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Posts tagged ‘Faith’

Glow

“When we recall the past, we usually find that it is the simplest things – not the great occasions – that in retrospect give off the greatest glow of happiness. – Bob Hope

Amidst the clouds is the glow of the sun. Focus on the glow, not the clouds. The glow is the thread through, cling to it. We are all taught by time if we allow.

“Yet, taught by time, my heart has learned to glow for other’s good, and melt at other’s woe.” – Homer

Craft

“When a work lifts your spirits and inspires bold and noble thoughts in you, do not look for any other standard to judge by: the work is good, the product of a master craftsman.” – Jean de la Bruyere

In two days, I’ve watched one quiet craftsman tear out linoleum, laminate and carpet and piece together new vinyl plank flooring throughout my first floor. One person in rapt attention, in flow and in craft. An art and science. An ease and flow. It’s informative and directive of how we rebuild, design and craft our future. We may not know the pieces in this moment. Unknowing and mystery are gifts in disguise, revelation, if we enter with new eyes.

Embrace the mystery, allure, fullness and emptiness of this very moment of unknowing and uncertainty to discover how the pieces, the planks, the puzzle fit together. Sense comes from chaos. Order from uncertainty. Wait, hope and hold tight. Craftsmanship – the art and science of building from disparate pieces that create the whole which is always revealed in due time.

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” – Pablo Picasso

Different, And Good Again

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

We have a natural tendency to keep score of what’s missing more than what’s still present and the possibility of what will come. We have what it takes to move into our different normal and it will be good again. It may not be familiar and it will surely be new and it will be good again.

Look for the light, the joy, the transformation woven through this time and know in your bones, in your heart and in your spirit, it will be good again, even great!

Yesterday

“A man of courage is also full of faith.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

“Today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness.” Kalidasa

Since March 20th, I’ve been writing in a journal every morning to capture this rare time (I’m not calling it unprecedented and uncertain – obvious, overused and meaningless). I put the date on each entry and often have to look at my phone to remind me what day it is. It is easy to get lost in these wandering and over-zoomed days.

This morning, I didn’t need to be reminded of what day it was. I knew it. Four years ago, my Dad passed away. I was in a plane coming back from a work trip to Boston and didn’t make it in time. Not one single day has gone by since that I have not missed him. I often want to pick up the phone and have a conversation with him, like I did every day for the past several decades. I think of the conversations that we’d have right now about these days. But I don’t have to go too far to know what he would think or say. He remains in my heart, I hear him in my own phrases and thoughts. He’s a part of my fabric and being. He and my Mom planted, fostered and grew faith, grit and strength in me, my brother and sister. Three solid traits to get through these days. Optimism is too.

So today, I ask each of you to do me one favor. Stop, call your Mom and Dad if they are still here and tell them you love them and repeat daily. Because four years ago last night, I had no idea that the next day would be the last day.

Don’t take time for granted while you are in your “yesterdays,” even in the middle of a damn pandemic. Tomorrows come and sometimes they surprise us with gifts and other times with loss which leaves us grateful for what was and in due time allows us to keep going, never forgetting and always richly blessed.

Bud to Bloom

“Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” – Hans Christian Andersen

“The smallest flower is a thought, a life answering to some feature of the Great Whole, of whom they have a persistent intuition.” – Honore de Balzac

We are all in different places. Some at bud, some ready to break open and some in full bloom. Each one of us is where we need to be in this moment. No need to compare, compete or contrast. Just be where you are right now and know that bud always leads to bloom. Always.

“Just imagine becoming the way you used to be as a very young child, before you understood the meaning of any word, before opinions took over your mind. The real you is loving, joyful, and free. The real you is just like a flower, just like the wind, just like the ocean, just like the sun.” – Don Miguel Ruiz

“The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another’s, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises.” – Leo Buscaglia

 

“The flower has opened, has been in the sun and is unafraid. I’m taking more chances; I’m bold and proud.” – Paula Cole

Did You Find Joy?

“Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.” – Emily Dickinson

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver

What if the one question that you are asked at the end of your days, at the pearly gates of heaven are, “Did you find joy?” What would your answer be? I believe we will each individually be accountable to report out what we did with this “one wild and precious life.”

Can you change the answer now so you can get an “A” at the end of the course of life?

On a 10-mile run today, I ran the red light on the path since no cars were around, not even the sound of cars approaching. A block away from the light, I turned back and watched a biker sit and wait for the red light to turn green with no one around. She was following the rules, even if they don’t make sense anymore. Run the red and keep moving, in hot pursuit of daily joy, new constructs and possibilities when we draw outside the lines.

So as you enter tomorrow, start your day with a simple and complex question – “where will I find joy today?”

When we pursue and find joy, we become joy. A light, an energy source, a beacon, a walking smile, steeped in awe and wonder, ready and willing to be surprised.

So rather than changing the world, our circumstances, or our neighbor who irritates the hell out of us, what if we simply pursued daily joy?

Joy fosters kindness, generosity, forgiveness, curiosity, creativity, empathy, purpose, clarity and ease. Joy found must be shared – it’s the nature of joy. And if each one of us focuses, prepares and answers the one question that we may be asked at the end of our days – “did you find joy?” we may just be fulfilling our purpose and calling.

Start each and every day – “how will l find joy today?” and be ready to answer the question.

“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” – Christopher McCandless

Signs All Around

“Changing is not just changing the things outside of us. First of all we need the right view that transcends all notions including of being and non-being, creator and creature, mind and spirit. That kind of insight is crucial for transformation and healing.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

“Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.” – Henri Nouwen

A joyful wandering through Como neighborhoods with friends tonight was energizing, inspiring and healing. Suddenly a STOP sign caught our attention – someone wove a yarn stem around the metal and created an urban, timeless flower with an important prompt and call to inaction. Stop, breathe and see the buds and blooms that are present right now in front of our very eyes, not in the past or future, but available in the ordinariness of today.

We need more joy, energy, inspiration and most of all healing. As we move through uncertainty, we need to hold tight to a knowing, a reverence and confidence in healing. The caterpillar always becomes a butterfly. The sun rises, every morning. Wounds heal. Flowers bloom.

See the blooms, feel the healing and recognize the signs. Stop and take notice. Allow healing and light. It always comes.

“Meditation can help us embrace our worries, our fear, our anger; and that is very healing. We let our own natural capacity of healing do the work.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Empathy and Optimism

“Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.” – M Michel de Montaigne

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” – Romans 12:15

At the start of a meeting yesterday, each person was asked to share two words that described them in that moment. I listened intently and it was a mix. As I thought about my own words, I chose “empathy and optimism.”

When we are empathetic, we can listen and “weep with those who weep” and by harnessing the power and fuel of optimism, we can simultaneously “rejoice with those who rejoice.” Weeping is real, required and will pass with time. Rejoicing is a way to live, even in the midst of weeping moments.

We are a mix of opposites, contradictions, imperfection, resilience and beautiful music. Pursue awareness – self first so you can see yourself in others and genuinely feel empathy rather than judgment and assumptions. Awareness prompts action and necessary change. As Maya Angelo said, “when you know better, you do better.”

We need to both weep and rejoice, with a bias toward rejoicing and optimism. Life is fragile, strong, short, long and no day returns to repeat so seize today, let go of yesterday and hope for tomorrow.

“To live would be an awfully big adventure.” – Peter Pan

Seed Planting Time

“Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don’t have any problems, you don’t get any seeds.” – Norman Vincent Peale

“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances. We carry the seeds of the one or the other about with us in our minds wherever we go.” – Martha Washington

The ground has softened, the grass turning green and the temperatures are in the 60s. Winter is bowing out and welcoming spring to the stage, front and center. Seeds ready to be planted. And so are you. What seeds are you planting in your mind, heart and spirit now?

It’s planting time, so start today. Plant seeds of hope, joy, optimism, discovery, gratitude, abundance, laughter, wonder and possibility.

“Each moment is perfect and heaven-sent, in that each moment holds the seeds for growth.” – Suzan-Lori Parks

What seeds are you planting now?

Holy

“Pure, holy simplicity confounds all the wisdom of this world and the wisdom of the flesh.” – Francis of Assisi

These are holy, sacred days. Don’t miss or dismiss them. This time, this rare moment is our return to ourselves. Take the trip, go there. There’s a mystery and unknowing and it’s alright and more safe than we know. This time is calling each us back home to our core, our center, to our very being.

Accept the invitation and embrace the moment, for it will pass quickly. Rapt attention, pure joy and deep awareness. Enter and welcome yourself home. Embrace and savor this sacred holy time. Let go of the chaos and enter a peace that passes all understanding.

“O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling and scatter there Thy cheerful beams.” –  Saint Augustine

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