“It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder
“Sometimes, we have to stand on the commitment and hard work of others. Yet, there are other passages in life that each of us has to journey through alone. We can call the first process, progress, and the second, incarnation.” – Mark Nepo, Surviving Storms: Finding the Strength to Meet Adversity
So much resides and lives in the simple things.
Time with family and friends.
Making new friends, connecting with a stranger, if but for a moment.
Laughter, a walk in the woods, trips to dog parks to chase balls and other dogs, and the newly discovered “pup cup” filled with whipped cream.
Find your path into the clearing.
We’ll see each other on the way.
Walking along side, sharing the road.
Paying attention to the simple things.
Tripping on joy and grace.
Incarnation, vastness, doing for others, seeing for self.
“Like everyone before us, we each must find our own path into the clearing, where we can build a home near the vastness of life. And we each must pass on what we can, so that those who follow will have the chance to awaken their own lives, which no one but they can live. Like everyone who will follow us, we are each called to reveal and enliven the twin ethics of doing for others and seeing for ourselves.” – Mark Nepo, Surviving Storms: Finding the Strength to Meet Adversity
“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”― William James
“As you take a few minutes each day to quiet your mind, you will discover a nice benefit: your everyday, “ordinary” life will begin to seem far more extraordinary. Little things that previously went unnoticed will begin to please you. You’ll be more easily satisfied, and happier all around. Rather than focusing on what’s wrong with your life, you’ll find yourself thinking about and more fully enjoying what’s right with your life. The world won’t change, but your perception of it will. You’ll start to notice the little acts of kindness and caring from other people rather than the negativity and anger.”― Jack Canfield
May we greet this day and each other with a newness, a hospitality, a welcoming, belonging.
Connected and created for relationship, joy, awe, unfolding, unfurling, wonder.
Open space, home coming, extraordinary in the midst of even a Monday.
Awaken your senses, seek surprise, allow fresh air in to breathe in delight woven into this ordinary day.
Gratitude, grace and a keen awareness of blessings to you today.
“Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines.”― Henri J.M. Nouwen, Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life
“To attain knowledge, add things everyday. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”― Lao Tzu
When the water pools, find the passage to the river.
Flowing and free.
Static to dynamic.
Separate to connection, belonging.
Real time awareness.
Reflection for witnessing.
Intuition and experience.
Beginner and wanderer.
Mystery and meaning.
Hold patterns and landings.
Beginnings and endings. Repeat.
Before, after and the in between where we reside the most.
Create the space and grace for the mix of it all.
The cycle of continual arriving.
“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”― Lao Tzu
“No matter how much light I carry within me, there will always be times of feeling lost, being confused, seeking direction. It is the way of the human heart.”― Joyce Rupp, The Star in My Heart: Experiencing Sophia, Inner Wisdom
“if I wait to be
before I love myself
I will always be
if I wait until
all the flaws, chips,
and cracks disappear
I will be the cup
that stands on the shelf
and is never used”
― Joyce Rupp
In clouds, in sun, in imperfection, in the present moment, fill your cup up in all things. Don’t wait, the time is now.
“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.” – William Blake
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” ― Brene Brown
Enter the space of today, of where you are right now.
Let it be.
Observe, listen, grieve, shout, leap, laugh, dance, cry, embrace it all.
Shortcuts, going around, avoidance all lead to shallow existence, stasis.
Going through is the only viable path.
Tend to your life.
Prune, nurture, wait, bud, bloom.
There’s beauty in winter and in the giving way to spring.
Joy, gratitude, belonging, grace, delight remain in all seasons, in endings, in transitions, and in new beginnings.
Life is finite and the infinite is woven through ordinary moments where awe, beauty and light enter, take hold, awaken and stir us to newness.
The infinite power of our own light, seek and discover.
“How should a man be capable of grooming his own horse, or of furbishing his own spear and helmet, if he allows himself to become unaccustomed to tending even his own person, which is his most treasured belonging?” – Alexander the Great
“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.” – Neil Gaiman
Life is an essay not multiple choice.
A journey not a checklist.
A mystery and comedy.
Rich with context, content and connection.
Emptied with loss, change and struggle.
Filled with love, light and joy.
Many choices and answers.
Decisions made, not made.
Fight, flight, freeze.
In it all.
In the nouns, verbs and prepositions.
We write the story.
Others write the story.
Life writes the story.
God writes the story.
It continues, expands, contracts.
Find the gifts, grit and grace in it all.
Keep writing, editing, rewriting.
A work in progress.
“If we are lucky, we see God in something really mysterious, like a miracle. But mostly we see God in regular surprises like love and forgiveness.”— No Cure for Being Human: (And Other Truths I Need to Hear) by Kate Bowler
“As you get older, you want less from the world; you just want to experience it. Any barriers to feeling emotions get dismantled. And ordinary things become beautifully poetic.” – Richard Linklater
“Small minds are concerned with the extraordinary, great minds with the ordinary.” – Blaise Pascal
Between points A and B lies the meantime;
Not quite there yet;
Like the water between fall and winter and winter and spring;
Frozen in areas and open in others;
Stable and unstable;
Clear and choppy;
We spend most of our life in the meantime;
Often bound up looking back to point A or ahead to point B;
Missing the space in between called the present;
Do not forgo the meantime;
Seeds are slowing becoming buds preparing to break ground;
Joy and contentment can be found in the waiting, in the journey, in the straddling, in ordinary days;
In the meantime, remain in the meantime.
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” – William Arthur Ward
“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.” – Etty Hillesum
The past two days, I’ve had the privilege of picking up my great nephew Liam from full-day school. It’s been the highlight of my week since he’s my life coach and best friend. Each day, 10 minutes into the drive back to my house, he’s fallen asleep exhausted, out like a light. I’ve looked at him and it sums up the way many of us are feeling these days.
After hour upon hour of zoom meetings and running as fast as possible to figure out how to save the world of business and take care of our family, it’s natural to be worn out. So as we move through this reality, I’ve come to two conclusions:
Go easy on yourself and allow yourself space and grace to feel what you feel without judgment;
When you’re ready, ask “now what?” – we need time to process and grieve and then we need to figure out what’s next and what we are going to do about it.
This is one rare occasion in our collective life that we are really “all in this together” so let’s give each other a break, be kind, empathetic and supportive.
Rest, give yourself a break. There is light, joy and hope now and ahead.
We go into a new year looking to change, “fix” and improve who we are. To be better, to hit the high mark, in hot pursuit of our best selves.
We are halfway through January – the most motivating month of the year – a fresh start and new beginning. Before you let the month, the next day, slip away in pursuit of something “better” than you, stop, celebrate and honor you as you are right in this very moment.
No changes, no improvement, no perfection. Not future you, not high performance you. You as you are right now, unapologetic, imperfect and beautiful you filled with strength, resilience and character. What you’ve overcome, rode straight though, survived and thrived to arrive at the person you are right now.
We wane on our resolutions because we don’t recognize, appreciate and notice the person we already are right now. Time to light the fireworks, bring out the balloons and strike up the band to celebrate current you just as you are.
“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.”― Ernest Hemingway
I went to quite a few funerals in 2019. 2020 is kicking off with two this week. Our time is limited and precious. Wasting it complaining, in unforgiveness, in being “right” only harvests regret and remorse. As the pastor said today, death pushes us to think about our own life and can prompt us to make a “course correction.” That certainly is the gift if we choose to open it.
Each of us has the choice to make a course correction. We can’t go back, but we can change the direction of where we go forward. Apologize, forgive and forget before it’s too late. Do something you’ve always wanted to – take the trip, write the book, take an art class.
Life is finite so make the most of your moments. Let all the stuff go that really doesn’t matter and enjoy this day. Don’t wait for a funeral to make your course correction.