to your soul, that all the glory of the world may beautify it.” – Ella Wheeler Wilcox
In our relentlessly busy lives that we have created or at least allowed, words like glory, awe and sacred do not often come to mind as we speed along, unaware and on the surface.
It usually takes a serious diagnosis, death or sheer exhaustion before we stop long enough to question meaning and relevance of our days, as if they are unlimited. We have accepted ridiculous and unending demands as normal and resigned ourselves to it all without question. Stacking more and more, feeling less and less.
And yet, we need not escape to far off lands in search of illusive meaning and depth. And we cannot keep waiting for the someday of vacation or retirement to carve out our life. We need to say “yes” more to what’s important each day and follow it up with a few more “no thanks.” Our perspective expands when we finally realize that we have a choice and we exercise our choices to change our story.
We can stop living mechanically and start living soulfully, on and for purpose. Finding glory in a sun set, the sacred in simple moments and awe of the possibility that is planted inside of us waiting to be unleashed. Live bigger each day. Glorious is calling.
“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.
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison
“Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years.” – Ausonius
We spend a good part of our life competing, going faster in the pursuit of the prize. And I love a good competition as a way to keep improving and challenging myself to stay in the game. Never been a fan of showing up trophies.
As the years have passed, I have a new appreciation for time rather than recording new times. Time with good friends and family with an acute awareness of the brevity of time. Not only showing up but trying and not accepting anything less than doing our best, whatever that may be.
Today, we ran the Minnesota State Fair Milk Run, a tradition. We all run different paces. Rather than worrying about my time, I wanted to run for the experience of time with friends who are a part of the fabric and color in my life. We didn’t set any records but created a memory to treasure, especially when things change as they always do.
Enjoy each day, laugh and cast your bright light over those shadows that the world pulls us to. Be present with people and create time for yourself for gratitude and the sacred awareness of the blessings in your life. Dive deeper into this moment, rather than racing through your life.
“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” – George A. Moore
Home is not only place. It goes beyond place. Home is people, pups, (cats even), safety, warmth, belonging and place. Savor and pursue those moments of silliness, light and joy. Conversations with friends, connections, eyes that meet and look well beyond the surface.
That’s home and what makes life not only tolerable but wonderful. Ordinary moments that transform us and make life extraordinary. We too often succumb to dull and despair without ever giving delight a chance to show its face.
Savor all that is and hold tightly only to now, releasing the past and future to depth of being present in this very moment.
“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.” – Mother Teresa
“There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me.” – Thomas Jefferson
“Breathless, we flung us on a windy hill, Laughed in the sun, and kissed the lovely grass.” – Rupert Brooke
You know you’re having fun when you have a grass stain on your head and a smile ear to ear. When is the last time you had a good grass stain and a hearty smile? Too long for me I must say.
Lighten up and take it all with a bit less seriousness. Too much worry, too much work and no play makes our days drudgery. Our regrets will center on not being in the moment when it was happening and realizing the joy that was ours for the taking. “Someday” is an excuse to put off your life.
Schedule time each day to search out a good grass stain and a smile that sprouts from within.
“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
Walking after the much-needed rain, I thanked God for a good weekend, more accurately for the grace to notice that it was a good one. We pray for what we think we need or lack rather than being grateful for what we already have. Grace brings discernment. We suddenly become astutely aware of what’s authentic and what we already have present in our life in this very moment.
When the clanging noise of the world tells us we need more and we are not enough, we are quietly held as God waits patiently for us to take notice. Give way to awe and praise for what already is.
“My coming to faith did not start with a leap but rather a series of staggers from what seemed like one safe place to another. Like lily pads, round and green, these places summoned and then held me up while I grew. Each prepared me for the next leaf on which I would land, and in this way I moved across the swamp of doubt and fear.” – Anne Lamott