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Posts tagged ‘Peace’

Full Bloom

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”- Wayne Dyer

“Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.” – Gilda Radner

Ease into the unknown, embrace uncertainty, hold what’s necessary and release what weighs you down, what blocks your path. Lessons often unfold in hindsight with time and distance, with no recourse to change course. Awareness beckons, invites and welcomes learning in real time, in the very moment, deepening moments and amplifying time.

Awareness first. Lessons in the moment. Change certain, growth optional. Choose growth, expansion, gratitude and joy. Fight the good fight.

“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor E. Frankl

Slowly then Suddenly

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

Growth is iterative. It feels like nothing, repetition, a standstill. Then suddenly, an inflection point, a still point where the disparate pieces come together and make sense. Our assumptions, perspective and priorities shift to where they should be through the gift of new eyes. No turning back and looking forward to the road that lies ahead.

Keep taking steps each day. Progress and transformation happen slowly and then suddenly. When we find home within, it matters not where we go.

What we hold tight to, holds us tighter. So let go of circumstances, approval, permission, expectations and allow the awakening to do its work. Slowly, then suddenly.

Binoculars

“For me, the vast marvel is to be alive. For man, or for flowers or beast or bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly and perfectly alive.” – Al Purdy

“Be like the bird who, pausing in her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing she hath wings.” – Victor Hugo

For the past week, small crowds have gathered (socially distant of course) to witness a rare sighting of the mountain bluebird at our usual running spot at Como Lake in St. Paul, Minnesota. In awe, the birders quietly gaze with binoculars to observe the bird in the tree. The finches have gathered in the dry winter grass and flowers in disguise to watch as well.

We spoke to one of the birders and with excitement, he explained that the mountain bluebird is home to the Rocky Mountain area and it doesn’t belong here. I’m sure that bird is wondering what happened to his internal GPS and what the hell are those people doing down there with big glasses on.

This year has been a year where we have felt that we don’t belong here either. Stop the ride, I want to get off! But we do belong where we are at for some unknown reason(s) and can choose to learn the lessons that each day offers. Apply the lesson, let go of the pain of learning it. When we think we are lost, we are actually on the path of being found, of becoming our authentic self – imperfect, raw, real, egoless, generous, holy and beautiful.

Contemplate and reflect on the burdens and more importantly, the blessings. They co-exist and always will, it’s called life. I hope and pray that the burdens of the pandemic fade to our memories in 2021 and the world is healed in many ways. May we be more kind, grateful, joyful, faithful, empathetic, in awe, aware, mindful, curious, responsive, peaceful, proactive, delightful, purposeful, forgiving and enthusiastic.

With rapt attention, put binoculars on and see the detail, ordinary miracles and beauty in each day. These days shall not return and they our are currency for a good life. Look for, be and Cast light!

Light Burns Fog

“Silence at the proper season is wisdom, and better than any speech.” – Plutarch

“Derive happiness in oneself from a good day’s work, from illuminating the fog that surrounds us.” – Henri Matisse

On my run this morning, it was difficult to see too far ahead with the looming fog and damp cold. As I was finishing, the sun started to burn through the fog. Light always burns off the fog of uncertainty, negativity and judgment.

Cling to the light of hope, faith and resilience, especially now when the fog is thick with ongoing pandemic uncertainty, a mean season of dirty politics on both sides and hatred rooted in stereotypes rather than reality.

It was a beautiful end to the day with sun shining bright and brilliant. Choose light. Never take optimism for granted or underestimate her power to transform the world. Actively choose light over the fog.

On my way out for a walk tonight, my neighbor told me that she had the police over today because someone shredded her American flag and she was afraid. Stop the rhetoric and hatred! History lesson – the very first amendment is free speech. Speak yours and allow others to speak theirs without judgment, shaming or violence.

Go vote. Regardless of the results of the election in November, live a good life each day by contributing your best and offering kindness, understanding and empathy. Enough is enough. Build a life of your own that you will be proud of when you have to take account for it and stay in your own lane.

We have enough fog. Cast light.

“Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom – and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech.”- Benjamin Franklin

Drift and Observe

“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.

Perch

“Everything that happens happens as it should, and if you observe carefully, you will find this to be so.” – Marcus Aurelius

To sit quietly and observe. No judgment. No sound. May we all find the peace to do as the bird does on a soft quiet morning on the tip of a branch. To find depth in being and seeing, in understanding and presence.

“Be like the bird who, pausing in her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing she hath wings.” – Victor Hugo

The Embrace of a Breeze

“We never look deeply into the quality of a tree; we never really touch it, feel its solidity, its rough bark, and hear the sound that is part of the tree. Not the sound of wind through the leaves, not the breeze of a morning that flutters the leaves, but its own sound, the sound of the trunk and the silent sound of the roots.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

It was a beautiful, sunny, breezy day. The trees swayed and didn’t break. Moved and stretched. Embraced and flowed. The leaves danced and held on. May we bend and not break. Breath and flow. And sway with joy.

Let Sunday set the tone for the week. Carry it forward to seize the magic and delight. Each day, even Mondays, especially Mondays, are a gift. Open it and celebrate. The embrace of the breeze. Be held.

“What you really want for yourself is always trying to break through, just as a cooling breeze flows through an open window on a hot day. Your part is to open the windows of your mind.” – Vernon Howard

Peace Within

“I know, to banish anger altogether from one’s breast is a difficult task. It cannot be achieved through pure personal effort. It can be done only by God’s grace.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“The meaning of life. The wasted years of life. The poor choices of life. God answers the mess of life with one word: ‘grace.’” – Max Lucado

This morning’s walk along the river in St. Paul was noticeably quieter than last week amidst the mourning, anger and destruction of parts of the Twin Cities in response to George Floyd’s death.

There were two people sculling in narrow boats on the river with ease and grace. It was beautiful, quiet and peaceful to witness. As I watched the fluid movement, I thought if only each of one of us had that peace, grace and ease within, we wouldn’t be where we are right now.

We didn’t get to what happened to George Floyd overnight. It’s been ingrained in organizations, systems, in bias, hatred and misunderstanding on all sides. It was the tipping point that screamed – ENOUGH! Any human who watched that 8+ minute video was and is sickened and saddened. How do we get to this point in humanity to be so numb, so callous, so hollow?

Before we cast judgment and damnation on organizations, all police officers and others “different” from us, may we each look within ourselves first. To rend our hearts and souls, so we foster love and peace that demands permanent and lasting change that transforms the world beyond anger, hopelessness and hatred.

When we anchor our future on love, justice, courage, peace and empathy, never again will we witness the horror of the past few weeks and decades. May history stop repeating itself and may we create a present and future where we listen, lift each other up and rise above the noise, creating a beautiful world that we have the capacity to create right now. No excuses.

This is my prayer, my hope and my resolve. We must do this together. The journey starts within.

“When you are spiritually connected, you are not looking for occasions to be offended, and you are not judging and labeling others. You are in a state of grace in which you know you are connected to God and thus free from the effects of anyone or anything external to yourself.” – Wayne Dyer

Real Peace

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” – Buddha

May we be quiet.
May we listen.
May we reach out.
May we seek truth.
May we be gentle.
May we pursue justice.
May we seek peace.
Real peace that changes hearts.
New day. Same prayer.

May we listen.
A peace that passes all understanding.

“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.” – Francis of Assisi

Calm

“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

“We must go beyond the constant clamor of ego, beyond the tools of logic and reason, to the still, calm place within us: the realm of the soul.” – Deepak Chopra

It was a beautiful warm day with sunny skies offering some moments of reprieve from the heaviness of this week as we try to prepare for tonight with thousands of anarchists coming into Minnesota to not honor George Floyd but to continue to burn and loot the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. This afternoon, Minnesotans gathered in peaceful protest to truly honor George Floyd and demand justice.

On a walk tonight before curfew, there was a calm. Flowers reminded me of joy and beauty which is not in the forefront right now but remains and offers hope. When we enter calm and honest conversation, we can learn the timeless lessons of love and understanding. Praying for calm tonight.

“You practice mindfulness, on the one hand, to be calm and peaceful. On the other hand, as you practice mindfulness and live a life of peace, you inspire hope for a future of peace.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

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