“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
“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.
Wholehearted. Imperfect. All in.
Get out of the spectator section.
Out of the backseat.
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
“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.” – Henry Ward Beecher
“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” – Charles Spurgeon
A simple act.
Easy to do.
Carry yourself lightly.
Lay down work at day’s end.
Weave play throughout.
Mark progress and growth.
Create joy, swim in it.
Greet each day and person with new eyes and fresh smiles.
Gratitude in extracting happiness from common things found in this very moment.
“Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray.” – Lord Byron
“The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius
“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.” – Marcus Aurelius
Start, carry and end each day with intention, focus and attention.
Set the course with awareness and control of which thoughts to entertain.
Respond rather than react.
Do not become limiting negative thoughts, for your experience follows suit.
Let the noise and clutter pass by like a river, allowing solace and clarity space to enter and pool.
Assume the best and let go of judgment.
Return to center, to anchor, to hold only what is essential.
Be rigorous in guarding your joy, finding your bliss.
Unwrap the gift of this day.
The power of thoughts to transform and transcend, to imagine and dream.
Think about that with your mind, heart and spirit.
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
“Each man should frame life so that at some future hour fact and his dreaming meet.” – Victor Hugo “Life is a moving, breathing thing. We have to be willing to constantly evolve. Perfection is constant transformation.” – Nia Peeples
“Each man should frame life so that at some future hour fact and his dreaming meet.” – Victor Hugo
What and how we frame our circumstances, relationships and self in it all defines our daily experience, outlook and attitude. If we focus on what’s missing, on the past, on what’s next, we miss the gift of what is already present and woven in this moment. Cease counting and comparing to gratitude and transformation, moving from controlling and scarcity to framing and shaping.
Optimism, abundance and hope are principles, anchors, ways of living that pull you through difficulties and amplify wonderful seasons. There’s an ebb and flow, up and down, seasons and spinning and meaning in it all. Turmoil, change and transitions lead to transformations, new beginnings and growth. Don’t get caught in the mechanics of life at the expense of experiencing the magic of life.
Frame and shape the material of what is available now. Create something new from the ingredients that you have in and surrounding you in this day. How you approach, frame and shape your daily life is yours alone so do your job, your purpose and answer your own calling.
While in the middle and murkiness, live rooted in the unfailing hope and optimism of new beginnings, transformation and promise of possibilities fulfilled in due time. Let nothing steal your joy. Frame and shape each day armed with gratitude, grace and light.
“The great solution to all human problems is individual inner transformation.” – Vernon Howard
“Rejoice in small things and they will continue to grow”― Slaven Vujic
“Gratitude is a powerful, catalytic thing. It starves negative emotions of the oxygen they need to survive. It also generates a positive, self-sustaining system wherever and whenever it is applied. The broaden-and-build theory in psychology offers an explanation for why this is the case. Positive emotions open us to new perspectives and possibilities. Our openness encourages creative ideas and fosters social bonds. These things change us. They unlock new physical, intellectual, psychological, and social resources. They create “an upward spiral” that improves our odds of coping with the next challenge we face.”— Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most by Greg Mckeown
Yesterday sucked. I made sure it did by amplifying technology issues, interruptions, obligations and inconveniences. Pouring gas on the fire to make small things bigger than they need to be. On a long run with the orange sun signaling the end of the day, I decided to let what I did with the day go with the sun and not carry it any farther than it needs to go.
Lay it down, let it go and release the negative so you can change the downward spiral of complaining, self-pity and worry to an upward spiral that is a catalyst for possibilities, light and joy.
New day – make it new in thought and deed. Sunrise, sunset – make the in between matter.
“‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers – That perches in the soul – And sings the tune without the words – And never stops – at all” – Emily Dickinson
Hope carries, sustains, pushes, pulls, perches, flies, anchors, propels, promises.
It invites and feeds optimism, trust, light, perspective, perseverance and gratitude.
Rooted, instinctual, a resting place.
Never underestimate the power.
Hope, sweet hope.
The Instinct of Hope
by John Clare
“Is there another world for this frail dust
To warm with life and be itself again?
Something about me daily speaks there must,
And why should instinct nourish hopes in vain?
’Tis nature’s prophesy that such will be,
And everything seems struggling to explain
The close sealed volume of its mystery.
Time wandering onward keeps its usual pace
As seeming anxious of eternity,
To meet that calm and find a resting place.
E’en the small violet feels a future power
And waits each year renewing blooms to bring,
And surely man is no inferior flower
To die unworthy of a second spring?”
“remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.”― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
“Oh the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all.”― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
I told my best pal Liam that I liked his shirt – “Oh, the places you’ll go!” by Dr. Suess. He enthusiastically told me that I should get one too – ordered!
The places you’ve been are done so stop circling back to revisit them. Cut fresh trails. Stay awake and aware in the present, anchored in gratitude for all of it – the joy and struggle and everything in between. Celebrate how far you’ve come and anticipate new field trips and adventures. There are still so many places to go so keep planning, dreaming, moving, hoping and going.
Never surrender your sense of wonder, your pursuit of awe and your sense of humor. Tune out the noise and make some music. Lay it down and travel light. Oh, the places that you can still go! GO!!!
“Out there things can happen, and frequently do,
To people as brainy and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen, don’t worry, don’t stew.
Just go right along, you’ll start happening too!”
“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.” – Saint Basil
What fruit are you producing?
Prune the dead branches of old stories, resentment, negativity so nutrients and energy can be channeled to create fresh fruit. Cut away the old, clear the way for the new and the next. Sow seeds on good ground to take root. Nurture, cultivate and wait.
Harvest comes from planting, pruning, patience, grace and directed effort. The right and consistent input produces the right and proper outcomes. Focus on the input and allow the outcomes to be what they will be.
Sow love today. Be a fruit bearer. Harvest time.
“Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them.” – Thomas Kinkade
“Creativity makes a leap, then looks to see where it is.” – Mason Cooley
“Leap, and the net will appear.” – John Burroughs
Open the windows and let fresh air into your thoughts
Breathe in the moment deeply, separate from tasks, identities and responsibilities
Be fully present today
Untangle, unwind, release
Be open to different answers than your own
The answers that already exist within you now, beyond the noise
No more wading in the shallow waters of scarcity and limitations
Take the leap into the deep end of abundance and gratitude
Run off the dock, take flight, chase the ball
Explore and wander
Keep growing, learning, creating, imagining, unlearning, dreaming, questioning, stretching, receiving, trusting, believing, embracing, loving
Evolve, unfold, become, expand, transform
See the miracle in the moment, see the miracle within you right now
“God is always bigger than you imagined or expected or even hoped.” – Richard Rohr