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Posts tagged ‘Nature’

Come, Sit for a While

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

“Anybody can observe the Sabbath, but making it holy surely takes the rest of the week.” – Alice Walker

For so long
Day after day
Running fast and furious
Checking the box
New list, new boxes
Task after task
Problem solved, another takes its place
Transactional living

For who?
For what?
Why?
To What end?
Ask the questions
Inventory what stays and what must go and then release it

Money
Power
Ego
Legacy
Expectations and assumptions
Quantity over quality
Examine how time is being spent or given

On sabbath, God’s day, He calls us to rest as He did after 6 days creating the world
The Author of Life, asks us to pause
To ask the questions, to listen, to pull off the racetrack to rest, nothing to check off, no problem to solve, to just be so we can carry Sunday into the week

God chases us as we chase everything and everyone but Him
Patiently, lovingly, mercifully, gracefully, generously
He chases, calls and waits for us to see Him in the threads of ordinary moments, always present, whispering, “Come, sit for a while”

You have earned your rest
There is nowhere to go
Nowhere to be than right now
On a bench, taking in the depth and beauty of this very moment
Sunday was created to linger, to laugh, to lounge, to live so the rest of the week makes sense and is lived on purpose, gratefully and with intent, not accidentally

Right here, right now.
Come, sit for a while.

“If you keep the Sabbath, you start to see creation not as somewhere to get away from your ordinary life, but a place to frame an attentiveness to your life.” – Eugene H. Peterson

Stewardship

“Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.” – Marcus Aurelius

“In the time one is given, the steward must make the most of the talents one is given by the Lord.” – Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

Pause.
Allow the river of life to wash over you;
Wander over race;
Observe over absorb;
Float over flail;
Gently hold over clenched fist;
Flow over upstream;
A net catching only what is necessary, releasing what cannot be held.

Shift.
Control to influence;
Map to compass;
Questioning to intuition;
Ownership to stewardship;
What we steward is cast forward, multiplied, remains through time.

Accept.
Cool water in the desert;
Blessings woven in burdens;
Depth beneath the surface;
Less becomes more;

What we grip, binds;
What we hold, embraces.

Steward your time, gifts, talents well;
Time is flowing, make the most of this life.

“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

Flow Not Force

“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it – but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

“Our attitudes control our lives. Attitudes are a secret power working twenty-four hours a day, for good or bad. It is of paramount importance that we know how to harness and control this great force.” – Irving Berlin

When the sails are release and the boat at the right angle, it captures the wind and creates energy from resistance. The sail can’t control the wind, it can only harness it and enter its flow. No force needed, harnessing the wind and transforming the collision of forces, from mechanics to magic.

Harness the wind, embrace the flow, glide with ease and delight.

Sailing
by Dorothy Allen

Swiftly cutting through the water,

Falling spray on either side,

Coyly dipping,

Rising, skipping,

Borne along by wind and tide,

Merrily my boat doth glide.

Oh, the sunlight, how it flickers,

Showering diamonds on the way!

Madly dancing,

Shining, glancing,

Slyly beckoning, come and play,

Be, like us, bright, free, and gay.

And I sing a song for gladness,

Send it echoing toward the sea;

I am happy,

Happy, happy!

Blow ye winds! Blow joyfully,

Nor sigh; but sing and laugh with me.

Carpe Diem

play

“Forever is composed of nows.”
― Emily Dickinson

“When we’re caught in a belief that happiness should take a particular form, we fail to see the opportunities for joy that are right in front of us.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

The snow has begun lightly falling and tomorrow the temperatures will follow suit into a 7 day deep freeze. The fresh snow will create a new base for cross country skiing, snowshoeing and dog parking. The below zero will offer time to stay in to prepare taxes, declutter for spring cleaning and focused time for research, writing and deep work. This is only our second deep freeze this winter and the first that will stretch on this long. We have had a mild winter and good snow to get out to play in.

Within every situation and circumstance is a choice to look for the positive or to succumb to the obvious and easy negative. If you can find joy in winter, joy is rooted in your soul, anchored, unmoved and steady. The spring, summer and fall seasons of our life need no assistance to find joy in the bloom, sun and harvest.

Spring is weeks away so there is double blessing. Finding joy in this moment and in anticipation of tomorrow. We can have both at the same time. Surrender to the joy of now and tomorrow, leaving no room to carry yesterday any further than you already have done.

Carpe Diem – seize the day!

“Listen to your heart and trust the direction you are being pulled. Something inside you already knows what to do.” – Spring Washam

The Paths

“You can’t change who you are, but you can change what you have in your head, you can refresh what you’re thinking about, you can put some fresh air in your brain.” – Ernesto Bertarelli

“If you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail.” Heraclitus

We drive to our “regular” places on the same road, no map, on autopilot. Passing the same landmarks again and again. The periphery unnoticed as we spin on repeat, unaware. Patterns, habits and familiar paths remove the need to overthink and choose from too many options. We are information rich and insight poor. Autopilot in the transactional areas of our life allow us to keep moving, making simple decisions and completing necessary tasks.

However, if our days only consist of task checking off activities, our lives become stale and shallow. Turn off autopilot daily and weave adventure, trail blazing and wandering to foster wonder, joy and adventure. Keep autopilot on to get the mundane tasks off your list as soon as possible to create time and space to break off the beaten path into the mystery of fresh ground.

The world around you right now is abundant with unbroken paths ready to be explored, traveled and danced upon. Feed your sense of awe, delight and adventure by breaking new paths each day. Turn off autopilot, take the wheel and steer into places unknown. The road awaits your paving.

“I will not follow where the path may lead, but I will go where there is no path, and I will leave a trail.” – Muriel Strode

Winter Playground

“Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun.” – Randy Pausch

“The true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton

A fresh coat of snow last weekend created the conditions for a winter playground and few turned down the invitation. In the forefront, two broomball games, in the background cross country skiing, snowboarding and sliding on the side hill with blue sky and warm sun filling the horizon. A glorious day!

The purpose of play, for rest, for wandering is to restore, rejuvenate and refuel. When we “schedule” play throughout each day, not just weekends, we keep our “tank” full rather than pushing to empty, exhausted and drained.

Polarity and extremes are on the world stage right now and it begins with individuals. Heal yourself, heal the world. Choose a different path that brings internal and eternal peace through balance, reflection and play. Perhaps if each of us committed to focusing on our own peace, empathy and understanding, we could do our part to heal the world.

Open spaces, quiet, fun, laughter, meditation, music, art, craft, nature all restore our capacity for joy, contentment and flow. Each day, lay down your burdens for a few minutes, recalibrate and balance. Within our burdens are seeds and roots of blessings. When we lay the weight that we carry down if but only for a moment or two, we get a glimpse of abundance and instructions on a new way to live. Exposed long enough to quiet and reflection, our scarcity mindset transforms to abundance.

In the nourishment of play, our dry bones come alive again. We need 8 glasses of water each day to stay hydrated. Create daily rituals to hydrate your spirit and soul as well. Oasis activities of a few minutes of meditation using Insight Timer, journaling, going for a walk, listening to music, reading, sliding down a hill are the “reps” we need to build our joy muscles. Patience, hope, ease, balance, generosity, humor, enthusiasm and energy are the outcomes of oasis practices.

There’s power in play. It’s recess time!

 

Walls, Windows and Doors

“Depth must be hidden. Where? On the surface.” – Hugo von Hofmannsthal

“The greatest explorer on this earth never takes voyages as long as those of the man who descends to the depth of his heart.” – Julien Green

Teaching is the activity, learning the outcome, growth the reward. You cannot teach people who don’t want to learn, starting with, including and ending with you. Our futile efforts to change others, circumstances beyond our reach drains energy, shadows light and surrenders the joy of the journey.

If but only for a few minutes a day, lay down your expectations, assumptions and opinion long enough to examine them with sincerity. Determine what’s on you, on others and on no one. What’s fact or fiction? Internal or external? Road marker or roadblock? There are signs and wonders abound when we pause long enough to see what is already in front, within and surrounding us.

When observation and reflection do their job without assistance, create two piles. Rocks and flowers. Leave the rocks behind and pick up the flowers to move forward with ease. This is the lifelong process of becoming and unbecoming, planting and harvesting, learning and growth, caterpillar to butterfly ,a thousand deaths and two thousand rebirths.

Search for information, you get knowledge. Keep going, insight. Keep going, changed behavior. Keep going, invisible walls appear, crumble and transform to windows and doors. Go beyond information to knowledge to insight to action to transformation. It is on you and in you, hiding in plain sight the entire time.

It’s impossible to have four walls with no windows and doors and expect to thrive. To journey beyond survival, we need windows for light and fresh air and doors to cross thresholds to our ever becoming.

God’s not waiting on others to change or your circumstances to change. He’s waiting patiently and lovingly for you to change, unmoved by others or circumstances, from a place of abundance, not scarcity.

A hammer swing at a time, start breaking holes in the walls to create windows and doors. Let light and fresh air in to heal and restore. Enter wide open spaces, breath deeply, absorb and cast light.

“Surely there is grandeur in knowing that in the realm of thought, at least, you are without a chain; that you have the right to explore all heights and depth; that there are no walls nor fences, nor prohibited places, nor sacred corners in all the vast expanse of thought.” – Robert Green Ingersoll

Beauty in the Details

“Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.” – Henry David Thoreau

“They say that every snowflake is different. If that were true, how could the world go on? How could we ever get up off our knees? How could we ever recover from the wonder of it?” – Jeanette Winterson

In our need to have certainty, to be right, to feed our ego, we snuggle up in our assumptions, judgments and narratives. We bucket people, circumstances and experience, creating a sense of security and stability. Building foundations on sand, we are perplexed when they crumble.

Be willing to unlearn, to go deep to the root, to see the complexity in the details. Expand your capacity for joy through sincere inquiry, rapt attention and childlike curiosity. Open to the wonder hidden in each day, go past mere knowing to understanding, nuance and transformation.

From a distance, the snow is a white blanket. Up close, a brilliant tapestry of light, art and delicate form reminding us of the beauty in the details. Invite and accept the gift of deep awareness of what already is present. Awaken your senses and embrace delight in the ordinary.

In the details, in still points, within each soul, the spark of divinity longs to be revealed and released. To your knees, remaining long enough to hear the voice of divinity.

“Your inner voice is the voice of divinity. To hear it, we need to be in solitude, even in crowded places.” – A. R. Rahman

The Light of Spirit

“Solitude sharpens awareness of small pleasures otherwise lost.” – Kevin Patterson

“Once we’re awake, the struggle is often whether we live in the world of things while glimpsing the light of Spirit or in the light of Spirit while moving through the world of things. It is a practice just to be aware of which is driving us.” – Mark Nepo, Finding Inner Courage

In Minnesota, we take winter seriously. After we accept its inevitable return with a few complaints on the temperature adjustment and icy roads, we proceed to make the most of it by going out into it. I started snowshoeing this year and back at cross country skiing as well. Out in nature, in movement, breathing crisp fresh air. At the local golf course, they groom the trails as well as make snow for a small hill for snowboarding, skiing and sledding. They keep making snow all season to keep the hill in good shape.

When we accept that the only way to the other side of winter or other challenges is straight through it, we can embrace a lightness of Spirit, an ease in being. Each season offers unique gifts. There’s a quietude and solace in winter, preparation time, reflection.

Choose to move through the world awake, aware and grateful. The Spirit is all around and within each one of us ready to be held and to hold.

“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.” – Saint Francis de Sales

A Simple Shift

“There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.” – Bernard Williams

“What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives?” – E. M. Forster

Change it up. Take a different route. If you always do something at the end of the day, do it in the morning to see it from a different view.

Snowshoeing at sunrise this morning flipped the day. A simple shift can break patterns, create new patterns and connections. Build your capacity for awe in ordinary, daily miracles of a sunrise, of fresh air in your lungs, of the joy of mere being.

Gratitude, optimism and hope are powerful actions accessible to all. Use them early, often and without fail. Allow the sunrise and sunset to enter your life. A simple shift.

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