“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu
“Happiness is a continuation of happenings which are not resisted.” – Deepak Chopra
Rain followed by temperature drop followed by trees painted in gorgeous white brilliance.
A magical wonderland on display, inviting awe and amazement.
By March, we get weary of winter, and yet, days like yesterday remind us of the beauty of winter.
In the waiting, wandering and going through is life awaiting our participation and attention.
Rather than reacting about the length of winter, we can enter the depth of quiet, preparation and slowness of the season.
Prisoner or pioneer.
We choose daily.
Take the adventure in front of you rather than the trail you’ve already been on.
“Every time you are tempted to react the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.” – Deepak Chopra
“The soul can split the sky in two and let the face of God shine through.” – Edna St. Vincent Millay
My Heart Leaps Up by William Wordsworth
“My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.”
May the deep blue sky capture your attention.
Penetrate the armor.
Push you back on your heels in awe.
Seek delight in the ordinary.
Pursue joy in reach.
Woven in the sky.
In blessings we pass by daily without seeing them.
Take full account.
Look up, leap up.
“Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
“All who joy would win must share it. Happiness was born a Twin.” – Lord Byron
“A sense of humor… is needed armor. Joy in one’s heart and some laughter on one’s lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life.” – Hugh Sidey
May joy and laughter enter each day.
Fun and frolic.
Gratitude and joy.
Silly and sassy.
Celebration in the ordinary, in reach.
To balance, to be held, to be embraced.
A choice, a decision, a gift.
Lighten up now and again, early and often.
Make it a three-tennis ball kind of day.
“He who binds to himself a joy Does the winged life destroy; But he who kisses the joy as it flies Lives in eternity’s sun rise.” – William Blake
“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.
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
“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.” – Emily Dickinson
Go change the world.
Through kindness, generosity, optimism, awe, hope, joy, love, laughter, delight, song, dance.
Feed the flame.
Let the noise and clanging of opinion, assumption, armchair quarterbacking, criticism float by, dissipating from lack of oxygen.
Actions over empty words.
Give. Receive. Give again.
Go change the world.
“Kindness is more than a virtue. It is a source of strength.” – Vivek Murthy
“The dog is the god of frolic.” – Henry Ward Beecher
“You have to create little pockets of joy in your life to take care of yourself.” – Jonathan Van Ness
My roommates and “life coaches” Abby and Sasha remind me daily to lighten up;
To have fun;
To be silly;
To work (chase ball) with vigor and focus;
And when done, to leave it and move on to what’s next with rapt attention;
Amidst the duties of the day, the long checklists and chasing, invite and allow frolic, laughter and folly to create pockets of joy to lift, expand and sustain.
All within reach and available.
Be swept away in ordinary delight.
“Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun.” – Randy Pausch
“O Lord that lends me life, Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.” – William Shakespeare
May this day of Thanksgiving celebrate and commemorate a life of daily gratitude.
In small and large things.
In difficulty and ease.
In imperfection and messiness.
In the middle of an ongoing pandemic.
On good days and challenging ones when we don’t rise to our best.
May we awaken to the power of perspective, the gift of joy unattached from circumstances.
Gratitude – the great multiplier.
Thanksgiving by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
We walk on starry fields of white
And do not see the daisies;
For blessings common in our sight
We rarely offer praises.
We sigh for some supreme delight
To crown our lives with splendor,
And quite ignore our daily store
Of pleasures sweet and tender.
Our cares are bold and push their way
Upon our thought and feeling.
They hand about us all the day,
Our time from pleasure stealing.
So unobtrusive many a joy
We pass by and forget it,
But worry strives to own our lives,
And conquers if we let it.
There’s not a day in all the year
But holds some hidden pleasure,
And looking back, joys oft appear
To brim the past’s wide measure.
But blessings are like friends, I hold,
Who love and labor near us.
We ought to raise our notes of praise
While living hearts can hear us.
Full many a blessing wears the guise
Of worry or of trouble;
Far-seeing is the soul, and wise,
Who knows the mask is double.
But he who has the faith and strength
To thank his God for sorrow
Has found a joy without alloy
To gladden every morrow.
We ought to make the moments notes
Of happy, glad Thanksgiving;
The hours and days a silent phrase
Of music we are living.
And so the theme should swell and grow
As weeks and months pass o’er us,
And rise sublime at this good time,
A grand Thanksgiving chorus.
“The joy of the Lord is your strength.” – Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV)
Yesterday, I picked up a 22-pound turkey for Thanksgiving. When I drove off from the store, the car was beeping. Looking around to see if the doors were shut properly and then at the dash for the indicator light, the passenger side seatbelt light was blinking. I started laughing as I buckled in the bird to stop the beeping.
As we enter this holiday season, remind yourself often to lighten up. Remember what it was like last year when no one could come together during the height of the pandemic. Lay down your politics, opinions and angst that we are still in pandemic living long enough to be grateful, awake and generous. Listen to enter conversation, not lecture. Our similarities unite us. Our differences create the tapestry of color, richness and texture.
Joy, hope, peace, light. May you receive and give all of these daily.
“As long as we feel safely held in the hearts and minds of the people who love us, we will climb mountains and cross deserts and stay up all night to finish projects.”― Bessel A. van der Kolk
“Nature is the one song of praise that never stops singing.” – Richard Rohr
“The theological virtue of hope is the patient and trustful willingness to live without closure, without resolution, and still be content and even happy because our Satisfaction is now at another level, and our Source is beyond ourselves.” – Richard Rohr
Be filled, fill
Blessed in the ebb and flow, in the valley and the mountain
Expanding and growing
Above and beyond our understanding
Never lose heart
Go deeper, stay awake, guard your joy, hold your hope.
Blessed are we in it all of the messiness, imperfection, struggle and beauty of life.
“Blessed are we when we yearn, yearn for connection and love and touch. Blessed are we when we hunger for the beauty of life itself and the people to fill it. Blessed are we when we are unable to say I’m letting it go because we feel like we will be washed away into an ocean of nothingness. Teach us to hold on to the truths that enliven our spirits and fill our souls and loosen our grip on the painful untruths like that we are alone or unlovable or that desire itself is the enemy. Teach us to hunger for what is good and be filled. There will be no easy addition or subtraction, we will lose and we will gain and almost none of it will make much sense at the time. And it forces our hands open in the ebb and flow of wins and losses, comings and goings we will look for divine love in the mystery of it all. The stubbornness of flowers that still smile at us, at the grocery store and the need for endless small reminders that the pain of it all, the comedy of it all, keeps us wide, wide awake.” – Kate Bowler from podcast with Richard Rohr
“I am not absentminded. It is the presence of mind that makes me unaware of everything else.”― G.K. Chesterton
“Do stuff. be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. stay eager.”― Susan Sontag
Be on guard.
Observe your surroundings.
What are you thinking about?
Does it energize or drain?
Choose what serves, sustains and multiplies.
Pay attention, be present and engage.
Focus on what you can control and release the rest.
Lighten up and allow joy in.
At and in attention.
“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