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Fast and Slow

“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” – Havelock Ellis

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust

“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.

Wild Thing

“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

“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.

Unsubscribe

“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.

Launch

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.” – Henry David Thoreau

In the ebb and flow of our days, we can easily succumb to the waves, overcome.

But they will subside and we overcome and rise again, more resilient and more grateful.

Our days will have their ups, downs and in-betweens.  But we are stronger than the tides, shaped and refined by their rhythm. Rather than try to figure it all out, we should focus our finite and ever so valuable time on enjoying moments and absorbing our blessings. Awe and delight are available to each of us. Launch on to that wave.

Unlocked Handcuffs

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

Our thoughts so easily stray and wander to assumptions, judgements, the rules, what others think, what I should do, what I shouldn’t do all based on no evidence. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of the unknown, fear of not being good enough. We weren’t put here to remain the same, to curl up comfortable and safe in the cocoon. Squirm, move, struggle to get out into the butterfly that you are meant to become.

When we bind ourselves with unlocked handcuffs, we miss the fulfillment and depth of the pursuit, of the work, of running freely, falling hard because we gave it our all and from getting right back up and going at it again.

Challenge your assumptions, your scarcity mindset and push the button of action and abundance. The handcuffs aren’t locked. The cocoon is only a transition to so much more.

Happy 5 Months

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” – e. e. cummings

Abby is 5 months old today.

Puppies and babies change so much each day that we count the months rather than the years. We could all enjoy our days more if we counted each one rather than looking too far ahead or behind.

When I had to pick between two puppies three months ago, I chose Abby when she looked deeply into my eyes. She still does and melts my heart each time. From 8 to 32 pounds and almost all of her adult teeth are in, which is great for my arms. Those puppy teeth are razor sharp.

Happy 5 Month Birthday Abby and for making each day a new adventure, filled with fun and joy. Can’t ask for much more than that.

“Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun.” – Randy Pausch

“Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun.” – Randy Pausch

Show Tunes

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” – Victor Hugo

My great nephew Liam who’s six months old actually smiles when I sing, so naturally, I sing. I downloaded a few show tunes this week to add some “depth” to my performances of made-up songs  – Singing in the Rain, Good Morning and Oklahoma. A little Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds go a long way.

Music, art, prose pull us beyond our routine daily-ness to a higher calling of simple delight and soulful connection. Feeling out of sorts? Pick up an umbrella and start dancing and singing in the rain.

There’s More

For some reason I didn’t bring my phone when I took Abby for a walk this morning. We went down to the playground a few blocks from our house on the way back. As we walked quietly, three deer came out from the woods 20 feet away. Abby sat and watched as the leader leapt with ease and grace and the other two followed with joy and delight.

I believe in signs and signals.  My thoughts immediately went to seeing Dad, Molly and Lily coming down from heaven for a brief moment to let me know there’s more. There’s more to this life and there’s more, so much more after we leave. Sure puts things in perspective.

I’ve been struggling with a few things lately. Probably making them bigger than they should be or avoiding them for a long time and they are showing themselves telling me to deal with them now. For so many years, Dad was my sounding board to talk through things, kindred spirits who could say anything to each other. I’ve been missing that every day.

Seeing the three deer this morning reminded me that he remains with me and whatever decisions that I make will be based on years of our conversations and how he shaped so much of who I am today.

In lieu of not capturing a photo on my phone of the three amigos in the woods this morning, I am posting one of my favorite photos of Dad. One that shows a youthful joy, free from the weight of this life and the weight we put on ourselves in this life.

dad1

There’s more. Delight in it. Every single day.

Carry

As I walked past my bookshelf, this old plaque on the shelf stood out – Footprints. It’s probably 25 years old and one of my favorites. I gave a more modern version to my nephew and his bride last month for one of their wedding gifts because it is a poignant reminder that when we are struggling, feeling alone, and there’s only one set of footprints, we are being carried.

God sends people (and dogs, maybe cats) to carry us. And when we are on steady ground again, we are called to carry others as well. Even when it doesn’t feel like it, this life remains a beautiful mystery filled with blessings every single day. Never alone. Cast light today.

footprints

Anew

“I decided to start anew, to strip away what I had been taught.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

In the midst of it all,  in the heat of the moment, we see only the height of the mountain, the width of the rift, the depth of the valley. Time and its companion patience eventually bring a fresh perspective, new priorities. We find our perseverance, grit, faith and strength to overcome, to withstand, to rise once again.

Life is often a series of starting again, getting up once more. But it is never starting over or from the very beginning. The journey, places, circumstances and people along the path, bring us to a new beginning, whether we realize it or not. We are moving forward to where we should be, never frozen in place.

“It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe.”- Muhammad Ali

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”- Muhammad Ali

If today was less than expected, if you are in the middle of the desert parched and searching for the oasis, it will come in due time. In due time, all starts anew. Spring comes and melts it all into the river of life.

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