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Posts tagged ‘optimism’

The Quiet Center

“This is another day, O Lord…
If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely.
If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly.
If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently.
And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly.”
― Kathleen Norris

“We need a deep patience because we can’t see around corners. Because life is a perpetual storm, a turbulence of light and dark that coils around each quiet center that we call a soul. We need such patience, not just to endure the turbulence, but to stay close to our full humanity, in order to access the quiet center of our soul, which is where our lasting strength resides.” – Mark Nepo, Surviving Storms: Finding the Strength to Meet Adversity

Keep me on the forefront of wonder
The edge of delight
Riding a wave of joy
Defying gravity of cynicism, certainty and control
Diving into the unknown
Buoyed in the waiting
Awakened in the mystery
Ever-present in the beauty of this day
The quiet center.

“To wait and endure.” It is from the ground of such waiting that our faith in life deepens and widens.” – Mark Nepo, Surviving Storms: Finding the Strength to Meet Adversity

A Big Scoop of Joy with a Side of Wonder

“Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.”― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

“We find delight in the beauty and happiness of children that makes the heart too big for the body.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

May we only go backwards to rediscover the innate joy of childhood.
We need not look far to find the PhD’s of delight and wonder.
Sparkle in eyes, anchored in the moment, inviting us to partake.

“Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.” – Khalil Gibran

“A flower blossoms for its own joy.”― Oscar Wilde

Most Precious Today

“In being with dying, we arrive at a natural crucible of what it means to love and be loved. And we can ask ourselves this: Knowing that death is inevitable, what is most precious today?”― Joan Halifax

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”― Lewis Carroll

Leave yesterday at the door and cross the threshold into now and the possibility of unfolding.
Letting go, forgiveness, gratitude, kindness unbind, free, loosen and release.
Lighten the load, only carry what is necessary, what serves you well.
New day, new person.
What is most precious today?

“Resolving grief means both to release ourselves from responsibility for all the things that weren’t up to us, and to come to terms with the choices we’ve made that can’t be undone.”― Edith Eger, The Gift: 12 Lessons to Save Your Life

Gardener of Joy

“When you transform your mind, everything you experience is transformed.”― Yongey Mingyur, The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness

“Because in trying to articulate what, perhaps, joy is, it has occurred to me that among other things—the trees and the mushrooms have shown me this—joy is the mostly invisible, the underground union between us, you and me, which is, among other things, the great fact of our life and the lives of everyone and thing we love going away. If we sink a spoon into that fact, into the duff between us, we will find it teeming. It will look like all the books ever written. It will look like all the nerves in a body. We might call it sorrow, but we might call it a union, one that, once we notice it, once we bring it into the light, might become flower and food. Might be joy.”― Ross Gay, The Book of Delights

May you be a gardener of joy.
Tilling, seeding, feeding, waiting.
Bud to bloom.
Winter to spring.
Looking for the good in others, self, the world.
Beyond first reactions, lingering longer to await understanding.
Bursting with wonder, awe and delight.
Change the narrative, write a new story of beauty, light and joy.
We can change our thoughts and soften our hearts.
May we all be a gardeners of joy, coloring the world anew.

“To see beyond what despair sees—to move from the feeling toward the possibility—calls for things we have in abundance: love, imagination, and a willingness to simply tend the world as best we can, without guarantee of success.”― Ayana Elizabeth Johnson

You Can Be…

“The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.” – William Blake

“You do not have to choose
one or the other: a dream or a dreamer, the
bird or the birder. You may be a woman of
commotion and quiet. Magic and brain.

You can be a mother and a poet. A wife and
a lover. You can dance on the graves you dug
on Tuesday, pulling out the bones of yourself
you began to miss.”― Kate Baer, What Kind of Woman

You can be a mix, a mess, brilliant and beautiful.
You are all of that and so much more.
Paradox, complexity, simplicity, shallow, deep.
Surround yourself with friends and family, loving their flaws and all their quirkiness, your own too.
We are more than what we do, our mistakes, our errors, beyond perfection to real and true.
Love saves us all.

“Follow the flawed, the real, the messy. Follow the women who say it like it is, no filter, no glossing, no bull. Follow those people who accept themselves, and you, as you are. And leave the rest to edit their lives to perfection,”― Donna Ashworth, I Wish I Knew: Poems to Soothe Your Soul & Strengthen Your Spirit

Starts, Middles, Finishes

“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

This weekend, I finished what I started two years ago.
I signed up for the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington DC in 2020.
COVID – canceled like most things in life in 2020 and 2021, still lingering today.
Ran it virtually in 2020.
2021 – marathon canceled due to security concerns.
Yesterday, I ran the 47th Annual Marine Corp Marathon live and in person.
Fifth and final marathon.

“Genius begins great works; labor alone finishes them.” – Joseph Joubert

A beautiful day and awesome course through our history.
Watching others who were running in memory of others.
Wheelchair racers struggling to get up hills.
Runners pushing others in wheelchairs.
The Marines either running it or working the water stations.
I sighed at mile 18 with a deep breath and a woman offered me her energy gels.
At mile 23, a man running with one leg and a blade prosthetic.

“Indeed, this life is a test. It is a test of many things – of our convictions and priorities, our faith and our faithfulness, our patience and our resilience, and in the end, our ultimate desires.” Sheri L. Dew

So many lessons woven through one day and two years.
I started the race and just kept reminding myself, one mile at a time.
Not too far out ahead, remain present and aware of the place and space to take it all in.
Each mile mattered, nothing wasted as in life itself.
Sometimes we finish in a few steps and moments, sometimes it takes years.
Struggle. Fall. Get back up. Fall. Get back up. Succeed.
Dream and do the work.
Keep going, striving, looking ahead to the finish lines, ready to start again and again.

“When we tackle obstacles, we find hidden reserves of courage and resilience we did not know we had. And it is only when we are faced with failure do we realise that these resources were always there within us. We only need to find them and move on with our lives.” – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

“Resilience is all about being able to overcome the unexpected. Sustainability is about survival. The goal of resilience is to thrive.” – Jamais Cascio

Catching Joy

“Every day is a good day. There is something to learn, care and celebrate.”― Amit Ray, Walking the Path of Compassion

“Life is a dance. Mindfulness is witnessing that dance.”― Amit Ray, Mindfulness Living in the Moment – Living in the Breath

Joy is a verb, an action, a decision.
May you dance with it daily.
Inhaling and exhaling, deeply.
Celebrate and keep opening this wonderous gift of life. 

“Breath is the finest gift of nature. Be grateful for this wonderful gift.”― Amit Ray, Beautify your Breath – Beautify your Life

What Do You Know for Sure?

“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.”― Anne Lamott

In a Anne Lamott’s TEDTalk, she shares 12 things she knows for sure. Below are five to ponder as you consider your own list of things you know for sure. Beyond opinion. Deeper than assumption. Underlying foundations that don’t shift with the winds.

Each of us has pivotal insights and truths that resonate in our own life. If we have the right list, not rules and regulations, they serve to open us up, expand our view, deepen our compassion and prompt us to love fully without counting.

  1. All truth is a paradox. Life is a precious unfathomably beautiful gift, and it is impossible here,” she says. Life is “filled with heartbreaking sweetness and beauty, floods and babies and acne and Mozart, all swirled together.”.
  2. Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. That includes you.”.
  3. Nothing outside of you will help you in any real, lasting way. Radical self-care is the only thing that will get you through. It’s hard to admit, but it’s true, and it works the other way around too. “If it is someone else’s problem, you probably don’t have the solution,” she says.
  4. Everyone is screwed up, broken, clingy and scared. Everyone, even the people who seem to have it most together. So don’t compare your insides to someone else’s outsides,” she says.
  5. Grace is a powerful thing. “Grace is Spiritual WD-40 or water wings. Laughter really is carbonated holiness.”

What do you really know for sure?

Fight Them Daily

“All God wants of man is a peaceful heart.”― Meister Eckhart

“There were many terrible things in my life and most of them never happened.”― Michel de Montaigne

Eyes of the road in front and just ahead.
Not in the rearview mirror, not too far out.
Worry, opinion, assumptions, resentment, judgment, comparison suck the life out of life.
Time wasters, energy drainers.
Cynicism is like planting seeds in cement, nothing grows, nothing created.
Joy, beauty, peace, laughter, anticipation, gratitude, kindness, generosity, delight, wonder – balms for the soul, well-fillers, life-changers.
Cast light, change your world, change the world.

“We have to fight them daily, lake fleas, those many small worries about the morrow, for they sap our energies.”― Etty Hillesum

Chasing Sunset

“When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the Creator.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“Embrace the sacredness of existence.”― Lailah Gifty Akita

At the end of each day, may you find the wherewithal to chase sunset.
To see the depth and breadth of brilliant colors and hues.
Catch the light, absorbing it into your bones.
Returning to sacred space and place often.
Igniting and fanning the flames of wonder and awe.

“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.” – Joseph Campbell

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