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Posts tagged ‘appreciation’

Each Day

“You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It’s just a matter of paying attention to this miracle.” – Paulo Coelho

To each day and our capacity to discover the beauty and blessings in each new one given to us.

“If every moment is sacred, and If you are amazed and in awe most of the time when you find yourself breathing and not crazy, then you are in a state of constant thankfulness, worship and humility.” – Bernice Johnson Reagon

“If every moment is sacred, and If you are amazed and in awe most of the time when you find yourself breathing and not crazy, then you are in a state of constant thankfulness, worship and humility.” – Bernice Johnson Reagon

 

The Middle

“By enduring our way to the calm at center and endearing our way to an expansiveness of spirit, we can return to this elusive state of inner tranquility. And however brief the peace, the underlying calm of life will free us from the weight of our self-reference.  Again, not to pull us out of our lives, but to move us more deeply into them.” – Mark Nepo, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen

Life throws a lot at us. At times, we move around the edge, on the petals to catch our breath and pause. But the depth, dimension and richness of life is found in the middle, in abundance and scarcity. Push and pull. In and out. Up and down. In the sweet nectar of the center, our spirit is renewed and engaged as it expands and contracts.

“Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” – Vaclav Havel

“Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” – Vaclav Havel

Life is overflowing with goodness and light that overcome the shadows that remain. And when awake in gratitude, we accept the truth that our days are filled with both enduring and endearing. Surviving and thriving, all at once, at the same time. And hope remains and resides right in the middle.

Encouragement

“The best portion of a good man’s life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.” – William Wordsworth

Criticism and cynicism is a wide and well-traveled road. A jam-packed highway in fact. Encouragement and gratitude may be the road less traveled, but it sure makes the journey sweeter. A simple acknowledgment, a compliment, a smile, a “hello”, a kind word can change a moment, a day, a life. It’s that powerful.

Too often we buy into scarcity. There’s more than enough encouragement, recognition and edification to go around that never depletes the well, but rather replenishes it. We are steeped in abundance, the well will not run dry.

Recklessly and with great abandon, turn yourself inside out and embrace those in your world with kindness and encouragement. Win hearts, feed souls, lift spirits, cast light.

Rise and Set

“The sun is new each day.” – Heraclitus

May you rise and set as easy and sure as the sun. Grateful for the day that has passed, moving softly into rest to prepare for the next. Renewed and ready to receive the gifts of a new day. Deep and steady in each moment, each day, confident that it is enough, more than enough.

“To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.” – David Viscott

“To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.” – David Viscott

Quench

“Abundance is a process of letting go; that which is empty can receive.” – Bryant H. McGill

We thirst when we are surrounded by water. Look around and see what’s already holding your hand, sitting in your lap, standing right next to you. Our spirit gets dehydrated when we don’t recognize the abundance that is already present, longing to be seen.

We don’t need more, we need more gratitude for what already is. The futile search in the distance, in things, in others will continue to lead us to the desert, dying of thirst. Drink up and quench that longing deep inside with what is present right now.

“Let's choose today to quench our thirst for the 'good life' we think others lead by acknowledging the good that already exists in our lives. We can then offer the universe the gift of our grateful hearts.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

“Let’s choose today to quench our thirst for the ‘good life’ we think others lead by acknowledging the good that already exists in our lives. We can then offer the universe the gift of our grateful hearts.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

Thoughts-Filled

“We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.” – Swami Vivekananda

Left unattended, our thoughts can lead us to dead ends, detours and delays. What’s on our mind becomes where we will go, or more importantly where we won’t go because we are bound up with fear, diminishing our relationships, our potential, our purpose.

Listen to your thoughts, attend to them. What’s reeling through your mind distracting you from the depth of the moment? – the past, regret, to do list, worry, offenses, conversations, assumptions, unforgiveness, disappointments. Days in the past get rewound and replayed over and over again.

We can stop reliving our days and start living each day moment by moment, step by step, doing the work of work, play and rest. Our thoughts are the first step to our day and what will come tomorrow and the next. What we give credence to is what our life becomes.

We can set a new pattern and fill our mind with thoughts that propel instead of paralyze. Thoughts filled with possibility, enthusiasm, joy, dreams, laughter, love, compassion, delight. Centering and calming as the ocean rolling in, a soft breeze, a long run, a sunset. Fill your thoughts on purpose each day and make sure that they inspire, edify, grow, build and excite you and watch what happens.

Resistance

“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.” – Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

We let resistance prevent us from living the life we are meant to live. And for convenience, we identify resistance as other people and our circumstances instead of owning it ourselves. The best thing about ownership is that we can do something about it because we have power over it.

“The gracious, eternal God permits the spirit to green and bloom and to bring forth the most marvelous fruit, surpassing anything a tongue can express and a heart conceive.” – Johannes Tauler

“The gracious, eternal God permits the spirit to green and bloom and to bring forth the most marvelous fruit, surpassing anything a tongue can express and a heart conceive.” – Johannes Tauler

We dabble and dip our toe into our dreams. But until we commit and do the work, they remain dormant. We avoid weeding because we know that it’s a task that never ends. The weeds keep coming back. But if we weed correctly and get the root, we get the entire weed. We can then move on to planting flowers and the art of blooming. Blooming into the life we’ve left unlived for far too long. Overcome resistance by opening up to the possibilities held deep within and let them bloom.

Replant

“We like things to manifest right away, and they may not. Many times, we’re just planting a seed and we don’t know exactly how it is going to come to fruition. It’s hard for us to realize that what we see in front of us might not be the end of the story.” – Sharon Salzberg

Last night the power went out from the wind and storms. It was so quiet, I could hear the birds chirping outside instead of all of the chirping that goes on in my head about what was or is about to come. The silence was beautiful music.

The last time we had a big storm a few years ago, my tree in the back was hit by lightning, fell on the power line and took out the power for the neighborhood for 24 hours. Not quite as somber.

I remember that summer well – removing a 50 year old tree, “recarpeting” with sod and planting two new trees, lamenting the loss of the shade. As I look at those new trees, they have really grown and taken on their own character.

A good reminder that as things change, we need to keep replanting so something is always growing. As we plant seeds along the way, new gifts and blessings bloom to make the journey more fruitful and fulfilling. Replant.

“The joy of life consists in the exercise of one's energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die. The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal.” – Aleister Crowley

“The joy of life consists in the exercise of one’s energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die. The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal.” – Aleister Crowley

When We Are Still

“So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.” – T. S. Eliot

When we are still . . . our senses awaken to the beauty that remains even when we can’t see, hear, feel, taste and breath through the noise and distractions that can overcome and distort the truth.

We hear the birds singing in harmony;
We feel the soft breeze of a Spring morn;
We see the hues in the sky;
We breath in and absorb the fragrance of flowers bloom;
We empathize instead of judge others because we realize we are in this life together and merely want to be seen, accepted and loved;
Time stands still because we live and appreciate the depth and brevity of each moment.

Be still.

“I drank the silence of God from a spring in the woods.” – Georg Trakl

“I drank the silence of God from a spring in the woods.” – Georg Trakl

One’s Own Way

“Everything can be taken from a man or woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Victor E. Frankl

Two and a half years and 353 posts later, this quote remains the foundation of Cast Light. And when you consider Victor Frankl wrote this about surviving three years in the horror of a Nazi concentration camp in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, it puts our days into proper perspective and offers deep hope.

As our thoughts scatter chaotically from the past to the future, from what if to why me, we are missing the beauty and gift of the present moment. Moments that won’t return.

We can’t remain the same and expect things to change. We have the power and responsibility to set the tone for our day, our own life. And when we surrender that power to others or our circumstances, we lose our way.

Life is awesome and we must actively search, find and foster that awe in each day. The more beauty and light we see, the more will come because we recognize it. And when we take in light over shadow, we can cast it back out to light our own path and those that choose to join us on the journey.

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