Surface for air.
Let go sooner.
Change the stories that don’t serve you well.
Release yourself from perfection, rules and regret.
Write a new page, a different ending.
Give yourself and others a break, be a sucker and believe the best.
Be kind and awake in the moment.
Break the pattern.
Create a mosaic from the pieces and see the whole imperfect, beautiful mess.
It’s yours alone.
Be present to it all.
Every bit of it.
Author of your life? – You.
“It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind that determines which way we will go.” – Jim Rohn
Bending and not breaking. That’s what we are made of. To flex, to move, to flow, to dance. When we stop fighting change and move into it, we find our strength. There is magic in the mystery of not knowing everything and allowing life to unfold. Set your sails.
“The little reed, bending to the force of the wind, soon stood upright again when the storm had passed over.” – Aesop
“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.
“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
Joy is a job. It takes effort, rigor, repetition and practice to get good at it. We look for the shortcut and expect it to be innate. But often, it’s not. So rather that succumbing to the negativity, gossip and cynicism, get to work.
Focus on being grateful, even when the struggle is so very real. Lift your head and open your eyes a bit wider to see the beauty that is within reach right now. Ignore those voices in your head that serve no purpose but to prevent you from becoming you, the real one.
When I forget and get distracted by the minutia, I simply take the girls for a run into the woods and let them run off leash in the open field to pounce, chase and explore. It works every, single time.
“Searching is half the fun: life is much more manageable when thought of as a scavenger hunt as opposed to a surprise party.” – Jimmy Buffett
Make joy a priority and let it take root. Welcome it home like a long lost friend. And by all means, share it with others. Joy is a job and the most important one that you will ever have. Hunt, pounce, chase, explore and sniff it out daily.
When joy is your job, life becomes less work.
“The ocean is a mighty harmonist.” – William Wordsworth
“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.” – Thomas Merton
There’s a rhythm to life. An ebb and flow. When we only focus on the ebb and ignore the flow, we fight the rhythm that remains steady and strong. We wrestle with God by clinging to our own plans, our own limited view, our past, our future and to our stubborn ways.
Ease up and enter into the ebb and flow. Find the rhythm, dive deep into gratitude and be confident in the unfolding of purpose and meaning that will be revealed.
“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
“Happiness radiates like the fragrance from a flower and draws all good things towards you.” – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
“The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them.” – Saint Francis de Sales
Joy is a choice and our highest calling. When we can find joy each day, despite our circumstances, we have found the sweet nectar of a good life filled with gratitude. Float lightly in search of nectar and the honey will follow.
“The winter solstice has always been special to me as a barren darkness that gives birth to a verdant future beyond imagination, a time of pain and withdrawal that produces something joyfully inconceivable, like a monarch butterfly masterfully extracting itself from the confines of its cocoon, bursting forth into unexpected glory.” – Gary Zukav
Abby loves to chase a ball. The challenge and precision of catching it on one bounce. Sasha will watch Abby chase the ball but has no interest in it. Sasha finds her joy in chasing butterflies. Pouncing from one to the next. Looking up and down and all around to share in the butterflies’ delight, in their freedom.
“Metamorphosis has always been the greatest symbol of change for poets and artists. Imagine that you could be a caterpillar one moment and a butterfly the next.” – Louie Schwartzberg
The butterflies dance and then still themselves in an instant and then take flight as if for the first time. Released from the cocoon, conquering gravity. From struggle to gradual transformation in due time into a brilliant, beautiful butterfly. Hope, grace, glory. Repeat again and again. The cycle of life.
Chase some butterflies. It’s good for the soul.
“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.” – William James
“Time itself comes in drops.” – William James
Magnificent, spectacular, striking, breathtaking, delightful. We need more of these words and feelings in our daily life. Magnificent is waiting to be seen right in front of us each day. In a sunrise, a smile, a laugh, a poem, a dog’s enthusiasm to virtually everything, a song – all found in drops of time. Awe and beauty amidst the chaos and struggle. They co-exist. What we pay attention to defines our day, our life.
Find the magnificent in your day today no matter what you are going through. It may be like “Finding Waldo” to start, but the more we do it, the easier it becomes and the more we need it. Keep an eye out – there’s a spectacular day ahead.