“It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind that determines which way we will go.” – Jim Rohn
The winds are certain. Change the sail, seize the winds. Optimism, enthusiasm, joy, curiosity, imagination. Set the sail in the right direction and harness the wind.
“Our attitudes control our lives. Attitudes are a secret power working twenty-four hours a day, for good or bad. It is of paramount importance that we know how to harness and control this great force.” – Irving Berlin
“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.” – Allen Klein
“Life did not stop, and one had to live.”— Leo Tolstoy
The bright brilliant, unending parade of flowers remind us that life continues to unfold, bloom, burst, fade, finish and then begin yet again. Allow yourself to be surprised, to be awed, to be awakened. Look around, not back and not too far ahead. This season is overflowing with beauty – cannon ball into the deep end and flap around with delight. One has to live. Seek, soak and cast light.
“That though the radiance which was once so bright be now forever taken from my sight. Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower. We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind.” – William Wordsworth
“Always continue the climb. It is possible for you to do whatever you choose, if you first get to know who you are and are willing to work with a power that is greater than ourselves to do it.” – Ella Wheeler Wilcox
“Most of us have two lives: the life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.” – Steven Pressfield
Without fail, every time we hit the incline into the woods, the girls charge the hill. Not fast but steady momentum. Forward motion.
Resistance is a guarantee. Downhill coasts come from uphill climbs. Ups, downs and steady. Circles, cycles and seasons. It’s the ebb and flow of life.
When we stop trying to change the inevitable and change our perspective, daily joy can enter and take hold. The battle is in the mind, not in our circumstances.
Charge the hill, take the mountain. Stop pondering and do the work. Sprinkle it with some enthusiasm and a side of joy along the way. And don’t forget to coast on the downhill and let the wind move through you.
“Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second, we can turn the tables on Resistance. This second, we can sit down and do our work.” – Steven Pressfield
Fences and boundaries create control and certainty. They also confine and restrict. Draw outside the lines, move the boundaries out to expand and explore. Rarely is life made up of all joy or all struggle. We can have both and much more at the same time. You can feel joy in struggles.
You do not need permission to laugh, sing and dance when times are difficult. That is precisely the time to do these “frivolous” activities. To create gates in your fences to enter wide open fields of possibility and light.
Joy, optimism, hope, peace are verbs. Put them into action each day. Experience the complexity and simplicity of life at the same time. Use your imagination. Broaden your view.
“Wondrous is the strength of cheerfulness, and its power of endurance – the cheerful man will do more in the same time, will do it; better, will preserve it longer, than the sad or sullen.” – Thomas Carlyle
“When the light turns green, you go. When the light turns red, you stop. But what do you do when the light turns blue with orange and lavender spots?”― Shel Silverstein, A Light in the Attic
“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”― Shel Silverstein
A fresh bloom of flowers, purple crayons, confetti to adorn the path. Slow and measured, aware and awake, off the beaten path, outside the lines, engage your imagination. Get outside, get out of your thoughts and observe, venture to new places where the sidewalk ends. Anything can be, indeed.
“There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.
Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.
Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.”
“I praise loudly. I blame softly.” – Catherine the Great
Start and end with gratitude, with loud praise and joy follows in ordinary days, in ordinary ways. Breathe in deeply and take notice. The symphony of birds welcoming spring, a flower reaching for the sky. All in reach. Be available, accept the invitation, linger.
by Mary Oliver, A Thousand Mornings
“Oh do you have time
for just a little while
out of your busy
and very important day
for the goldfinches
that have gathered
in a field of thistles
for a musical battle,
to see who can sing
the highest note,
or the lowest,
or the most expressive of mirth,
or the most tender?
Their strong, blunt beaks
drink the air
as they strive
not for your sake
and not for mine
and not for the sake of winning
but for sheer delight and gratitude –
believe us, they say,
it is a serious thing
just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in the broken world.
I beg of you,
do not walk by
to attend to this
rather ridiculous performance.
It could mean something.
It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
‘You must change your life.’”
“The meaning of life is not to be discovered only after death in some hidden, mysterious realm; on the contrary, it can be found by eating the succulent fruit of the Tree of Life and by living in the here and now as fully and creatively as we can.” – Paul Kurtz
“The temptation is strong to remain in the Zone of Excellence; it’s where your own addiction to comfort wants you to stay. It’s also where your family, friends, and organization want you to stay. You’re reliable there, and you provide a steady supply of all the things that family, friends, and organizations thrive on. The problem is that a deep, sacred part of you will wither and die if you stay inside your Zone of Excellence.”― Gay Hendricks, The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level
All that you need is right inside of you in this moment, beyond old narratives, expectations and limitations imposed by others and self. Take your power back from your feelings and circumstances. Make your ceilings new floors to enter your genius, a natural flow and deep well within, your calling, your gifts, where you bear good fruit. Keep at it until you figure it out through imperfect action and fresh thinking. Expand into abundance, reject scarcity and cynicism.
“We keep ourselves so tied up in regretting the past and fearing the future that we don’t have any energy left to figure out who we are and what we want to create right now.”— Gay Hendricks
Stop accepting less, get to work, keep learning and take action. Plant seeds today, bear good fruit tomorrow.
“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, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”