“There is nothing holier in this life of ours than the first consciousness of love, the first fluttering of its silken wings.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.” – Ray Bradbury
When a butterfly’s wings are together, they are thin as a piece of tissue paper, camouflaged amongst the flowers. Invisible. Unseen.
Oh, but when they expand. Oh, when they dare to expand. From east to west, wingspan broad, immense and heroic preparing for flight.
May we walk, better yet, may we float, fly and transcend though this life with wings spanned. Letting go, light as air and filled with delight and joy. Bright, brilliant and wider than we ever could imagine.
Expand your wings and discover their span. Take flight.
“I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?’ – Zhuangzi
“Life seeks life and loves life. The opening of a catkin of a willow, in the flight of the butterfly, in the chirping of a tree-toad or the sweep of an eagle – my life loves to see how others live, exults in their joy, and so far is partner in their great concern.” – Edward Everett Hale
“Yet it is in this loneliness that the deepest activities begin. It is here that you discover act without motion, labor that is profound repose, vision in obscurity, and, beyond all desire, a fulfillment whose limits extend to infinity.” – Thomas Merton
Eagles can see four to five times farther than the average human. So rather than 20/20 vision, they have 20/5 vision.
So often we get caught in the day to day “mouse eye” view focused on our to do lists, transactional demands rather than vision and intention required to live a deep, meaningful and fulfilling life.
The meaning of life is not found in checklists, multitasking or a scorecard. Rather it is a beautiful complicated, confusing, confounding, original story that each of us are meant to write, create and to enter into the mystery of the unknown.
Take an eagle’s eye view of your life and see the big picture. It most certainly won’t end where you have planned. It will be much, much grander, beyond your imagination when you are alive, awake and filled with vision.
“Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” – Henry James
Today is the first day of summer. All seasons have their gifts. Summer beckons us to rest, to play, to witness sunset, to saunter barefoot in the grass, to long walks, to lemonade, to float on water, to breathe in nature.
Happy Birthday summer, may we seize you and dance in the beauty, warmth and celebrate each day with the frivolity and ease that you command.
“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.”
― Yoko Ono
Today is June 20, 2020. 20/20/20 – an extra 20 for even more perfect vision to see the gift in a summer’s day and each day in all seasons. Happy Birthday Summer!
“Without rain, there is no life.” – Jerry Yang
“Raindrops will always carry their dreams & hopes with them, no matter where they go.”― Anthony T. Hincks
Like drops on leaves after a refreshing rain, we are held. Softly, gently embraced. Things don’t need to be perfect to allow joy, light and gratitude to permeate our daily experience. Discern what’s inevitable and what’s optional.
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”― Haruki Murakami
“Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.” – Marcus Aurelius
“Meditation is an attempt to stop rowing and let the water of life go clear, so you can see through to the bottom of things. Let’s try this now. Put down your oars and drift. Center yourself and breathe slowly. Whatever the day holds can wait. The first oar to leave alone is your mind. Inhale and exhale deeply. The second oar to ungrip is the oar of fear and worry. Inhale and exhale slowly. Simply breathe and let the water of your life settle and calm. Let your breathing quiet the ripples. Let the water of all life settle and calm. Look through the calm, not searching for anything, just seeing what’s there.” — The Book of Soul: 52 Paths to Living What Matters, Mark Nepo
Stop rowing. Let the water settle so you can observe, listen and be present. Our thoughts, opinions, judgments either contract or expand us. When we drift and observe, we choose expansion and mystery.
Dare to be quiet long enough to awaken your senses to see to the bottom of things. Put the paddles down each day to cultivate clarity and joy. We cast light by allowing light in.
“Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.” — Lao Tzu
“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.” — Loren Eiseley
When water is still too long, it gets stale. Movement and flow filters and cleans. Rather than sit in the house at the end of the day, I took the girls up to Central Park in Roseville for a walk. While the lake was still and green, the falls were clear. After our walk, we drove a few blocks up to Lake Johanna for a dip in the lake.
Water, fresh air and warm sun have magical powers to transform routine and monotony into extraordinary moments.
Be grateful and aware for what already is present right now or a mile from home. If you don’t remember, swirl it up and it will soon appear hiding in plain sight.
“We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one.” — Jacques Yves Cousteau
“Everything that happens happens as it should, and if you observe carefully, you will find this to be so.” – Marcus Aurelius
To sit quietly and observe. No judgment. No sound. May we all find the peace to do as the bird does on a soft quiet morning on the tip of a branch. To find depth in being and seeing, in understanding and presence.
“Be like the bird who, pausing in her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing she hath wings.” – Victor Hugo
“We never look deeply into the quality of a tree; we never really touch it, feel its solidity, its rough bark, and hear the sound that is part of the tree. Not the sound of wind through the leaves, not the breeze of a morning that flutters the leaves, but its own sound, the sound of the trunk and the silent sound of the roots.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti
It was a beautiful, sunny, breezy day. The trees swayed and didn’t break. Moved and stretched. Embraced and flowed. The leaves danced and held on. May we bend and not break. Breath and flow. And sway with joy.
Let Sunday set the tone for the week. Carry it forward to seize the magic and delight. Each day, even Mondays, especially Mondays, are a gift. Open it and celebrate. The embrace of the breeze. Be held.
“What you really want for yourself is always trying to break through, just as a cooling breeze flows through an open window on a hot day. Your part is to open the windows of your mind.” – Vernon Howard
“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
“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
“We must go beyond the constant clamor of ego, beyond the tools of logic and reason, to the still, calm place within us: the realm of the soul.” – Deepak Chopra
It was a beautiful warm day with sunny skies offering some moments of reprieve from the heaviness of this week as we try to prepare for tonight with thousands of anarchists coming into Minnesota to not honor George Floyd but to continue to burn and loot the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. This afternoon, Minnesotans gathered in peaceful protest to truly honor George Floyd and demand justice.
On a walk tonight before curfew, there was a calm. Flowers reminded me of joy and beauty which is not in the forefront right now but remains and offers hope. When we enter calm and honest conversation, we can learn the timeless lessons of love and understanding. Praying for calm tonight.
“You practice mindfulness, on the one hand, to be calm and peaceful. On the other hand, as you practice mindfulness and live a life of peace, you inspire hope for a future of peace.” – Thich Nhat Hanh