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Posts tagged ‘Positive attitude’

Luminous

“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense.” —Rumi

When I turned on my laptop to write my daily post, the camera lit up for facial recognition to bypass the log in. I leaned in and a message popped up: “Too close, move farther away.” When I leaned back a bit, it worked. If I was too far away, it would probably say, “Too far, move closer in.” I didn’t expect to get my post today from the Artificial Intelligence on my laptop, but here goes.

When we get too close in or too far away, stuck in a fixed mindset, ego and spiraling thoughts, go in the opposite direction. Scan and then zoom. Zoom and then scan. It’s a dance. Live with intention and attention rather than by accident.

“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.” – Allen Klein

Search for color and light, find color and light. Choose awareness and gratitude over speed and scarcity. Find awe in the ordinary. Surrender your need to be right, to know everything, allowing the mystery and unknowing to expand and deepen to your very soul.

“There is a land beyond the ego’s striving to be “better than,” or its fears of being “less than.” That land is where we know ourselves to be both sovereign and connected—“ part of” as opposed to “better or less than.” When you come home to the truth of who you are in the marrow of your soul, you begin to break the ego-shell.”— Marrow: A Love Story by Elizabeth Lesser

Blue or Grey or Both

“You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.” – Pema Chodron

“To be nobody but
yourself in a world
which is doing its best day and night to make you like
everybody else means to fight the hardest battle
which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.”
― e.e. cummings

What do you see? The grey clouds or blue skies peeking through. Or both. What you look for, you find. If you look for the blue, you find it, not denying the grey, for the clouds make the blue even more brilliant. Take off old glasses and put on new glasses to see the same in a new light.

Become aware of your thoughts, words, what you see and do not see. Who influences you, who inspires, who leads you away from you? Return to yourself and keep on the path to becoming, unfolding and discovering. Look and listen without judgment or assumption, allowing wonder and awe to make their way through the cracks of time and experience. Create new experiences.

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” – Mary Oliver

Keep paying attention to find new things that are not ahead or behind but all around and available in this very moment.

“may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old

may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it’s sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young

and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there’s never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile”
― e.e. Cummings, e.e. Cummings: Complete Poems 1904-1962

The Good Fight

“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” – Christopher McCandless

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” – Leo Buscaglia

I started yesterday with focus, attention and intention. Meditation. Exercise. Positive mindset. After a day of meetings, I ended the day tired, worn out and sick of everyone. All the negativity, the weariness, the heavy weight people bear and share. Overcounting burdens, undercounting blessings, bypassing bliss. I’ve done it too. I just don’t want to stay there anymore.

We are so much more than our fickle feelings, deeper than our temporary circumstances. When we refuse to engage and respond by allowing feelings to pass by without fuel or expansion, we detach from being victims of negativity to victors of optimism, hope and resilience.

We all have bad days. Let them happen, but not too many. Precious time is being wasted in the spirals we enter and allow others to pull us in. Your mindset is under your control so allow others to be who they are and fix what’s yours to fix – your own outlook and perspective. You can have empathy and offer hope at the same time.

Looking up at the sky last night with the sun breaking through the clouds as the rain prepared to enter, my consciousness rose above the day, breaking the earthly bonds of heaviness, equilibrium returned, a steady joy state.

“If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment.”- Carlos Santana

Allow feelings to enter, pass and be released. Ease and peace will enter with no effort. The gift of grace. Accept it. Offer it to expand it. Fight the good fight, the right fight.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” – 2 Timothy 4:7

 

Joy Recipe

“You must pass your days in song. Let your whole life be a song.” – Sai Baba

“All action results from thought, so it is thoughts that matter.” – Sai Baba

As the week begins and the weight of all that needs to be done fills on your mind, stop. Allow play, laughter, fun in to do its work in you. Do one new activity each day this week. Swing on a playground, jump rope without a rope, walk a new path. When you find yourself complaining and comparing, count your own blessings and give away that which you most desire.

When conspiracy theories, assumptions and judgment come to the forefront, change the narrative to believing the best and in all and everything to create space for joy in simple ordinary sacred days. Expand, absorb, lighten, deepen, laugh, dance and cast light.

don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements is a simple recipe for more daily joy:

  1. Be Impeccable With Your Word.
  2. Don’t Take Anything Personally.
  3. Don’t Make Assumptions.
  4. Always Do Your Best.

Mister In Between

“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” – Colin Powell

“But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful.” – Elizabeth Edwards

It was Sasha’s fourth birthday yesterday. We celebrated with new toys, walks, the dog park and birthday bones. Kids and dogs show us how to remain in the moment and lean into joy with a grateful heart.

My Dad used to say let negativity wash off you like water off the back of a duck. When we were kids, he also would sing a few lines from an old song by Johnny Mercer, “Accentuate the Positive”:

“You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In Between”

We get stuck in between, not fully joyful, not fully miserable. Rocking aimlessly from side to side as if we have no rudder to steer our own boat, allowing others water to get into our boat and sink it.

Optimism and positivity are not easy. They take work, intention, attention and focus. Listen to your own thoughts and words as well as others around you – complaining, gossip, negativity, chirping, glass not even half full but empty and dry?

Make a hard stop, take a sharp turn and go the opposite direction. Double down on the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative and certainly don’t mess with “Mr. In Between.”

“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” – Christopher McCandless

EVERYTHING!

“Not what we have But what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.” – Epicurus

“The world is full of abundance and opportunity, but far too many people come to the fountain of life with a sieve instead of a tank car… a teaspoon instead of a steam shovel. They expect little and as a result they get little.” – Ben Sweetland

On our walk around Como Lake yesterday, Lynn asked a woman who was holding a camera with a very large lens, “what are you looking for?” Without hesitation, she responded “everything.” What an awesome answer! Rather than being uncertain, specific or narrow, she set her expectations high – EVERYTHING!

Hurried and unaware, we move swiftly through our days in a flurry of activities and tasks, barely observing or acknowledging what’s right in front of us. We assume life is happening “to” us rather than “for” us. The menu of what we can feast on each day is abundant through a lens of gratitude and adventure.

If someone asked you that question today – “what are you looking for?” – what would your answer be? I’m changing mine from “I don’t know” to “everything.” In setting that expectation and intention, I will surely find more than nothing and something.

Use your wide-angle and zoom lens each day to search, invite and welcome in the beauty, mystery and delight woven and hidden in plain sight. Suddenly nothing becomes everything.

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

Flowers and Weeds

“My appointed work is to awaken the divine nature that is within.” – Peace Pilgrim

“To realize that you are not your thoughts is when you begin to awaken spiritually.” – Eckhart Tolle

To get flowers, you need to plant seeds, to bury bulbs in the dirt. Weeds need no help. They sprout on their own and can easily take over our landscape if we allow. Flowers require intention, attention and nurturing to flourish and bloom. Plant good seeds to take root and sprout to overshadow the weeds. Flowers and weeds will always co-exist. Nurture the flowers, stop feeding the weeds.

To arrive at a higher elevation, a steady state of joy and contentment, we need to focus on the flowers as we coexist with the weeds. It’s not enough to pull the weeds of negativity. Weeds keep coming back (our thoughts, other people, circumstances). We need to plant the seeds of optimism to absorb the energy and beauty of flowers.

Infuse positive thoughts, allow optimism to do its work. Get out of weed-only existence and dance in the field of flowers, open your lungs and breathe it in. Dance here awhile, every single day.

“Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.” – Frank Herbert

Allow for Healing

“The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician. Therefore the physician must start from nature, with an open mind.” – Paracelsus

“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

Last week, I stepped on a rock at an angle that stretched my foot, ankle and knee in a direction that they are not meant to go. I could feel that it was different, not just a tweak, but a jolt, something that would linger.

In the past week, I stopped running, iced and elevated my ankle regularly, wore an ankle brace to steady it to allow for healing. My normal response would have been to tough it out and work through the pain. While a slow learner, I have learned that with an injury like this, resting now will allow for running later.

We try to rush through the healing process, to tough it out, to “be strong.” Healing has its own timeline which requires patience and pause. Patience develops with experience, practice and rigor. If we are patient and rest there for a bit, we come out stronger, allowing healing to do its work in due time.

This morning, I didn’t feel pain in my ankle for the first time. It has more flexibility and range of motion. While I feel better, I’m not going to run 5 miles today, but will add activity gradually to build back up to get into the groove again.

The past year has had a tremendous impact on our collective and individual psyche. It’s important to acknowledge the “injury,” to grieve and most importantly allow for healing. We are coming closer to the end of “pandemic living” and there’s a new fear of going back out there again. Fear and grieving can wear you down and burn you out. Healing and meaning pull us through to the other side of grief, to our near future self that will be stronger, changed and renewed.

In 1969, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross wrote the classic book On Death and Dying describing the five stages of grief in loss: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Anyone who has lost a loved one knows that the stages are cyclical rather than linear and they show up in various ways at different times.

David Kessler, co-author of two books with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, has written a new book Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief building on as well as adapting her well-respected stages of dying for those in grief.

He states, “The stages have evolved since their introduction and have been very misunderstood over the past four decades. They were never meant to help tuck messy emotions into neat packages. They are responses to loss that many people have, but there is not a typical response to loss as there is no typical loss. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief. Not everyone goes through all of them or in a prescribed order. Our hope is that with these stages comes the knowledge of grief ‘s terrain, making us better equipped to cope with life and loss. At times, people in grief will often report more stages. Just remember your grief is as unique as you are.”

Allow your grief, but also allow healing and meaning to greet you with a warm embrace on the other side and in glimpses daily throughout. One day, you’ll wake up and the injury won’t hurt as much anymore. It will still be present but in a different form. Give yourself permission to find joy and light daily as you work your way through and we work our way through together.

“An exchange of empathy provides an entry point for a lot of people to see what healing feels like.” – Tarana Burke

Check Your Sources

“To find a new word that is accurate and different, you have to be alert for it.” – Mary Oliver

Check your sources is a fundamental tenet of journalism. The Society of Professional Journalists has defined four principles as the foundation of ethical journalism:

  1. Seek truth and report it;
  2. Minimize harm;
  3. Act independently;
  4. Be accountable and transparent.

No worries – this will not be a dissertation on politics, the “free” press or the first amendment – although those certainly all weigh on my mind as a citizen.

However, the media does have an impact on your outlook so before you believe Facebook or your way left or way right friends or family members, check your sources to verify the facts and understand the complexity of issues on your own.

These are also good principles to follow as you write the narrative of your own life.

  1. Seeking truth takes inquiry and investigation. Let go of assumptions and ask one more question to get the complete picture, all sides. Seek understanding, offer compassion.
  2. Minimize harm to others and yourself by being mindful and in control of your attitude, words and actions. Go beyond not harming to offering radical joy, love and acceptance. Be a light.
  3. Be your own person and stop following the crowd. Independence is freedom. Write your own story and stop surrendering the pen to other people, circumstances, offense from the past or fear of the future. This is your life, own it.
  4. Accountable and transparent – you are accountable for yourself so stop trying to fix others. Self-awareness is a one-person job so work on yourself and let others come unto their own if and when they are ready, if ever. Transparency is honesty. Be open and let go of the drama, conspiracy theories and plot twists. Fear is an old story, choose fierce.

Life is short so savor, seek and find joy daily. Perhaps Mary Oliver asks the most important question that you can ask yourself daily, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Spring Thaw

“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.” – Doug Larson

“Welcome, wild harbinger of spring! To this small nook of earth; Feeling and fancy fondly cling, Round thoughts which owe their birth, To thee, and to the humble spot, Where chance has fixed thy lowly lot.” – Bernard Barton

Three weeks ago, 30 below, today, 60 degrees, a 90-degree swing. We are entering spring thaw and the grass will soon overtake the snow covered ground. Snow will probably revisit a few more times at least, but it won’t remain as long with the strength of the sun and full onset of spring. In 2018, we were hit with 16 inches of snow on April 13, reminding us that winter will be done when it decides it is done, not when we want it to be.

“To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.” – George Santayana

Nothing ever stays long but our perspective of it. What we remember, what we forget, what we pick up, what we set down determines the ease of our journey. When we only put the weight and magnitude on the minus 30 degree days, we forgo the depth, expanse and joy in the 60 degree days. Seasons of life never skip their turn so if we can find the gifts in what is present now, each day can be holy and sacred.

“I drank the silence of God from a spring in the woods.” – Georg Trakl

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