“We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne.” – Marcus Aurelius
“No greater thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.” – Epictetus
We’re on the cusp of fall now as summer wanes. Warm during the day, cool nights and mornings. Not quite before, not quite after, in between on the edge. Through seasons and transitions, we make our decision how we will go through. Some will choose to fall backward into the past, comforted with familiarity and false certainty. Others will trip forward still hanging on to pieces of the past, begrudgingly moving into the future. And then there are those brave few who hurl themselves forward into the unknown with certainty that action and momentum will do their job of revealing what’s next and our role in it.
Be that brave soul and launch into the unknown, allowing transformation and fruition.
“Transformation literally means going beyond your form.” – Wayne Dyer
“Beauty is the only thing that time cannot harm. Philosophies fall away like sand, creeds follow one another, but what is beautiful is a joy for all seasons, a possession for all eternity.” – Oscar Wilde
“Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach
Labor Day 2020. 54 degrees, cloudy, with the day wrapping up with a cold rain. Summer has taken a sharp left into fall. Like summer to fall, fall to winter, winter to spring back full circle to summer, life is cyclical. We live our days linearly, in pursuit of the straight line between point A to point B. We miss the cues and clues of seasonality and certain change.
As we move into fall, trust and enter the transformation of the season, knowing we all have the capacity and calling to change, to be transformed. There’s comfort and certainty in the seasonality of living in the moment. Swirls and detours rather than straight lines and efficiency. Glancing into the future, releasing the past and embracing now.
“To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.” – George Santayana
“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
Take time off.
Minutes. Days. Repeat.
Enter the woods.
Step into the water.
Leave worry by the wayside and do not return to reclaim it.
Embrace the air, sun and water.
Let it embrace you back.
Wandering, wondering with no schedule.
Take it all in until the sun sets.
What we carry defines what carries us.
Witness beauty in each day.
Let it permeate your bones and change you.
Breathe deeply with all of your senses.
Lay down the unnecessary to make space for what truly is necessary.
Count your days so you make each one count.
Awe, delight and gratitude – all side effects of this joy prescription.
“Life is the flower of which love is the honey” – Victor Hugo
“He who postpones the hour of living is like the rustic who waits for the river to run out before he crosses.” – Horace
“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”– Frances Hodgson Burnett
“Write your worries in the sand, carve your blessings in stone.” – Robert F. Kennedy
“Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.”– Jim Carrey
“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