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The Light of Dusk

“In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.” – Aaron Rose

“When you possess light within, you see it externally.” – Anas Nin

When the labor of the day is over and rest is but steps away, the dusk enters and light lingers a few moments more as it slowly releases to night, to rest, to release.

When the night is over and a new day, a new beginning is but steps away, the dawn enters and light lingers a few moments more as it slowly releases to the full light of day, to awaken, to release all that was and embrace all that is meant to be if we allow.

Light remains to pull us forward, to call us to rest and to invite us to awaken to new beginnings available to each one of us if we choose to accept the invitation.

The Art of Balance

 

“Life is a balance between rest and movement.” – Rajneesh

“In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth.” – Patti Smith

Right-left. Liberal-conservative. Up-down. The answer internally and externally is found in balance. Not compromise. But in empathy, understanding, compassion and kindness. When the noise is deafening, when the meaning is hollow, go deeper by listening, by caring and by never, ever giving up despite the circumstances. It is a good life, if we dare to enter. Balance.

“The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.” – Euripides

Beginner’s Mindset

“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” – Pablo Picasso

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” – Shunryu Suzuki

Liam Bootcamp Day 2 – fun in the sun, swimming at two different beaches and a tennis lesson after a nap. Before dinner, we hit balls against the practice wall at the tennis courts up the block. After missing a few times, he wanted to go to the playground.

Rather than move on right away, I asked him to take a few more swings. This time, I held the racket with him to guide it. We took a few practice swings before getting the ball involved and I then told him to keep his eye on the ball. After a few tries, he got four hits in a row. His initial disappointment quickly turned into excitement and enthusiasm.

Sometimes we just need to take a few steps back to the beginning, to the basics and start with the fundamentals. I didn’t want him to end his first try at tennis on a low note so he didn’t want to try again. Rather, I coached and encouraged him, ending the short session on a high note.

As I gave him advice, I decide to learn the lesson too. Try new things, keep your eye on the ball, anticipate where the ball will go and enter each endeavor with a beginner’s mindset willing to learn, unlearn and have fun in the process. A beginner’s mindset is for all ages, especially non-beginners.

Use Your Imagination

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” – Dr. Seuss

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” – Albert Einstein

There are many quotes from my day with Liam today. My favorite one is “You have to use your imagination.” Well isn’t that an underused muscle. My worry, complaint, uncertainty, judgment, work too much, multitasking and consternation muscles are very strong. They get a lot of use, overuse actually.

This weekend, I am going to “imagination bootcamp” with my camp counselor Liam and his capable assistants Abby and Sasha. Two trips to the playground, a pizza party and three ball throwing practices later, it is a good start to bootcamp. What’s next? Toy Story 2 snuggling next to my best pal of course. Tomorrow – Como, swimming, tennis ball hitting and some Disney movies later, there should be many lessons to be learned.

This is a no work, no worry weekend. Let the games begin. Imagination, look out, we’re coming for you!

“Imagination is the eye of the soul.” – Joseph Joubert

Dog Days of Summer

“A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world.” – Leo Buscaglia

“Wherever you are, be there totally.” Eckhart Tolle

No matter the season, these two always know how to have fun. Summer brings rolling in the grass and some serious ball chasing. When I get caught up in my “to do” list and my swirling thoughts, they bring me back to focus on gratitude, presence and joy.

Life is not a continuous puzzle to solve, a checklist to be checked off, a hot pursuit of what’s next. Life is hidden right in front of us in simple moments, in a walk with a friend, in laying next to your best pal and flipping a tennis ball into the air to show off your ball handling skills.

Breathe, laugh and take it all in.

“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

Open in Bloom

“Silently a flower blooms,
In silence it falls away;
Yet here now, at this moment, at this place,
The world of the flower, the whole of
the world is blooming.
This is the talk of the flower, the truth
of the blossom:
The glory of eternal life is fully shining here.”
-Zenkei Shibayama

“To lean into life requires a quiet courage that lets us find our aliveness. And the reward for leaning into life is that everything hidden becomes sweet and colorful. Or more, we’re finally present enough to receive the sweetness and color that is always there. Consider how a flower opens. It doesn’t prepare for a particular moment but stays true to a life of opening and leaning toward the light. When a flower blossoms, it turns inside out and wears its beauty in the world. In just this way, a soul opens over a lifetime of leaning into life.” — The Book of Soul: 52 Paths to Living What Matters, Mark Nepo

The Como Conservatory is now open. We didn’t go in but the windows were wide open so I dipped under to take in the flowers with all of my senses. Fresh, fragrant and leaning toward the light. I am a sucker for flowers, nature and dogs who model beauty, depth of simplicity and joy in being. We all have the capacity and calling to lean into the light and cast it to carry each other. Be open to bloom.

 

Be Your Life

“When we can live our stories and not be ruled by them, we love ourselves into being. There is a Spanish saying, Se tu vida, which means “Be your life.” This is all that is asked of us. And yet, in doing so, we can get lost in all that living engenders.”— The Book of Soul: 52 Paths to Living What Matters, Mark Nepo

Every time I want to pull back, to hesitate, to delay, to question, to judge, I hope to dive. To jump in without knowing the ending, to jump in and get wet, to jump in and do a belly flop. May we always jump into life with joy, with abandon and the capacity to be surprised and delighted.

Let your guard down, along with reasoning and certainty. Our days our numbered. Make them count.

“Given our entanglements, one of the most difficult acts of presence is not to vanish when overwhelmed by conflict or hardship. The simplest teachers in nature, such as the sun, the birds, and the flowers, are quietly heroic in this regard, not because they achieve anything, but because they remain completely true to their own nature, regardless of what happens to them.”— The Book of Soul: 52 Paths to Living What Matters, Mark Nepo

Nature’s Confetti

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’” – Robin Williams

“Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.” – Wayne Dyer

Flowers are the confetti of nature’s party celebrating full bloom, brilliant color and simple delights. When negativity and criticism is rampant, go out into nature and be captured by the simple grand beauty. Tune into abundance rather than scarcity.

Let go of your opinion long enough to entertain new ideas and possibility. Guard your joy. Start throwing some confetti rather than water. Enjoy each day and cast light.

Eagle Eyes

“Life seeks life and loves life. The opening of a catkin of a willow, in the flight of the butterfly, in the chirping of a tree-toad or the sweep of an eagle – my life loves to see how others live, exults in their joy, and so far is partner in their great concern.” – Edward Everett Hale

“Yet it is in this loneliness that the deepest activities begin. It is here that you discover act without motion, labor that is profound repose, vision in obscurity, and, beyond all desire, a fulfillment whose limits extend to infinity.” – Thomas Merton

Eagles can see four to five times farther than the average human. So rather than 20/20 vision, they have 20/5 vision.

So often we get caught in the day to day “mouse eye” view focused on our to do lists, transactional demands rather than vision and intention required to live a deep, meaningful and fulfilling life.

The meaning of life is not found in checklists, multitasking or a scorecard. Rather it is a beautiful complicated, confusing, confounding, original story that each of us are meant to write, create and to enter into the mystery of the unknown.

Take an eagle’s eye view of your life and see the big picture. It most certainly won’t end where you have planned. It will be much, much grander, beyond your imagination when you are alive, awake and filled with vision.

Summer’s Birthday

“Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” – Henry James

Today is the first day of summer. All seasons have their gifts. Summer beckons us to rest, to play, to witness sunset, to saunter barefoot in the grass, to long walks, to lemonade, to float on water, to breathe in nature.

Happy Birthday summer, may we seize you and dance in the beauty, warmth and celebrate each day with the frivolity and ease that you command.

“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.

Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.

Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.

Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.”

― Yoko Ono

Today is June 20, 2020. 20/20/20 – an extra 20 for even more perfect vision to see the gift in a summer’s day and each day in all seasons. Happy Birthday Summer!

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