“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
It’s simple math. We need to make more deposits than withdrawls to stay out of debt, paying high interest rates, falling behind. This principle applies to our daily life too. We can’t keep spending without replenishing our account.
We’ve had a lot of withdrawls on our “account” this year. Lots of overdrafts to be sure. COVID month 9, remote work and school, lockdown, social distancing, health concerns, job loss, businesses closed, holidays canceled, an election season, winter around the corner and the list goes on. Too many big withdrawls.
And yet, we’ve also had deposits along the way. Time with family. Slowing down to question where we’ve been rushing to. Gaining a real understanding of gratitude. Experiencing a shared understanding, a leveling of sorts. Discovering the healing power of nature and long walks. Home projects that finally got done. Books read. Our resilience and empathy muscles have been strengthened and will serve us well now and in the future.
Small deposits each day add up. Take that walk. Buy snowshoes and keep walking through the winter. Start a new book. Try a new hobby. Decorate for the holidays. Meditate every morning – even if only for 5 minutes to ground yourself in the present moment. Take a nap. Daily journaling to unravel and uncover your thoughts. Text an encouraging word. Send flowers. Buy flowers for yourself. Be kind. Do something for someone else. Generosity pays double back into the account.
Joy, contentment, hope, faith, creativity, purpose, laughter, optimism are the dividends of daily deposits. Outstanding return on investment.
“Because you are alive, everything is possible.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
“We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
The science on meditation and mindfulness shows the real impact on daily living. We get skeptical about adding one more thing to our daily to do list, but meditation is worth the 10-30 minutes a day. In addition to training for a now virtual marathon, journaling every morning since March and daily meditation guided by the Insight Timer app has been worth the effort and investment.
We need to do less so we can experience more. Let go of old stories, hold on to things worthy of our valuable time. Create space for new possibilities, joy and abundance.
Let go of the unnecessary so you can hold on to the necessary. Carve quiet so light can enter and reveal the magic of living.
“Peace in ourselves, peace in the world.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu
“Meditation is a process of lightening up, of trusting the basic goodness of what we have and who we are, and of realizing that any wisdom that exists, exists in what we already have. We can lead our life so as to become more awake to who we are and what we’re doing rather than trying to improve or change or get rid of who we are or what we’re doing. The key is to wake up, to become more alert, more inquisitive and curious about ourselves.”– Pema Chodron
From the time I read The Power of Positive Thinking over 30 years ago, I’ve had a deep interest in psychology, optimism and purpose. It’s why I launched Cast Light over 9 years ago and launched Start3Things last year.
Advancements in neuroscience over the past two decades have provided new insights on how we can rewire our brain to positively impact our daily life. We are “wired” to see negative more than positive. It’s called negativity bias. I just started an online course on Meditations to Change Your Brain to gain new strategies and insights to expand my perspective and go deeper.
With mindfulness and meditation, we can exercise our brain and keep discovering, learning and growing. Meditation can steady your mind, focus attention, reduce stress and prompt creativity. I can’t think of a more important time than right now to pursue this practice daily to plan and prepare for each day and to get to the other side of the pandemic and well beyond.
While there are many meditation apps available, Insight Timer is actually free and has over 55,000 guided meditations. It’s an easy way to rewire our brain to find joy, light and calm in each day. If each of us pursued this for ourselves, imagine the state of the world. Start with your world first and see what the world can become in this very moment.
“To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still.”– Jiddu Krishnamurti
“Grow in the root of all grace, which is faith. Believe God’s promises more firmly than ever. Allow your faith to increase in its fullness, firmness, and simplicity.” – Charles Spurgeon
“Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.” – Martin Luther
Carve moments throughout the day to create space to listen, ponder and be at ease. Open up to the newness of the day, becoming aware of grace that is present, a free gift if we choose to open it. Go boldly with trust into the simplicity of living that we are called to enter.
Assumptions, old wounds and judgment cloud the path forward. The past, the way we choose to see it, need not define the future. We can write a new story. Empathy is kindness outward that comes back in as well. We realize that we are all on this journey together trying to find the right path forward.
By creating space, we create distance between stimulus and response, between the past and the future. We allow the clouds to part for the rainbow to weave through the cracks casting brilliant colorful light, reminding us of the possibility and abundance abound.
Create space so you can see grace, the rainbow that is behind the clouds.
“When you are spiritually connected, you are not looking for occasions to be offended, and you are not judging and labeling others. You are in a state of grace in which you know you are connected to God and thus free from the effects of anyone or anything external to yourself.” – Wayne Dyer
“I am a being of Heaven and Earth, of thunder and lightning, of rain and wind, of the galaxies.” – Eden Ahbez
As the sky darkened and the rain moved in, a stunning light show danced through the clouds. Awe fills the heavy air. The immensity and beauty of creation remind us that life is bigger than a day, deeper than our circumstances and wider than the worry that we allow into our mind.
Let gratitude, hope, optimism, faith, trust, joy and grace in to light up your heart and soul. Bigger. Deeper. Wider.
Enjoy the show.
“Mirth is like a flash of lightning, that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.” – Joseph Addison
1 – what a great number. A chance to start anew. A fresh start. As we move into the second half of the year and July 1st moves us into the middle of summer, plan for the month ahead one day at a time with deep gratitude for summer days.
“In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.” – Aaron Rose
“When you possess light within, you see it externally.” – Anas Nin
When the labor of the day is over and rest is but steps away, the dusk enters and light lingers a few moments more as it slowly releases to night, to rest, to release.
When the night is over and a new day, a new beginning is but steps away, the dawn enters and light lingers a few moments more as it slowly releases to the full light of day, to awaken, to release all that was and embrace all that is meant to be if we allow.
Light remains to pull us forward, to call us to rest and to invite us to awaken to new beginnings available to each one of us if we choose to accept the invitation.
“Life is a balance between rest and movement.” – Rajneesh
“In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth.” – Patti Smith
Right-left. Liberal-conservative. Up-down. The answer internally and externally is found in balance. Not compromise. But in empathy, understanding, compassion and kindness. When the noise is deafening, when the meaning is hollow, go deeper by listening, by caring and by never, ever giving up despite the circumstances. It is a good life, if we dare to enter. Balance.
“The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.” – Euripides
“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Flowers…are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty out values all utilities of the world.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Our capacity and necessity for beauty and joy should never be discounted. We must actively seek, pursue, decide, exercise, build our beauty “hunting” skills and tune up our joy meter. It’s not by accident or by happenstance that we arrive at a state of joy and delight. It is a mindset that rejects despair, hopelessness and fear.
Goodness. Kindness. Beauty.
Never allow them to slip away or take them for granted.
Bright. Brilliant. Colorful.
Be open to walking alone and to invite others on the path so it is well-traveled.
“The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“We never look deeply into the quality of a tree; we never really touch it, feel its solidity, its rough bark, and hear the sound that is part of the tree. Not the sound of wind through the leaves, not the breeze of a morning that flutters the leaves, but its own sound, the sound of the trunk and the silent sound of the roots.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti
It was a beautiful, sunny, breezy day. The trees swayed and didn’t break. Moved and stretched. Embraced and flowed. The leaves danced and held on. May we bend and not break. Breath and flow. And sway with joy.
Let Sunday set the tone for the week. Carry it forward to seize the magic and delight. Each day, even Mondays, especially Mondays, are a gift. Open it and celebrate. The embrace of the breeze. Be held.
“What you really want for yourself is always trying to break through, just as a cooling breeze flows through an open window on a hot day. Your part is to open the windows of your mind.” – Vernon Howard