“Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.” – Henri Nouwen
Lay your thinking down
Give your opinions and assumptions a day off
Enter today with fresh eyes
Free from resistance and rules
Renew, refresh, rewire
Heart over head
Being over doing
Open, listening and aligned in now
No yesterday, no tomorrow, today alone
Go off trail and explore
Anchored in gratitude and awareness in the fullness of each moment
Extraordinary in the ordinary
May you have an ear-flipping, grass stain on the forehead kind of day
“We will be more successful in all our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we’ll also have a lot more joy in living.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
“Time is the substance from which I am made. Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.” – Jorge Luis Borges
The river of your imagination, the harbor of your longing. Go there. Often.
Mornings at Blackwater by Mary Oliver
“For years, every morning, I drank
from Blackwater Pond.
It was flavored with oak leaves and also, no doubt,
the feet of ducks.
And always it assuaged me
from the dry bowl of the very far past.
What I want to say is
that the past is the past,
and the present is what your life is,
and you are capable
of choosing what that will be,
So come to the pond,
or the river of your imagination,
or the harbor of your longing,
and put your lips to the world.
“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“What we think is less than what we know: What we know is less than what we love: What we love is so much less than what there is; and to this precise extent, we are much less than what we are.” – R.D. Laing
Break free from the constraints and boundaries of certainty, scarcity and calculation. It is futile work to try to figure out the ending before you begin. Enter the mystery of your becoming, your gifts, your genius.
Move out a step at a time, allow the path to unfold, the beauty to take stage, front and center. A shift, a tilt, a new angle. That’s all that it takes to see the same world in a new way, the same you in a new way. It starts and end within. Use all of the colors in the box and color outside the lines.
Seek light, depth, abundance, gratitude, joy, more – all within your reach each day. Reach.
“Within the clear light of a crystal lie all of the colors of the rainbow. Within our own nature lies everything we need to find our way through the experiences of the world. Most of us only use one or two colors. We forget that we have all the wisdom, strength, patience, compassion, perseverance, and joy necessary to meet our every challenge. Radiance will shine forth from within when we open to the Radiant Light that is our True Nature.” – Ann Mortifee, In Love with the Mystery
“Remember even though the outside world might be raining, if you keep on smiling the sun will soon show its face and smile back at you.” – Anna Lee
“The key to abundance is meeting limited circumstances with unlimited thoughts.” – Marianne Williamson
The sun broke yesterday for the first time in weeks. Clouds replaced with brilliant blue sky. With the sun and light, moods shift and lift. Gratitude comes with ease in these conditions. Remember these days and bring them within to foster gratitude separate from external sources of circumstances, weather and others.
We have the power, capacity and calling to find joy in ordinary moments anchored in our very being. Tether your contentment and steady state joy to internal rather than external sources.
Slow down, breathe, center and anchor in gratitude to fill each day with blue skies and brilliant sun.
“After every storm the sun will smile; for every problem there is a solution, and the soul’s indefeasible duty is to be of good cheer.” – William R. Alger
“You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.” – Pema Chodron
“To be nobody but
yourself in a world
which is doing its best day and night to make you like
everybody else means to fight the hardest battle
which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.”
― e.e. cummings
What do you see? The grey clouds or blue skies peeking through. Or both. What you look for, you find. If you look for the blue, you find it, not denying the grey, for the clouds make the blue even more brilliant. Take off old glasses and put on new glasses to see the same in a new light.
Become aware of your thoughts, words, what you see and do not see. Who influences you, who inspires, who leads you away from you? Return to yourself and keep on the path to becoming, unfolding and discovering. Look and listen without judgment or assumption, allowing wonder and awe to make their way through the cracks of time and experience. Create new experiences.
“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” – Mary Oliver
Keep paying attention to find new things that are not ahead or behind but all around and available in this very moment.
“may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old
may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it’s sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young
and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there’s never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile”
― e.e. Cummings, e.e. Cummings: Complete Poems 1904-1962
“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
“Always keep your mind as bright and clear as the vast sky, the great ocean, and the highest peak, empty of all thoughts. Always keep your body filled with light and heat. Fill yourself with the power of wisdom and enlightenment.” – Morihei Ueshiba
Put your energy and attention into what you can control – your thoughts, actions and imagination. Quiet the noise, lay down the weight of worry, offense and opinion. Open up to deep waters of possibility, enthusiasm and optimism. Overflowing. Sacred. Holy. New day, new beginning, new ground.
“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” – John Milton
“For me, the reason why people go to a mountaintop or go to the edge of the ocean is to look at something larger than themselves. That feeling of awe, of going to a cathedral, it’s all about feeling lost in something bigger than oneself. To me, that’s the definition of spectacle. – Diane Paulus
Amidst my morning routine yesterday, I glanced out my front window and a herd of deer was across the street. I immediately went out in the rain to capture this rare occurrence. There’s a wooded trail a few blocks away where the girls and I normally see a few deer scattered through the trees. Delivered to my doorstep, they turned off my autopilot and pulled me into wonder and awe, a place we need to spend more time in.
Seek, invite and welcome awe and wonder in to wake you up to miracles found in ordinary days. Be open to surprise, joy and delight. Let it soak into your being to change you and how you see the world. The world needs more wide-eyed childlike optimists to show us the way. Heed the call.
We are at the foothills of mountains and looking only three feet ahead. Lift your head up and see the mountains to reset your perspective and shift into gratitude, magnitude, awe and wonder.
“Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you. Go outside and turn your attention to the many miracles around you. This five-minute-a-day regimen of appreciation and gratitude will help you to focus your life in awe.” – Wayne Dyer
“Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.” – John Updike
Against my natural instinct to not go out in the rain, I put on a rain jacket to get the girls for an end of day walk after another meeting-packed day. My last meeting yesterday was with a client who I’ve worked with for 12-years who is merging with another organization, so it was my last meeting with them. It was another good-bye. This has been a year filled with good-byes – of people, of activities we enjoy doing, of “normal” living.
Life often feels like series of good-byes and transitions. Our natural instinct is to avoid, run and hide from them like going into the rain. If we live well, we weave experiences, places and people through our fiber. They become a part of us so when things change, a piece of us is carved out of our being and we are never the same. But that is not the end of the story.
On the other side of good-byes are fresh hellos and adventures waiting to be entered when we cross the threshold of what has been to what is next. If we keep looking backwards, we miss what’s already present and what the past has prepared us for in new paths to explore. Life is a year-round classroom. We decide if we are going to learn and grow or do just enough to get a C+ by coasting unaware, stuck and dry in sameness.
Endings and beginnings are a package deal. If we allow, we concurrently enter the depth of departure and embrace the anticipation of new adventures. As a door closes, it prompts the next door to open. Often, it disguises itself as rain, so put on your rain jacket and get out into the rain, crossing the threshold to abundance and light.