“’Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.” – Alice Walker
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
Daily journaling is an opportunity to witness our life, its broader meaning and how far we have come. The outside world – circumstances, other people – distracts, scatters and triggers reaction rather than thoughtful response.
As I journaled this morning recounting yesterday, I felt a deep sense of gratitude. When we count and recount what already is present in our lives, we become aware that we are more blessed than cursed.
Take full inventory daily to foster gratitude and hone your sense of joy. Your light within is brighter than you realize so keep counting and recounting. Create the space to choose your response with forethought.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Viktor E. Frankl
“Hope is patience with the lamp lit.” – Tertullian
“Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times.” – Aeschylus
There are threads of hope woven through every day. Look for the threads and do not cease before finding them. Rainbows after rain. Color all around. Beauty in the forefront. Joy to embrace. When we open to hope, we can offer it in return. Hope is a way of life, not a last resort. Choose hope. Choose light and cast it.
“Hopeful thinking can get you out of your fear zone and into your appreciation zone.” – Martha Beck
“We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne.” – Marcus Aurelius
“No greater thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.” – Epictetus
We’re on the cusp of fall now as summer wanes. Warm during the day, cool nights and mornings. Not quite before, not quite after, in between on the edge. Through seasons and transitions, we make our decision how we will go through. Some will choose to fall backward into the past, comforted with familiarity and false certainty. Others will trip forward still hanging on to pieces of the past, begrudgingly moving into the future. And then there are those brave few who hurl themselves forward into the unknown with certainty that action and momentum will do their job of revealing what’s next and our role in it.
Be that brave soul and launch into the unknown, allowing transformation and fruition.
“Transformation literally means going beyond your form.” – Wayne Dyer
“I think that all things, in their way, reflect heavenly truth, the imagination not least.” – C. S. Lewis
“God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason.” – Dag Hammarskjold
The blues are bluer, the bright is brighter. Reflect and look for the good. Look for radiance, grace and beauty. It’s in you and all around.
“We all find joy and radiance and a reason to move on even in the most dire of circumstances. Even in chaos and madness, there’s still a beauty that comes from just the vibrancy of another human spirit.” – Ishmael Beah
“I am a being of Heaven and Earth, of thunder and lightning, of rain and wind, of the galaxies.” – Eden Ahbez
As the sky darkened and the rain moved in, a stunning light show danced through the clouds. Awe fills the heavy air. The immensity and beauty of creation remind us that life is bigger than a day, deeper than our circumstances and wider than the worry that we allow into our mind.
Let gratitude, hope, optimism, faith, trust, joy and grace in to light up your heart and soul. Bigger. Deeper. Wider.
Enjoy the show.
“Mirth is like a flash of lightning, that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.” – Joseph Addison
Take time off.
Minutes. Days. Repeat.
Enter the woods.
Step into the water.
Leave worry by the wayside and do not return to reclaim it.
Embrace the air, sun and water.
Let it embrace you back.
Wandering, wondering with no schedule.
Take it all in until the sun sets.
What we carry defines what carries us.
Witness beauty in each day.
Let it permeate your bones and change you.
Breathe deeply with all of your senses.
Lay down the unnecessary to make space for what truly is necessary.
Count your days so you make each one count.
Awe, delight and gratitude – all side effects of this joy prescription.
“Life is the flower of which love is the honey” – Victor Hugo
“He who postpones the hour of living is like the rustic who waits for the river to run out before he crosses.” – Horace
“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”– Frances Hodgson Burnett
“Write your worries in the sand, carve your blessings in stone.” – Robert F. Kennedy
“Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.”– Jim Carrey
“There is nothing holier in this life of ours than the first consciousness of love, the first fluttering of its silken wings.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.” – Ray Bradbury
When a butterfly’s wings are together, they are thin as a piece of tissue paper, camouflaged amongst the flowers. Invisible. Unseen.
Oh, but when they expand. Oh, when they dare to expand. From east to west, wingspan broad, immense and heroic preparing for flight.
May we walk, better yet, may we float, fly and transcend though this life with wings spanned. Letting go, light as air and filled with delight and joy. Bright, brilliant and wider than we ever could imagine.
Expand your wings and discover their span. Take flight.
“I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?’ – Zhuangzi
“Silently a flower blooms, In silence it falls away; Yet here now, at this moment, at this place, The world of the flower, the whole of the world is blooming. This is the talk of the flower, the truth of the blossom: The glory of eternal life is fully shining here.” -Zenkei Shibayama
“To lean into life requires a quiet courage that lets us find our aliveness. And the reward for leaning into life is that everything hidden becomes sweet and colorful. Or more, we’re finally present enough to receive the sweetness and color that is always there. Consider how a flower opens. It doesn’t prepare for a particular moment but stays true to a life of opening and leaning toward the light. When a flower blossoms, it turns inside out and wears its beauty in the world. In just this way, a soul opens over a lifetime of leaning into life.” — The Book of Soul: 52 Paths to Living What Matters, Mark Nepo
The Como Conservatory is now open. We didn’t go in but the windows were wide open so I dipped under to take in the flowers with all of my senses. Fresh, fragrant and leaning toward the light. I am a sucker for flowers, nature and dogs who model beauty, depth of simplicity and joy in being. We all have the capacity and calling to lean into the light and cast it to carry each other. Be open to bloom.
“Life seeks life and loves life. The opening of a catkin of a willow, in the flight of the butterfly, in the chirping of a tree-toad or the sweep of an eagle – my life loves to see how others live, exults in their joy, and so far is partner in their great concern.” – Edward Everett Hale
“Yet it is in this loneliness that the deepest activities begin. It is here that you discover act without motion, labor that is profound repose, vision in obscurity, and, beyond all desire, a fulfillment whose limits extend to infinity.” – Thomas Merton
Eagles can see four to five times farther than the average human. So rather than 20/20 vision, they have 20/5 vision.
So often we get caught in the day to day “mouse eye” view focused on our to do lists, transactional demands rather than vision and intention required to live a deep, meaningful and fulfilling life.
The meaning of life is not found in checklists, multitasking or a scorecard. Rather it is a beautiful complicated, confusing, confounding, original story that each of us are meant to write, create and to enter into the mystery of the unknown.
Take an eagle’s eye view of your life and see the big picture. It most certainly won’t end where you have planned. It will be much, much grander, beyond your imagination when you are alive, awake and filled with vision.
“Raindrops will always carry their dreams & hopes with them, no matter where they go.”― Anthony T. Hincks
Like drops on leaves after a refreshing rain, we are held. Softly, gently embraced. Things don’t need to be perfect to allow joy, light and gratitude to permeate our daily experience. Discern what’s inevitable and what’s optional.
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”― Haruki Murakami