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Posts tagged ‘optimism’

Focal Point

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” – Jonathan Swift

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” – Jonathan Swift

“Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos.” – Stephen Sondheim

As each moment appears and unravels, may peace be the ground you walk on.
Carrying what is necessary for the journey, laying the rest down to travel lightly in grace and ease.
Same place, fresh eyes, new place appearing as if for the first time.
Invisible revealed.
Order from chaos.
Keeping the beauty, releasing the rest.
Clarity and discernment.
Surprise and awe.
Witness and engage.
Focal point, art unfolds.

“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.” – William James

May I, May We

morning glory

“We inhabit a universe that is characterized by diversity.” – Desmond Tutu

“My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” – Desmond Tutu

May I never get used to and miss the glory of a sunrise.
May I pause to witness how the light dances on all it touches, including me.
May I begin and end each day aware and in awe more than a minute, steeped in gratitude.
May I always be curious and inquire of others, self and circumstances to enrich the narrative.
May I expand “I” to “We,” inviting and welcoming connection, belonging and generosity into each and every interaction.
May we all seek, find and cast light, peace, grace and joy into the world to be made new daily.

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” – Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu died on December 26, 2021. A beautiful conversation with Krista Tippett, The Onbeing Project is well worth the listen.

Vast and Deep

“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

“If we are stretching to live wiser and not just smarter, we will aspire to learn what love means, how it arises and deepens, how it withers and revives, what it looks like as a private good but also a common good. I long to make the word echo differently in hearts and ears – not less complicated, but differently so. Love as muscular, resilient.” – Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise – An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living

May we go beyond figuring it all out into the vast, deep mystery of life.
Exploring and inviting.
Creating rather than critiquing.
Sails up harnessing the wind.
Rudder deep cutting rough and calm waters.
Adventure and possibility.
Struggles and victories.
Small and large.
Salt and light.
Bold and fierce.
Integrating and infusing.
Love deepens and expands when exercised without measure, qualification or delay.
The cure for all, waiting to be released from each heart into the world.
Again and again.
Simple acts of kindness, attention, words, listening, welcoming, belonging, togetherness.
The audacity of love that dares to heal, transform and change the world.
One person at a time.
Powerful, resilient and muscular.
Who, what and where will you love today?

“The exacting, enlivening aspiration of love does send us inside to know and honor the particularities of our identities and our struggles. But it coaxes us out again to encounter with the vastness of human identity.”– Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise – An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living

Kindness Spreader

“Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things, in which smiles and kindness, and small obligations given habitually, are what preserve the heart and secure comfort.” – Humphry Davy

May you carry kindness, spreading it frivolously everywhere.
Without account or delay.
May you know kindness.
Without measure or limit.
May you empty your kindness bucket daily, filled in the process.
Without prompting or hesitation.
Rooted, budding, blooming, fragrant and beautiful.
From roots to shoots.
Like a shadow or friend.
A super-spreader that heals, binds, connects.


By Naomi Shihab Nye

“Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.”

Grow. Learn. Evolve.

“Look within. Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Your goal is not to battle with the mind, but to witness the mind.” – Swami Muktananda

As the world returns to “ordinary time” and a new year begins, carry the slowness, reflection and stillness of the season forward.
See in a new way rather than a continuation of the same thing.
Look for connections and patterns right in front of you.
A slightly different angle to see a fresh view.
Seek understanding.
With forethought and care.
Be kind. Assume the best. Invite diversity of thought.
Allow change to do its work in you.
Grow. Learn. Evolve.

“Change is not threatening, so long as we keep firm hold of the values by and for which we live. We can travel with confidence so long as we have a map. We can jump with safety knowing that there is someone to catch us as we fall.” – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

See It, The Beauty

“Pay attention to the beauty surrounding you.” – Anne Lamott

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” – Confucius

Rush to color, joy, beauty.
Let them do their work in you.
Be slow to judgment, resentment, assumption.
Think the best in others and let them prove you wrong.
And then forgive them.
People are imperfect, including self.
Beneath the surface, the real story lies.
Don’t accept the answer “fine” when you ask how someone is doing.
Ask the follow up question. Listen, don’t solve.
Choose to be kind and considerate.
Go first in letting others go first.

Music. Art. Literature.
Expand the world, pull us out of “what about me” ruts.
Gratitude. Grace. Anticipation.
Expand the world, focusing our eyes on possibilities and blessings.
Light. Laughter. Love.
Expand the world, saving it from itself.

Live this day in color, joy and beauty.

“Beauty is power; a smile is its sword.” – John Ray

Ordinary and Available

“The excitement lies in the exploration of the world around us.” – Jim Peebles

“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life.” – John Burroughs

In the ordinary and available, life lingers waiting to be found and held.
Explore, inquire, imagine.
Expand your view, lay down judgment and opinion to allow fresh thoughts and ideas to enter.
It’s a new day.
Look around, look longer, look with new eyes.
What will you learn today?

“It is quite amazing how hard the subconscious works when it is made to understand that this life is not a rehearsal, there is no safety net and no assurance of any final closure. It is also quite appalling to realize how catatonic the imagination can become when we hedge our bets, opt for the safer direction at every fork in the path.” – John Burdett

Conversations and Connection

“If you don’t talk it out, you act it out.” – Joseph Grenny

It’s been a while since I read the book Crucial Conversations by Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler, Emily Gregory. With the release of the third edition in October, Joseph Grenny was on the What’s Essential podcast this week.

The seven principles include:

  1. Start with the heart – get the right focus
  2. Learn to look – know when it’s unsafe
  3. Make it safe – facilitate an open dialogue
  4. Master your stories – stay in dialogue despite negative feelings
  5. State your path – share your views persuasively
  6. Explore others’ path – be a good listener
  7. Move to action – convert dialogue to results

The assumptions we make, the conclusions we come to before starting, the narrow view we take comfort in shape our world, making it small. Choose your words, listen for understanding rather than waiting to state your case and dare to have conversations to learn, connect and expand.

When we let go of the need to be right, not mistaking opinion for fact, we expand and deepen our relationships and invite civility and connection back into our daily lives. Give your ego a break today. Turn on your empathy GPS. Cast light into the crevices of your thinking to see the same in a new light.

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Viktor E. Frankl


“The key to abundance is meeting limited circumstances with unlimited thoughts.” – Marianne Williamson

“Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.” – Samuel Butler

May we see what is present, not what is missing.
Sufficiency rather than deficiency.
Channeling what is and making something more of it.
Moving from a place of enough to abundance.
Optimism isn’t denial of what exists.
It’s fuel to keep going and not resigning to scarcity, to “stuckness.”
If we focus on the holes, energy is drained, wasted.
Focus on possibility.
Put energy and effort there.
Move to awareness, action and abundance.
Make something of the substance, beauty and depth of life.
Imagination. Curiosity. Listen.
Make something of this day.

“The struggle is always worthwhile, if the end be worthwhile and the means honorable; foreknowledge of defeat is not sufficient reason to withdraw from the contest.” – Steven Brust

Your Task

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Rumi

Blinders off.
Full view.
Doors in walls.
Walk through.
Let the light and fresh air in.
Look up to see the expanse and depth.
Look in to see the expanse and depth.
Be renewed in the seeking.
Refreshed in the rerouting of thoughts.

“That which is false troubles the heart, but truth brings joyous tranquility.” – Rumi

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