“Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” – Henry James
Today is the first day of summer. All seasons have their gifts. Summer beckons us to rest, to play, to witness sunset, to saunter barefoot in the grass, to long walks, to lemonade, to float on water, to breathe in nature.
Happy Birthday summer, may we seize you and dance in the beauty, warmth and celebrate each day with the frivolity and ease that you command.
“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.”
― Yoko Ono
Today is June 20, 2020. 20/20/20 – an extra 20 for even more perfect vision to see the gift in a summer’s day and each day in all seasons. Happy Birthday Summer!
“Practice yourself, for heaven’s sake in little things, and then proceed to greater.” – Epictetus
“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.” – Marcus Aurelius
They make balance bikes to get kids to learn how to balance before they start to bike. There are nuances in balancing. It’s both science and art. And when gravity wins and you fall down, get back up to try another run at balance until it strikes.
Watch a child learn to balance so you can relearn it yourself. Because we understand it, we pursue it and we so often forget it.
“Love grounds you. It orients you. Love brings your awareness to others and yourself. Love opens your mind and heart to others and yourself. Love settles you and gives you balance.” – Gary Zukav
Practice balance. Balance practice.
“To find yourself, think for yourself.”
“Every human has four endowments – self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change.” – Stephen Covey
Too often the past screws us up. We remember and internalize a comment, an action or inaction, a pattern. We build a lifetime of misery based on bullshit someone threw out and passed on that creates a limiting belief and narrative that narrows the world. We carry this angst for years and decades. My response – HELL NO!
Life is short. You have talents, beauty and gifts to contribute. The world needs you so engage, act and participate. Let go and release all of the BS that doesn’t serve, foster and catapult you forward.
Purpose. Love. Joy. Contribution.
We are so much bigger than we allow. Let it go and become who you are meant to be. Enjoy the journey, it is a short one. No fear. No regrets. Yes to adventure! Yes to Yes.
“We’re put here on Earth to learn our own lessons. No one can tell you what your lessons are; it is part of your personal journey to discover them. On these journeys we may be given a lot, or just a little bit, of the things we must grapple with, but never more than we can handle.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
“The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.” – Henri Nouwen
How we go through is more important than what we go through. The past four months have certainly tested our resolve, resilience and grit. Accept the gift of grace, embrace the hope that is proven with the fullness of time and apply the lessons of joy.
The clearing is ahead. Until then, keep the faith and learn the lessons, the lasting ones that change us forever, that transform, that create new life.
Joy over despair. Hope over angst. Clearing at the end and beginning of the journey.
“If we are always arriving and departing, it is also true that we are eternally anchored. One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.” – Henry Miller
“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” – Martin Luther
The sun amplifies the depth and dimension of clouds. The sun always remains, sometimes in the forefront, sometimes from behind.
Anchor up to the light, to frivolous joy and irrational optimism. Anything less is not worthy of our time. We are so much bigger, deeper and brighter than we allow. Let go of your rules, your assumptions, your limitations. Live bigger, brighter and deeper. If not now, when?
“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
“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”― Julian of Norwich
A long walk on a summer-like evening with the girls and friends followed by fellowship, snacks and a few beverages closed the day in gratitude. As I drove home anchored in a state of ease, I thought of the old hymn, It is well with my soul.
“When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul
It is well
With my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul.”
When explanation, logic and sense making no longer make sense and we stop the “why” and “when” pursuit, we discover an acceptance and clarity of what we can control and that which we cannot And suddenly, it truly is well with our soul.
Each day, find a wellness in your soul and keep going. How we go through defines the experience of the journey. Choose light and joy.
“All great and beautiful work has come of first gazing without shrinking into the darkness.” – John Ruskin
“When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
When your rules don’t make sense;
When you realize that your old stories are old;
When you are done with the BS;
When trying to make sense of that which makes no sense gets exhausting;
Go easy on yourself, the world and circumstances;
Hold tight to sunrise and sunset,
To strength, joy and delight in the ordinary.
“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.” – Emily Dickinson
I received this postcard from Joyce Meyer Ministries a few days ago and have put it on my table to remind me of the power of hope. Like prayer, we often think of hope as a last resort, lofty, inactive and passive. And yet prayer and hope are the most powerful and active things we can do as a first resort. It changes our energy, takes the weight that is not ours to carry off of our shoulders and focuses our efforts on that which we can impact and change.
Be filled with hope each day without fail. Bold. Daring. Firm. Persevere. Passion. The power of hope surprises, delights and always delivers. Let it in and let it be.
“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” – Michelle Obama
“Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy and serenity.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
“As selfishness and complaint pervert the mind, so love with its joy clears and sharpens the vision.” – Helen Keller
My niece Emily and son Liam dropped by today and spent the day with my Mom and me. Liam was styling a day robe, excited to show me his water balloon filler where you can fill a dozen balloons at once. Brilliant, efficient fun. Since it was a bit cool to throw them at each other, we launched two sets over the fence under a cloudy sky and watched them burst open on the ground. More playing, a trip to Target for some toys, dinner, movies and falling asleep in my lap ended a wonderful day.
My normal day is usually hyper-focused on work, how much and efficiently that I can get things done, racing to cut the grass before it rains, training for a marathon and regular old housework. What a wonderful non-normal day as Liam instructed me through actions and few words on how to be not only a joy chaser but a joy catcher. I told him that he made my day and he came back with “You made my dreams come true.” My heart skipped a beat. What a sweet boy.
Don’t worry about tomorrow or what’s next. It’s futile and steals our joy in the process. Putting off joy for someday or when “it’s appropriate” locks us in foreboding. This day is all that we are promised so stop focusing on checking off transactional items on your “to do” list. Take moments in and be transformed by joy.
It’s going to rain most of the day tomorrow. We don’t know what the next month will bring. We’re not perfect. It’s tough some days. And none of this, none of it prevents us from capturing joy in ordinary moments. Don’t wish, waste and wither your days away in pursuit of someday. Your someday is today. The rest of the stuff out of our control (the majority of the stuff we pine about) will take care of itself in due time.
Now off to bed to rest up from joy catching and to prepare to cast a net for more joy catching tomorrow.
“Only by joy and sorrow does a person know anything about themselves and their destiny. They learn what to do and what to avoid.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“Do not say, ‘It is morning,’ and dismiss it with a name of yesterday. See it for the first time as a newborn child that has no name.” – Rabindranath Tagore
“Only let us live up to what we have already attained.” – Philippians 3:16
As raindrops cling to petals, embrace the beauty and depth of what already has been attained. Move into now, not looking back, nor too far ahead. When we remain aware and awake, the right path is revealed, our steps directed.
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” – Marcus Aurelius