“The connections we make in the course of a life–maybe that’s what heaven is.”― Fred Rogers
“There are three ways to ultimate success:
The first way is to be kind.
The second way is to be kind.
The third way is to be kind.”― Fred Rogers
May kindness be the path you walk today.
With enthusiasm, with anticipation, with appreciation.
Saying “hi” to a neighbor.
Stopping to share a moment or two of connection.
The holy, sacred ground of love.
Give and receive, like breathing.
In and out.
Ebb and flow.
Yin and yang.
And all of it inbetween.
“I believe that appreciation is a holy thing–that when we look for what’s best in a person we happen to be with at the moment, we’re doing what God does all the time. So in loving and appreciating our neighbor, we’re participating in something sacred.”― Fred Rogers
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” – Mark Twain
“No one longs for what he or she already has, and yet the accumulated insight of those wise about the spiritual life suggests that the reason so many of us cannot see the red X that marks the spot is because we are standing on it. The treasure we seek requires no lengthy expedition, no expensive equipment, no superior aptitude or special company. All we lack is the willingness to imagine that we already have everything we need. The only thing missing is our consent to be where we are.” – Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith
A slight shift.
A new angle.
To get your imagination out of atrophy, revived and pumping.
To see the same in a different way.
Merging of the sacred and secular.
Finding the red X beneath our feet.
Standing in awe, wonder and gratitude.
May you experience even an ounce of this today.
And be changed.
“What is saving my life now is the conviction that there is no spiritual treasure to be found apart from the bodily experiences of human life on earth. My life depends on engaging the most ordinary physical activities with the most exquisite attention I can give them. My life depends on ignoring all touted distinctions between the secular and the sacred, the physical and the spiritual, the body and the soul. What is saving my life now is becoming more fully human, trusting that there is no way to God apart from real life in the real world.”— Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith
“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way… things I had no words for.”― Georgia O’Keeffe
On the path
The in between time
The runway to the next place
May you see the rich beauty in reach and all around
Color on fire
Fragrance filling the air
Take it all in
“There is a serene and settled majesty to woodland scenery that enters into the soul and delights and elevates it, and fills it with noble inclinations.” – Washington Irving
“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.” – Henry Ward Beecher.
“Whether we like it or not, God intends to give us what we need, not what we now think we want.” – C.S.Lewis.
When I went into the kitchen to get my water with lemon and coffee to start the day, one of the stems of my amaryllis plant with three blooming flowers had broken overnight, holding on by a thread and laying to the side of the pot. I cut the thread that remained away from the bulb, filled a crystal pitcher and promptly put the stem in the water to see if I could hold on a bit longer to the full bloom. When it withers and has its full time, I will discard it, but for now I’ll linger in gratitude of the beauty that is available to me now.
Flowers, music, art, quiet time, reflection are simple ways to foster a sense of gratitude, deepen awareness of the present moment. We have an accurate count of what is missing in our life, perhaps even an inflated one. Focusing on the depth of the valleys, we forego the height of the mountains that exist along side concurrently.
We discard and dismiss, racing off to what we think will want, only to be disappointed when we arrive to our destination and it is not what we thought it would be. It is impossible to find happiness outside of self. It is the root, the start and the end. Embrace the present in deep gratitude and awareness while glancing to the future filled with hope and anticipation. The past, our circumstances, other people are out of the realm of our control. Our attitude and outlook is ours alone.
“Why I ever let them go…
They roll by just like water, and I guess we never learn.
We go through life, parched and empty
Standin’ knee deep in a river, and dying of thirst…”
Root each day and every day in gratitude. Knee deep in a river, overflowing in abundance and satisfied with now. Capture and take full account of both blessings and burdens, valleys and the mountains. Stay a bit longer in gratitude, steeped in the present moment.
“Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.” -Wayne Dyer
“The key to abundance is meeting limited circumstances with unlimited thoughts.” – Marianne Williamson
When we begin with the premise of being “enough,” we stop the futile, exhausting search to find ourselves in far off places, different circumstances and other people. Enough is the invitation to journey within. Stop adding, comparing and counting. By taking inventory, we find all that is hidden in plain sight under the piles of self-made clutter that we’ve accumulated in our pursuit of more.
Create two piles – what to discard and what to keep. Get rid of the discard pile to create space for abundance. Leave it in the past, integrate it and move forward. Take back your power by detaching, discarding and begin to fill the space with only what’s necessary and nurturing.
Move to the “keep” pile, create order for easy access. The categories include lessons, habits, practices, rituals, dreams and plans. Fueled by optimism and abundance, begin using the “keep” pile to build something from the materials that you already have available right now. It’s been beneath the clutter of “someday” and “more.”
You’ve already arrived and today is your “someday.” Begin with enough and move forward from a place of abundance to pursue contentment, joy and discovery of your unique place in the world, your purpose for being.
“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let out true selves be seen.” Brene Brown
“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” – Denis Waitley
“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” – Aristotle
As COVID cases spike, the holidays will not be the same as we lock down to try to stop the spread and buy time for two vaccines to be distributed. Some days, this year feels like it’s been five years. There’s a weariness that will linger for months more. The only real thing that we have control over is our response. This has always been true and even more important as we move through a worldwide pandemic.
Each of us has the choice on how we move through it. We can struggle or embrace. Complain or create. Dance or be disappointed. Laugh or cry. We have justification for a wide range of emotions right now. Some days are good and some days are not-so-good. Never forget the strength and resolve of the human spirit. Be generous and find gratitude in simple daily gifts that remain.
Choose light, color and delight to lighten the load for yourself and give permission to others to do the same if they choose. When others are struggling, listen with empathy and offer encouragement. And when you’re struggling, accept grace and light.
Joy is a powerful vaccine that’s available to all right now. Daily doses required.
“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.