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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

Front and Center

“The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” – Lao Tzu

When the dust settles and the noise subsides, what’s present right now, front and center matters most. Let go of the stuff that pulls you to the peripheral at the expense of what’s right in front of you. The race – where to and why? If you can’t answer then drop out of the race and pursue with vigor what has real meaning and depth.

If but for a moment, pause and discover what you already know to be true and choose your days, your life, your attention, your energy, your joy. It’s front and center.

A Dog’s Joy

“Because of the dog’s joyfulness, our own is increased. It is no small gift. It is not the least reason why we should honor as love the dog of our own life, and the dog down the street, and all the dogs not yet born.” – Mary Oliver

“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Sasha is one year old today. Birthdays, weddings, funerals, anniversaries all mark days to remember and celebrate. But they not only honor the person or dog in this case, they remind us of how their presence in our life changes us, makes us better, more kind.

People and dogs enter and exit our lives in a flash. Yet their imprint and impact on our lives remain. When someone leaves, we are never the same, yet we go on while a part of us goes with them. And when someone enters our story they weave their way in and their birthday becomes our own as we are reborn to new possibilities for joy.

May we all have the joy that a dog is and a dog brings to each day. We would be better humans to be sure. Happy Birthday Sasha and me!

Chase the Ball

“Life is fragile. We're not guaranteed a tomorrow so give it everything you've got.” – Tim Cook

“Life is fragile. We’re not guaranteed a tomorrow so give it everything you’ve got.” – Tim Cook

“Beauty is a fragile gift.” – Ovid

Amidst our “first world” problems of unattainable deadlines, traffic delays, acceptable incivility and general daily irritations, life is happening right before our eyes. These days are the days – the good ole days we’ll look back on and long for even though we missed most of them in pursuit of the nonexistent.

Wake up and be present so you feel the depth and breadth of each day. This is it. Chase the ball and keep having fun in the pursuit of simple daily joy. Join in life and start participating, praising and celebrating all that is right now.

Play the board game with the kids. Make snow angels. Throw the ball. Chase the ball. Be silly. Dance like you don’t give a damn who’s watching. Laugh every flippin’ day. One life. This is it. Start living each day. Beauty abound. You now have the secret, the shortcut, the formula. Today. Be present.

Do It with Joy

“Perfect happiness is a beautiful sunset, the giggle of a grandchild, the first snowfall. It’s the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events. Joy comes in sips, not gulps.” – Sharon Draper

When we get stuck in the “whys” and “whens,” we miss out on the depth of now. Without a doubt, no one gets through life without bumps, bruises and scars. But woven through it all right in front of us is a current of grace and awe.

What really matters is not that we have challenges but rather how we go through them. With angst or joy. And we have the choice. So whatever this day brings or wherever you are at on your journey right now, choose light as you move through. Do it with joy and heart all in.

“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

“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

Slow Melt

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Spring comes softly with a slow melt. Winter holds a bit longer. The transition lingers, unfolding rather than rushing. And then, seemingly out of nowhere, 6-8 inches of more snow. Life ebbs and flows and then turns upside down in a moment. And the only thing promised to us is this very moment.

So whether in the storm or in the slow melt, find the current and enter into the flow. Hear and feel the music in the melt. Running through the puddle season is coming. Slowly but surely.

“Music comes from an icicle as it melts, to live again as spring water.” – Henry Williamson

“Music comes from an icicle as it melts, to live again as spring water.” – Henry Williamson

Water Off a Duck’s Back

My Dad used to say let it roll off of you like water off a duck’s back. People and circumstances can wear us down. But we can let the angst roll off our back and choose a “glass not only half full but overflowing” attitude. Abundance over scarcity.

Beneath the surface, there will always be a reason for others’ actions and attitudes that rarely have anything to do with us. It is precisely in these situations, we can put our positive outlook into action. Untested positivity is shallow. Encouragement in difficulty runs deep.

Empathy allow us to respond with support while not owning the negativity that comes along for the ride. Let the negativity bead up and roll off and hold tight to an unreasonable and unexplainable joy and light. We are so much more than our momentary setbacks. Go deep, cast light.

Spring is in there

“Earth teach me to forget myself as melted snow forgets its life. Earth teach me resignation as the leaves which die in the fall. Earth teach me courage as the tree which stands all alone. Earth teach me regeneration as the seed which rises in the spring.” – William Alexander

No matter what the season or the day of the week, there’s more underneath the surface of our daily grinding. We need to trade in the grind for joyful daily living. In the moment, present to all that is being offered and confident that beneath the four feet of snow, Spring is in there coming in due time. In the meantime, we can make snow angels and dive into the pile of fresh snow. That snow shall do its job and awaken the ground with living water. Do your job. Enjoy this day and bring that joy to others.

“Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!” – Sitting Bull

“Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!” – Sitting Bull

At Least One

“Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Been going through the motions lately. Busy, busy. Bouncing from one thing to the next with little depth in between. There will always be a reason to put living off for another day. Yet today is the only one promised so stop and carve moments of joy, laughter, quiet and gratitude. A song, a poem, a picture, a few words. At least one.

“The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Touch the Moon

Anything important and lasting is grounded in courage overcoming fear, reaching rather than retreating. A short walk in Richmond, Virginia yesterday brought me to a monument honoring a 16- year-old young woman protesting the status quo, not accepting the unacceptable. Never settling.

Barbara Johns’ protest led to the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education US Supreme Court case. Reaching for the moon transformed to touching the moon. Never accept anything as inevitable. Reach.

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