“The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.” – Aldous Huxley
Magic happens when we open our eyes to see what’s in front of us now. It’s not in the past or the future. Life is happening right in this very moment. Notice, grasp and soak it in. This day will not return so make the most of it while in it.
Children remind us of what we must return to so we can live fully. Wonder, laughter, silliness, delight, awe, no judgment, unconditional love.
Find joy today. Simply, open your eyes anew.
“Childhood means simplicity. Look at the world with the child’s eye – it is very beautiful.” – Kailash Satyart
“All the windows of my heart I open to the day.” – John Greenleaf Whittier
“Thou hast given me so much to me. Give one thing more, – a grateful heart.” – George Herbert
Too much of our precious and finite time is spent chirping – gossiping, being offended, yipping about the weather (too cold, too hot), offering judgment before compassion and the bigger winner – complaining.
Thanksgiving should be the culmination of a year spent in gratitude. As you enter this week and the holiday season that ensues, take time each day to quietly reflect on the many gifts that you have been given as well as those that you have to offer. We are bigger than we allow ourselves to be. Let wonder back in by opening your eyes to daily blessings. Life is found hidden in moments.
This year, we took the shortcut to January in Minnesota. Single degree temps and windchill. We know winter is coming every year and yet somehow are surprised when it arrives. Rather than run from it, run right into the middle of it. Discover the gifts that even winter has to offer like a stunning sunrise on a newly frozen lake before a 3-mile run.
Just one more thing that I ask for – a grateful heart filled with awe, curiosity and wonder. Embrace Thanksgiving this week and the days to follow with an open heart and mind and a loving spirit. Gratitude brings the world to light and light to the world.
“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” – e. e. cummings
“Wisdom begins in wonder.” – Socrates
Coming off my first week of vacation this year, I am relaxed and settled. Away from obligations of nonstop meetings, other peoples’ (ridiculous) expectations coupled with my own set of “rules” made up of “shoulds” and “musts” with little consideration for why. Faster at the expense of better.
Wandering always leads back to wonder. And for the wonder to stick, we must “schedule” pockets of unscheduled time each day and not wait for the next vacation. We are bound by time but must unbind ourselves from doing more and more to quietly being, observing and witnessing. Gratitude ensues.
Consciously choose to live with and on purpose. Wander, listen, be present and allow wonder to re-enter and remain. Pursue light and cast it.
“Everyone was a rose but even more complex than a mere flower. Everyone was made up of infinitely layered petals. And everyone had something indescribably precious at the heart of their being.”― Mary Balogh, A Secret Affair
“I decided to start anew, to strip away what I had been taught.” – Georgia O’Keeffe
We put things in a box to make them fit into our limited definition of the world, our history, our assumptions. When we are brave enough to let go of judgment, remove our filters and strip away what we’ve been taught, suddenly, the richness of layers, of hue, of beauty that exists in all beings and nature transform our perspective, challenging our rules and regulations of how things are.
Flowers are God’s way of reminding us of the complexity and depth of His work on earth. In the mystery of a simple flower, we start anew through awe. If a flower can be this brilliant, imagine what we can discover when we dive into the layers beyond the mere surface we skim upon each day. Open your eyes to the details of creation. Petals are unfolding before us in this very moment.
“If we know the divine art of concentration, if we know the divine art of meditation, if we know the divine art of contemplation, easily and consciously we can unite the inner world and the outer world.” – Sri Chinmoy
Out of nowhere, a butterfly appears, gliding by with ease and grace;
A brilliant angel awakening us to the holiness of a moment;
To the magic of mere being;
Bursting with color and curiosity;
Not lingering in the past, nor going too far into the future;
Celebrating the victory of breaking free from the cocoon;
Filled with gratitude and joy;
Showing us how to lighten up, to lay down the load that is not ours to carry;
Resting softly on a fragile pillow of petals.
“Beauty itself is but the sensible image of the Infinite.” – Francis Bacon
“The rain began again. It fell heavily, easily, with no meaning or intention but the fulfilment of its own nature, which was to fall and fall.” – Helen Garner
The girls always find time to enjoy their time. Even on a rainy day. Wrestling with a toy, gazing out the window, laying around belly up. No matter the weather, no matter the conditions, there’s always an opportunity to remain in the moment and grasp delight.
“Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.” – Langston Hughes
We live in extremes. Too fast that we can’t see what’s right in front of us. And on a rainy day, too slow that we try to fill the quiet so as not to hear our own voice telling us that we are going too fast. Slow and fast. Quiet and noise. But life is not simply an either or. It is a weaving of all of it. Whether sun or rain, we have the choice to see the beauty in all and to enter completely into the moment. Even, perhaps especially, on a rainy day.
“At the intersection where your gifts, talents, and abilities meet a human need; therein you will discover your purpose.” – Aristotle
Most of our day is spent skimming the surface of our “to do” list. Multiple and multiplying demands, pulled in so many directions that we are a spinning top, going no where fast. Completion of tasks is not the purpose of our life.
Developing and using our talents is a worthy purpose. Finding joy where we are right now is the best place to be and remain. Be gratefully aware of the gifts that have been bestowed on you. The future will unfold from the decisions and choices that we make today. So choose well.
If you are struggling to align your actions and activities with your purpose, get off of the “busy” roller coaster and ask yourself some questions that you already know the answer to deep down.
What do you enjoy doing? Where do you feel most satisfied? What is something that has been placed on your heart that you’ve always wanted to do? Where do lose a sense of time when you are doing it?
Answer these questions.
Try new things. It is in trial and error that we discover what we don’t like and most importantly what we do like. When we enter a flow is where we should expend our energy. Slow down, go deeper and your purpose will reveal itself. It is brilliantly obvious and in you right now. Find it and then act on it.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle
“Innocence can be more powerful than experience.” – Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
“Remaining childish is a tremendous state of innocence.” – John Lydon
I received the blessing of watching Liam today for the afternoon. He forced me to stop my chores, duties and obligations to fully enter what Sundays are made for – rest, repose and restoration. As he woke up from his nap, he beckoned my name to get him, no tears, just a gentle order. We had dinner and he then requested to watch Coco for the second time today, the 20th time this week and 100th time since the movie came out. His absolute favorite movie, obsession.
I negotiated a trip to the park before we started the movie so we could enjoy the burst of sun on a mostly rainy day. When we returned, we agreed on Finding Dory rather than another round of Coco.
As the movie began, I started my usual multitasking. After a minute, Liam yelled, “SIT DOWN!!” I stopped in my tracks and sat down with him to enjoy coloring and Dory’s short term memory challenges. We proceeded to enjoy the simple experience of single-tasking, un-busyness and full presence in the very moment. Brilliant.
Sometimes it merely takes the wisdom of an almost 2 year old to pull us back to what’s most important and to the gift of now. Stop and sit down. The most valuable activity that you can do is to stop and embrace the sweet gift of now.
“I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen.” – Anne Lamott
“Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.” – Jose Ortega y Gasset
The clarity and crispness in a single petal. The depth of purple as the flowers open their arms and drink in the sun.
Search relentlessly for flowers. For color and hue. For music coming from the trees dancing in the wind, from a beating heart. Focus and listen intently. Pinpoint the blessings in the simple things.
What we pay attention to truly does define our days. Choose well and transform each moment into magic and wonder. Our treasures do not last forever so savor them now. Go deep into gratitude and rapt attention.
Crisp. Colorful. Brilliance.
“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
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.