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Posts tagged ‘Fun’

Get on the Field

“Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it.” – Sai Baba

Are you spectating or participating in your life? Stuck looking backward or engaged in doing and planning what lies ahead? In problems or possibilities? In optimism or pessimism? Choose well and daily for it determines the quality and outcomes of your life.

Stay in your game and get on the field. Play. Have fun. Give your best in the moment, keep growing, improving and expanding. Ignore the critic who’s an expert at spectating, never playing. It’s not in error and shortcoming that we suffer defeat, it is in not ever trying or ever getting on the field. Dare greatly.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Guard your joy, embrace optimism, participate imperfectly.

Accept the INvitation

“If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.” – Katharine Hepburn

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” – Joseph Campbell

Spend time within getting to know yourself again – thoughts, ideas, dreams. The real you.
Reacquaint with your sense of wonder and play.
Turn off autopilot and fly the plane.
Reignite the flame within, pour a little gas on it too.
Go out and play for the sake of sheer joy and delight.
No permission slip needed.
Accept the invitation.
Follow your bliss
Go in and get out

Ear-Flipping, Grass Stain Kind of Day

 

“Forever is composed of nows.” – Emily Dickinson

“Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.” – Henri Nouwen

Lay your thinking down

Give your opinions and assumptions a day off

Enter today with fresh eyes

Free from resistance and rules

Renew, refresh, rewire

Heart over head

Being over doing

Open, listening and aligned in now

No yesterday, no tomorrow, today alone

Go off trail and explore

Anchored in gratitude and awareness in the fullness of each moment

Extraordinary in the ordinary

May you have an ear-flipping, grass stain on the forehead kind of day

“We will be more successful in all our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we’ll also have a lot more joy in living.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Dust It Off

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.” – Dr. Seuss

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton

My scooter has been in the corner of my garage collecting dust for years. For the past five years, I’ve tried to start it without success, so it sits taking up space and collecting dust.

Lately, rather than move onto something new, I’ve been tackling and seeing what’s already right in front of me. Keep it, use it or get rid of it. I decided that the scooter will ride again. I guess that’s what gratitude is – seeing and appreciating what’s already present with no need for more.

A few weeks ago, I had Scooterville pick it up to fix it. Since we had a break in days of rain, I picked it up yesterday. The mechanic told me it needed a lot of work but it’s running well and to get some miles on it – drive it! I was a little nervous driving it through busy side streets from Minneapolis to St. Paul through the University of Minnesota campus where I graduated from decades ago. Driving a scooter requires attention, anticipation and awareness since most car drivers operate on automatic pilot and miss what’s in front of them – like scooters and motorcycles.

I am excited to have it back early in the season and will be putting miles on it rather than letting it collect dust in the corner. So often what we enjoy doing is already present and we forget to have fun because we’re too busy working or list checking. The golf clubs are next up this year too! But I won’t be combining activities. Although carrying golf clubs on the back while driving a scooter might get some attention. Look around at what’s already present with fresh eyes. Fun and adventure just may be a dust cloth away.

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.” – Eckhart Tolle

Fresh Ground

“To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking.” – Agnes de Mille

“He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

To mix it up, I took the girls to a new dog park at the end of the day. Acres to explore, fresh ground to dance on. When we crossed through the gate, leashes came off and they bolted into the field with joy and delight. They kept circling out and back to ensure that I would be a part of their adventure.

We need not travel far to find fresh ground to plant seeds of exploration and reap the fruit of play. Dance on fresh ground, feel the earth under your feet, breathe in the immensity. Expand.

“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” – Wayne Dyer

“Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy – your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself.” – Annie Leibovitz

Good Bad Decision

“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.” – Khalil Gibran

“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” – Carl Sandburg

With workdays filled with back to back meetings, an unstructured day is a gift. I’ve been weaving a day off here and there to open space. Yesterday, after a slow start, I took the girls to the dog park, unhurried, no rushing, no watch watching, no place to be, nothing to do. Sauntering, wandering and throwing one ball after the next. With a string of sunny warm days, the snow is almost gone, soft fresh mud taking its place. As we wandered down the path along the field, Sasha and Abby jumped over dead trees, ducked under branches and explored with great abandon.

As we were walking back for some more ball throwing, the girls decided to dive into the swamp where ice was last week. They could not have been more pleased with their decision. While I wasn’t too delighted, I decided to respond with laughter rather than angst. It was fun to witness their joy. As Sasha worked her way out of the water, she emerged looking like a skunk. The walk turned out to be a good bad decision because I chose to to go with the good rather than the bad. A choice each of us has every day.

The next stop was the self-serve dog wash. While the dirt washed out, the fun remained fully intact. We jam our days with meetings, activities and busywork with little room for good “bad” decisions of frolic, play and exploration.

Make room each day for silly, goofy and even a little mud. Make a cannon ball into the deep end of the pool of delight and splash some joy on others. It is not only good for the soul, it is required.

“We are never more fully alive, more completely ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in anything than when we are playing.” -Charles Schaefer

Your Lion’s Suit

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anais Nin

“The secret to happiness is freedom… And the secret to freedom is courage.” –  Thucydides

I stopped by to visit and drop off a few coloring books for Liam who was just getting up from a Sunday nap. He walked out in his lion suit, a costume sewed decades ago by my Aunt Terry for my niece Emily for Halloween.

A random day in February and it was lion suit day. I’ve written often in Cast-Light about my dogs, Liam, friends and family. All sources of inspiration and frustration (humans can do that), light and love. Who and what we surround ourselves with defines the quality of our life. As important, perhaps more so, is who and what we surround our self with inside of thoughts, mind and actions – the me in the we.

When we are our most authentic self, showing up in our own lion suit and not the one others think we should be wearing, we come home to joy, purpose, clarity and contentment.

Many will tell you what “suit” they expect you to wear.
Don’t listen.
Many will tell you that you don’t wear a lion suit that’s too small for you on a Sunday afternoon.
Don’t listen.
Many will tell you, do it my way, it’s better.
Don’t listen.

Wear your lion suit with joy, awe and wonder, entering your own space, completing your own assignment. When I drift and wander, listening to everything but my own voice, I find the courage of a lion again when I see Liam in his lion suit, unapologetic, filled with joy and coloring outside the lines.

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” – Ephesians 6:11-18 NIV

Trail Management and Blazing!

“There is no glory in star or blossom till looked upon by a loving eye; There is no fragrance in April breezes till breathed with joy as they wander by.” – William Cullen Bryant

It’s important to establish routines, rituals and daily practices to focus our attention, effort and time to create habits to reach goals, check off resolutions. Discipline, repetition and commitment are the ingredients of progress, growth and fruition.

In addition to the mechanics of “trail management” which include plans, goals, actions, discipline, accountability and efficiency, we also need to integrate “off trail” adventures to find joy, play, fun and magic. “Trail blazing” is messy, iterative, inconsistent, inefficient exploration that fosters imagination, creating new patterns, connections and deeper ways to see the world. Life balance comes with the integration of mechanics and magic in our daily life.

For the past nine months, almost every Sunday morning I’ve done a long run as a part of marathon training. After completing the marathon in October, I’ve continued the “Sunday practice” to stay in shape, albeit not as many miles or structure as marathon training. Jeanne would meet me with water and join me for the last 4-5 miles.

“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.” – Karl Barth

This morning, we decided to break the Sunday routine, because we had the opportunity to walk with Bob at Como. One of Jeanne’s superpowers is to meet and connect with people who soon become fast friends. She “picked up” Bob, an 82 year old sweet soul who walks 1.6 miles around Como every day and has for years. Bob’s going to Arizona for a few months so he asked us if we were coming to Como today to say good-bye. Rather than a quick “hi” in passing, we opted to walk with him to enjoy conversation and connection. We stopped four times to take a break. It was the slowest and most important workout of the month.

We were wise enough to open the gift of connection, conversation and time over plans and routines. We went snow shoeing after to get an additional work out. Today we chose both trail management but more importantly trail blazing. That decision is not only is good for the body, but for the mind, spirit and soul, our whole being.

As you look at the schedule for the week filled with meetings and “trail management” activities, make sure that you start booking some “trail blazing” time to wander, to laugh, to add meaning to all of the activity. Find the joy in the JOurneY.

Now, off to do some more trail blazing tennis ball chasing activity with with Abby and Sasha in the woods. Cast light, chase joy.

Snow Angels

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” – Albert Einstein

“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.” – Khalil Gibran

As you enter this new year, focus on resolutions, rituals and commitments that bring you joy, delight and ease. Regular play should be on the top of the list. Creativity, exploration and adventure multiply and deepen our sense of wonder and gratitude. Focus less on outcomes and more on the process of unfolding, becoming and blossoming. Venture and wander daily and experience your life by actively participating in it while it’s happening.

Last week, Liam was skating on the pond practicing hockey. Suddenly, he decided that it was time to make a snow angel. He skated to the side, dropped his stick and plopped down, promptly beginning the snow angel making process in fresh snow. Sasha joined him to ensure that he did it correctly with abandon and delight.

When caught in the “doing” grind, break the pattern and rest in being, in frivolous activities that restore your capacity for awe and wonder. It’s a pretty simple formula. Go for a walk. Try something new for 10 minutes. Flop down and make a snow angel. Today is your “someday,” so be present. No past. No future. The gift of now.

Make more snow angels this year.

Skinny Dip

“Life is an adventure, it’s not a package tour.” – Eckhart Tolle

“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.” – Joseph Campbell

Abby is nonstop in the water at the lake, a dog fish chasing ball.  After returning from dinner, rather than calling it a night, we went back down for one more leap into the lake. A little skinny dipping by the moonlight.

When presented with the option to go to bed or to go down for one more dip in the lake, always choose skinny dipping by the moon. Joy is soon to follow. Adventure is available to all!

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharlal Nehru

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