“If we know the divine art of concentration, if we know the divine art of meditation, if we know the divine art of contemplation, easily and consciously we can unite the inner world and the outer world.” – Sri Chinmoy
Out of nowhere, a butterfly appears, gliding by with ease and grace;
A brilliant angel awakening us to the holiness of a moment;
To the magic of mere being;
Bursting with color and curiosity;
Not lingering in the past, nor going too far into the future;
Celebrating the victory of breaking free from the cocoon;
Filled with gratitude and joy;
Showing us how to lighten up, to lay down the load that is not ours to carry;
Resting softly on a fragile pillow of petals.
“Beauty itself is but the sensible image of the Infinite.” – Francis Bacon
Poetry, music, a sunset all have the power to put everything in perspective slowly and then suddenly. Tune out the voices that produce no fruit. Focus on thoughts and activities that drive you on the journey to your purpose. For when we live out our purpose daily, we make the world a better place.
“One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voice behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life that you could save.” – Mary Oliver, The Journey
“The rain began again. It fell heavily, easily, with no meaning or intention but the fulfilment of its own nature, which was to fall and fall.” – Helen Garner
The girls always find time to enjoy their time. Even on a rainy day. Wrestling with a toy, gazing out the window, laying around belly up. No matter the weather, no matter the conditions, there’s always an opportunity to remain in the moment and grasp delight.
“Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.” – Langston Hughes
We live in extremes. Too fast that we can’t see what’s right in front of us. And on a rainy day, too slow that we try to fill the quiet so as not to hear our own voice telling us that we are going too fast. Slow and fast. Quiet and noise. But life is not simply an either or. It is a weaving of all of it. Whether sun or rain, we have the choice to see the beauty in all and to enter completely into the moment. Even, perhaps especially, on a rainy day.
“O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah. Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!” – Psalm 39:4–6
Perhaps it is in summer the most that we know the brevity of our days. I’ve yet to say that summer was too long. As summer is fleeting, so are our days.
Count, measure and celebrate what is lasting and important. The depth of each day. The sheer abundance. Awareness, gratitude and joy – all worthy pursuits. Discover the miracle of a sunrise and sunset. Take the light in and cast it out.
“Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” – Hans Christian Andersen
“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” – Mary Oliver
When we get caught up in things not in our control, we forego the simple beauty calling out to us in the details of a mere flower. The complexity in the simple. The delight in a moment. The joy in connection.
Overwhelmed? STOP. LOOK AROUND.
Really look. And the only words that you can possibly utter will be “thank you!”
We have so very much to be grateful for even in challenging times. A purpose for every season to be sure. Wherever you are at, remember that you are enough. You are worthy. You have what it takes.
Lighten up. Savor now. And drink in the color and beauty in simple details. In the miracle of a flower.
“Happiness radiates like the fragrance from a flower and draws all good things towards you.” – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
“The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them.” – Saint Francis de Sales
Joy is a choice and our highest calling. When we can find joy each day, despite our circumstances, we have found the sweet nectar of a good life filled with gratitude. Float lightly in search of nectar and the honey will follow.
“The winter solstice has always been special to me as a barren darkness that gives birth to a verdant future beyond imagination, a time of pain and withdrawal that produces something joyfully inconceivable, like a monarch butterfly masterfully extracting itself from the confines of its cocoon, bursting forth into unexpected glory.” – Gary Zukav
Abby loves to chase a ball. The challenge and precision of catching it on one bounce. Sasha will watch Abby chase the ball but has no interest in it. Sasha finds her joy in chasing butterflies. Pouncing from one to the next. Looking up and down and all around to share in the butterflies’ delight, in their freedom.
“Metamorphosis has always been the greatest symbol of change for poets and artists. Imagine that you could be a caterpillar one moment and a butterfly the next.” – Louie Schwartzberg
The butterflies dance and then still themselves in an instant and then take flight as if for the first time. Released from the cocoon, conquering gravity. From struggle to gradual transformation in due time into a brilliant, beautiful butterfly. Hope, grace, glory. Repeat again and again. The cycle of life.
Chase some butterflies. It’s good for the soul.
“Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame!” – William Butler Yeats
A visit from this little guy last night turned a Monday full of BuSy into something delightful and fundamentally good. An evening filled with bubbles and a walk to the Dairy Queen with his mom and mine. We wrapped up the evening watching some television, getting stickers on my forehead and coloring.
And then he came up to me and asked me to dance. Be still my heart. We swirled, giggled and twirled. Our last dance number was to our favorite song that we’ve danced to since he was born almost two years ago – Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon.”
When this dull world gets the best of you, dance. And dance with no concern for what others may think. It unbinds the soul and sets the spirit free.
“Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body.” – Martha Graham
“There is no such thing as the pursuit of happiness, but there is the discovery of joy.” – Joyce Grenfell
“It is not in the pursuit of happiness that we find fulfillment, it is in the happiness of pursuit.” – Denis Waitley
Joy is not in far off places
Joy is not for another day when circumstances change
Joy is not reserved for others
Joy is not earned
Joy is found in simple moments, where you are right now
Joy is available each day, waiting to be released
Joy is for all of us, each one of us
Joy is grace, a gift freely given
Discover joy by opening your eyes and heart
“And suddenly you just know…it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” -Meister Eckhart
“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne
We have the capacity and calling to transform. To become new and be renewed. From cocoon to butterfly. From 40,000 miles on the road to colorful plant holders on the curb.
Never underestimate the potential in the dawn of each day, in a new beginnings. Magic and beauty. Delight and awe. Sheer wonder. We have many lives within our one life. It all ties together despite the our understanding in this moment. Trust is good. Faith is real.
Let it unfold and dive into uncertainty and discovery. Into the holy and sacred. It’s happening now. Your tires are being retreaded as you trod on.
More change, more mystery? Hell yeah – bring it on!