“When the flower blossoms, the bee will come.” – Srikumar Rao
“To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, One clover, and a bee, And revery. The revery alone will do, If bees are few.” – Emily Dickinson
Hover in the moment
Float, observe, absorb
Be at ease
No place to go
Resting in simply being
Landing on a thread
Taking in the sweet nectar of a summer day
Drinking in gratitude, quenching your thirst.
“The key to nature’s therapy is feeling like a tiny part of it, not a master over it. There’s amazing pride in seeing a bee land on a flower you planted – but that’s not your act of creation, it’s your act of joining in.” – Victoria Coren Mitchell
“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.” – Saint Basil
“I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.” – Khalil Gibran
We hold back forgiveness and cling to offense. “You don’t know what they did to me.” We carry resentment and regret for years, justified. We repeat “let it go” and tighten our grip at the same time. Comfortable in the familiar, in our rightness, in our ways. Assumptions, opinions, offense, judgment, fear, anger consume joy, happiness, contentment, peace, awe and wonder.
You are a prisoner with the key. Unlock the door.
Be selfish. Do yourself the biggest favor that you can. Life-changing. Forgive and be kind.
Lay it down. Move on and do not look back. Be transformed by shifting your thoughts, words and actions. All within reach. Enter the transformation. Reap the fruit of kindness to yourself and others.
“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” – Og Mandino
“Life is the fire that burns and the sun that gives light. Life is the wind and the rain and the thunder in the sky. Life is matter and is earth, what is and what is not, and what beyond is in Eternity.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
“Mirth is like a flash of lightning, that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.” – Joseph Addison
In all seasons, in nature, in each day, in this very moment, light remains to hold, lead and guide. Sometimes behind the clouds. Sometimes in blue skies on a warm day in April. Sometimes introduced by deep rolling thunder and suddenly breaking through the clouds in brilliant lightning followed by soaking rain.
Seize it and find mirth in all of it. Suspend reasoning, judging and rules. Embrace gratitude, count your blessings and allow joy to enter this day. Guard it and give it away, more will come. We become what we pursue and allow in.
“I am a being of Heaven and Earth, of thunder and lightning, of rain and wind, of the galaxies.” – Eden Ahbez
“Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.” – Hafez
It’s a daily job, an obligation, a calling. Letting go.
Letting go of our opinions, judgment, complaints, our rightness and others wrongness to open up to love, to optimism, to fresh expansive boundless territory. Pursuing light and not stopping until we find it. We find what we pursue and expect. Be intentional and pay attention. The light remains whether we seek it or not. Seek it.
Self-awareness is the first step to self-mastery, empathy and hope – a mighty trio. Be open to surprise, expansion, depth and growth woven through ordinary days.
She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of the fear.
She let go of the judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.
Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice.
She didn’t read a book on how to let go.
She didn’t search the scriptures.
She just let go.
She let go of all of the memories that held her back.
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go.
She didn’t journal about it.
She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.
She just let go.
She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.
She didn’t call the prayer line.
She didn’t utter one word.
She just let go.
No one was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort.
There was no struggle.
It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A small smile came over her face.
A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and the moon shone forevermore…
“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” – Edmund Hillary
“Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was.” – Dag Hammarskjold
If we look at the top, the destination alone, we delay starting the journey overwhelmed by the number of steps. Get to the next plateau, one step after the other. With rapt attention, Liam climbs the rope mountain, a rung at a time. Celebrating each step and the arrival, a double blessing.
Build daily rituals to fill the well of self-care so you can care for others. On my Insight Timer app today, the notification popped up that I’ve completed 160 consecutive days of meditation (10-15 minutes a day-doable!).
This daily ritual along with morning pages, posting every day on Cast Light and getting outside for walks/runs and dog park adventures have been cornerstones of my own practice to find and bask in light, hope and joy in the ordinary. One step at a time, ceilings turn into floors.
Keep going by taking steps, create simple daily rituals and non-negotiables that feed your soul. Stop circling the same mountain of the past, expectations and limiting beliefs. Look for new mountains to climb and enjoy the journey to the destination.
“Being positive is like going up a mountain. Being negative is like sliding down a hill. A lot of times, people want to take the easy way out, because it’s basically what they’ve understood throughout their lives.” – Chuck D
“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” – Colin Powell
“But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful.” – Elizabeth Edwards
It was Sasha’s fourth birthday yesterday. We celebrated with new toys, walks, the dog park and birthday bones. Kids and dogs show us how to remain in the moment and lean into joy with a grateful heart.
“You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In Between”
We get stuck in between, not fully joyful, not fully miserable. Rocking aimlessly from side to side as if we have no rudder to steer our own boat, allowing others water to get into our boat and sink it.
Optimism and positivity are not easy. They take work, intention, attention and focus. Listen to your own thoughts and words as well as others around you – complaining, gossip, negativity, chirping, glass not even half full but empty and dry?
Make a hard stop, take a sharp turn and go the opposite direction. Double down on the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative and certainly don’t mess with “Mr. In Between.”
“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” – Christopher McCandless
“Joy is not in things; it is in us.” – Richard Wagner
“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Einstein
There is an innate joy in children, a natural smile bursting from within, rooted firmly in the soul and spirit. It never goes away but time and experience bury it as we succumb to the ways of the world. When we return to this place of optimism, joy and light, suddenly everything becomes a miracle, blessings abound.
“Thin places assure us that what we can see is not all there is, that within the struggle, joy, pain, and delight that attend our life, there is an invisible circle of grace that enfolds and encompasses us in every moment. Blessings help us to perceive this circle of grace, to find our place of belonging within it, and to receive the strength the circle holds for us.”— Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons, Jan Richardson
Blessings and miracles are woven into our ordinary days, amidst a pandemic, politics, struggling relationships, hidden in plain sight. Our most important and only job is to notice them. In quiet meditation and reflection, gratitude, grace and awareness ensue, a full accounting of our life, an awakening.
“The best blessings awaken our imaginations. In places of difficulty, struggle, or pain, blessings beckon us to look closely rather than turn away. In such places, they challenge us not to accept how things are but to dream of how they could be transformed. They invite us to discern how God might be calling us to participate in bringing this transformation to pass.”— Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons, Jan Richardson
“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” – Omar Khayyam
“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.” – Henry Ward Beecher
Our daily ritual of going to the dog park invites joy and delight in the ordinary. When I turn left on Larpenteur Avenue, they know the destination and perk up in anticipation. With enthusiasm and excitement, they pull me down the hill to get into the park to run off leash, greet other dogs and then return to me to begin ball throwing and exploring activities.
When we go in the morning, we are usually by ourselves and they pal around searching for left behind balls and checking out the scents from previous visitors. When we go at dusk, the place is bustling with dogs letting out a day of energy, chasing each other and running in circles. It’s happy hour for dogs, a party every time.
When get bound in a busy, efficient “to do” list mindset, we need to break the meaningless grind with play, wondering and wandering to create meaning and purpose to being.
Rituals, practices and open spaces are ways to embed joy and meaning into daily living. A trip to the dog park, snowshoeing, reading and writing, cross country skiing on a fresh layer of snow are invitations back to self, to fill the well so the “doing” is not so futile.
Separate your being from your doing. No ego, release attachment to work, approval, rules, judgment and assumptions. Enter quiet so you can hear your intuition and follow your internal compass. Nothing to prove, no comparison or competition, no one to outrun. Savor simple moments, return to home to yourself early and often. Sacred, off-leash, ordinary moments.
It’s happy hour somewhere. Start running in circles, dancing with delight.
“Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.” – John Barrymore