“Animals praise a good day, a good hunt. They praise rain if they’re thirsty. That’s prayer. They don’t live an unconscious life, they simply have no language to talk about these things. But they are grateful for the good things that come along.” – Mary Oliver
“Today is life-the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto.” – Dale Carnegie
I take the girls to the dog park almost every day.
A few blocks out, Abby starts groaning with anticipation.
If no one is around, I let them off leash at the top of the hill and they barrel down the wooded path as if arriving somewhere new for the first time ever.
Every single time, enthusiasm overflowing, fresh and new joy.
We can make the ordinary daily activities extraordinary by entering them through doors of wonder and windows of awe.
Seeing the same from a different angle.
Like we’ve never been here before and that we won’t ever be in this day again.
One is in our control and the other is not.
Time is moving swiftly.
We slow it down when we savor and celebrate it while we are in it.
No where to be but here and now.
Like never before or ever again.
Praise this good day.
Plenty to be found.
“Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times.”― Aeschylus
“Remember that happiness is as contagious as gloom. It should be the first duty of those who are happy to let others know of their gladness.” – Maurice Maeterlinck
May the door to delight and awe be unlocked and open.
Letting play and fun do their work in you.
Lightening the load.
Putting down the unnecessary.
Making room for the breath of life.
Smile, laugh, let your guard down.
Rejoice and be glad in this day.
Cultivate, create, and share gladness to spark and kindle joy for others.
Be contagious with zest, enthusiasm and encouragement.
Unexpected sparks, brightest blazes.
Make it a “I got three balls in my mouth” kind of day.
“Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.”― Samuel Johnson, The Idler
“Many people lose the small joys in the hope for the big happiness.”― Pearl S. Buck
“We can either spend this moment wishing it could be different, or we can embrace this moment.”― William B. Irvine, A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy
Receive this day with open arms.
A bright smile.
A fresh outlook.
A sense of delight.
A zest for laughter.
A hunger for connection.
Embrace, hold, release, be held.
Joy. Peace. Light.
“Childhood is not a state which only applies to the first phase of our lives in the biological sense. Rather it is a basic condition which is always appropriate to a life that is lived aright.”― Karl Rahner
“Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times.”― Aeschylus
“What was love but a lifetime of conversations. And silences. Knowing when to be silent. Above all, knowing when to laugh.”― Bernard MacLaverty, Midwinter Break
May you partake in laughter often
Opt in to lighten up
Frolic and dance in silliness
Take life serious enough to not be so serious.
Gratitude. Grace. Joy.
Life, to the fullest extent.
In simple delights.
“It is the experiences, the memories, the great triumphant joy of living to the fullest extent in which real meaning is found. God it’s great to be alive! Thank you. Thank you.”― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild
“Listen, whatever you see and love— that’s where you are.”― Mary Oliver, Dog Songs
“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.” — Henry David Thoreau
“When it comes to the beauty of nature, time stops, the space becomes silent and the soul falls asleep while awake!”― Mehmet Murat ildan
After an off-leash romp in the woods, Abby returned wearing the woods.
And a big grin.
Sasha came up behind with the same delight.
Coats of joy.
Evidence of frolic.
A big mess to brush out.
Worth every stroke.
A release of energy and enthusiasm to generate even more.
Go off leash every day.
Untie from tasks, rushing, shoulds, have-tos, busy work, transactional.
Unbound, untethered, free-falling into felicity.
Nature invites all to the playground of expanse and exploration.
Breathe. Drink. Taste.
“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” —Henry David Thoreau
“To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.” —Mahatma Gandhi
“Everything comes gradually and at its appointed hour.” – Ovid
“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a beautiful crop.” – Ovid
Winter is back.
50-degree days and now snow.
The dance of seasons.
Fall, winter, a touch of spring.
Winter’s turn now.
Slowness, quiet, dormancy.
The earth rests and extends the invitation to join.
Beneath, preparing the path to spring when the rest is complete.
“True restfulness, though, is a form of awareness, a way of being in life. It is living ordinary life with a sense of ease, gratitude, appreciation, peace and prayer. We are restful when ordinary life is enough.”― Ronald Rolheiser, The Shattered Lantern: Rediscovering a Felt Presence of God
“Ring the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There is a crack in everything That’s how the light gets in.”― Leonard Cohen
“Empathy is the most mysterious transaction that the human soul can have, and it’s accessible to all of us, but we have to give ourselves the opportunity to identify, to plunge ourselves in a story where we see the world from the bottom up or through another’s eyes or heart.” – Sue Monk Kidd
The holiday season triggers a slew of emotions.
Loss of a loved one(s), recent or years ago, yet still ever present.
Childhood memories – both wonderful and difficult.
Family dynamics, fractured relationships, and the dreaded political pontifications.
We can keep going through the same door and write off the next six weeks. Endure.
OR, we can find the wonder woven in the season of hope and light.
Receiving and giving the gift of grace, kindness, empathy, forgiveness, making way for laughter, joy and peace.
Invite and allow a new story to born within this year.
One seed, one day at a time.
May this season feed and fill your heart with the healing power of love.
Plant hope, cast light.
“You will learn a lot about yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery. Be a warrior for love.”― Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.”- Orhan Pamuk
“The dog lives for the day, the hour, even the moment.” – Robert Falcon Scott
Abby loves chasing tennis balls. She’s diversifying her fun practices to include frisbee catching as well. When I went out to throw a few, she saw an opportunity to diversify further by grabbing my glove that was hanging out of my pocket and frolicking ensued. She must have sensed that I needed to lighten up and enter goofball mode, a place she and Sasha spend a lot of time in. Game on.
May we all enter goofball mode daily to lighten up, have fun, finding joy in the ordinary where it resides awaiting our attention, participation and engagement.
“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.”― Anne Lamott