“I think that all things, in their way, reflect heavenly truth, the imagination not least.” – C. S. Lewis
“God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason.” – Dag Hammarskjold
The blues are bluer, the bright is brighter. Reflect and look for the good. Look for radiance, grace and beauty. It’s in you and all around.
“We all find joy and radiance and a reason to move on even in the most dire of circumstances. Even in chaos and madness, there’s still a beauty that comes from just the vibrancy of another human spirit.” – Ishmael Beah
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ― Mother Theresa
Can Kathie come out to play?
We rush, multitask and race through the day with little thought but to keep up the pace and get to the next thing. Wishing for time to pass quickly in struggle and linger longer in bliss.
Looking back, we long for more time, a chance to have one more deep conversation and long hug from someone who’s gone. Looking ahead, we fear change, clinging to what’s familiar, even if it’s uncomfortable. At least we know it.
And in the process of this back and forth, this paradox of living, we miss the only thing we truly own – this very moment, this day. The joy, delight and power of now. This is the stuff that the past is made of and directs what the future will hold. What we think, feel and who we interact with and how we do so. This is it, it’s not an illusion. This moment, the present is where we are called to be.
Stop. Look around and settle your thoughts long enough to be grateful and allow contentment to enter and remain. Your presence in this very moment is requested and required to open up to the joy awaiting illusively in this very moment and hour at hand. Not back, not ahead. Right now.
The search is complete. Engaged and immersed in awareness of your next breath, your next thought and the words that can gently and softly roll off your tongue. All of your senses sharpened in silence to anchor the day ahead in full presence and anticipation. What you think, say and do today determines your future past.
The true gift of children and dogs is that they understand and embrace the magic of being fully present in the moment with no regard for the past or future. Mere, pure being fully in the moment free to let loose and explore.
So go for a run, throw a ball, play hopscotch, jump a rope, pick up that book that you’ve been reading three pages at a time for the past three months. Be frivolous, unplanned and unstructured for a slice of each day, woven through every hour and in between the busy.
Break free of the illusion of looking back or too far ahead and seize this day. There is awe, ease and wonder right around the corner. Come out and play.
“Every doorway, every intersection has a story.” – Katherine Dunn
Some days feel like we’re merely going around in circles. Stuck on a ride going nowhere, up and down, slow and fast. It is especially in these very moments, we are growing the most, transforming into what we are called to be to enter what will follow.
Patience, persistence, perspective and perseverance mixed in with a strong sense of humor are required to thrive and learn the lessons before us.
“You loved ferris wheels more than roller coasters because life shouldn’t be lived at full speed, but in anticipation and appreciation.” – Amy Harmon
No moments or days are wasted no matter whether on a roller coaster twisting and turning at great speed or a ferris wheel going slow and easy. Enjoy the ride.
Today is a page in the book of you that is being written. Never surrender the pen. Write your story.
“Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.” – Helen Keller
“There are little gems all around us that can hold glimmers of inspiration.” – Richelle Mead
When we give up perfect to accept the gift of the present, unexpected and imperfect, we can live authentically and hold our light up no matter what.
We may and will stumble and fall, no doubt. But we must get up again and again, never quitting.
When necessary, I let myself be ticked off for up to 24 hours and then move on. Learning lessons required and letting go of the pain required too. Grudges grow heavier. Release the burdens of regret and remorse. True and lasting light is always there, regardless of circumstances.
Some moments, hours, days are better than others. That’s a fact. But when we are grounded in light, shadows are temporary and illuminate the brilliance of light.
“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” – William James
On a quick run in the neighborhood yesterday, I passed a boy on a bike and he said “I see you.” I knew he wasn’t talking to me. He was playing a little game of hide and seek with a friend. But I perked up with the words “I see you.” Isn’t that all we ask for? To be seen, to be heard, to be acknowledged.
In a noisy world, we can get lost and we can lose others on the rapid journey to nowhere. Pay attention and notice more of what’s around you right now. This is it. This is life. Enjoy it.
And when you don’t feel seen or heard, get outside of yourself. Look and listen more to others so they can be seen and heard. You will then discover yourself in them. Never alone. Always seen. I see you.
“Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun.” – Randy Pausch
“I am going to keep having fun every day I have left, because there is no other way of life. You just have to decide whether you are a Tigger or an Eeyore.” – Randy Pausch
Today, and each day going forward, have fun, no matter what’s going on. There will never be a time in life when there are not challenges woven through the victories. Create your little wins by having fun.
Don’t wait for a loved one to die or a health diagnosis to learn that life is so very short. Give more and receive all there is right now in this moment. Be grateful for the gift of this day and put some bounce in your step – choose Tigger.
“The days are long, but the years are short.” – Gretchen Rubin
Today is the one year anniversary of my Dad passing away. Pictures, stories and memories flood my mind every day. Lots of tears and laughter this last year, more tears I think. Missing will never go away and gratitude for our relationship grows deeper.
I loved, appreciated and respected him while he was here and even more so now that he’s not. Yet even though he’s gone, he shows up in so many ways. In expressions, in places, in people, so he remains in the fabric of each day. Perfect by no means and none of us are but a man of integrity, faith and resilience. I carry what he taught me and try to be and do my best, again, not perfect by any means.
So hug your loved ones a bit longer today. Be grateful and find laughter in each and every single day. Celebrate and laugh more. Life is very good and we need to discover that daily so we can live a full and joyful and sometimes difficult life. Sometimes, the days are long and most definitely, the years are short.
“Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharlal Nehru
“I said to myself, I’m going to quit complaining! I’ll keep quiet especially when the ungodly are around me. But as I stood their silently the turmoil within me grew to the bursting point. The more I mused, the hotter the fires inside. Then at last I spoke and pled with God: Lord, help me realize how brief my time on earth will be. Help me to know that I am here but a moment more.” – Psalms 39:1-6
It is so easy and tempting to join in with the complainers, the “chirpers.” Those who criticize and choose to see nothing but shadow. But the chirping merely breeds more of the same, producing nothing of value. The higher road has plenty of room for all and often a hard one to take. But with one step at a time and an acute awareness that we are here but a moment, the high road is the only journey worth the trip. So when the choice arises, and it will several times a day, choose light. See the beauty, be the beauty.
“From the math of ordinary time, it seems we falter repeatedly, always off course. But this is how life uncovers us. It’s a beautiful journey that no preparation can avoid, that no learning can imitate. We begin with an irreplaceable trust and are sent into the amazing race the world has to offer, thinking there are more valuable destinations we can’t live without, only to land where we began.” – Mark Nepo, The Endless Practice
New Year’s Eve – the cusp of new beginnings filled with resolutions, good intentions, plans, moving on, hopes, dreams and “this year’s going to be different.” Looking back at this last year, most of it was unpredictable and “not in my plans.” A lot of it was struggling with family health issues and work intensity. And weaved through it all, that I often missed at the time, was joy, laughter, growth and love. What begins as a burden slowly then suddenly transforms into a blessing. Burdens always precede blessings.
Woody Allen’s quote comes to mind, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” Our plans are linear, a straight line from Point A to Point B. But life enters and the dimensional, winding and detoured journey ensues. And the crux of the struggle is in our clinging desperately to the linear rather than releasing to the current and flow of life.
So resolutions for next year?
Work and play hard, always do but more importantly BE my best;
Pray harder, accept the answer;
Trust deeper, let faith take hold;
Be more open than closed, risk hurt;
Love more, without strings;
Plan to be surprised, invite awe and wonder in;
Slow down, enjoy the view;
Be present each day, that’s all we are promised;
See, really see, all the beauty, in people and places;
Be grateful and kind, show and share it.
Simply put, let God’s plans unfold and cast light.
“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” – Marcus Aurelius
“The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest. “– William Blake
We often hear or say thank goodness it’s Friday. I try not to but must admit that some weeks I do. When we live Friday to Friday, vacation to vacation, we miss the joy that is to be harvested each day. Do something new, quietly reflect with deep gratitude, connect with others and by all means, play.
When we live right smack in the moment seeking goodness and light, every day is Friday.