“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
We are meant to evolve, to unfold.
When we are uncertain, feeling stuck and a bit lost in our own “neighborhood,” we are at a crossroad. Clinging and comfortable with what has been because it’s familiar and fearing the unknown. Change happens when we are uncomfortable.
The caterpillar transforms in the struggle to get out, only becoming the butterfly when breaking free from the past. We get unstuck by choosing forward motion, trusting our instinct and intuition, questioning the truth in our stories we’re telling ourselves – both past and future narratives.
Confident that going backwards or staying safe in the fork is not the path to what’s next and where we are meant to be. The past has paved the way to now and is not meant to repeat but to provide a foundation for growth. It has prepared us for change, for our talents and gifts to take root in what’s next. Sometimes it’s where we are now with a shift in our perspective, sometimes it’s somewhere new.
The answers are before and within you.
I bought this truck in 1997. The dealer told me it was sapphire blue. I bought it sight unseen. And then when I went to pick it up, there she was – purple with teal detailing. A teenager’s truck. I tried to like it and kept it for two years. And then I knew I couldn’t drive it anymore. It bugged me too much.
My Dad was looking for a truck, so he bought it. The purple never phased him. If it did, he never let on. Rather than looking for a truck that he really wanted, he was letting me off the hook of a quick purchase that I regretted.
Now, I love this truck because it reminds me of my Dad’s character. A generous soul who didn’t take grief from anyone and rarely gave out either. Quiet, unassuming and kind. If anyone commented on him driving a purple truck, he never let it phase him. And 21 years later, you can tell that he took care of it.
It’s been over two years since Dad passed away and Mom really doesn’t need two vehicles. We sold it this past weekend to a family member looking for truck. The right side of the garage is now empty, but my heart is filled with memories like the truck story.
Our loved ones are here one minute and then suddenly they’re gone. And yet they remain with us in our hearts, in places, in memories, in others and in our own ways. Even in a purple truck.
Call your parents, give your kids an extra hug, don’t hold grudges, laugh as often as you can. Life is happening right now in the little things. No guarantees beyond today. Cast Light.
“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” – Meister Eckhart
A simple glance, a quiet moment, a sliver of pause prompts a prayer. Of gratitude. Of depth. Of awareness. Sacred, holy and awe-filled moments surround us awaiting to be released into our very being. In play. In joy. In letting go of all that we carry that is not ours. A small, soothing voice of calm. Strivings cease, peace enters with ease. Amen.
“Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress.
And let our ordered live confess
The beauty of Thy peace.
Breathe through the hearts of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake,
wind, and fire.
O still, small Voice of calm.”
– John G. Whittier hymn, Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.” – William James
“Time itself comes in drops.” – William James
Magnificent, spectacular, striking, breathtaking, delightful. We need more of these words and feelings in our daily life. Magnificent is waiting to be seen right in front of us each day. In a sunrise, a smile, a laugh, a poem, a dog’s enthusiasm to virtually everything, a song – all found in drops of time. Awe and beauty amidst the chaos and struggle. They co-exist. What we pay attention to defines our day, our life.
Find the magnificent in your day today no matter what you are going through. It may be like “Finding Waldo” to start, but the more we do it, the easier it becomes and the more we need it. Keep an eye out – there’s a spectacular day ahead.
“So many things show their beauty when we go quiet. So many truths are present when we look up from under our trouble. To fall below the world while still living in the world makes us remember that the truth waits under our opinions is our home.” – Mark Nepo, Things that Join the Sea and the Sky
No excuses or exceptions. Carve quiet into your day – get off the grid of technology, distractions and demands. Morning is the perfect time to start slow, anchor in truth and then enter the day with a renewed sense of purpose and joy. We too easily allow ourselves to be pulled aimlessly in several directions. A pin ball machine on steroids, missing the beauty ever present in moments. We are lost and searching for something that is right in front of us, in us.
Get “off the grid” and fly below the noise and distractions. And then the beauty you’ve been missing and searching for will suddenly appear.
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” – Mahatma Gandhi
When we’re tired, overcommitted and multitasking our way through our days, we lose our “salt” our flavor. We merely go through the motions to just get through. We’re trying to fish deep waters while going full throttle on a jet ski. And the faster we go, the more shallow our pursuits become.
We think we’re going to be the one who finds the secret, the way to have it all. Going faster or finding some magic shortcut only gets us to nowhere more quickly. We need to say no in order to say yes to what we most desire. We need to let go of what others may think, stop seeking approval and hold tight to the steering wheel of our own life.
Slow down, take care of yourself so you can care for others and pursue that which is in your heart. When we do what we care about with those who mean the most to us, the chaos we’ve raced into becomes background noise. Find color, joy and ease of being in each day. Take the slow ride.
“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.” – Eleonora Duse
“Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.” – Michel de Montaigne
I imagine that we will get to the end of our days and realize that we did not rejoice enough. Simple delight, arms up in the air, cognizant of the many opportunities for joy before us each day.
We will regret acts and words unsaid as well as the unkind ones that were spoken. What we considered so utterly important will fade to nothingness and the measure of our life will be how kind we were and how much we loved, unconditionally.
Rejoice today and carry on each day so when you look back it will be with a deep sense of gratitude and completion, knowing in your soul that the treasure of your life was well spent. Rejoice.
“Take a course in good water and air; and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you.” – John Muir
Reflection and remembering are the stepping stones on the path of gratitude and awe. A simple walk in the woods can transform our minds and surface our spirit. Rather than busily moving through time we become immersed in it, unaware of the clock and deep in the moment.
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir
In quiet repose, we move from reaction and positioning to creation and mere being. Amidst the waving trees, in the rhythm of the stream, in the heart of the meadow, we are called to enter and join the sweet harmony of nature. Eternal youth flows uninhibited and free for the taking.
“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.” – e. e. cummings
Brilliant blue skies that draw our eyes up to You
Rolling waves that draw our eyes down to You right here with us
Family who create the beautiful, imperfect fabric of our life, even when we take them for granted
Friends who show up to celebrate and remain in the hard times
Strangers who cross our path for reasons we do not know, showing us that we are all connected
Dogs who are both family and friend, modeling unconditional love when we forget
Children’s innocence and joy reminding of us where we started and where to return to
First snow sparkling in the sun and the fresh fragrance of spring, displaying the rhythm of the seasons
Challenges that make us grow, let go and dive deeper than we thought possible only to rise again different, with a steely tenderness
Music to dance and sing uninhibited
Laughter that let’s our spirit come out and play
Discernment to make better choices
Quiet to calm the soul
Faith to know that it will be o.k. and we are not alone
Peace within so we can create peace in the world
Grace that carries us and never fails even when we do
Poetry that shows us the strength of words
Kindness that shows us the strength of actions
Love, the only reason we are here
For all of this and abundance abound
For this and so much more…
“If every moment is sacred, and If you are amazed and in awe most of the time when you find yourself breathing and not crazy, then you are in a state of constant thankfulness, worship and humility.” – Bernice Johnson Reagon
In our frantic pursuit of who knows what, don’t miss this day. The one thing that this year has revealed in my search for understanding is that what is most important and remembered forever are the moments that we spend in simple conversation and connection, in laughter and in tears.
Be present and awake each day. And when you drift to the past or race to the future, grab yourself by the collar and pull yourself back to now. Our ordinary days offer a profoundness that we often only discover after they are gone. Capture the profound in the midst of unfolding.
Make your words more meaningful, embrace a bit longer, awaken to the sacredness of each day. Don’t ever dismiss or miss this day and the joy it offers. Ever.