“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
“Where there’s hope, there’s life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.” – Anne Frank
“I must uphold my ideals, for perhaps the time will come when I shall be able to carry them out.” – Anne Frank
Today lived up to its Monday-level reputation. The rush, the rally of activity disguised as strategy. Noise to fill the open space. Optimism is hard. It’s rigor, discipline and fluid. We need to be open to having sucky, shitty days and know that they are few and far between, letting them happen so they can pass like a kidney stone. Honest and real today, unapologetic. And it all reveals the most important strategy that we must execute consistently – simple. real. optimism with a side of hope. Optimism is the only real and sustainable option worthy of our passion and pursuit.
As I concluded the day with a walk in the woods, sharing the same sucky day stories with my best friends – one human, two dogs, two beautiful deer appeared in the woods feeding on some leaves, unassuming, unfraid and at ease. God’s brilliant reminder that He’s got this, so settle in for the ride. It’s quite simple, keep it that way.
Tomorrow – a clean slate, another day. Simple. Real. Optimism.
“In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit.” – Anne Frank
“When we recall the past, we usually find that it is the simplest things – not the great occasions – that in retrospect give off the greatest glow of happiness. – Bob Hope
Amidst the clouds is the glow of the sun. Focus on the glow, not the clouds. The glow is the thread through, cling to it. We are all taught by time if we allow.
“Yet, taught by time, my heart has learned to glow for other’s good, and melt at other’s woe.” – Homer
“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller
We have a natural tendency to keep score of what’s missing more than what’s still present and the possibility of what will come. We have what it takes to move into our different normal and it will be good again. It may not be familiar and it will surely be new and it will be good again.
Look for the light, the joy, the transformation woven through this time and know in your bones, in your heart and in your spirit, it will be good again, even great!
“Our life is what our thoughts make it.” – Marcus Aurelius
What bridges are you building? Are you planting trees? What each person does adds to the collective whole. Our actions matter. Build bridges and plant trees. It’s a beautiful world, get out into it.
“All things share the same breath – the beast, the tree, the man… the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.” – Chief Seattle