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Posts tagged ‘Gratitude’

Good Days – Create Them

“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

“Every day should be a good day. People fool themselves that they’ll be here forever.” – Stephen A. Schwarzman

A walk with friends by the river with the girls. House chores to prepare for new floors on Monday. The plumber. Comcast for a new cable box. A long ride with Mom and the girls. Sasha chasing geese in the field. A drop by my sister’s house as she gazed into the eyes of her grandson with pure joy. A stop to pick up dinner. A few more chores. Sit down and watch a movie.

No meetings. No zooming. No tech. Flat as hell hair and it isn’t going to get prettier with the state locks down stay at home until May 18th and a perm reschedule, yet again, for Memorial Day weekend. A simple day, a good day.

Don’t miss good days. Create them and accept nothing less. Not defined by accomplishment or to dos but by presence and ease. Deep gratitude for the extraordinary in the ordinary. Good days – create them.

“Every day should be a good day. People fool themselves that they’ll be here forever.” – Stephen A. Schwarzman

Yep, I put the quote in twice because we forget. We will not be here forever.

Bud to Bloom

“Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” – Hans Christian Andersen

“The smallest flower is a thought, a life answering to some feature of the Great Whole, of whom they have a persistent intuition.” – Honore de Balzac

We are all in different places. Some at bud, some ready to break open and some in full bloom. Each one of us is where we need to be in this moment. No need to compare, compete or contrast. Just be where you are right now and know that bud always leads to bloom. Always.

“Just imagine becoming the way you used to be as a very young child, before you understood the meaning of any word, before opinions took over your mind. The real you is loving, joyful, and free. The real you is just like a flower, just like the wind, just like the ocean, just like the sun.” – Don Miguel Ruiz

“The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another’s, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises.” – Leo Buscaglia

 

“The flower has opened, has been in the sun and is unafraid. I’m taking more chances; I’m bold and proud.” – Paula Cole

Keep Your Head Up

As we make our way to transitioning to what’s next in a few weeks, glimpsing through the crack of the locked door, the slow opening, returning but not returning, accepting and leaning into different and ongoing uncertainty, remind yourself that you and we have made it this far and we will continue to do so because we have grit, resolve and rapt awareness of this present moment. If this time right now doesn’t change you/us forever, absolutely nothing will. And the change can and should be for the better after we stabilize what we can, let go of the unnecessary and grasp possibility.

We’ve made it through ongoing uncertainty, home bound, deafening and heartening quiet, plenty of walks and runs, caring for parents and kids, lots of video meetings wearing jeans, meeting our coworkers’ kids, dogs and cats and commuting 10 feet to our office.

The debate continues, a combination of health sciences, political science, positioning and best guesses on how and when. Rushing back or staying put. Or somewhere in between where we find most of life, not on extremes but right in the middle, in duality, balancing contradiction, honing in on clarity.

Our collective whole has been in a master class on empathy, community and authenticity. If we choose to have the learning stick and change us, we will be more grateful, kind, better listeners, compassionate, comfortable in quiet, peaceful, mindful of where we spend our time and with who.

While the commercials ruined and watered down the “we’re in this together” so buy stuff, we really are in this together. And together, we will move through to what’s next on the #otherside.

Carry the lessons of this rare time forward, weave new habits of family game time, long walks with the dogs, rest, hobbies and art, saying hi to strangers. Be more patient and understanding of your fellow fragile, strong, resilient sisters and brothers.

More change will come, which is the only certainty that ever really existed before this turned our world upside down. Look up and watch how the light breaks through the clouds. It will be a long road but together we will navigate this uncharted territory together. Keep your head up!

Empathy and Optimism

“Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.” – M Michel de Montaigne

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” – Romans 12:15

At the start of a meeting yesterday, each person was asked to share two words that described them in that moment. I listened intently and it was a mix. As I thought about my own words, I chose “empathy and optimism.”

When we are empathetic, we can listen and “weep with those who weep” and by harnessing the power and fuel of optimism, we can simultaneously “rejoice with those who rejoice.” Weeping is real, required and will pass with time. Rejoicing is a way to live, even in the midst of weeping moments.

We are a mix of opposites, contradictions, imperfection, resilience and beautiful music. Pursue awareness – self first so you can see yourself in others and genuinely feel empathy rather than judgment and assumptions. Awareness prompts action and necessary change. As Maya Angelo said, “when you know better, you do better.”

We need to both weep and rejoice, with a bias toward rejoicing and optimism. Life is fragile, strong, short, long and no day returns to repeat so seize today, let go of yesterday and hope for tomorrow.

“To live would be an awfully big adventure.” – Peter Pan

Seed Planting Time

“Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don’t have any problems, you don’t get any seeds.” – Norman Vincent Peale

“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances. We carry the seeds of the one or the other about with us in our minds wherever we go.” – Martha Washington

The ground has softened, the grass turning green and the temperatures are in the 60s. Winter is bowing out and welcoming spring to the stage, front and center. Seeds ready to be planted. And so are you. What seeds are you planting in your mind, heart and spirit now?

It’s planting time, so start today. Plant seeds of hope, joy, optimism, discovery, gratitude, abundance, laughter, wonder and possibility.

“Each moment is perfect and heaven-sent, in that each moment holds the seeds for growth.” – Suzan-Lori Parks

What seeds are you planting now?

Holy

“Pure, holy simplicity confounds all the wisdom of this world and the wisdom of the flesh.” – Francis of Assisi

These are holy, sacred days. Don’t miss or dismiss them. This time, this rare moment is our return to ourselves. Take the trip, go there. There’s a mystery and unknowing and it’s alright and more safe than we know. This time is calling each us back home to our core, our center, to our very being.

Accept the invitation and embrace the moment, for it will pass quickly. Rapt attention, pure joy and deep awareness. Enter and welcome yourself home. Embrace and savor this sacred holy time. Let go of the chaos and enter a peace that passes all understanding.

“O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling and scatter there Thy cheerful beams.” –  Saint Augustine

Settle Deep Enough

“It is such a struggle – has always been – for each of us to settle deep enough into the wait, into the weight till we discover that there’s nowhere to go. Perhaps the greatest challenge, once fully awake, is to drop all reaching and simply open like a clam waiting in the deep until life in all its guises floods through the half-closed center that is us.

Then God enters like a brilliant stone falling in a lake, and the past ripples behind us, and the future ripples before us, and we are breathing in eternity.” – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

When doing comes up short again and again and mere being takes its place, settle deep enough into the waiting, uncover meaning, connection and repose.

If we have learned but one thing, it is the value of a day. Don’t let another day go by without weaving joy, laughter and awe throughout. Breath in eternity.

Expansive!

“The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds.” – William James

No matter where we are in life, we decide whether we will expand or contract. Right now, the obvious, easy and natural response to contract. Do the opposite. Expand into the world. Connect in new ways, love deeper and embrace optimism and hope. It is the only sustainable and joyful path.

Get out in the fresh air and look beyond the horizon, beyond immediate circumstances. Watch the sun slowly set. Walk and run with your best friend. Let go of the leash and dance in the field. Look up, pull your mask off and simply say hello when passing by to acknowledge our shared humanity and experience.

This moment, how we move through, survive and thrive beyond the immediate is our defining moment. Define the moment rather than letting the moment define you.

We are so much bigger and wonderous than this moment. Observe, absorb and expand!

Go Fly a Kite

”True courage is like a kite; a contrary wind raises it higher.” – John Petit-Senn

“You will find truth more quickly through delight than gravity. Let out a little more string on your kite.” – Alan Cohen

It was a quiet, foreign, snowy Easter. And yet, it was still Easter, no matter our current circumstances. Truths, seasons, cycles, the sun, the moon, the earth remain in place. When everything else is uncertain and unsure, we must ground and plant ourselves in these unchanging foundations, roots. I am not perfect. Not even close. But I anchor myself in God, in Easter, in the resurrection of Jesus. Full disclosure and well aware of my imperfections, I am eternally grateful for the gift of grace and mercy that allows me on God’s playing field.

There is so much more than right now and yet we only have right now, hence the dichotomy, complexity and simplicity of life. It is both abstract and concrete. Complicated and simple. We are a mix of opposites and complementary at the same time. So when we attach our reality and who we are to passing circumstances, to other people, to our jobs and not to the fundamental truths of life and our very soul, we are like a kite flying in the wind aimlessly with no string attached to ground us.

We need strings, threads and anchors to secure and embrace us. Strong enough to hold and flexible enough to let us fly and dance in different directions with delight and ease.

Perhaps that is why fear is more prevalent when we are not anchored and secure in the fundamental truth that we are not God and God still remains with us in our arrogance and ignorance to walk beside us through the journey of grace, love and home, despite the chaos.

If we have no string that binds us to earth and heaven at the same time, we will flounder and drift aimlessly. For me (no preaching, just personal fact), God is my string to my kite. We are called to invite the air beneath our wings, to dance in the wind with delight fulfilling our purpose, to choreograph our life into a beautiful expression of love, joy and awe, despite our circumstances.

Trust, let go and dance knowing that the string is being held and will not be let go.

Over

Hope over fear.
Love over hate.
Joy over despair.
Light over darkness.
Peace over turmoil.
Kindness over spite.
Empathy over self.
Generosity over hoarding.
Ease over struggle.
Silence over noise.
Confidence over questioning.
Awe over indifference.
Deep over shallow.
Us over me.
Mystery over understanding.
Gratitude over complaint.
Rest over tumult.
Acceptance over shame.
Sweet over bitter.
Wonder over knowing.
Awake over sleep.
Slow over rushed.
Heaven over hell.

Present over past.
Present over future.
Just Present.

All is overcome today.
Resurrection over the Cross.
The playbook for living today already written.
The last word.
Knees to ground.

Happy Easter.

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