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Posts from the ‘Nature’ Category

Hover

“When the flower blossoms, the bee will come.” – Srikumar Rao

“To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, One clover, and a bee, And revery. The revery alone will do, If bees are few.” – Emily Dickinson

Hover in the moment
Float, observe, absorb
Be at ease
No place to go
Resting in simply being
Landing on a thread
Taking in the sweet nectar of a summer day
Drinking in gratitude, quenching your thirst.

“The key to nature’s therapy is feeling like a tiny part of it, not a master over it. There’s amazing pride in seeing a bee land on a flower you planted – but that’s not your act of creation, it’s your act of joining in.” – Victoria Coren Mitchell

 

Charge the Hill

“Always continue the climb. It is possible for you to do whatever you choose, if you first get to know who you are and are willing to work with a power that is greater than ourselves to do it.” – Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“Most of us have two lives: the life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.” – Steven Pressfield

Without fail, every time we hit the incline into the woods, the girls charge the hill. Not fast but steady momentum. Forward motion.

Resistance is a guarantee. Downhill coasts come from uphill climbs. Ups, downs and steady. Circles, cycles and seasons. It’s the ebb and flow of life.

When we stop trying to change the inevitable and change our perspective, daily joy can enter and take hold. The battle is in the mind, not in our circumstances.

Charge the hill, take the mountain. Stop pondering and do the work. Sprinkle it with some enthusiasm and a side of joy along the way. And don’t forget to coast on the downhill and let the wind move through you.

“Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second, we can turn the tables on Resistance. This second, we can sit down and do our work.” – Steven Pressfield

Yellow and Blue

“Remember even though the outside world might be raining, if you keep on smiling the sun will soon show its face and smile back at you.” – Anna Lee

“The key to abundance is meeting limited circumstances with unlimited thoughts.” – Marianne Williamson

The sun broke yesterday for the first time in weeks. Clouds replaced with brilliant blue sky. With the sun and light, moods shift and lift. Gratitude comes with ease in these conditions. Remember these days and bring them within to foster gratitude separate from external sources of circumstances, weather and others.

We have the power, capacity and calling to find joy in ordinary moments anchored in our very being. Tether your contentment and steady state joy to internal rather than external sources.

Slow down, breathe, center and anchor in gratitude to fill each day with blue skies and brilliant sun.

“After every storm the sun will smile; for every problem there is a solution, and the soul’s indefeasible duty is to be of good cheer.” – William R. Alger

Claim the Sky

“A free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends and dips his wing in the orange sun rays and dares to claim the sky.” – Maya Angelou, Caged Bird

“In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.” – Alice Walker

Church is not a place to go or not go once a week for an hour to check the attendance box and return to “normal” life. We are the church, not a building. Individually and collectively, we make up the church. What we believe in, what altars we kneel at, who we become if we dare to take the journey within and venture out.

We put ceilings up to limit God, circumstances, other people, self to be comfortable, safe and certain. We want to know the ending, but the ending is being written each new day in choices, thoughts, actions and inactions.

Our willingness to expand and open without fear of losing our sense of security and stability is the dance, the balance beam, the inflection point that pulls us into this moment, this day, aware of the mystery and entering it without full knowing but trusting it will unfold as it should.

“There is nothing but mystery in the world, how it hides behind the fabric of our poor, browbeat days, shining brightly, and we don’t even know it. — Sue Monk Kidd

Regret’s only purpose is to change our behavior and actions. Carrying it further slows and stalls the journey forward. When we stop circling the same mountains looking for new terrain, we can venture off trail cutting new paths to new mountains.

Life is a series of interwoven journeys, moments to savor and memories in the making. Be present, feel the ground under your feet, expand your lungs with a deep breath.  Grasp the immensity and breadth of all that is before you and most importantly in you.

Allow the mystery to unfold and be revealed in quiet reflection and inquiry. Feel the pull of gravity. Follow the compass of intuition. Trust the soul’s compass. Ask the questions. Listen for the answers. There is no ceiling, just sky. Claim the sky.

“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.” —Henry David Thoreau

Nature Delivered

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” – John Milton

“For me, the reason why people go to a mountaintop or go to the edge of the ocean is to look at something larger than themselves. That feeling of awe, of going to a cathedral, it’s all about feeling lost in something bigger than oneself. To me, that’s the definition of spectacle. – Diane Paulus

Amidst my morning routine yesterday, I glanced out my front window and a herd of deer was across the street. I immediately went out in the rain to capture this rare occurrence. There’s a wooded trail a few blocks away where the girls and I normally see a few deer scattered through the trees. Delivered to my doorstep, they turned off my autopilot and pulled me into wonder and awe, a place we need to spend more time in.

Seek, invite and welcome awe and wonder in to wake you up to miracles found in ordinary days. Be open to surprise, joy and delight. Let it soak into your being to change you and how you see the world. The world needs more wide-eyed childlike optimists to show us the way. Heed the call.

We are at the foothills of mountains and looking only three feet ahead. Lift your head up and see the mountains to reset your perspective and shift into gratitude, magnitude, awe and wonder.

“Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you. Go outside and turn your attention to the many miracles around you. This five-minute-a-day regimen of appreciation and gratitude will help you to focus your life in awe.” – Wayne Dyer

Zoom In, Around and Out

“Nature’s music is never over; her silences are pauses, not conclusions.” – Mary Webb

“Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera.” – Yousuf Karsh

On the first lap around Como Lake, an eagle appeared on the left, floating and then swooping down to the lake to capture its prey with rapt focus, attention and execution. After landing, he stood on the remaining thin ice savoring his dinner.

On the second lap, the eagle was now in a tree looking all around and soaking in the fractured light of the sun setting through the clouds. Focusing with the same rapt attention on the wide as the narrow.

Throughout the day, change up your view to see wider, farther, closer, larger and smaller. Broaden and deepen your perspective through all lens – microscope, wide-angle and telescope.

Suddenly you’ll see the complexity and beauty in places, people and within as opinions, judgment and assumptions fall away. Beauty and grace enter to hold you in that space of possibility and abundance.

EVERYTHING!

“Not what we have But what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.” – Epicurus

“The world is full of abundance and opportunity, but far too many people come to the fountain of life with a sieve instead of a tank car… a teaspoon instead of a steam shovel. They expect little and as a result they get little.” – Ben Sweetland

On our walk around Como Lake yesterday, Lynn asked a woman who was holding a camera with a very large lens, “what are you looking for?” Without hesitation, she responded “everything.” What an awesome answer! Rather than being uncertain, specific or narrow, she set her expectations high – EVERYTHING!

Hurried and unaware, we move swiftly through our days in a flurry of activities and tasks, barely observing or acknowledging what’s right in front of us. We assume life is happening “to” us rather than “for” us. The menu of what we can feast on each day is abundant through a lens of gratitude and adventure.

If someone asked you that question today – “what are you looking for?” – what would your answer be? I’m changing mine from “I don’t know” to “everything.” In setting that expectation and intention, I will surely find more than nothing and something.

Use your wide-angle and zoom lens each day to search, invite and welcome in the beauty, mystery and delight woven and hidden in plain sight. Suddenly nothing becomes everything.

“The key to abundance is meeting limited circumstances with unlimited thoughts.” – Marianne Williamson

Created and Erased

“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” – John Burroughs

“A Sankara is an impression made on the mind by our experiences in the world. These impressions color the way we see reality and can cut us off from clear awareness. When we observe nature, we can see these impressions being created and erased. All is restored, refreshed, and made new when we practice.” – Matthew DeRubertis

We pray for knowing rather than patience;
To be understood rather than to understand;
The finish line rather than the start and middle;
Holding tight to our stories to define us and others;
The past and future rather than the present;
Certainty rather than mystery.

Nature pulls us out of ourselves to see the expanse, immensity and sheer beauty of place, the gift of creation. Get into nature to observe and absorb what is being created and erased, restored and refreshed. Journey within to follow suit, to clear a new path, to broaden perspective, to create and erase, restore and refresh. Deeper and longer.

Expand rather than contract;
Wait with joy;
Listen for understanding rather than response;
Be kind to self so you can extend it to others;
Create a new narrative;
Finish the story, rather than the story finishing you;
Paint colorful strokes on the blank canvas of the day;
Embrace the mystery of living fully in the present.

Created, erased, restored, refreshed. Made new.

“There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.” – Lord Byron

Stewardship

“Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.” – Marcus Aurelius

“In the time one is given, the steward must make the most of the talents one is given by the Lord.” – Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

Pause.
Allow the river of life to wash over you;
Wander over race;
Observe over absorb;
Float over flail;
Gently hold over clenched fist;
Flow over upstream;
A net catching only what is necessary, releasing what cannot be held.

Shift.
Control to influence;
Map to compass;
Questioning to intuition;
Ownership to stewardship;
What we steward is cast forward, multiplied, remains through time.

Accept.
Cool water in the desert;
Blessings woven in burdens;
Depth beneath the surface;
Less becomes more;

What we grip, binds;
What we hold, embraces.

Steward your time, gifts, talents well;
Time is flowing, make the most of this life.

“Time is the substance from which I am made. Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.” – Jorge Luis Borges

Walls, Windows and Doors

“Depth must be hidden. Where? On the surface.” – Hugo von Hofmannsthal

“The greatest explorer on this earth never takes voyages as long as those of the man who descends to the depth of his heart.” – Julien Green

Teaching is the activity, learning the outcome, growth the reward. You cannot teach people who don’t want to learn, starting with, including and ending with you. Our futile efforts to change others, circumstances beyond our reach drains energy, shadows light and surrenders the joy of the journey.

If but only for a few minutes a day, lay down your expectations, assumptions and opinion long enough to examine them with sincerity. Determine what’s on you, on others and on no one. What’s fact or fiction? Internal or external? Road marker or roadblock? There are signs and wonders abound when we pause long enough to see what is already in front, within and surrounding us.

When observation and reflection do their job without assistance, create two piles. Rocks and flowers. Leave the rocks behind and pick up the flowers to move forward with ease. This is the lifelong process of becoming and unbecoming, planting and harvesting, learning and growth, caterpillar to butterfly ,a thousand deaths and two thousand rebirths.

Search for information, you get knowledge. Keep going, insight. Keep going, changed behavior. Keep going, invisible walls appear, crumble and transform to windows and doors. Go beyond information to knowledge to insight to action to transformation. It is on you and in you, hiding in plain sight the entire time.

It’s impossible to have four walls with no windows and doors and expect to thrive. To journey beyond survival, we need windows for light and fresh air and doors to cross thresholds to our ever becoming.

God’s not waiting on others to change or your circumstances to change. He’s waiting patiently and lovingly for you to change, unmoved by others or circumstances, from a place of abundance, not scarcity.

A hammer swing at a time, start breaking holes in the walls to create windows and doors. Let light and fresh air in to heal and restore. Enter wide open spaces, breath deeply, absorb and cast light.

“Surely there is grandeur in knowing that in the realm of thought, at least, you are without a chain; that you have the right to explore all heights and depth; that there are no walls nor fences, nor prohibited places, nor sacred corners in all the vast expanse of thought.” – Robert Green Ingersoll

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