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Posts tagged ‘journal’

The Sum of It All

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” – Robert Frost

Before diving into next year with a slew of the same unfulfilled resolutions, take a moment and look back at the year that has gone by. If you take photos on your phone, this is a great way to sum up a year quickly. As I looked at both my photos and my calendar, I am surprised at how surprised I am. It’s been a year.

February in Washington D.C. for work; March on a cruise; in Spring, my nephew graduated from college and my niece graduated from high school; my brother ran his first marathon; my niece ran her first half marathon; I trained all summer for my second marathon; back to DC in July with Emily; a summer of Sundays on the pontoon; chickens moved into the neighborhood, making walks with Molly and Lily an adventure in excitement everyday; an intense year at work with 27 website transitions in 8 months and an acquisition, etc… and life goes on, and on. And it does whether we recognize it or not.

If I thought too much about what was to come, I would have frozen in my tracks. We may make plans and some will work and others won’t. As Woody Allen observed, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” As much as we think we are in control, we are not. It’s not what we go through, but how we go through it. I passed on some fronts and failed on others, but humbly keep getting back up and trying to do and be better.

In the new year, my resolutions, more importantly, my promises to myself are to recognize the boundless gifts that are embedded in each day, to keep growing into the person I am meant to be and to give more than I receive. I can accomplish this through living a healthy, well-rounded lifestyle – running, eating well, faith, prayer, gratitude, compassion, choosing love over assumptions and judgment, light over shadow.

Life is made up of the sum of our decisions, actions and inactions each day. Choose well.

Create

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” – Pablo Picasso

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” – Thomas Merton

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” – Thomas Merton

Everyone of us has a capacity to create, to be creative. We need to act on it.  Tapping into that deep well, exploring the unknown, letting the mystery unfold. The act itself is the end, the purpose. No answers, no right or wrong. Mere expression to release what yearns to come out of each of us, our spirit.

I’ve been interested in book arts for a while. Yesterday, I finally jumped in and took a class on stitching a leather journal. There’s something about working with your hands and seeing parts become a whole. Some thread, scraps of leather and paper merging into something tangible. Not sure how it will all come together, yet it does. Wandering a path with guidance but no map, the destination is found. Create.

Easy Rider

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.  May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.”   – Edward Abbey

When we least expect it, the unexpected jumps in our path to break our patterns. Look around and see the simple and fun surprises in our midst. Don’t straighten everything out. No need to figure or fix. Just go for a ride and delight in the view. Sometimes, easy does it.

"From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere." - Dr. Seuss

“From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.” – Dr. Seuss

Act

“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” – Thomas Jefferson

We hold back, waiting for others to make the first move. Bobbing and weaving, avoiding the “punch” of what others may think. Reacting instead of acting.

In a “it’s not my job” world, act. Make it your job. We are not here to get by with the least possible effort, to let others reactions, actions or inactions define us. Our life unfolds through our actions, not others.

Stop idling, waiting, reacting. Regardless of what others think, move and proactively live the life you were made for. Risk giving your very best, not keeping score. Counting only the blessings you have and how you can give them away. Act.

Remember Well

“God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.”- James M. Barrie

Even in our most demanding times, there are still moments of joy weaved through, providing hope and light. How we view the past provides the lense of our today and tomorrow. If we look deeper and longer, we can see the light beaming through the shadows of our memory, of our today.

Nothing is pure joy or pure pain. Life is a mix of it all and we can choose what we amplify. Never let the shadows overtake the light. Remember well, so that the roses in winter are as fragrant as they are in summer. It’s the difference between sight and vision.

“To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.” - Confucius

“To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.” – Confucius

Sunday RESeT

“Sunday is the golden clasp that binds together the volume of the week.”- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Sometimes the most urgent thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest.” - Ashleigh Brilliant

“Sometimes the most urgent thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest.” – Ashleigh Brilliant

Sunday rest, reflection, and restoration resets our perspective on the past week and prepares us for the next, ultimately our life as a whole. The fruits of a Sunday well done carry through all of our days. After six days of creation, God rested on the seventh, showing us the way.

Work hard, play hard, rest hard.

Character Development

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” – Helen Keller

Well this week has certainly developed my character. Some moments, days, weeks, people challenge us more than others. And most of the frustration is seeded in the trivial, in losing perspective of what’s important. We miss the mark, come in below the bar. The only conclusion I can come to is to keep moving, trying, rising more than we fall, never giving up.

“When the world says, ‘Give up,’ Hope whispers, ‘Try it one more time.’ ” – Author Unknown

One more time.

Right Here, Right Now

As I passed by my refrigerator filled with pictures, quotes and a few favorite prayers, I stopped and this one popped out at me. I read it, really read it, and smiled deeply. Simple, yet profound. My favorite kind of thing.

“May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.” – Saint Theresa’s prayer

Right here, right now for each one of us as we struggle, stumble, sing and dance, we are where we are meant to be. Take in the moment. Be present. Find peace in the day, in little things. Be peace, the gift we all need.

Words Count

“Be Impeccable With Your Word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.” – Miguel Angel Ruiz

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” - Napoleon Hill

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napoleon Hill

One of my resolutions is to stop complaining, which is rooted in negative thoughts. Listen closely to your words and thoughts. You will be surprised by what you say and think, especially about little things. Actions count. Words count. Use both of them well and with love.

Blessings Abound

“The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!” – Henry Ward Beecher

Before making your list of resolutions for the new year, pause for a moment and recognize your blessings. As I was reflecting on this year, the first things that came to mind was the tree dropping on my fence and the three months of clean up, my car dying and the final “fiscal cliff” of Molly’s surgery. But in all of those experiences, there were blessings abound.

If we look with new eyes, the goodness of each day far exceeds the challenges. The grace and fortitude to get through the tough times is a tremendous blessing. So before I jump forward into 2013, I am looking back with thankfulness and gratitude for family and friends who have touched my life in so many ways. I am reminded each day of the importance of kindness, the generosity in a smile and the gift of simple acknowledgement.

The most important resolution you can make is to love your life every day, with all its quirks, challenges and chaos. Happy old year and happy new year!

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