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Posts tagged ‘Positive attitude’

Signs All Around

“Changing is not just changing the things outside of us. First of all we need the right view that transcends all notions including of being and non-being, creator and creature, mind and spirit. That kind of insight is crucial for transformation and healing.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

“Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.” – Henri Nouwen

A joyful wandering through Como neighborhoods with friends tonight was energizing, inspiring and healing. Suddenly a STOP sign caught our attention – someone wove a yarn stem around the metal and created an urban, timeless flower with an important prompt and call to inaction. Stop, breathe and see the buds and blooms that are present right now in front of our very eyes, not in the past or future, but available in the ordinariness of today.

We need more joy, energy, inspiration and most of all healing. As we move through uncertainty, we need to hold tight to a knowing, a reverence and confidence in healing. The caterpillar always becomes a butterfly. The sun rises, every morning. Wounds heal. Flowers bloom.

See the blooms, feel the healing and recognize the signs. Stop and take notice. Allow healing and light. It always comes.

“Meditation can help us embrace our worries, our fear, our anger; and that is very healing. We let our own natural capacity of healing do the work.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Empathy and Optimism

“Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.” – M Michel de Montaigne

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” – Romans 12:15

At the start of a meeting yesterday, each person was asked to share two words that described them in that moment. I listened intently and it was a mix. As I thought about my own words, I chose “empathy and optimism.”

When we are empathetic, we can listen and “weep with those who weep” and by harnessing the power and fuel of optimism, we can simultaneously “rejoice with those who rejoice.” Weeping is real, required and will pass with time. Rejoicing is a way to live, even in the midst of weeping moments.

We are a mix of opposites, contradictions, imperfection, resilience and beautiful music. Pursue awareness – self first so you can see yourself in others and genuinely feel empathy rather than judgment and assumptions. Awareness prompts action and necessary change. As Maya Angelo said, “when you know better, you do better.”

We need to both weep and rejoice, with a bias toward rejoicing and optimism. Life is fragile, strong, short, long and no day returns to repeat so seize today, let go of yesterday and hope for tomorrow.

“To live would be an awfully big adventure.” – Peter Pan

Seed Planting Time

“Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don’t have any problems, you don’t get any seeds.” – Norman Vincent Peale

“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances. We carry the seeds of the one or the other about with us in our minds wherever we go.” – Martha Washington

The ground has softened, the grass turning green and the temperatures are in the 60s. Winter is bowing out and welcoming spring to the stage, front and center. Seeds ready to be planted. And so are you. What seeds are you planting in your mind, heart and spirit now?

It’s planting time, so start today. Plant seeds of hope, joy, optimism, discovery, gratitude, abundance, laughter, wonder and possibility.

“Each moment is perfect and heaven-sent, in that each moment holds the seeds for growth.” – Suzan-Lori Parks

What seeds are you planting now?

Settle Deep Enough

“It is such a struggle – has always been – for each of us to settle deep enough into the wait, into the weight till we discover that there’s nowhere to go. Perhaps the greatest challenge, once fully awake, is to drop all reaching and simply open like a clam waiting in the deep until life in all its guises floods through the half-closed center that is us.

Then God enters like a brilliant stone falling in a lake, and the past ripples behind us, and the future ripples before us, and we are breathing in eternity.” – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

When doing comes up short again and again and mere being takes its place, settle deep enough into the waiting, uncover meaning, connection and repose.

If we have learned but one thing, it is the value of a day. Don’t let another day go by without weaving joy, laughter and awe throughout. Breath in eternity.

Expansive!

“The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds.” – William James

No matter where we are in life, we decide whether we will expand or contract. Right now, the obvious, easy and natural response to contract. Do the opposite. Expand into the world. Connect in new ways, love deeper and embrace optimism and hope. It is the only sustainable and joyful path.

Get out in the fresh air and look beyond the horizon, beyond immediate circumstances. Watch the sun slowly set. Walk and run with your best friend. Let go of the leash and dance in the field. Look up, pull your mask off and simply say hello when passing by to acknowledge our shared humanity and experience.

This moment, how we move through, survive and thrive beyond the immediate is our defining moment. Define the moment rather than letting the moment define you.

We are so much bigger and wonderous than this moment. Observe, absorb and expand!

Open Windows are Essential

“Happiness radiates like the fragrance from a flower and draws all good things towards you.” – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

“It seems essential, in relationships and all tasks, that we concentrate only on what is most significant and important.” – Soren Kierkegaard

One of my favorite places to visit just a mile from home is the Como Conservatory. I’ve been running by it three to four times a week and look in the windows to see the beautiful flowers.  It’s locked down for social distancing purposes, in the “nonessential” category. Yesterday, when we walked by, they had opened the windows a crack allowing the sweet fragrance of tulips to escape out, a gift of hope and spring.

If we choose to learn and apply the lessons of this rare time on the other side, we will reclassify many items in our life, focusing on the truly essential and letting the nonessential go by the wayside, never to drag us down again.

Nonessential: worry, control, gossip, unforgiveness, regret, resentment, judgment, assumptions, criticism, cynicism, scarcity, noise, busy, hopelessness and overall shallow living.

Essential: joy, kindness, gratitude, generosity, connection, family, friends, unconditional love, forgiveness, letting go, purpose, abundance, faith, hope, light, awe, justice, peace, anticipation, delight, fun, laughter, play, long hugs, eye contact, empathy and deep living.

All of the essentials are available to us right in this very moment, in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, minus the long hugs that will come soon. Don’t wait for the other side to get to what’s essential. And open windows and flowers are essential too.

Glorious Light

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

“One hour of life, crowded to the full with glorious action, and filled with noble risks, is worth whole years of those mean observances of paltry decorum, in which men steal through existence, like sluggish waters through a marsh, without either honor or observation.” – Walter Scott

When is the last time that you used the word glorious? The brilliance of a full moon after a warm Spring day. The song of Good Morning from the sun returning to begin a new day. The smile of a child. The excitement of a dog chasing a ball. All simple, daily glorious gifts. We are abundantly blessed. Count what you do have right now rather than what’s missing.

Here are a few other words to add to your vocabulary – delight, awe, quiet, praise, reflection, patience, generosity, kindness, gratitude and grace which will get us through to the other side. While we’re on this side of uncertainty and fear, we can choose joy over misery while we wait in hope. Whether in misery or joy, we will arrive at the same destination. It’s just a matter of deciding how you want to move through the journey. I’m choosing joy. It’s a much better car to travel in.

Glorious light, cast it.

Write Your History

“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” – Winston Churchill

We are in the middle of writing our history right in this very moment. What’s your story, the plot, your narrative, your third act? What will you be remembered for?

Joy
Optimism
Faith
Generosity
Creativity
Imperfection
Empathy
Curiosity
Gratitude
Resilience
Hope
Imagination
Laughter
Silly
Innovative
Purposeful
Fun
Playful
Kind

Seems like a good list to aspire to no matter the circumstances. If choosing only one, choose kindness. Be Kind. Cast Light!

“Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” – Henry James

Hope-20 Outbreak

“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

“All human wisdom is summed up in two words; wait and hope.” – Alexandre Dumas

Non-stop news, hundreds of emails and resource centers on COVID-19, dozens of commercials on “uncertain times” and “we’re all in this together.” Others are trying to help, to create order from chaos, to figure it out.

We are all in this together, but each person is unique so don’t assume all are handling this time in the same way. Check in on colleagues, friends and family every day. Give yourself a break, stop trying to figure out much past today and know that it’s OK to not be OK. There are tough moments and struggles so be kind and gentle with yourself and others.

Move beyond fear and uncertainty. Surrender and succumb to HOPE. We will get to the #otherside!

Hope carries us, pushes us to keep going, holds up a mirror to our resilience, transcends the rational and sparks joy independent of circumstances.

Hope-2020 and beyond. Let’s do this!

Anchor UP

“Lent is a time to renew wherever we are in that process that I call the divine therapy. It’s a time to look what our instinctual needs are, look at what the dynamics of our unconscious are.” – Thomas Keating

“O lord, make this Lenten season different from the other ones. Let me find you again. Amen.” – Henri Nouwen

Well this is certainly a Lenten season different from any other in our lifetime. The world is upside down, on lock down and tipsy turvy to say the least. What we’ve anchored ourselves in the past has been uprooted.

Trying to understand, to predict, to plan is out of our control in this moment but will come in due time. So rather than wallowing in consternation, chaos and confusion, do the opposite. If you want to coil up and stay in, get out. If you want to keep everything in motion, stop and rest. It’s difficult to explain the unexplainable of these rare days. Go deep, enter the quiet and anchor up. Settle into the unexplainable, mystery and waiting time.

Rather than running/wandering at our usual meeting spot today at Como, four of my running group friends met up (6 feet apart) in St. Paul for a new adventure through the beautiful brick-laid streets of the Summit Avenue area – historic and beautiful, past Garrison Keillor’s home and the James J. Hill House. Up and down stairs, hills and then wrapping up at the beautiful Cathedral of St. Paul.

Gazing up at this phenomenal holy architecture, this sacred offering, puts it all in perspective. The cross rests firmly on the top pointing our eyes up, reminding us to anchor up, to keep the faith. Tomorrow is the 5th week of Lent – desert time filled with more waiting, patience and anticipation. Easter is two weeks from tomorrow and most likely won’t be celebrated in church followed by a family gathering – the first time ever. This year, we must be Easter people in our heart, soul and spirit.

The desert is always followed by the oasis so keep going, stay hopeful and hold tight amidst the solitude, wandering and the unknown. It’s going to be more than alright. Anchor up.

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