Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Friends’

Somewhere In Between

Yesterday, I listened to my favorite songs loudly on the way into work and decided it was going to be a good day. And not only was it a good day, it was an outstanding day. One of the best in a long time because I set the stage, I made a plan, set my mind and stuck to it. Enjoy the day and have some fun. It worked.

Today, I had the same intentions. Hit the repeat button and let’s do it again. Same intentions, not same results. Pretty strong start to the day with some engaging conversations and meetings. And then mid-afternoon, it unraveled. Tech issues with our internet that I had been asking our vendor about for the past month, only to be ignored, and then the internet went down for the entire office for two hours with no back up and while I was in the middle of a client meeting. Other than getting them to fix the connection, I couldn’t talk to them today because I knew it wouldn’t be a constructive conversation that I would be proud of.

We live in extremes – way up or way down. And both are exhausting if we remain in them too long. Most of living is found somewhere in between the highs and the lows. I went home quietly to push the reset button again which consists of wandering in the woods with the girls and throwing balls in an open field while listening to nature party.

"You will find something more in woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters." -Saint Bernard

“You will find something more in woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.” -Saint Bernard

And then as the night progressed and errands took my attention, I realized that three years ago on this Thursday evening, I was going 60 miles an hour down West 7th to rush to Regions Hospital after getting off a flight from Boston, even though I didn’t need to rush. It was too late. I didn’t make it in time, Dad had already passed away in the hospital. This Sunday, April 28th is the actual date and not a day has gone by where I haven’t missed him and haven’t wanted to pick up the phone after a day like today to talk to him about it and have him masterfully put it into perspective for me. Not one day. And I know my brother, sister and Mom feel the exact same way. One big hole.

It sure puts in perspective a stupid preventable tech failure or another day at work putting in too much damn time thinking more time at work will make an impact other than to the bottom line of someone else.

Pick up the phone, drop by and never let anything go unsaid to your loved ones. I am happy to say that’s how it was left with Dad. In an instant the internet can go down. And, in an instant, you can lose your best friend. Don’t waste your time pining on stupid problems and caught up in the BS people throw at you all day. Spend time with family and friends who really make life worth living and rich with joy. You can find them “in between” it all.

Cease to Complain

“Any form of complaining is the small self becoming lost in self-importance. So much energy needed for awakening is wasted on complaining. We many not be able to change our external reality, but we can transform the negative thoughts and feelings that are our reaction to that reality. We have a chance to awaken from the nightmare we create through our resistance to what is. Stopping all complaining is one of the first steps. When we cease to complain, we conserve life force for what really matters. A new world begins. Each event becomes a mysterious opportunity rather than an inconvenient vexation. A tremendous amount of life force, once bound up in feeling sorry for oneself, is released. Where there was frustration and self-pity, there is now space for appreciation to bloom. The misguided belief that life should be other than it is dissolves and in its place, acceptance flowers, joy awakens, patience blooms, and peace permeates.” – Ann Mortifee, In Love with the Mystery

It may be justified. It seems reasonable. It seems like it should help, but it makes it worse. Complaining is wasted energy that blocks gratitude. Rather than being a release, it traps us in our thoughts of scarcity, comparison and self-pity.

Last week summed up to be a bust. And I made it worse by letting external things get internal and define my entire week. And then three things happened to shift my limited view, to open up my senses again.

My sister sent me beautiful flowers. A friend texted me after our run yesterday letting me know she noticed I was quieter and that she was thinking about me. I told her I was trying to get my inner “Tigger” back and send “Eeyore” on his way. She told me she likes “Eeyore” too and it’s ok to not be “Tigger” sometimes. And then I walked by a book that I got from a friend years ago and opened it up to the page with the passage above.

These three encounters brought gratitude back into view and where it should remain, front and center. I can’t guarantee that I won’t trip and fall into the complaining trap again. But it’s worth trying to keep space open for the gifts of acceptance, joy, patience and peace.

I am grateful for those kind souls who took the time to notice and offer encouragement and support rather than answers, platitudes or solutions. We sometimes need to be merely seen. Remember, your light can bring someone else’s back. Cast light.

 

Front and Center

“The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” – Lao Tzu

When the dust settles and the noise subsides, what’s present right now, front and center matters most. Let go of the stuff that pulls you to the peripheral at the expense of what’s right in front of you. The race – where to and why? If you can’t answer then drop out of the race and pursue with vigor what has real meaning and depth.

If but for a moment, pause and discover what you already know to be true and choose your days, your life, your attention, your energy, your joy. It’s front and center.

Soft Sweet Light

“Earth is crammed with heaven.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

There are certain days that it doesn’t feel like earth is crammed with heaven. Many days, we are reminded of loss. If not our own, others. Death of a sister, a dad, a grandma this past two weeks. It’s been a year and a half and not a day goes by that I don’t miss Dad. And loss grows heartfelt empathy for others when they enter where you’ve been.

And at the same time, others are experiencing great joy. The innocent child-like anticipation of Christmas. And there in lies the essence of life – the weaving of struggle and delight, loss and gain. A pendulum of sorts.

The passing of time brings a certain acceptance and perhaps even a bit of peace. And in the loss, we gain a new appreciation for the moment, for forgiveness, for letting go, for loving without condition. Even in the dark, light remains constant, ready to slowly pull us back into the earth that is crammed with heaven when we are ready to re-enter.

So as Christmas is at our doorstep again, be light for those who are amidst loss and grief. Show them that even in the struggle, joy can and must co-exist so it can lead us back to our new normal, to our next self. Be the window to a bit of heaven for another.

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” – Norman Vincent Peale

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” – Norman Vincent Peale

The Root

“The root of joy is gratefulness…It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” ― David Steindl-Rast

There is always something to be grateful for. Always. And the fruit of gratitude is joy. Slow down, take a breath and fully receive the blessings planted throughout each day. What is right in front of us is so often what we miss. Open your eyes and heart.

Jeanne gave me a grateful sign for my birthday. I put it in the living room right next to the television so I can’t miss it. Don’t miss the signs and follow accordingly.

“We are never more than one grateful thought away from peace of heart.” ― David Steindl-Rast

“We are never more than one grateful thought away from peace of heart.” ― David Steindl-Rast

Measuring Cup

“Calendars and clocks exist to measure time, but that signifies little because we all know that an hour can seem as eternity or pass in a flash, according to how we spend it.” – Michael Ende

We measure our years with birthdays, but we experience the soul of life in moments. As we grow older and time moves faster, we discover that our cup is over flowing when we measure the right things. And the hot pursuit of position and accumulation of stuff comes up empty. Less really is more. Depth over distance. Connection over chaos. Quality over quantity.

Beauty, spring, winter, loss, light, dark, laughter, tears, delight all merge into a tapestry of color and pattern that is all our own yet we share the same journey that takes us each down different paths. The gains and losses. The joy and trials. A thousand hellos and two thousand good-byes. All of it binds together to shape us and prepare us for what’s next.

So as I celebrate my 53 years on earth today and Abby’s 1 year, I am mindfully aware and grateful for all of my blessings that came with many sunrises and sunsets, of days filled with joy and even the ones with the seemingly endless challenges. The authentic life has it all.

Ride the jet ski at 81, throw the ball (again and again) and never lose your sense of humor. And above all, be kind. And that includes to yourself. Cast light, measure the right things and choose abundance and joy.

 

Golden

“Only in spontaneity can we be who we truly are.” – Mahavishnu John McLaughlin

When an opportunity arises that is spontaneous and a bit frivolous, do it. And then do it again. These are the experiences that create golden memories and remind us of what’s most important in life.

One of those opportunities arose this past weekend when I was in Chicago for a meeting and then stayed an extra day to meet up with my best friends Sharon and Tim from California who were going to South Bend for the Notre Dame vs. USC football game.

“Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.” – Henry Miller

“Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.” – Henry Miller

The older I get the more I treasure time with those who mean the most to me. And I never want to let “common sense” to ever stop me from staying engaged and chasing joy.

Each day, be open to spontaneity and act on it. Create those golden moments.

Time More Than Times

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison

“Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years.” – Ausonius

We spend a good part of our life competing, going faster in the pursuit of the prize. And I love a good competition as a way to keep improving and challenging myself to stay in the game. Never been a fan of showing up trophies.

As the years have passed, I have a new appreciation for time rather than recording new times. Time with good friends and family with an acute awareness of the brevity of time. Not only showing up but trying and not accepting anything less than doing our best, whatever that may be.

Today, we ran the Minnesota State Fair Milk Run, a tradition. We all run different paces. Rather than worrying about my time, I wanted to run for the experience of time with friends who are a part of the fabric and color in my life. We didn’t set any records but created a memory to treasure, especially when things change as they always do.

Enjoy each day, laugh and cast your bright light over those shadows that the world pulls us to. Be present with people and create time for yourself for gratitude and the sacred awareness of the blessings in your life. Dive deeper into this moment, rather than racing through your life.

Savor Home

“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” – George A. Moore

Home is not only place. It goes beyond place. Home is people, pups, (cats even), safety, warmth, belonging and place. Savor and pursue those moments of silliness, light and joy. Conversations with friends, connections, eyes that meet and look well beyond the surface.

That’s home and what makes life not only tolerable but wonderful. Ordinary moments that transform us and make life extraordinary.  We too often succumb to dull and despair without ever giving delight a chance to show its face.

Savor all that is and hold tightly only to now, releasing the past and future to depth of being present in this very moment.

“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do... but how much love we put in that action.” - Mother Teresa

“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.” – Mother Teresa

A Good Grass Stain

“There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me.” – Thomas Jefferson

“There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Breathless, we flung us on a windy hill, Laughed in the sun, and kissed the lovely grass.” – Rupert Brooke

You know you’re having fun when you have a grass stain on your head and a smile ear to ear. When is the last time you had a good grass stain and a hearty smile? Too long for me I must say.

Lighten up and take it all with a bit less seriousness. Too much worry, too much work and no play makes our days drudgery.  Our regrets will center on not being in the moment when it was happening and realizing the joy that was ours for the taking. “Someday” is an excuse to put off your life.

Schedule time each day to search out a good grass stain and a smile that sprouts from within.

%d bloggers like this: