“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.
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?” – Robert Browning
It is in the effort and action of reaching that we are simultaneously pulled and pushed. Motion transforms to momentum. Dreams released to unfold. The effort soon becomes effortless and the action natural.
“But for each of us, isn’t life about determining your own finish line?” – Diana Nyad
Change is our friend not foe. Growth is our calling. And reaching our potential is not only for oneself but is the gift that the world needs from each one of us. Our purpose is to leave this world with no regrets or doubts that we became our best and most sacred self. And the world is better for it.
Reach, and keep reaching.
“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” – C.G. Jung
The velocity of the last few weeks has been mind-bending, rather mind-numbing. On and off planes, in and out of meetings. Go, go, go. And I know I am not alone. Walking through airports, you see the angst and robot-like looks as people rush to the next thing, going through the motions, tired and worn.
In the midst of the speed and demands that we create in our life, we often convince ourselves that we are stuck and don’t have a choice. But we do have the power to make better decisions. And when we don’t feel like “casting light,” we must seek light to get filled back up again, to be whole.
Slow down for a few moments to gain a new and fresh perspective, allowing discernment to expose the blessings and joy in your life right now that long to be noticed, to be felt, to be shared. Move through the chaos without becoming chaos. Kindle the light, stoke the fire and in the middle of the darkness, seek light and cast it right back out again.