“Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.” – Buddha
“Oh, these vast, calm, measureless mountain days, days in whose light everything seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God.” – John Muir
Whether we choose to see it or not, light is streaming all around us. In nature, in people, in our very being. What we focus on, what we look for, what we think about, what we have hope in becomes our daily reality.
Be honest. Were you content before the pandemic? Are you now? Will you be after? The illusive and perfect someday withers away our today. When you guard and savor joy, circumstances, other people, even a pandemic can’t take it away.
Be intentional not accidental in what you see, think and say. It is a daily decision and discipline to choose light and optimism.
Look for and allow the streams of light to break through the cracks in your life. Break open.
“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen
“I am a being of Heaven and Earth, of thunder and lightning, of rain and wind, of the galaxies.” – Eden Ahbez
As the sky darkened and the rain moved in, a stunning light show danced through the clouds. Awe fills the heavy air. The immensity and beauty of creation remind us that life is bigger than a day, deeper than our circumstances and wider than the worry that we allow into our mind.
Let gratitude, hope, optimism, faith, trust, joy and grace in to light up your heart and soul. Bigger. Deeper. Wider.
Enjoy the show.
“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
“Lord save us all from old age and broken health and a hope tree that has lost the faculty of putting out blossoms.” – Mark Twain
“You can make positive deposits in your own economy every day by reading and listening to powerful, positive, life-changing content and by associating with encouraging and hope-building people.” – Zig Ziglar
Nothing like a trip to the Farmer’s Market with friends for fresh veggies and flowers to seize one of the many joys of summer. Joy is found in simple things we weave through each day.
Never underestimate the need to make daily deposits into your own economy to cash in on the riches of a life lived well in the depth of daily joy.
“Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.” – William James
“We’re put here on Earth to learn our own lessons. No one can tell you what your lessons are; it is part of your personal journey to discover them. On these journeys we may be given a lot, or just a little bit, of the things we must grapple with, but never more than we can handle.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
“The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.” – Henri Nouwen
How we go through is more important than what we go through. The past four months have certainly tested our resolve, resilience and grit. Accept the gift of grace, embrace the hope that is proven with the fullness of time and apply the lessons of joy.
The clearing is ahead. Until then, keep the faith and learn the lessons, the lasting ones that change us forever, that transform, that create new life.
Joy over despair. Hope over angst. Clearing at the end and beginning of the journey.
“If we are always arriving and departing, it is also true that we are eternally anchored. One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.” – Henry Miller
“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” – Rabindranath Tagore
“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The sky opened and the rain poured out in heavy sheets. A mile out with the dogs guaranteed that we would get soaked and we did. It was refreshing after a hot day and a very heavy week. If only the rain could wash it all away. It did for a moment and after it let up, the sun tried to peak out from behind the clouds.
These are heavy serious days. And in the midst of the rain, we must seek the sun behind the clouds to be buoyed by hope and transformation.
And as I wrap up this day, I decided to take a break from the news, from social media and to do something frivolous by looking for a movie. And, of course, I decided Uncle Buck with John Candy was the best decision right now. Our ability to laugh, to be frivolous, reminds us to lighten up if but for a few hours and rediscover our capacity for joy.
“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”― Julian of Norwich
A long walk on a summer-like evening with the girls and friends followed by fellowship, snacks and a few beverages closed the day in gratitude. As I drove home anchored in a state of ease, I thought of the old hymn, It is well with my soul.
“When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul
It is well
With my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul.”
When explanation, logic and sense making no longer make sense and we stop the “why” and “when” pursuit, we discover an acceptance and clarity of what we can control and that which we cannot And suddenly, it truly is well with our soul.
Each day, find a wellness in your soul and keep going. How we go through defines the experience of the journey. Choose light and joy.
“All great and beautiful work has come of first gazing without shrinking into the darkness.” – John Ruskin
“Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy and serenity.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
“As selfishness and complaint pervert the mind, so love with its joy clears and sharpens the vision.” – Helen Keller
My niece Emily and son Liam dropped by today and spent the day with my Mom and me. Liam was styling a day robe, excited to show me his water balloon filler where you can fill a dozen balloons at once. Brilliant, efficient fun. Since it was a bit cool to throw them at each other, we launched two sets over the fence under a cloudy sky and watched them burst open on the ground. More playing, a trip to Target for some toys, dinner, movies and falling asleep in my lap ended a wonderful day.
My normal day is usually hyper-focused on work, how much and efficiently that I can get things done, racing to cut the grass before it rains, training for a marathon and regular old housework. What a wonderful non-normal day as Liam instructed me through actions and few words on how to be not only a joy chaser but a joy catcher. I told him that he made my day and he came back with “You made my dreams come true.” My heart skipped a beat. What a sweet boy.
Don’t worry about tomorrow or what’s next. It’s futile and steals our joy in the process. Putting off joy for someday or when “it’s appropriate” locks us in foreboding. This day is all that we are promised so stop focusing on checking off transactional items on your “to do” list. Take moments in and be transformed by joy.
It’s going to rain most of the day tomorrow. We don’t know what the next month will bring. We’re not perfect. It’s tough some days. And none of this, none of it prevents us from capturing joy in ordinary moments. Don’t wish, waste and wither your days away in pursuit of someday. Your someday is today. The rest of the stuff out of our control (the majority of the stuff we pine about) will take care of itself in due time.
Now off to bed to rest up from joy catching and to prepare to cast a net for more joy catching tomorrow.
“Only by joy and sorrow does a person know anything about themselves and their destiny. They learn what to do and what to avoid.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.” – Wayne Dyer
“You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might also pray in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.” – Khalil Gibran
To long runs to prepare for a marathon that will probably be canceled in October. To time with family to celebrate motherhood. To friends who show up in texts and call checking in. Good days are available right now, not in the pandemic-free future, if there is one. Look around and take inventory of all that is present and good right now in this very moment. These are abundant, blessed days. Never, ever give up. Naïve – hell yeah and necessary.
“Not what we have But what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.” – Epicurus
i “If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly our whole life would change.” – Buddha
“The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.” – Walt Whitman
What punctuation are you using to define your story? Commas, question marks, periods? How about weaving more exclamation points into the narrative of your daily life, especially right now in this very moment.
We pause and stop too soon, starting a sentence but not finishing the paragraph. Your story is not over yet. You have the pen so keep writing, first drafts, second drafts, final edits to launch.
If you need prompts, inspiration, watch the natural expression of flowers in full bloom, dancing with delight, in exclamation and celebration.
“The butterfly is a flying flower, the flower a tethered butterfly.” – Ecouchard Le Brun
“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.” – Brene Brown
What are you chasing? When we pursue the right things, the ones that are woven with flow, meaning and purpose, the chase becomes the destination. Choose the chase with intention in hot pursuit of pure joy.
“Joy is of the will which labours, which overcomes obstacles, which knows triumph.” – William Butler Yeats
“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”― Henri J.M. Nouwen