“Where there’s hope, there’s life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.” – Anne Frank
“I must uphold my ideals, for perhaps the time will come when I shall be able to carry them out.” – Anne Frank
Today lived up to its Monday-level reputation. The rush, the rally of activity disguised as strategy. Noise to fill the open space. Optimism is hard. It’s rigor, discipline and fluid. We need to be open to having sucky, shitty days and know that they are few and far between, letting them happen so they can pass like a kidney stone. Honest and real today, unapologetic. And it all reveals the most important strategy that we must execute consistently – simple. real. optimism with a side of hope. Optimism is the only real and sustainable option worthy of our passion and pursuit.
As I concluded the day with a walk in the woods, sharing the same sucky day stories with my best friends – one human, two dogs, two beautiful deer appeared in the woods feeding on some leaves, unassuming, unfraid and at ease. God’s brilliant reminder that He’s got this, so settle in for the ride. It’s quite simple, keep it that way.
Tomorrow – a clean slate, another day. Simple. Real. Optimism.
“In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit.” – Anne Frank
“Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled
to cast aside the weight of facts
and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.”
– Mary Oliver
Today, and as many days going forward, dare to be dazzled, to be willing to explore, to do something you have always longed to do. For when we “float a little above this difficult world,” we discover the beauty, brevity and brilliance of creation and our place in it.
Embrace the best and let the rest go by the wayside where it belongs. Breath in light and joy and cast it back out. Abby and Sasha are my joy coaches so when I forget to follow what I believe and write, I need not look too far to be brought back to center. Be dazzled.
“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 well as love the dog of our own life, and the dog down the street, and all the dogs not yet born. What would the world be like without music or rivers or the green and tender grass? What would this world be like without dogs?”― Mary Oliver, Dog Songs
“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.
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison
“Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years.” – Ausonius
We spend a good part of our life competing, going faster in the pursuit of the prize. And I love a good competition as a way to keep improving and challenging myself to stay in the game. Never been a fan of showing up trophies.
As the years have passed, I have a new appreciation for time rather than recording new times. Time with good friends and family with an acute awareness of the brevity of time. Not only showing up but trying and not accepting anything less than doing our best, whatever that may be.
Today, we ran the Minnesota State Fair Milk Run, a tradition. We all run different paces. Rather than worrying about my time, I wanted to run for the experience of time with friends who are a part of the fabric and color in my life. We didn’t set any records but created a memory to treasure, especially when things change as they always do.
Enjoy each day, laugh and cast your bright light over those shadows that the world pulls us to. Be present with people and create time for yourself for gratitude and the sacred awareness of the blessings in your life. Dive deeper into this moment, rather than racing through your life.
“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” – Audrey Hepburn
Words matter. Actions even more. We so often have an opinion on everything and advice for others that we wouldn’t take ourselves. The noise of nothingness is loud, drowning out what’s real and true.
There are more good people than bad, and everyone has a story that we don’t know. Ask and then listen. There is more depth and substance to people, so go beyond the surface and dig a little deeper. It’s easier to define others and put them in a box than to find our common humanity and complexity. We’re all trying to figure this life out, become who we are called to be and fulfill our purpose. Hopefully. And if we focused on that, what a world this would be.
Give the benefit of the doubt, be kind, lighten up, laugh more, drop your perceptions which are often misperceptions and be naively hopeful and filled with joy. Take the time to encourage someone each day rather than say nothing or worse, being critical. It is often hard to do in world that asks for more and more of us and gives less and less. But I am convinced it’s the only viable choice that we have to live well and in the moment each day.
Cast your light today, early and often. Words and actions.
“Indeed, this life is a test. It is a test of many things – of our convictions and priorities, our faith and our faithfulness, our patience and our resilience, and in the end, our ultimate desires.” – Sheri L. Dew
“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” – Carl Jung
Beauty and light have the power to breakthrough whatever we are going through. If (when) times are difficult or unclear, hang on tight to hope, let go of fear and trust in your purpose unfolding as it should.
As a flower has the strength to break through asphalt, find your resilience and resolve and by all means reach for the light.
You are made to break through, not break down. Keep going.
“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” – Havelock Ellis
“Let us be grateful to people (dogs) who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust
Sasha joined our family today. Abby is thrilled.
A year ago, I lost my Samoyed Molly and then in October, I lost my Golden Retriever Lily. I have been looking for a Samoyed for almost a year and when it fell through a couple of times, I got a Golden Retriever in December.
Abby will be nine months soon and Sasha is four months. When the opportunity came up a few weeks ago with a breeder, I couldn’t pass it up. It just felt right. The “rules” would say you shouldn’t get two puppies. Wait, it’s too soon.
The one thing that I’ve learned in the past year after losing my Dad and two dogs within 5 months of each other is that life is short and the rules we make up really don’t matter.
God works slow and fast, in His own time, which usually doesn’t align with our own. There have been days that have dragged and months and months of waiting. Seemingly for no reason at all, stuck in the waiting. And then suddenly, something new comes together rapid fire. The waiting comes to an end and we’re tossed into the next chapter of our life in a moment’s notice.
All that has come before brings us to this day, whether we can figure it out or not. So when we let go of our rules, stop trying to “outsmart” God and trust Him, we can enter fully into what is and be in grateful awe of this very moment.
“To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower Hold infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour.” – William Blake
“Tell me what you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver
The innate beauty of wild flowers is their carefree nature and brilliant color. They bloom strong in tall grass and weeds, taking root and standing tall. Nothing snares them from fruition. Nothing and no one.
What’s holding you back? Your made up “rules and regulations” of what should be or should have been? What others think? Fear or worthiness?
Release the past and the future. Go uninhibited and with vigor into each moment and day, knowing that this is your one and only precious life. And stop asking permission to bloom.
Talk a walk on the wild side. Show your colors wild thing.
“Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.” – Kevyn Aucoin
On average, I sift through 350 emails per day in my work email and another 100 plus in my home email. That doesn’t include about 100 emails that get stopped by the spam blocker. Probably three quarters of the emails are junk or email I am not interested in so I delete them rather than going the extra step and unsubscribing so I don’t have keep dealing with them.
We spend much of our day responding and reacting rather than creating and producing. But the good news is (and there is always good news) that we have a choice. We can unsubscribe to the noise in our technology, the noise in the world and the noise in our heads that distract us from living well. And not only can we unsubscribe, we can subscribe and opt in to that which is most important – becoming the person we are called to be through kindness, gratitude, service and light.
Start opting in and subscribing to joy each and every day and let the noise fade to the background and dissipate into thin air where it belongs.