“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”- Wayne Dyer
“Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.” – Gilda Radner
Ease into the unknown, embrace uncertainty, hold what’s necessary and release what weighs you down, what blocks your path. Lessons often unfold in hindsight with time and distance, with no recourse to change course. Awareness beckons, invites and welcomes learning in real time, in the very moment, deepening moments and amplifying time.
Awareness first. Lessons in the moment. Change certain, growth optional. Choose growth, expansion, gratitude and joy. Fight the good fight.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor E. Frankl
“Life is a great tapestry. The individual is only an insignificant thread in an immense and miraculous pattern.” – Albert Einstein
“I believe we create our own lives. And we create it by our thinking, feeling patterns in our belief system. I think we’re all born with this huge canvas in front of us and the paintbrushes and the paint, and we choose what to put on this canvas.” – Louise L. Hay
In our effort to prove our rightness and others’ wrongness, we diminish the complexity and depth of the world and our place in it. While it may provide temporary comfort, we miss the rich essence of living fully by both observing and participating, listening before speaking, conversation rather than pontification.
Life is filled with dichotomy and opposite as well as pattern and connection. When we put down our ego, listen and open our eyes, we find that we share the road on this journey, with no one right about everything. In the blending, depth and connection, there are patterns, insights and answers that have been present waiting to be discovered through thoughtful, quiet inquiry.
A meaningful and content life emerges when we ask, “what am I to learn?” and “how can I give rather than take?”
While I may not agree with others, I can still maintain my principles and beliefs without diminishing them in the process. I can even go so far as being kind and generous, especially to those I don’t agree with.
We need to both insulate the noise that distracts us and absorb the rhythms to create music. When we are too close, we need to pull back. When we are too far, we need to move in. From simple to complex and back to simple again. Going deep, then rising to the surface.
Be open to seeing patterns and connections amidst the dichotomy and opposites. There is far more beauty than we account for as we count the wrong things. Be willing to learn and as a result, grow and change.
Take time off.
Minutes. Days. Repeat.
Enter the woods.
Step into the water.
Leave worry by the wayside and do not return to reclaim it.
Embrace the air, sun and water.
Let it embrace you back.
Wandering, wondering with no schedule.
Take it all in until the sun sets.
What we carry defines what carries us.
Witness beauty in each day.
Let it permeate your bones and change you.
Breathe deeply with all of your senses.
Lay down the unnecessary to make space for what truly is necessary.
Count your days so you make each one count.
Awe, delight and gratitude – all side effects of this joy prescription.
“Life is the flower of which love is the honey” – Victor Hugo
“He who postpones the hour of living is like the rustic who waits for the river to run out before he crosses.” – Horace
“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”– Frances Hodgson Burnett
“Write your worries in the sand, carve your blessings in stone.” – Robert F. Kennedy
“Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.”– Jim Carrey
“Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.” – Rene Magritte
“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” – Pablo Picasso
As I ran by the Como Conservatory on my 10-mile run on Sunday, the flowers growing from the pond stopped me in my tracks. Every day, nature is a brilliant art gallery, a gift to open again and again as if we’ve seen it for the first time. May butterflies, flowers and bees always command my attention, delight and awe.
Life is either a series of hassles and hurdles or blessings and beauty. While I’m not batting a thousand, I pray that I always choose the blessings and beauty option.
We are only asked to be alive in this moment, fully aware and deeply grateful for simple beauty.
“This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” – Henry David Thoreau
“The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.” – Henri Nouwen
“The spiritual life is not a life before, after, or beyond our everyday existence. No, the spiritual life can only be real when it is lived in the midst of the pains and joys of the here and now.” – Henri Nouwen
Flowers, butterflies, summer sun. When the weight of the world hovers, nature displays brilliant beauty, the sacredness in ordinary days and the surety of seasons. A year from now, this day will be but a memory and we will all be in a different place, with new pains and joys.
We are called to be present amidst the depth and breadth of the history we are living right now. And we have a choice to trudge through in misery and angst or faith and trust. Light or dark. Hope or despair.
May we choose to float, to transcend, to transform no matter the circumstances, to dance despite the outlook and take the road less traveled of optimism. We will land in the same place a year from now. Misery is optional.
“There is nothing holier in this life of ours than the first consciousness of love, the first fluttering of its silken wings.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.” – Ray Bradbury
When a butterfly’s wings are together, they are thin as a piece of tissue paper, camouflaged amongst the flowers. Invisible. Unseen.
Oh, but when they expand. Oh, when they dare to expand. From east to west, wingspan broad, immense and heroic preparing for flight.
May we walk, better yet, may we float, fly and transcend though this life with wings spanned. Letting go, light as air and filled with delight and joy. Bright, brilliant and wider than we ever could imagine.
Expand your wings and discover their span. Take flight.
“I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?’ – Zhuangzi
“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’” – Robin Williams
“Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.” – Wayne Dyer
Flowers are the confetti of nature’s party celebrating full bloom, brilliant color and simple delights. When negativity and criticism is rampant, go out into nature and be captured by the simple grand beauty. Tune into abundance rather than scarcity.
Let go of your opinion long enough to entertain new ideas and possibility. Guard your joy. Start throwing some confetti rather than water. Enjoy each day and cast light.
“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napoleon Hill
“As long as we are persistence in our pursuit of our deepest destiny, we will continue to grow. We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom. It happens in its own time.” – Denis Waitley
The lupines are almost in full bloom. The purple is working its way from the roots to the tips. A few more sunny days like today, they will be in full bloom. Lupines are nitrogen-fixing plant that extract nitrogen from the air and converts it to a form for its growth and other plants in the process.
May we be patient and persistent in our pursuit, pruning and cultivating our own bloom so others may bloom as well.
“The further I wake into this life, the more I realize that God is everywhere and the extraordinary is waiting quietly beneath the skin of all that is ordinary. Light is in both the broken bottle and the diamond, and music is in both the flowing violin and the water dripping from the drainage pipe. Yes, God is under the porch as well as on top of the mountain, and joy is in both the front row and the bleachers, if we are willing to be where we are.”
― Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have
Spring is full on with summer on its heels. Breathe in the bloom. Let go of the unnecessary to make room for what’s truly essential in the ordinary. Abundance, bloom, fullness. All present right in this very very moment.
“Not what we have But what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.” – Epicurus
“Look to the lilies how they grow!” – David Macbeth Moir
Like many public spaces, Como Conservatory is locked down. We often run/walk by to see if the windows are cracked so we can peer inside to see the beautiful flowers and breathe in the fragrance. Outside looking in.
Flowers, nature, friends, families, dogs, prayers, long walks and runs, music, poetry, fresh air are sources of light that have always filled us up. Our awareness of these blessings is more vivid now. Accept the good and the challenging days as they come anchored in hope. Find joy in ordinary moments, not looking too far back or too far ahead.
Look inside yourself with mercy and grace, see the beautiful flowers, take a deep breathe. Each one of us is doing the very best we can in this moment. It’s the first pandemic in our lifetime so there’s no script on how it should work. We have the strength, resilience and capacity to get to the other side so keep going, no matter what!