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Posts from the ‘optimism’ Category

Already There

“The funny thing about the mind is that if you ask a question and then listen quietly, the answer usually appears.”― Yongey Mingyur, The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness

“Let your own experience serve as your guide and inspiration. Let yourself enjoy the view as you travel along the path. The view is your own mind, and because your mind is already enlightened, if you take the opportunity to rest awhile along the journey, eventually you’ll realize that the place you want to reach is the place you already are.”― Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness

Enjoy the path you are on today.
Go off trail, wander a bit.
Look around, listen quietly, inquire with openness.
Your thoughts, assumptions and opinions are your compass.
Choose them well, invite change, allow unknowing.
Beauty, flow and blessings amplified with new eyes.

“The opportunity to experience yourself differently is always available.”― Yongey Mingyur, The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness

Step 1: Enjoy

“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.”― Meister Eckhart

“It is essential to our well-being, and to our lives, that we play and enjoy life. Every single day, do something that makes your heart sing.”― Marcia Wieder

Summer returned for the weekend for a warm embrace.
The dance between fall, summer, winter has begun.
We know where it’s going, so when summer visits in fall, you dive in head first.
With the weather cooperating, we put up my great nephew Blake’s birthday gift from September for the first time.
Kids don’t need much to find joy in the day.
Add a bouncy house to the mix and delight on steroids ensues.
Next time you walk by a playground, sit down on the swing and push off.
Once you get going, you’ll remember how to move your legs to gain momentum.
Begin again every single morning.
We sit on the banks of a river of joy, enter the flow.

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”― Rumi

A Bit Simpler

“I really must become a bit simpler. Let myself live a bit more. Not always insist on the results straight away. I know what the remedy is, though: just to crouch huddled up on the ground in a corner and listen to what is going on inside me. Thinking gets you nowhere. It may be a fine and noble aid in academic studies, but you can’t think your way out of emotional difficulties. That takes something altogether different. You have to make yourself passive then, and just listen. Reestablish contact with a slice of eternity.”― Etty Hillesum, An Interrupted Life: The Diaries, 1941-1943; and Letters from Westerbork

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

Optimism does not deny reality nor ignore circumstances.
Not naïve or simplistic.
Resilience, strength, a daily practice, a decision.
Acknowledging what is present, choosing to put energy into persistence, hope and gratitude.
Create or criticize.
Choose well.

“I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else.” – Winston Churchill

Kindled

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.” – Aristotle

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.” – Plutarch

Stoke the embers of your dormant imagination.
Flex the muscles of delight.
Taste and savor.
Put down your knowledge and seek wisdom.
The brilliance in a forest, the sky, a flower, another human, most certainly a dog.
Be of good use by celebrating this very day.
Invite others to the party.

“To know much and taste nothing-of what use is that?”― St. Bonaventure

Velcro

“We must not wish for the disappearance of our troubles but for the grace to transform them.”
― Simone Weil

“Your brain is like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones.”― Rick Hanson

As the sun rises on this day, set your course, put intentions in play.
So when the sun sets, you can look back in gratitude, even if all didn’t work out exactly as planned.
May your mind be Velcro for positive experiences, allowing the negative to slide away.
See the good in self and others.
Awake to the beauty of a summer day.
Open hands.
Full heart.
Joy. Zeal. Zest.

“True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Hidden Light

“The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned; it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“We are here because we are born with the capacity to find the hidden light in all events and all people, to lift it up and make it visible once again and thereby to restore the innate wholeness of the world.” – Rachel Naomi Remen

Seek, search, uncover.
Explore, pursue, hunt.
Inquire, listen, open.
Hear the poetry.
See the light.
Resign to nothing less.
Pieces, all of them, to wholeness.

“Poetry is what you find
in the dirt in the corner,

overhear on the bus, God
in the details, the only way

to get from here to there.”

― Elizabeth Alexander

Open the Window of Your Thoughts

“Don’t brood. Get on with living and loving. You don’t have forever.” – Leo Buscaglia

“Everything in the universe has rhythm. Everything dances.” – Maya Angelou

Get outside of your own head and go play.
Let some fresh air in.
Fun, frolic, silliness to reframe and root in good soil.
A long gaze, a deep breath, an open hand.
Find the rhythm, flow, ease.
Beauty and laughter invite joy.
Our perspective is a daily choice, an effort, a practice.
Change your mind.
Reconsider, ponder anew.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” – Vivian Greene

Wishes and Dreams

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“Nothing happens unless first we dream.” – Carl Sandburg

Wishes, dreams, delight.
May they be yours today.
We have mastered work, toil, reality.
Now relearn and deploy frolic, play, laughter.
That of children and the child who is dormant within.
Reignite your light.
Hope, joy, optimism are practices that require rigor and discipline.
Make a wish or two and put some legs under it.

“May Light always surround you;
Hope kindle and rebound you.
May your Hurts turn to Healing;
Your Heart embrace Feeling.
May Wounds become Wisdom;
Every Kindness a Prism.
May Laughter infect you;
Your Passion resurrect you.
May Goodness inspire
your Deepest Desires.
Through all that you Reach For,
May your arms Never Tire.”― D. Simone

I Told You So

“Acts of kindness never die. They linger in the memory, giving life to other acts in return.” – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

“Can we see the trace of God in the face of a stranger?” – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

May our “I told you so” statements be steeped in generosity not righteousness and indignation.
Words, acts and affirmations of encouragement, support, connection, belonging, listening, inquiry, companionship, empathy, kindness.
To self and others.
Especially when it makes no sense whatsoever.
In our pursuit of needing to be right at all costs, it is costing us relationships, connection and community.
Opinions, accusations, and assumptions are drowning out the richness, complexity and dimension of differences and commonalities within the differences that tie humanity together.
As we enter a new year, may kindness be our guide, joy our daily companion and love our destiny.
Together rather than other.
If we keep but these resolutions, we will heal the world from COVID and all other pandemics of the heart.
You are worthy, messy, beautiful, incomplete, redeemable, resilient, forgiving, kind, generous, capable, strong, wholehearted. You have the capacity and agency for this and so much more. Believe and pursue.
I told you so!

“The responsible life is one that responds. In the theological sense it means that God is the question to which our lives are an answer.” – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Unfold and Unfurl

“When the petals of the heart unfold fragrance spreads across the valley.”― Amit Ray

“Patience doesn’t mean making a pact with the devil of denial, ignoring our emotions and aspirations. It means being wholeheartedly engaged in the process that’s unfolding, rather than ripping open a budding flower or demanding a caterpillar hurry up and get that chrysalis stage over with.” – Sharon Salzberg

In the unfolding, we enter the flow of life.
In the messiness, substance to create beauty and meaning.
Rush less to fixing, conclusions and solving.
Enter the mystery.
Inquire and allow the answers to find you.
Feel the undercurrent as well as the breeze that sweeps the surface.
At the same time.
Plant seeds. Lots.
Some take root.
Some whither.
And wait.
Wholehearted. Imperfect. All in.
Get out of the spectator section.
Out of the backseat.
Start driving.
Into the fog of unknowing.
Find the path and then break trail it to explore and expand.
To pave new paths amidst uncertainty.
No fixed points for long.
In circles, cycles, detours and delays.
The path unfolds before us as we move into it.
Signs and signals guide and direct.
Trust your intuition.
Unfold and unfurl.

“Too many spend too much time trying to live in a fixed point, when our lives are an unfolding journey. Taking on new challenges is how we fix the world.” – Arturo O’Farrill

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