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AGAIN!

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
― Dr. Seuss

“Just imagine becoming the way you used to be as a very young child, before you understood the meaning of any word, before opinions took over your mind. The real you is loving, joyful, and free. The real you is just like a flower, just like the wind, just like the ocean, just like the sun.” – Don Miguel Ruiz

My nephew Liam, like all kids, has it figured out. He knows how to accept and immerse himself fully into the moment. Not looking behind and not thinking about what’s ahead, embracing the now in its entirety.

When he starts giggling and doing something fun, he’ll say “again!” wanting to enjoy the same thing over and over again until he’s fully exhausted the joy in giving yourself completely to a simple activity. His work is play and he’s mastered his craft. The joy in his eyes and his authentic smile is contagious. I count him as one of my all-time wonderful gifts in my life.

Many of the answers that we search for as adults are rooted in youth. Adults overcomplicate things and multitask our way to “success.” Kids keep it simple and delight in single-tasking. Adults pine too much over the past never learning the lessons the first time. Kids dive deep into now, let go and forgive quickly so they can keep moving into the present. Adults cling to unproductive thoughts, worry about the future and what others think or say at the expense of our own contentment.

At the end of Mary Poppins Returns, there’s a line in the third act song, “There’s No Where to Go but Up” about the secret we know before life makes us grow – look inside the balloon (our heart) and find your own individual song, sing it and always look up no matter the circumstances.

“Look inside the balloon
And if you hear a tune
There’s no where to go but up
Choose the secret we know
Before life makes us grow
There’s nowhere to go but up”

I write this on a Monday, the day we often lament – the weekend is over again! It goes so fast. As I prepare to go “adulting” which includes a ridiculous number of meetings and a long “to-do” list, I’m going to choose to say “AGAIN!” like Liam says with joy and enthusiasm and enter today with nowhere to go but up.

No Complaints – One Week – Go

Starting today – no complaints for one week. Only gratitude. As soon as you drift to the negative, yank yourself back to the positive. To beauty and light. Go.

“Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.” – Doris Day

“Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.” – Doris Day

Honeycomb

“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” – Proverbs 16:24

There are days when I struggle writing for the blog. When I don’t feel like casting light so I remain quiet, thinking that’s more authentic than to write something I’m not feeling in that moment. But that’s the point, no one feels positive and upbeat all the time or much of the time for that matter. We need to work on it until it becomes natural and the only reasonable option when choosing between light and dark.

I’ve read this line from Proverbs many times before, but today it revealed itself in a new way. Pleasant words are healing to the bones. Healing! I’ve focused more on the honeycomb – the sweetness of being positive, which is often irritating when I don’t feel it deep down. It seems shallow, unauthentic. But our thoughts and words can keep us in the desert or heal us and bring us to the oasis. So if you’re not “feeling” positive, so what, do it anyway. There’s healing in those pleasant, sweet words.

Amen Moments

So many “Amen” moments are generously offered to each one of us every day, no matter what we are going through. Don’t miss one more and allow deep gratitude to penetrate the armor of your busy-ness.


Amen.

Childlikeness

“Man is a thinking reed, but his great works are done when he is not calculating and thinking. ‘Childlikeness’ has to be restored … Perhaps this is why it is said that great poetry is born in silence. Great music and art are said to arise from the quiet depths of the unconscious, and true expressions of love are said to come from a source which lies beneath words and thoughts.” – W. Timothy Gallwey

We need to restore the art of play so we can get to the flow of life as it is meant to be. It’s a loud world, busy with busy-ness and not much substance. Take back your day and hit the brakes on the urgent and unimportant. Like water, like a child, easy and light.

We need some more great poetry, music and art.

Necessity

“Our greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” – William James

Good habits are necessary to keep us even and balanced. Running and writing are two habits that are important to me and I’ve not been doing them regularly the last few months. Instead, I’ve been busy only doing others’ priorities, others’ agendas. Go faster, do more, it’s not enough, keep pushing, one more thing…

When we succumb to the demands of others and those become the entire make up of our day, we see it show up in how we see and react to our world. And we become people who we don’t recognize or want to be. Impatient, ungrateful and cynical. Yuck.

We will always have the demands of others and work on us. But when we also put a priority on doing our priorities, we can do what’s required with more ease. Getting back to what we enjoy actually makes us more effective and productive. More importantly to the person we want to be around.

We so often know what we need to do, yet we delay the doing. So spend some time today doing things that you enjoy first and then move on to other demands after. Cast some fun into today – it’s a necessity. Now, I am off for a run.

 

It’s Happening

“The regret of my life is that I have not said ‘I love you’ often enough” – Yoko Ono

Life is happening, whether we recognize it or not. And so often we do not. We let busy define our life, but as fast as we go, as many checks we check off our “to do” list, we remain unsatisfied, unsettled. And then that soft persistent voice whispers over and over again, “there’s more!”.

So we run faster, add more to our over-scheduled lives. Again, more incomplete. That uncomfortable, bothersome, empty feeling is our wake-up call. So stop hitting the snooze button.

No grand gestures, no complicated plan, no broken resolutions. Start now – tune in to each day and realize that the “more” is found in less, in gratitude, in slowing down, in kindness, in delight, in laughter (and even in tears), in loving more deeply, in forgiving, in living each day as if it’s our only one remaining.

Damn, it’s hard to do. But that persistent pesky voice isn’t going away. And if we don’t heed the call, our call, we will be one of the many souls that have gone before who look back in regret wanting a “do-over.”

There are no “do-overs.” It’s happening right now – life is happening. Participate.

The Flow

“So this is how you swim inward. So this is how you flow outwards. So this is how you pray.” – Mary Oliver

As fall fluctuates between summer and winter-like temperatures, not choosing, I am reminded that the seasons of life are not clear cut either. No “10 easy steps to …” formulas or short-cuts. No hard and fast date that everything changes to the next and all is conveniently wrapped up, move on to the next.

Ebb and flow, back on forth, moving an inch at times and then suddenly a mile. It’s an unfolding of sorts, a slow yet deep transformation. And when we loosen our life jacket of “security” and ease the grip on the paddle, the flow carries us where we are destined to go, even if it’s not on our map.

Winter will come when ready, even in summer sometimes. Spring will follow on its time. When we let go of our expectations and “rules” of what should be, we discover the joy in going with the flow.

Be Positive, Really?

“We all emit energy patterns and, because we’re sensitive, we’re all affected by those patterns. The current of our presence is powerful, whether we realize it or not. And we’re responsible for the energy patterns we emit. Beneath all our words, we either welcome others as equals or we distance and judge them.” – Mark Nepo

We all go through struggles, through difficult times – some shorter, some longer, some ongoing. Yet through all of our struggles, there are always things to be grateful for, to laugh about, to be hopeful for. In challenging times, we discover the depth of our blessings, the width of our strength and the height of our resolve.

While being positive, having faith, choosing light is the most fulfilling way to live each day, it’s not the easiest path. There are some days that negativity trumps optimism. To deny feelings is to delay them. What we don’t deal with always returns in different ways. And when we go through those days, we so often learn our most important lessons like empathy, kindness and compassion.

The next time someone is quiet or distant, don’t dismiss them or worse yet, flippantly say “be positive.” We all know we should “be positive” but for some real reason we can’t muster it up in that moment. Listen for what you don’t hear. See what’s not so obvious. So often the best advice we can give is silence and quiet presence.

Be positive? Absolutely. Do everything you can do that leads you back to authentic optimism that carries you through and shows others the way through your actions not words.

Lower the Boat

“This journey has always been about reaching your own other shore no matter what it is, and that dream continues.”- Diana Nyad

“This journey has always been about reaching your own other shore no matter what it is, and that dream continues.”- Diana Nyad

“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” – Rabindranath Tagore

How often we remain on the lift, dry and safe. Lower the boat, oars in and start paddling. Each day, a step at a time, our journey unfolds in pursuit and movement. Lower the boat. Better yet, drop it in and get out there. The horizon changes when we move toward it.

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