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Thursday, August 28, 2014

EMBRACING THE UNKNOWN

"I do not know what is untried and afterwards, but I know it will, in its turn, prove sufficient, and cannot fail."
~Walt Whitman~

I want what I want when I want it. Don't we all? But the truth is, if life were easy that way, it might lose some of its appeal. Roadblocks point us to a better way, and delays mean that it's not yet time.
     I want things on my terms, but there's a limit to my point-of-view. And if I'm honest with myself, not knowing is exciting in a way. There's a distinctive and delicious pleasure that comes from the intrigue of what I cannot possibly foresee.

If I don't have instantaneous success, it does not mean that I fail, but only that more creativity is required.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

LIVING IN A WEB

"Man is a knot into which relationships are tied."
~Antoine de Saint Exupery~

It's hard work to count on people, so it's no wonder that we tend towards self-sufficiency the way we do. It seems easier to take care of things ourselves than to have to wait and accommodate and entreat and plead in order to have others participate in our vision. It's tough to be in need of a favor, and to need help, and to simply not be able to go it alone. And yet, that is the nature of life. That is how it is and how it should be. We live in a web, not in a tunnel.
     And so, learning patience and learning acceptance and learning to trust  in the process when the pieces simply don't seem to be coming together the way we want them to is a challenging business. But it's what we're here for, at least in part, so I guess we better learn...

I cannot control other people- not their timing or their inclinations or their method of response- so I am willing to let go and trust.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

ASSUMPTIONS

"Live truth instead of professing it."
~Elbert Hubbard~

More often than not, we base our opinions on assumptions rather than facts. We make our judgments impulsively, at the first indication of any sort of a position that we are familiar with. We know how we feel about things, or think we do, and so we habitually fall on the same side of most arguments and mental positions. We go there automatically, in a kind of default mode.
     And consequently, we miss the whole other side of the story. We fix our stance and defend it to the hilt. But perhaps, if we actually took the time to clearly understand the whole situation, we might end up with a very different point-of-view.

I catch myself jumping to conclusions before I have all of the facts, and I slow down. I am willing to pay attention, and listen with care.

Monday, August 25, 2014

FOR CONSIDERATION

"There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it..."
~Lin Yutang~

Would you give up your eyesight for a million dollars? How about a billion?

Perhaps, considering the above question and answering it honestly helps to put the value of things in their proper perspective.

There are some things that no amount of money can buy.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

BLESSED

"The struggle ends when the gratitude begins."
~Neale Donald Walsch~
 
I am grateful for my good health and the colors of nature. I am grateful for the hint of fall in the air and the feeling of release through tears and laughter. I am grateful for our German Shepard's soft ears and spontaneous dancing in the kitchen with my husband. I am grateful for goose-down pillows and songs I can sing along to; for uplifting movies, Black-Eyed Susans, and home grown tomatoes. I am grateful for words and the art of writing, for family dinners and acoustic guitars, and for the ever-turning wheel of life.

I make it a daily habit to acknowledge the blessings in my life.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

MIRACLES

"The real miracle does not lie in the outer event, in the apparent good or bad fortune... The real miracle lies in the spiritual purpose behind the event."
~Paul Ferrini~

Miracles are not always evident on the surface of our lives where we can easily see them. More often, they come from the inside, in the form of a change of heart or a shift in perspective that restores us to inner peace and acceptance when we have been all twisted up in knots and full of angst. We are suddenly free from the deluge of circular thinking and able to appreciate the simple pleasures of life.
     So let's stop looking for miracles in everything externally coming together just the way we want it to, and open instead to the subtle, but powerful internal miracles that happen every day.

I accept and appreciate that a fresh perspective that gives me emotional relief is no less of a miracle than the parting of the seas.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

LOVE

"Love is not consolation. It is light."
~Friedrich Nietzsche~

Self-sacrifice and martyrdom are not love; they are sickness and dysfunction. Love allows for the care of everyone involved. It does not claim victims or seek subservience. It wants everybody upright and honest and in their best light. Love is not shadowy or questionable. It is straight-forward and crystal clear, unapologetic, authentic, and full of the right stuff.
 
I stop pretending that self-sacrificing is love.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

PEOPLE PLEASING

"Owning your burdens is half the battle."
~Scrubs~

I expect people to be willing to do as much for me as I am willing to do, even if unreasonably, for them. I expect them to make extreme efforts and demonstrate loyalty that is above and beyond. And it always surprises me when this is not the case.
     The error, as always, is in me. I am overly sensitive and easily disappointed, and this comes as the result of my trying to please everyone all of the time instead of living with appropriate boundaries and from my own personal truth.
 
I don't blame others for living reasonably. I let them inspire me to do the same.

Monday, August 18, 2014

SAD AND HAPPY

"Let a joy keep you. Reach out your hands and take it when it runs by." ~Carl Sandburg~

Recklessness makes me sad. So does carelessness, callousness and malice; unfulfilled potential, misunderstanding, and righteousness of the self.

Consideration makes me happy. So does forgiveness, peaceful quiet, and a job well done; honest communication, affirmation, good humor, and love.

And I can pick from either list any time I want to. I can pick what I focus on in others, and I can pick which space I choose to operate from inside of myself.

I behave well and experience happiness.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

THE STATE OF OUR SELVES

"I am what is mine."
~Norman Brown~

What is the condition of our houses? Our cars? Our animals? Our clothes? The way that we care for the things that belong to us reflects, on some level, the state of our being.
     Are we well-weathered, or shabby? Cluttered? Messy? Neat as a pin? Are our animals overweight, underweight, reticent, friendly? If we have dogs, do they lack boundaries and pester everyone all the time, or are they well-behaved and well-kept?
     Let's bring awareness to our negligence or pro-activity. Let's remember that everything is interdependent, and how we are with things and animals is a pretty good indication of how we are with ourselves. And let's be willing to raise the bar when necessary, and make changes, where changes are called for.

I care for the world in which I live, and respectfully honor whatever I own.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

THE LIMITS OF ARROGANCE

"It is always the secure who are humble."
~G.K. Chesterton~
 
Arrogance is a distasteful state of being. It is smug and holier-than-thou. Arrogance looks down and judges; feels entitled. Arrogance is a smokescreen and a sham, often absolutely wrong in spite of its righteousness, and as tippy as a house of cards.
     Let's be gracious instead of arrogant; open minded and allowing instead of judgmental and closed. Let's be kind and heartfelt. Let's make an effort to extend love to others, and to share a little less of our scorn.

Life is too short to be arrogant. There's not one among us who really knows-it-all.   

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

EBB AND FLOW

"The tides are in our veins."
~ Robinson Jeffers~

All of life reflects the tides- rising and falling, filling and emptying, ebbing and flowing. Our ships come in and they go out. Energy shifts. Popularity waxes and wanes. And whether the tide is rising or falling, it carries us with it. We are up and down, in and out, like the waves on a beach.
     The thing to learn though, and the thing to be able to recognize, is the moment when the tide shifts; when it's no longer coming in, but starting to flow out instead. At this moment, we need to pay attention and to keep an eye out, because as it's emptying in one place, it's always starting to fill up somewhere else.

I pay attention to the rising and falling tides of my life.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

PROJECTION AND LOSS

"The sudden disappointment of a hope leaves a scar which the ultimate fulfillment of that hope never entirely removes."
~Thomas Hardy~
 
Some of the ideas that float across our consciousness have promise. They sparkle almost, with possibility and excitement, and we hook onto them with our thinking and create fantasies around their playing out. We travel a distance down the road with them, imagining all of the implications of their being a reality, and we become emotionally invested.
     So when our creative vision doesn't unfold exactly as we've imagined, we experience a real sense of loss. And that loss, even if briefly, has to be grieved. We must learn to honor the death of our old hopes just as we honor the birth of our new ones- all in their turn, and as they cycle round and round.

I have compassion and sympathy for all of the hopeful imaginings that never quite play out.

Monday, August 11, 2014

THE EVOLUTIONARY PROCESS

"Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before."
 ~Jacob A. Riis~

Things of worth are created by a slow process that goes on and on indefinitely. Subtly at first, and so small it's almost imperceptible, something begins to grow and develop, gestating like a fetus in the womb. It seems improbable and maybe even impossible, but with steady, continuous effort, it expands.
     All great and magnificent structures and establishments and creative works begin this way. And if they don't- if they burst forth like an explosion, they usually lack staying power and fizzle out before they have evolved. So let's be grateful for slow growth and the ongoing process that carries us to greatness.

I build my dreams slowly, and from the ground up, over time.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

SENSATIONAL RECALL

"We will not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it."
~Bill Wilson~

Our senses are memory chambers. A certain scent or taste or sound or view can carry us back in time and evoke emotions from the depths of our being, unknown and unrecalled until that moment of recognition: the once familiar.
     Wood-smoke and the honking of Canadian Geese do this to me, and songs from my years in college, and the cooing of mourning doves. It's spooky and comforting at the same time- surprising, startling even, but never completely unwelcome. It is our past come up again: the things that went into making us who we are.

I am touched by the recollection of my sensory perception and curiously welcome the emotions that arise within me from long forgotten sights and scents and sounds.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

NO DOUBT

"Don't tell me the sky is the limit, when there are footprints on the moon."
~Anonymous~

It's no less than miraculous what we can accomplish if we set our hearts and minds to it- if we commit our energy and our creativity and our persistent effort; if we proceed with courage and faith.
     Anything is possible. That's what I've learned. And the only thing that stops us is us.

I open to possibility and believe in the miraculous nature of life.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

TIMING

"The place you are right now
God circled on a map for you."
~Hafez~

Timing isn't everything, or, then again, maybe it is.
 
I listen and sway to the rhythm of life.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

THE ADVENTURE OF LIFE

"I soon realized that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within." ~Lillian Smith~
 

I used to have a desire to travel the world, to go everywhere and explore everything and to see all that I could possibly see. But I feel less drawn to it these days. These days, I am interested in exploring the depths of my own soul and traveling the distance of my limits. I'm more interested in what's possible than in what's already established.
     Living life feels adventure enough for me today- finding creative solutions to the problems that arise, and enjoying the simple pleasures of being.

Traveling through time is as grand an adventure as any. I am content to experience the world from within.

Monday, August 4, 2014

KNOWING WHEN

"There is an unseen life that dreams us. It knows our true direction and destiny. We can trust ourselves more than we realize and we need have no fear."
~John O'Donohue~

I am learning not to force things, to wait for the right wind, the right feeling, and the auspicious sign. And I am learning to wait with ease instead of angst, and with a certain amount of trust instead of panic-driven fear. I am learning to trust that I will know what I need to know when I need to know it and not a moment before, so I needn't bother grabbing for it. I can simply relax, and let it come.

I trust that I will know when action is called for, and when to be quiet and still.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

FEEDING THE BIRDS

"Nature never did betray the heart that loved her."
~ William Wordsworth~
 
Birdfeeders are one of the best investments we can make. The return on them is a thousand-fold and then some. Watching birds of all kinds and colors and size come fluttering and perching is an unparalleled delight. It's soothing and scintillating at the same time. And if the mess of falling seeds is more than we are willing to handle, we can feed hummingbirds instead, with sugar-water out of a red plastic flower feeder.
     Let's not miss this easy opportunity for joy. It's a small price to pay for entertainment and intrigue.
 
I keep my birdfeeder full and watch with delight as the birds come and go.

Friday, August 1, 2014

DAILY ENLIGHTENMENTS: THE BOOK

A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy.
~Edward P. Morgan~

If you enjoy this blog, please help spread the word about the book version, Daily Enlightenments, 365 Days of Spiritual Reflection. And if you are unfamiliar with the book, please check it out here:  http://amzn.to/1n1d8P8
     It's a book for grounding and centering and remembering. It's about what really matters. It's about love and gratitude, the present moment, and our part in things. It's a beacon for hope and a call to personal responsibility.
     I am the author, but this book is so much bigger than me. It's full of amazing photographs by amazing people, and of amazing people! Plus, wisdom quotes from across the ages, and a spiritually useful thought for each day. Daily Enlightenments has come as a blessing and deserves a good word. Please add your voice!

Thank you!
 
I honor the gift and the magic of Daily Enlightenments and share it with the world!