“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”― John Muir, The Mountains of California
“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
Accept the invitation to make this day your own;
Choose your own thoughts, set your own view, pave your own path;
Put aside opinion, judgment and assumption;
Break new trail;
Rise above circumstances, carry on, celebrate effort and progress, blessings and growth;
Take an eagle’s view to see the full landscape, the crooked path, the amazing view through the lens of daily gratitude, childlike awe and full attention;
Transcend, breathe, open arms.
“Nothing happens next. This is it.” – Gahan Wilson
“Make the most of every sense; glory in all of the pleasures and beauty which the world reveals to you…” – Helen Keller
In the quiet of morning, set your intentions for the day;
Focus your attention;
Guide your efforts to be present and awake, on watch and in search of wonder;
Think about what you are thinking about;
Break patterns that do not serve, that bind, that constrict;
Take the wheel from spiraling thoughts, busy work, checkbox lists and start driving;
Use all of your senses to immerse into the day, a moment at a time;
Pull over throughout the day, create still points to gauge your presence, fill your reservoir;
Take a walk, observe, nature always heals, centers and resets;
Re-enter the world renewed;
Contribute, be generous, smile, laugh, lighten up;
Be in reverence and awe, delight in ease and flow;
At the end of the day, mark what you learned, what you taught, what you are grateful for;
Lay it down, rest well and enter tomorrow when the sun rises on that day;
Intention. Attention. Effort.
Start again, each day.
“Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.” – Henry David Thoreau
“It’s very important that we re-learn the art of resting and relaxing. Not only does it help prevent the onset of many illnesses that develop through chronic tension and worrying; it allows us to clear our minds, focus, and find creative solutions to problems.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Slow down and take in the scenery. Rest and relax throughout the day to awaken to all possibilities. Get out of the rut of scarcity through awareness and pause. Abundance is in reach with clear eyes and renewed energy. Deep breath. In and out. Smile and laugh to lighten up. Back to this moment.
“We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
“The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius
“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.” – Marcus Aurelius
Start, carry and end each day with intention, focus and attention.
Set the course with awareness and control of which thoughts to entertain.
Respond rather than react.
Do not become limiting negative thoughts, for your experience follows suit.
Let the noise and clutter pass by like a river, allowing solace and clarity space to enter and pool.
Assume the best and let go of judgment.
Return to center, to anchor, to hold only what is essential.
Be rigorous in guarding your joy, finding your bliss.
Unwrap the gift of this day.
The power of thoughts to transform and transcend, to imagine and dream.
Think about that with your mind, heart and spirit.
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
“The spiritual path – is simply the journey of living our lives. Everyone is on a spiritual path; most people just don’t know it.” – Marianne Williamson
“When we pause, allow a gap and breathe deeply, we can experience instant refreshment. Suddenly, we slow down, look out, and there’s the world.”— Pema Chödrön
May you see more than stones in the road
Experience both gravity and flight
See the abstract and concrete woven throughout
Feel the breadth and depth of sunrise and sunset and all that lies between
With gratitude, grace and imperfection
Start again each day, farther along, not yet arrived but in forward motion
Journey with anticipation and ease
Transcend circumstances, hover above the noise, observe with hope
Witness and emerge into your life in this moment, the rhythm and flow
Look out, around and within
The world awaits your arrival.
“We all want to be happy. We need to expand the notion of what that means, to make it bigger and wiser.” – Sharon Salzberg
“As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world. ” — Adabella Radici
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Wayne Dyer
According to research, “mindfulness meditation has been reported to produce positive effects on psychological well-being that extend beyond the time the individual is formally meditating. Over the last three decades mindfulness meditation practices have been increasingly incorporated into psychotherapeutic programs, to take advantage of these benefits. A large body of research has established the efficacy of these mindfulness-based interventions in reducing symptoms of a number of disorders, including anxiety, depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, and chronic pain, as well as improving well-being and quality of life. Mindfulness meditation involves the development of awareness of present-moment experience with a compassionate, non-judgmental stance. It has been suggested that this process is associated with a perceptual shift, in which one’s thoughts and feelings are recognized as events occurring in the broader field of awareness.”
To simplify the practice of meditation, I use Insight Timer every morning with guided meditation or music to set the course for the day as well as listening to relaxing music before bed. Our mind naturally resists change, but we can change our minds. Change your mind, change your life. Stop trying to change others, change your life. We don’t need to be in a constant state of fight or flight.
Meditation, gratitude and optimism are powerful practices to create a daily state filled with joy, light and ease amidst challenging circumstances and people. Rise above by going within.
“Things do not change; we change.” – Henry David Thoreau
“Life is surprising, thank God, and God, the chance to know Oneness, lives in surprise. For God is seldom in our plans, but always in the unexpected.” – Mark Nepo
“Wisdom consists in doing the next thing that you have to do, doing it with your whole heart, and finding delight in doing it. And the delight is the sense of the sacred.” Helen M. Luke
One step at a time
On to the next thing
Keep moving, allowing the road to unfold
May you find the essential in each and every day
Recognizing the depth and brevity of each moment
The sacred always available to be found
“We hurry through the so-called boring things in order to attend to that which we deem more important, interesting. Perhaps the final freedom will be a recognition that every thing in every moment is ‘essential’ and that nothing at all is ‘important.’” – Helen M. Luke
“When silence takes possession of you; when far from the racket of the human highway the sacred fire flames up in the stillness; when peace, which is the tranquility of order, puts order in your thoughts, feelings, and investigations, you are in the supreme disposition for learning; you can bring your materials together; you can create; you are definitely at your working point; it is not the moment to dwell on wretched trifles, to half live while time runs by, and to sell heaven for nothings.”― Antonin Sertillanges, The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods
As the rain dances on the roof, I am reminded of the R.A.I.N. mindfulness method:
Recognize with curious attention, identify thoughts; Accept/Acknowledge and simple allow it to be, soften; Investigate emotions, thoughts and beliefs – question, inquiry brings clarity, depth and dimension; Nurture/non-identify with your feelings and be kind to yourself. When we are kind within, we more naturally offer it to others.
Weave quiet, inquiry, ease, stillness into each day to grow, appreciate, and learn. Move beyond the rollercoaster of feelings into the steadiness of being. Invite expansion, compassion, kindness, grace, light and gratitude.
“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted.” – Jack Kerouac
“For one moment, try to not to get to a place. To not busy your mind + self with things to achieve, or decorate your walls. For one moment, try, to arrive with nothing in your pockets, no shoes on your feet, with only your body, + breath to rely.” – Sarah Blondin
We think we have infinite time with finite choices. Flip it. We have finite time with infinite choices. No more yesterdays, only today to grasp, embrace, honor and to set the stage for tomorrow. This moment alone, the fullness, all the colors and awareness of its depth.
Will you see it or will you let it pass you by on the way to somewhere else?
Will you be a spectator or participant?
Will you accept or reject?
Depart for a moment from the minefield of your racing thoughts. Breathe deeply. Fill your lungs. Release and let the pressure dissipate. Awaken all senses to this moment. Let your thoughts go, pausing to bring you back to equilibrium, to center.
Make your life sacred by immersing yourself in moments, suspended in mid-air of possibility, anchored in light. Do not leave this place until you embrace gratitude and feel the magnitude and immensity of being held by God. A holy, reverent reckoning and unexplainable ease.
When you arrive, you have just found grace. Hold onto it long enough to remember that it is always present. Let it soak into your being. It is not reserved for others. It is a gift for all. Given freely. No counting, no comparing, no scorekeeping. A river that flows softly on the surface and powerfully in the current beneath, it remains. A force to be reckoned with when it is recognized.
Suspend and detach from your thoughts, assumptions, judgments, worry, regret and fear to make space for love, forgiveness, joy, trust, gratitude, wonder and awe woven in the sacred ordinary. Take your hands off the wheel of the bike and steer from your core – heart, soul, spirit. Releasing from the mechanics and transactions to the magic and miracle of ordinary days.
“Scale mountains. Revel at the moon. Kneel at the foot of ancient trunks. Seek wisdom. Find kinship + holy teachers. Offer love to both, sour + soft living things. Roll precious stones in your palm. Carry clost to you, the quill of an owl. Burn the threads of flagrant grasses. Do what brings you closest to feeling the weight of goodness pressing up against you. But the most noble thing you can ever do is come to be a student of your own Self + heart.” – Sarah Blondin
“Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.” – Buddha
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” – Buddha
On our daily trip to the dog park yesterday, the girls and I wandered outside of the fenced area to the open field to wander through the maze of frozen cattails. The girls took off as fast and when they realized that they were out of my sight, they would loop back to check on me and to make sure that they still had permission to take the “field” trip. Permission granted with a smile and wave.
With great abandon, weaving, exploring, dancing, flying, all senses in play and at play.
Today is the first day of the week, the first day of the month and marks the meteorological spring. On the cusp of a new season, change is becoming more apparent. Change is always happening but it takes attention and awareness to see it, to enter it with joy and abandon. Each day is a blank slate, a white canvas to fill with colors.
This morning upon waking, I began writing an email in my head as I planned the activities for the day. After five minutes, I stopped the swirl and returned to the field yesterday with gratitude for a beautiful weekend and plans for a glorious day ahead. When we observe our thoughts, what field trip that they are taking us on and decide if we want to take the trip, we can break old patterns, stale reactions and respond with intention and attention to transformation and metanoia, a change of heart resulting in a change in way of life.
You write your own permission slip daily. Stop asking others for permission. Stop making excuses. No past. No future. Just now. What will you do and where will you go on your field trip today?
“To share out your soul freely, that is what metanoia (a change of mind, or repentance) really refers to: a mental product of love. A change of mind, or love for the undemonstrable. And you throw off every conceptual cloak of self-defense, you give up the fleshly resistance of your ego. Repentance has nothing to do with self-regarding sorrow for legal transgressions. It is an ecstatic erotic self-emptying. A change of mind about the mode of thinking and being.”― Christos Yannaras, Variations on the Song of Songs