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Posts tagged ‘Fun’

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

Winter, Again

“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus

We often think that we are done with something, it’s over, and then it comes back again. Sometimes finishing takes a bit longer and it’s more of a circular rather than linear path.

We allow outside circumstances and people to limit and control our own outlook, keeping us from seeing the full beautiful, complicated view. Our outlook begins and always remains with what’s inside. We own it. Our view of the world is in our hands not others so stop trying to pass off the responsibility of ownership.

Kids have their Ph.D. in a joyful perspective, and so many other areas as well – multidisciplinary to be sure. They know how to suck the most out the present moment and simply engage in possibility.

It’s the second week of April, the start of Spring. And, yep, one more round of winter. From 50s to snow, ice and cold. When visiting my nephew Liam yesterday, I asked him if he wanted to build a snowman. It took 10 seconds for him to rush the closet in search of his boots. And being the sweet, intuitive guy that he is, he handed me a hat from the hat bin before he put on his own to ensure I was prepared for this adventure as well.

And thus the launching of a special memory and actual fun amidst the “catastrophe” of winter’s return. We can flip our perspective in but a minute and turn our winters into “invincible” summers by doing the opposite of our natural inclination to complain. Dive in and make some fun.

Snow? Go build a snowman. Rain? Go dance in it. Sun? Go soak it in to refill your inner light.

Winter, again? Preparing for the brightest of Spring blooms. Start budding.

 

Nonsense Makes Sense

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
― Dr. Seuss

“Now this relaxation of the mind from work consists on playful words or deeds. Therefore it becomes a wise and virtuous man to have recourse to such things at times.” – Thomas Aquinas

I sure did get a lot done this week on my ridiculously long and unreasonable list. And yet, there’s little satisfaction in that because as soon space opens up, it is immediately filled with the next thing, the next deadline, the next urgent request.

Humans are built and made for more than production.

There’s a restorative power in play, in rest, in space. When we get off the treadmill of our “to do” list and wander about with no agenda, no task, no deadline, we restore our capacity to be present in our own life and grateful for what we already have in this very moment.

Each day, we must carve time for play. Book a meeting with yourself to reconnect with what’s most important. Play, be frivolous, lay upside down with a ball.

There’s joy to be harvested in each day. Don’t get tangled up in the weeds of “one more thing to do.” Plant playful seeds and enjoy the harvest. There is a lot of sense in nonsense. Get that on your list and get it done.

“Your soul is infinitely creative. It is alive and expansive in nature. It is curious and playful, changing with the tides of time.” – Debbie Ford

Spring is in there

“Earth teach me to forget myself as melted snow forgets its life. Earth teach me resignation as the leaves which die in the fall. Earth teach me courage as the tree which stands all alone. Earth teach me regeneration as the seed which rises in the spring.” – William Alexander

No matter what the season or the day of the week, there’s more underneath the surface of our daily grinding. We need to trade in the grind for joyful daily living. In the moment, present to all that is being offered and confident that beneath the four feet of snow, Spring is in there coming in due time. In the meantime, we can make snow angels and dive into the pile of fresh snow. That snow shall do its job and awaken the ground with living water. Do your job. Enjoy this day and bring that joy to others.

“Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!” – Sitting Bull

“Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!” – Sitting Bull

Adrift

“This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” – Henry David Thoreau

“This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” – Henry David Thoreau

“Childhood means simplicity. Look at the world with the child’s eye – it is very beautiful.” – Kailash Satyarthi

It was a two-plow snow yesterday. As the snow softly and slowly fell into the night, the wind did its work to create beautiful sculptures. This is the kind of snow made for childhood fun. The fort-making type to be sure. It stops and detaches you from the complexities of the day to enter into the playground  and gallery of nature.

Like it was last week, I remember the delight when a snow day was declared. We geared up in polyester snow suits, hats, mittens and moon boots to make our way out to create our own sculptures of snowmen and angels in the fresh frozen fluff. Skating for hours, sliding down dead man’s hill until dark.

A serious snow that keeps you in the house until they plow the streets and that you snow blow the driveway a few times to keep ahead of it. And, of course, right when you are done, the snowplow drives by and creates a two foot barrier of heavy thick snow that triggers the snow blower again.

Adrift for but a while to be transported back to the simplicity and delight of childhood. To that feeling that remains in us and need only be awakened with a beautiful deep snow. A place to return to often even without the snow.

Nature. Art. Play. Joy. Adrift.

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.

Class Clown

“If by chance some day you’re not feeling well and you should remember some silly thing I’ve said or done and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled.” – Red Skelton

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

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

Remember the kid in class who always made you laugh? The one who didn’t care if she got caught, she was just being herself, looking for a good laugh. The friend who pushed you to have some light-hearted fun and get into some trouble.

The “real world” needs more class clowns. We’ve become way too serious, too self-absorbed in our self-created problems of stress, busyness and “the race.” Lighten up, be silly and laugh more. Life is way way way too short to not enjoy the daily journey and bring others with you.

My golden retriever Lily is our lead clown, never missing an opportunity to make each day more fun for Molly and me. Molly sneaks in a few antics of her own too. She’s a good student of Professor Lily. I’m working on getting my grade point average up.

So go out today and pursue some silliness. It’s frivolous and irresponsible for sure. And we need it. Open the windows wide and stick your head out, skip down the hall, throw a ball and maybe even be so bold to chuckle.

Class Clowns unite.

“Reason, I sacrifice you to the evening breeze.” – Aime Cesaire

“Reason, I sacrifice you to the evening breeze.” – Aime Cesaire

Simple Delight

“All around us is the cosmic game, the cosmic play. The universe is full of joy, inner and outer. When realisation takes place, we have to feel the necessity of manifesting this constant delight in our heart. The delight glows, but does not burn. It has tremendous intensity, but it is all softness and absolutely sweet-flowing nectar.” – Sri Chinmoy

Every morning without fail, Molly picks up a toy to lead Lily and me outside. She knows it makes me laugh every time. This morning, my sox were behind Lamby-boy too. She signals to Lily it’s time to start the day with play and simple delight.

“I've heard there are troubles of more than one kind; some come from ahead, and some come from behind. But I've brought a big bat. I'm all ready, you see; now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!” – Dr. Seuss

“I’ve heard there are troubles of more than one kind; some come from ahead, and some come from behind. But I’ve brought a big bat. I’m all ready, you see; now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!” – Dr. Seuss

Walk through today lightly. Be filled with gratefulness rather than grief. Leave behind smiles instead of sighs. Give more and you won’t need to take. It returns all on its own, tenfold.

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