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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

THE SHUFFLE

"You've got to know when to hold them, and know when to fold them..." 
~ Kenny Rodgers ~

Life delivers up all kinds of experience. We are satisfied, challenged, tested, rewarded, frustrated, exonerated, and left hanging. To be able to experience whatever there is to experience without angst is an art of the highest form, something to work towards, and something to experiment with. If we can roll with the punches as they come, and not explode our egos when we have success, then we are rich and rewarded indeed.

I play the cards life deals me. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

SIMPLE WISDOM

"My soul lives somewhere between silence and the moon." 
~ Terri Guillemets ~

Relieve tension with surrender, impatience with compassion, insistence with acceptance, and anger with love.

I live by spiritual principles. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

ACHES AND PAINS

 "The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don't go back to sleep." 
~ Rumi ~

When we resist our aches and pains, they overtake us. Wanting to fix them, wanting them to go away as if by magic and feeling irritated that they do not go away serves us not at all. Let's allow what is to be. Let's relax into it and say ok. Let's stop fighting, stop resisting, and see what opens up.

I stop fighting and accept what is. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

IT CAME TO PASS

"Just because everything is different doesn't mean anything has changed." 
~ Irene Peter ~

What's the nature of our unhappiness when it pops up? Is it legitimate, understandable, justified? Is it real, or just a condition of our mood? Is it something we have the power to transform? In the moment? In the big picture? Through our faith?
     Generally, we accept the way we feel as absolute, and sometimes it most definitely seems that way... but is it really? Whether we try to fix it or not, doesn't it always eventually pass?

I am grateful for the impermanent nature of all things.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

STANDING AND SITTING STILL

"Why be given a body if you have to keep it shut up in a case like a rare fiddle?" 
~ Katherine Mansfield ~

Standing for long periods of time is as challenging for the body as sitting. Relief comes in movement. Our muscles and joints like to flex and contract and stretch and bend. That's what they're built for. They like to play!
     So let's balance moving with being still, and living vibrantly with a good night of sleep. Let's balance standing with stretching, and dancing around the table with sitting down to eat.

Our bodies feel best when we move them! 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

UNDERSTANDING WHAT MATTERS

"Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!" 
~ Albert Einstein ~

This Christmas will be the first in 23 years that I have not spent with my children, and realizing that yesterday walking through a parking lot, I felt a wash of sorrow and loss- a great missing. I know that it's ok. I know that they are adults now, that they will be together, that it's just another day, and life will go on.
     Nonetheless, even knowing all that, I feel sad for it.
     We've had some challenging Christmases in the past so I thought it might be a relief to keep it simple this year and do our own thing, and now that I'm too far away to even make it an option, I realize how flippant I was about something immeasurably valuable, and primal, and deep.

I honor, acknowledge, and appreciate the irrepressible bond of family.

Monday, December 4, 2017

CONSIDERING SUCCESS

"Try to discover 
The road to success
And you'll seek but never find,
But blaze your own path
And the road to success
Will trail right behind."
~ Robert Brault ~

Perhaps success is different than we think it is. Maybe it's not something to strive for, but something that we already are. And maybe it has nothing to do with material achievement or recognition, and everything to do with courage, and compassion, and loving presence.
     It's a different experience to come from a position of success, instead of constantly pushing our way towards it. Relaxation and appreciation start to show up, and a genuine sense of authenticity, and unshakable confidence, from the tip of our toes up.

I consider the possibility that I am already a success. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

GNAWING AT THE PAIN

"Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies." 
~ Erich Fromm ~

Our German Shepherd has arthritis in his knee, and chewing on it seems to make him feel better, but when he does that it creates an open sore, so, it's likely not the best solution. And yet, don't we all do that?
     It feels satisfying somehow to gnaw away at whatever's uncomfortable, to bring attention to it, to constantly lick and bite at it in an effort to make it go away. But it doesn't go away. Approaching it this way only makes it bigger and more uncomfortable. So what's the answer?
     Address the issue in the healthiest way possible, seems to me- take progressive action if that's an option, do what we can to promote correction and reconciliation, and then leave it alone.

In challenging situations, I do what I can, and then stop.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

MAKING IT FUN

"The great man is he who does not lose his child's heart." 
~ Mencius ~

Bringing a sense of play to life is essential for a good time. Being easy in our skins, relaxed, and ready to face anything with a sense of humor, a bit of compassion for ourselves and others, and an ability to see with joy, assures us, and those around us, that life can be a pleasure instead of a burden, unequivocally, and no matter what.

I let life be what it is, and bring my own kind of delight to the game.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

DOORS THAT WON'T OPEN

"Faith is raising the sail of our little boat until it is caught up in the soft winds above and picks up speed, not from anything within itself, but from the vast resources of the universe around us." 
~ W. Ralph Ward ~

Doors don't always open for us, even if we knock loudly, and even if there's someone home. There's something so much bigger than our little plans and deigns at work, and something beyond our understanding that allows passage one place, and not another.
     So maybe one of the most important skills we can bring to this game of life is the art of acceptance, and instead of doubting and second-guessing everything, maybe we can trust in the higher good, and walk away from the door grateful, and understanding that whatever was there wasn't meant for us.

I stop pushing what doesn't want to budge.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

PREPARATION TO A POINT

"Be empty of worrying... move outside the tangle of fear thinking." 
~ Rumi ~

Being prepared is always a good thing, and yet, we can only prepare so far. Unseen factors have their role, and a certain amount of flexibility and spontaneity is required in every situation. So part of being prepared is getting our heads in a space to be willing to accept and adapt to whatever shows up, and to get clear on our ultimate purpose, and what we stand for, and how we want to be in the world.

In anticipation of what's to come, I ground myself in my personal, immutable truth.

Monday, November 27, 2017

STAKING CLAIM TO FREEDOM

"Let freedom ring." 
~ Samuel Francis Smith ~

Freedom isn't about recklessness, and it's not about not caring. It's not about not having consequences, or responsibility, or even a job to do. It's something we have to fight for at times, and something we earn by doing the next right thing. It's about options and the privilege of having a choice. It's something we have to assert, and claim, and step up to on a daily basis. It's something to be grateful for, and something to be aware of. It's something we own.

I am the possibility of freedom.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

WHAT GOOD IS BEING MISERABLE?

"We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs." 
~ Kenneth Clark ~

What do we benefit by being bitter and critical? What good comes of it? None, that I can see. It makes us miserable, and spreads misery in the world.
     Surely, we can do better than that.

I think kindly of others, and spread joy! 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

LOVING PEOPLE :)


"If there is a day to act on the Love in your soul it is today, it is this moment." 
~ Mike Dolan ~


I love people of all shapes and sizes, all backgrounds, cultures, religions, and inner longings. I love to watch them and interact with them and imagine what it's like to be them. And perhaps, most importantly, I love knowing that despite external appearances, deep down, we are all one and the same.

I recognize and celebrate my connectedness with people of all kinds.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

THANKSGIVING AGAIN

"On Thanksgiving day, we acknowledge our dependence." 
~ William Jennings Bryan ~

I am grateful for courage, willingness, discipline, support, and ongoing learning.
I am grateful to get up everyday and have a fresh start, and be able to leave the past in the past.
I am grateful for family and friends and all the people I have yet to meet and connect with.
I am grateful for sunshine and wind and changing seasons.
I am grateful for good food and plenty to eat.
I am grateful for generosity and kindness
I am grateful for possibility and hope. 
I am grateful for love.
I am grateful.
I am.
😊

I enthusiastically express my gratitude for life!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

SURPRISING KINDNESS

"Kindness is just love with its work boots on." 
~ Karen McCullah ~

When others are surprisingly kind and considerate, and generously seem to care about us, it softens the hard edges of life, tenderizes our experience, and opens our heart.
     Let's take it a step further and be the one who creates this good feeling in others- regularly, and with purpose, simply because we can.

I am thoughtful and considerate, and show others through my actions that I genuinely care.

Monday, November 20, 2017

NOTHING TO PROVE

"I will not ask that you nor you approve. The wild thyme is itself nor asks consent of rose nor reed." 
~ Muriel Strode ~

Why do we care so much about looking good and avoiding looking bad? And what do we really have to prove? My guess is, less than we think.
     It seems to me that our primary generosity to the world is in simply being who we are- not in posturing, or pretense, or appearing either more or less knowledgeable or sophisticated or put together than we are.
     Authenticity is inspiring and refreshing, and allows for so much more than maintaining ourselves safely behind walls of our own creation.

I show up authentically in the world.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

RECONSTRUCTION

"If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere." 
~ Frank A. Clark ~

Having to re-do things we have already done because of computer errors and other glitches is initially rather impossible to face. When we first realize the situation, we think, "No! It can't be!" and we check and re-check , and then re-check again. And sometimes, we actually recover our lost work, and other times we do not, and it's excruciating, but what can we do?
     It's as if a flood or a fire has wiped us out, and there's nothing for it but to build anew- to start over, and trust, that in re-building, something fresh will be born- something evolved in a new way, and even better than what was done before.

I patiently rebuild what collapses in my life.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

FREEDOM!

"Freedom is the oxygen of the soul." 
~ Moshe Dayan ~

Resistance blocks us to possibility, to action, to transformation, and to love. Stubbornly insisting on our position, immovable, affects the flow of energy all around us.
     Let's be open-minded instead, and willing to explore all kinds of ideas and options. Let's be unrestricted, unresisted, and free!

I accept the possibility of possibility. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

LIFE AT WORK

"Why aren't you dancing with joy at this very moment is the only relevant spiritual question." 
~ Vilayat Khan ~

The desperation we feel having to keep jobs that deplete us is unhealthy. The power we hold over them is the power to either change our approach, or do something else. To stay and be miserable and complain away our days dishonoring our spirit, our purpose, and the very real contribution we are here to make is its own kind of insanity, and life is simply too short to play at that game.

I adjust my actions and attitude to enjoy my situation.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

BEING SUCCESSFUL

"To freely bloom-"  
~ Gerry Spence ~

There's so much distinction in the world regarding what success looks like- a certain amount of money and status, or how respected we are in the community, or how our children have turned out, or maybe what our houses look like, or our clothes, or our car.
     It's endless, and all means less than we think it does, because what's success here is not success there, so ultimately, it's relative. Ultimately, in fact, our personal definition of success is entirely up to us. So let's take the lead and assert our personal power to define it.

I build a life of success based on my own definition of what that means.  

Monday, November 13, 2017

FALL IN SANTA FE

"A beauty lights the fading year." 
~ Phebe A. Holder ~

Fall in New Mexico is different from fall on the East Coast, and presumably different from falls all around the world. It's spots of luminescent Cottonwood yellow and tiny bright grasses on a drab background of tan and green scrub.
     And where humans have planted trees around their houses, occasional reds pop up beside adobe walls. It's not the whole world overhaul I am used to. It's random, and surprising- dashes of brightness here and there amid the earth tones of the Southwest.

I appreciate the unique landscape around me. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

SELF-OWNERSHIP

"Best be yourself, imperial, plain and true!" 
~ Robert Browning ~

It's odd that it requires such courage for us to be authentically ourselves, and yet, it does. We are so accustomed to living by standards and ideals that are not our own- that are cultural, or parental, or otherwise dictated by our experience in the world.
     To take ourselves back, to claim ourselves, is liberating and exhilarating, and yet, to stay there, in that place of self-ownership, requires everything we've got, and then some.

I have the courage to be who I am. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

LEAVING OUR BAGGAGE

"Try another way of looking." 
~ Rumi ~

I have spent too much of my life afraid, and I am tired of it.
I renounce my fear.
I give it to the winds and the leave it by the creek-side.
I walk away and am free. 

The path ahead is beautiful and clear. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

POSTPONEMENT

"Without the feeling of imminent it's easy to hide." 
~ Seth Godin ~

We resist and delay. We put off what we don't want to face or do. We are master excuse-makers and justify anything and everything. We convince ourselves and others of our rightness with our reasons.
     And all the time, the work is not honored, and the trail is not blazed, and we suffer for the lack of results.
     But all is takes is action- one small step forward and another out into the world with our seedling idea. We are afraid of people, and yet, they are the ones who will champion our cause. Alone in our heads is just that. Nothing happens there but monsters under the bed. 

I am willing to take a risk for the outcome I seek. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

THE POWER OF CONNECTION

"You are a fountain of the sun's light. I am a willow shadow on the ground. You make my raggedness silky." 
~ Rumi ~

It looks like two people laughing together.
It looks like a hug.
It looks like an audience clapping.
It looks like heartfelt communication.
It looks like a community project.
It looks like a dog and cat curled up together sleeping in the sunshine.
It looks like holding a door open for someone coming behind.
It looks like people smiling watching little children play.
It looks like people crying at the beauty of a bride walking down the aisle, or the procession of a casket with ushers bearing the weight on their shoulders.
It looks like wind blowing wisps of hair around a face.
It looks like beautiful humans from around the world.
It looks like sunshine feels on a cold winter day coming through the window.
It looks like an old couple walking down the street together holding hands.

I see and experience the joy of being human. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

THE RELIEF OF IMPERMANENCE

"Do not practice certainty. Practice faith." 
~ Robert Brault ~

I have been trapped recently in wanting to make the right decision. Truth be told, it's rather paralyzed me, and locked me in fear.
     And then, I realized that nothing is absolute, and that a decision is just a decision, and can, and likely will, be a new decision next week, next month, and next year. So there's no pressure- only choice given the information I have today, and the freedom that comes from releasing the straight-jacket of insistence and demand.

I accept that life is a flexible affair.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

THE STORY WE TELL OURSELVES

"People don't like the true and simple; they like fairy tales and humbug." 
~ Edmond de Goncour ~

We tell ourselves a story that we're different from others, and that we already know everything about them on sight. The impact of this story is a sense of darkness and mistrust, isolated restlessness, and resignation about the way things are.
     The possibility is that we're not actually different after all, and that our intrinsic connection can launch us into the gracious effect of shared experience, and the joy of being alive.

I celebrate my connection with others.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

PEOPLE PLEASING

"Give thanks for what you are now, and keep fighting for what you want to be tomorrow."
~ Fernanda Miramontes-Landeros ~

Foolproof is an impossibility because everything is relative and nothing is for everybody. All we can do is our best work, give our most authentic effort, and express the ideas that resonate deeply within; and trust that they will find a landing place in some or another sympathetic soul.
     I have struck out in the past to please everybody, with little success, because pleasing everybody is a losing proposition, and a dead end.

I live simply, speak my truth, and do the work I am called to do. Everything else, I leave up to the grace of God. 


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

BEING TOO CLOSE TO SEE

"A penny will hide the biggest star in the Universe if you hold it close enough to your eye.'"
~ Samuel Grafton ~

Learning to step back is, in some ways, as important as learning to step forward, so that we can re-evaluate, re-group, rest, and broaden or deepen our perspective. The wide view, the distant view, the view from above- these all give us insight, and clarify our purpose, and align us with our aim.

I stand back every so often to gain fresh perspective.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

PRIDE

"Pride goeth before the fall." 
~ Proverbs 16:18 ~

I've been super jacked-up lately- one part excited, and one part on edge and under pressure. I pride myself on hard work to where hard work has become my prison. I insist upon it, and there's a cost.
     Learning to release self-imposed tension is an art, and one I'd love to master. It requires awareness, and a certain commitment, willingness, honesty, and the surrender of letting go.

I practice the art of taking myself less seriously.

FULL ENGAGEMENT

"One way to meet new people is to listen more carefully to the people you see every day." 
~ Robert Brault ~

As a general rule, we're not good listeners. We troll people's commentary like we're speed reading a book- grabbing onto words for understanding and getting the gist, but being utterly unaware of the subtleties and the rich content.
     And we respond, not by actually responding, but by grandstanding all over the few words we've picked up. This all-too-popular style of communication rather misses the point of communication at all, and doesn't make for much of an exchange.

I listen with care, engage fully in the conversation, and respond from the heart.


Sunday, October 29, 2017

DROP THE AGENDA

"Our job is not to male up anybody's mind, but to open minds..." 
~ Author Unknown ~

It's disconcerting to interact with someone who has a whole other agenda at play. I've been on both sides of this coin. The discomfort comes in trying to force, or in being forced, to have things show up in a particular way.
     They show up how they show up, and being relaxed and welcoming and loving and flexible will go much further towards insuring a good time than insisting on any kind of specific outcome.

I relax and invite whatever is happening to happen.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

OUT OF THE MIST

"Opportunity is a parade. Even as one chance passes, the next is a fife and drum echoing in the distance." 
~ Robert Brault ~

Opportunities exist for us that we may not readily see, and we have to be open to receive them when they show up. Our striving can blind us to the broader view. We become so focused on a particular outcome that we lose our ability to create spontaneously. But that's where greatness lives- in the unformed mist of possibility.
     So let's keep our hearts and minds open, and allow for the unknown and unexpected option that may be just the one we need to take.

I believe in inspired opportunity that arrives unexpectedly like a flash in the night.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

TRUSTING THE MOMENT

"Ultimately, there can be no complete healing until we have restored our primal trust in life." 
~ Georg Feuerstein ~

Why do we long for the past, for what we don't have, and for anything other than the moment we are in? The people in front of us are right where they're supposed to be and we are too- on time, and teaching us exactly what we need to learn. Or perhaps we are teaching them. It goes both ways.
     Trust in the moment is the essential thing, and in the path, and in the plan we cannot see.

I trust each moment to deliver me exactly what I need.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

THE VALUE OF ART

"Life beats down and crushes the soul, and art reminds you that you have one." 
~ Stella Adler ~

I happen to believe that color and texture and art and design are a primal need. They certainly feel that way to me.
     Considering art in any way as secondary or disposable is to do a great dis-service to the human spirit. It is essential and primary that we express ourselves creatively on the one hand, and appreciate and honor our aesthetic sensibilities on the other.

I recognize the value of artistic expression wherever it shows up in my life.

Monday, October 23, 2017

CONSTRAINED BY THE STORY OF FEAR

"Fear insults courage."
~ Terri Guillemets ~

Our fear feels like old news. It's been around forever. We are afraid of looking bad, of screwing up, of being too good, of not being good enough, of being alone, of being with others, of being misunderstood, and of being in pain. And that's just the short list. Our fear is so limiting, like emotional handcuffs.
     Let's take the key of whatever we believe in and set ourselves free.

I let go of fear. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

THE POWER OF ACTION

"The shortest answer is doing." 
~ Lord Herbert ~

We spend so much time up in our heads trying to figure things out- how it will look, how it will feel, how it will be received or rejected. But our access to power is through action. By saying something out loud to others we create possibilities, and we learn, and by doing something, our next steps are revealed.

I stop trying to figure things out in my head and take action. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

WE THE PEOPLE

"Of every hue and cast am I,
Of every rank and religion." 
~Walt Whitman ~

People are so wonderful, so different from each other, and so much the same. We laugh and play and act silly. We cry and are sad. We comfort each other. We inspire each other. We come from different cultures and appreciate different things. We have so much to teach, so much to learn, and so much to share.
     And love is our birthright, and curiosity is our connector, and compassion is our greatest skill.

I celebrate people, and love them, and share with them this life on earth.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

ACTION!

"Better the devil you know than the devil you don't." 
~ American Idiom ~

We shrink from taking action and all that it implies. The unknown is a bogey-man that haunts us at every turn. The status quo feels safer, and more certain, even when it may not be. We are so afraid, so unsure. We play so small.
     Let's not. There's a risk-reward formula that never fails to play out. When we become willing to step out of our comfort zone, we learn things. We expand, and grow. It's liberating and revitalizing. Fresh energy rises within us and we are born new.

Take a deep breath, and go for it!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

CREATING OUR WORLD

"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." 
~ Anton Chekhov ~

Words have power, and we use them recklessly. What we create in language becomes our experience. If we say over and over that we are stressed out, overwhelmed, crazy-busy, tired, or in a funk, that's what we get.
     If we change our language, we can change the world. We can be excited, hopeful, blessed, and free; or thoughtfully considering our options, or taking our time. We can feel good, be grateful, love our routines, savor our meals, and live for the day.
     Our words define us. Let's use them with care.

I respectfully honor the way that language creates my reality.

Monday, October 16, 2017

RELEASING TENSION

"Take-it-easy and Live-long are brothers." 
~ German Proverb ~

Tension is caused by indecision, overdoing, and resistance to the way things are. Pressure builds, and we feel it building and push on, against it, hoping to resolve it by a force of our will.
     But the only thing that resolves tension ultimately is the act of letting go- letting go of "shoulds," letting go of attachment and aversion, letting go of straining effort, and letting go of holding on. Easier said than done perhaps.
     It starts with noticing that we are caught up, and then, choosing to stop, consider, breathe, and re-direct.

I feel tension building within me, and let go before it takes me over.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT

"Although every man believes that his decisions and resolutions involve the most multifarious factors, in reality they are mere oscillation between flight and longing." 
~ Herman Broch ~

We spend endless hours in life trying to figure things out. We ask what if this and what if that. What if we move forward? What if we don't move at all? And the effort is in search of certainty. We want to make the best possible choice, the right choice.
     But maybe there is no right choice. Maybe there's only choice itself, and where that leads us- onto the next choice, and the next one, and the next.

I accept that life is full of uncertainty and choose out of curiosity instead of self-induced stress.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

THE RELIEF OF LETTING GO

"Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future." 
~ Paul Boese ~

Cacti don't need much water, and geraniums need lots.
Maybe it's the same with us.
Some of us require more than others, and in different ways.
Accepting ourselves and others as we are is a huge relief. 

I stop judging others and let them be who they are. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

THE POWER OF VIDEO

"The only way to truly change our world is through compassion." 
~ The Dalai Lama ~

Real compassion can't happen from a distance. We have to get close- to see and feel and share what the other is experiencing. It requires eye contact, and conversation, where those are possible, and touch, or some other kind of human connection, where they are not. It requires that we be involved at a level beyond the surface.
     This is the power of video, and movies. They give us the ability to be there and engage our senses, to see and feel as if we are a part of what's happening, even thought we're not.

I appreciate video for the way it enlarges my capacity for compassion.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

BEING TEACHABLE

"Growth is the only evidence of life." 
~ John Henry Newman ~

I think it's possible to convince ourselves that we're "good' and we're "fine" even when we may not necessarily be, as if there is some merit in not needing anything further in life, or from it. We've got it. We're all set. We don't need any more self discovery or refinement. We've done all the work we need to do. We're above all that. Or are we?
     To my mind, life is a continuous journey and the exploration doesn't end until we do. I can always learn something more about myself, about how to become more present, raise consciousness, take integrity to a new level, and fine tune my ability to be forgiving and express love.
     When I first started encountering people who honestly seemed to feel that they were "good" through and through, I thought, "What's wrong with me then?" But what has followed is the realization that their position in itself seems to limit them in a way, and there may be a blindness and inauthenticity to it, a resistance to the reality and the necessity of the forward journey, and the ongoing dance.
 
I remain open to ever higher learning and developing self-knowledge every day that I live.

Monday, October 9, 2017

FALL FRESHNESS

"Autumn repays the earth the leaves which summer lent it." 
~ Georg Christoph Lichtenberg ~

The colors and feelings of fall fill my spirit with joy, even more so than the spring. The whole spectrum of reds, yellows, oranges, tans, and ochres light up the world around us as we are bathed in crisp invigorating air and smells of wood-smoke. There's nothing like it- let's be grateful for it: deliciousness through and through!

I love the fall! 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

CONNECTED AT THE ROOTS

"It is essential for us, at times, to recall and contemplate the unity of mankind." 
~ Rose Terlin ~

There is a grove of Aspen Trees in Santa Fe that are all connected at the roots. They're the largest living organism on the planet, and impressive to behold. It's provocative, and a bit humbling, to see so many trees all seemingly separate, and yet, not.
     And, knowing that, it seems entirely possible that we, as humans, might very well be growing in the same way- the only difference being that our roots are not so easily visible, or accessible.

By the fact of my being human, I am connected to all others who are also human. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

HIGH INTEGRITY LIVING

"Integrity is choosing your thoughts and actions based on values rather than personal gain." 
~ Chris Karcher ~

Such a big part of integrity is care... caring enough to take our time, to proofread emails and texts, to spell people's names correctly, to be on time, and to take good care of ourselves and our things. It's a deep well- much deeper and with farther reach than we can possibly realize or understand with a quick glance.

I live with high-level integrity and maintain it because I care. 

HUMANIZE THE WORLD

"Whether thou be a kind or a peasant, I shall remember only that thou art a soul." 
~ Muriel Strode ~

We think we are so different from each other, and we certainly have our unique features, but at the root, we all have ways we can relate. We are sad for the death of loved ones, frustrated over the demands on our time, amused by our friends, inspired by great leaders, hungry, tired, satisfied, awake, and aware.
     The trick is to find our commonality, whatever it may be in any given circumstance, and to know that when we find it, we will be uplifted by our connection, and filled with the joy of being understood.

I seek out commonalities in the people I encounter, and celebrate all the ways we are the same! 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

PRAGMATIC ACTION

"Between saying and doing many a pair of shoes is worn out." 
~ Italian Proverb ~

We can be so dramatic with ourselves and others that sometimes even the idea of action of any kind feels overwhelming and we can't handle it. We don't know what to do. We're so confused!
     And yet, if we can take a step back and take a deep breath and simply look at what's in front of us, more often than not, the next step is actually clear and apparent. We don't have to figure it all out at once or know how it's going to be in the long run. We have only to look, and act, and then look again and act again- pragmatically, systematically, and free from the melodrama in our heads.

I do the next right thing, over, and over, and over, and it makes for good living, and a good life.

Monday, October 2, 2017

RECOGNITION AND RESPECT

"Next to excellence is the appreciation of it." 
~ William Makepeace ~

Why do we care about recognition and respect? Why do we want these things, and what do they matter really?
     They matter a lot. They give us validation that we matter, that our being here makes a difference in the big picture somehow, and that our contribution counts. And just as we need it, crave it really, on a level deep in the gut, so too do others, so let's give it to them, trusting that as we give, so too shall we receive.

I recognize and celebrate contribution of all kinds.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE

"'Men work together,' I told him from the heart,
'Whether they work together or apart.'"
~ Robert Frost ~

We all want to be recognized for our unique gifts and talents, our "specialness," and we also want to feel a part of the whole. And the good news is that we can be both. We are particularly ourselves, and we are also like everyone else- not mutually exclusive, not impossible, and not one or the other.
      Let's equally honor and celebrate individually and connectedness.

I am both special and unique, and also one of many.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

ATTACHMENT AND AVERSION

"Love what is." 
~ Byron Katie ~

My senses have radar for attachment and aversion. I like the way this smells- totally delicious- but not that. I see beauty here, but not there. One taste is like heaven, and another I have to spit out. Sound can be fun and festive, or oppressive.
     So the question is, how can we neutralize our sensory perceptions? Perhaps, by valuing observation and awareness over judgment.

I bring awareness to the value judgments of my senses and let everything just be what it is.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

BEING ADAPTABLE

"All that Adam had, all that Caesar could, you have and can do... Build, therefore, your own world." 
~ RW Emerson ~

There's a defiance in me, and I don't think I'm the only one. When someone tells me I have to do or approach a task or goal in a particular way, there is something in me that wants to do it differently just to prove them wrong.
     Still, I generally try it their way at first, figuring they know better than I do, and squash my defiant extincts. And then, ultimately, I have to adapt the strategy to my perspective anyway because, let's face it, one size just doesn't ever fit all.

I adjust how-to solutions to suit my perspective, my skill-set, and my aim. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

FEELING STUCK

"To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing." 
~ Eva Young ~

Though we may feel irrepressibly stuck, we never are. Movement of some kind or another is always possible, whether it be externally, or on the inside regarding our perspective and attitude.
     Action illicits results. We can take a walk, have a conversation, think about something in a new way, or get to work- any of these is an option, and any of these will inevitably shift what's stuck.

I appreciate that action is the key to a new view.

Monday, September 25, 2017

EFFORT OVER TIME

"Honest labor dispels melancholy." 
~ James Lendall Basford ~

I'm not sure what it is in us that has a desire for results without effort, or results with minimum effort. We erroneously think that having things handed to us will create an ease of pressure, and yet, I'm not sure it does, and the victories that are won as the result of focus, diligence, and sustained effort over time are sweet like none other.
     Would we rather be an overnight success, or cultivate respect and recognition and build a firm foundation that will endure? It's a question worth considering, and, while a part of us likes the idea of the former, greater long-term satisfaction likely comes from the legitimacy and continuity of the latter.

I appreciate the long-term value of sustained effort over time.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

EXPERT OPINIONS

"The time and place are mine when I am equal to the time and place." 
~ Muriel Strode ~

It's so hard to trust ourselves amidst the world of opinions and how-to information. Others who seem better informed make suggestions that don't resonate, and rather than simply understanding it's not for us, we take it on and think there's something wrong in our way of seeing and believing. This is hugely dis-empowering.
     Let's trust ourselves more than we do, and give ourselves credit for being experts at the specific challenges of our own individual lives.

I listen to the experts, and make sure to appreciate that their's is not the final word. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

THE NEGATIVE POWER OF "SHOULD"

"Judgments prevent us from seeing the good that lies beyond." 
~ Wayne Dyer ~

We are constantly judging ourselves and others by unconscious standards. How are we doing? How do we, or they, measure up? And how does life measure up- to our expectation, and our sense of right and wrong and how things should really be?
     It's the "should" that gets us, and mostly at the thinking level. We should be better, stronger, thinner, further along the path. And our friends and family should be this, that or the other thing. And life! Well, life should definitely be easier, and more fun.
     Whatever the hidden scale may be, the challenge is that neither we, nor the people around us, nor the world is usually as we would have them be, so we experience letdown, and a sense of frustration and lack. Let's change this. Let's leave the shoulds behind, raise our awareness, and move into choice and acceptance instead of punishing, deconstructive judgment.

I examine the extent and negative impact of my "shoulds," and accept myself and others as we are.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

SHARING THE LIGHT

"There is no effect more disproportionate to its cause than the happiness bestowed by a small compliment." 
~ Robert Brault ~

I saw a woman in a restaurant with the sun shining on her making her shirt sparkle brilliantly, and when she got up, I commented on it. "What a pretty shirt!"
     She had her arm in a sling and said, "Thank you," and then a minute later she said, "I really appreciate you saying that," and pointed to her arm. "It's been a rough week."
     "What did you do?" I asked.
     "I broke my wrist."
     We had a moment of connection, a transfer of light and energy between us that made us both feel good.
     How often do we think someone is lovely or well put together, and don't say a thing- just let the moment pass? Let's not. Let's share compliments with everyone, freely, and from the heart.

I communicate positive feedback every time I feel it, or see it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

HERE AND GONE

"Death is not warden of life, not thief, nor enemy- but Life's most equal partner." 
~ Terri Guillements ~

Someone I knew to say hello to and share a smile and a few friendly words with died last week in a fatal car crash. One minute she was here, and the next, gone, and that could happen to any of us, any day. It's a good reminder to get over our petty resentments and complaints, to get into gratitude and appreciation for all that we have, and all those who we love.
     Let's not take anything for granted, and get busy following our dreams.
     Life is steady and repetitive and predictable, until it's not.

I count each day as a great and gracious blessing.

Monday, September 18, 2017

SWEET SILENCE

"Silence is the universal refuge." 
~ HD Thoreau ~

We live in a noisy world- a world of traffic and phones ringing, dogs barking, radios, people talking, construction, computer sounds, clanking silverware- it's bottomless, a bottomless pit of sound... which makes silence a beautiful and refreshing thing.
     And yet, because of the nature of our noisy world, silence can be challenging to come by, and even when we find it, it can be overpowered by the internal chatter of our minds. So we must learn to seek it out and create it consciously, in our minds, our homes, our cars, and outdoors. For it is in silence that we hear the wind blowing, the birds singing, and the still small voice of God.

I take a break from all technology and relax into the healing powers of silence.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

STAYING UNSTUCK

"It is better to stir up a question without deciding it, than to decide it without stirring it up." 
~ Joseph Joubert ~

What seems real and critical today can completely shift in importance overnight; can be forgotten in a week, and cease to matter entirely in the flash and understanding of new knowledge. Flux is the name of the game- constant movement, adjustment, adaptation, and improvisation, along with a willingness to level up or let go, as circumstances require.
   
I free myself from fixed positions and remain flexible and bending.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

LIVING LEARNING

"The tombstone will be my diploma." 
~ Eartha Kitt ~

It's exciting to learn new things. It opens up whole new worlds. We come to see and understand and know what we didn't know we didn't know. What can we learn today? How can we broaden our perspective, our realm of reality, and our reach?

I am curious and willing and ever-open to learn what I don't know.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

EGO

"At one end of the scale of the unconscious egoic pattern lies the compulsive habit of faultfinding and complaining about others... at the other... there is physical violence between individuals and warfare between nations."
 ~ Eckhart Tolle ~

Our egos debilitate and disable us as they strut about all puffed up and thinking they know best. It's ego that wants to do it all alone, ego that moans and groans, and ego that holds us back. Anything new is not safe.
     Ego chokes us while promising glory. It's the ultimate passive-aggressive bully. Let's learn to recognize it and stand up. Let's believe in what we might accomplish beyond its grasp.

I free myself from ego imprisonment.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

ALIGNING WITH OTHERS

"Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable." 
~ Kenyan Proverb ~

Comparing ourselves to others is a dangerous business because it separates us. Instead of looking for ways to contribute, to relate and collaborate, we seek ways to talk ourselves out of the game entirely- by being better, or, not good enough.
     It's a level playing field. We all have strengths and weaknesses, assets and liabilities, harms and victories. Power, pleasure, and creative possibility come when we align with others, not when we oppose them, or compare out.

I acknowledge the great potential that comes from knowing I am one of many while still being unique in my own right.

Monday, September 11, 2017

WHAT MATTERS

"If you want to build a ship,
don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't
assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them
to long for the immensity of the sea."
~ Antoinne De Saint-Exupery ~

What's more important than what we can teach others to do is how we can make them feel. It's more about leadership and less about control, more about love and less about instruction, more about the heart and less about the head.
     What matters are spiritual principles rather than to-do lists and agendas.
     What matters is connection, conviction, compassion and cooperation.
     What matters is acceptance and trust.
     What matters is being human, and being authentic, and being the real and vulnerable deal.

I lead from the heart.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

IMPACTING THE WORLD WHERE WE ARE

"We can do no great things, only small things with great love." 
~ Mother Teresa ~

It's more powerful to make a positive difference in our families and our communities than in trying to save the world. The reality of our potential impact is limited at best, so all we can really do is affect the world where we are.
   
I love and honor the people I encounter and interact with on a daily basis.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

NOTHING TO LOSE

"I may not overcome the inevitable, but O, it is mine to see that the inevitable does not overcome me." 
~ Muriel Strode ~

Having nothing to lose is a confident position. If we will be no worse off by taking a risk, and might, potentially, be better off, why not take it? And even if we don't get the long shot result we are hoping for, the mere fact that we had the pluck to ask for it strengthens our position in life and the sense of power that we feel inside.

I am going for it, and don't hold back.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

ACTION OVER FEAR

"Doubt's sole insidious function is to make us worry ourselves sick so that we might avoid the very risk or effort that would destroy it." 
~ Brendon Burchard ~

The antidote to fear is action. Worried thoughts stall us in paralysis. We wonder what if this and what if that with always negative imagined outcomes. But when we start moving, when we start doing, when we start intentionally propelling ourselves in the direction we want to go, then we make progress. New possibilities open up, and by taking action we build confidence - that we can actually do it, and that what we don't know we can learn.
     So let's get moving and keep moving, and give ourselves some credit whenever we take a break- that we went on and followed through and traveled some distance, in spite of fear and doubt, and the whole litany of unfriendly voices determined to hold us back.

I do something every day to keep me moving in the direction of my dreams. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

FACING INDECISION

"To decide is to make peace within and let the chips fall where they may." 
~ Lisa Tabak ~

Being indecisive is seriously limiting. Living in a state of wish-wash, going back and forth from one maybe to another means nothing is actually happening except for a lot of mental strain and discomfort. And whining about not knowing what do and expressing overwhelm and confusion is equally crippling.
     Let's decide already! Just to do it, just to do something. Inaction gives us nothing and keeps us nothing but stuck.

When faced with indecision, I give myself a few minutes, weigh the pros and cons, take a deep breath, and decide.

Monday, September 4, 2017

KEEPING OUR HOUSES IN ORDER

"I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It's amazing how it cheers one up to shred oranges and scrub the floor." 
~ DH Lawrence ~

Keeping our lives in order from a practical standpoint goes a long way towards our feeling steady and grounded and able to deal with the challenges of life. Making our beds in the morning, cleaning up after we eat and eating well, doing laundry, moving our bodies, maintaining our cars - just generally taking care of all that we are responsible for- these are the keys to good living. It's simple, yet profound. Without doing these things, we suffer unnecessarily by knowing that we could, and quite easily, be doing a much better job.

On a daily basis, I take care of all the little things in my life that need taking care of.


Sunday, September 3, 2017

LABOR DAY

"With every civil right there has to be a corresponding civil obligation." 
~ Edison Haines ~

Originally observed to "pay tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers," for many of us, Labor Day has become a pack-every-inch-of-fun-that-you-can-into-the-last-weekend-of-summer event. The energy of Labor Day to me feels like a deep sigh- like the fun's now over and it's time to get back into the seriousness of school, and of life. Our invitation to splash and play feels truncated- terminated by popular agreement the first Monday of every September...
       It's so far from what it once was, because we have come so far. Today, for the most part, at least in America, decent working conditions, wages, and reasonable hours on the job are the norm, and we don't engage in or support child labor. We take these things utterly for granted.
     In memory of the honorable history of the fight for labor rights, let's pause amidst our summer's end barbecues and swimming adventures and be grateful to those indomitable human spirits that came before us, and made things better, and spoke up when they could, so easily, have remained silent out of fear.

I celebrate the history of the Labor movement, and feel grateful for all the ways I benefit from the strides they have made!

Link to a brief and interesting article on the history of Labor Day: 
https://www.dol.gov/general/laborday/history

Thursday, August 31, 2017

STAY THE COURSE

"Intuition is a spiritual faculty and does not explain, but simply points the way." 
~ Florence Scovel Shinn ~

Stay the course and keep the faith. I find this much easier said than done. From every side and every angle doubt and sabotage await- from inside, outside, family, strangers and friends. And to be our own kind of solidarity requires vigilance, and effort. But it's worth it. Allowing others or our own internal voice of fearful insecurity to dictate our path is a recipe for failure of the greatest kind.

I trust in my calling and attend to the business of realizing my dreams.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

OVER PLANNING

"Surrender to the unseen force behind all life."
 ~ Gabriella Mistral ~

Too much planning creates a kind of energetic stalemate. Trying to figure out every detail and solve every potential problem in advance has us focused on all that could go wrong instead of all that could go right.
     Every day requires surrender to the world of possibility and trust in our ability to sense and to know and to be guided down the path. And, ultimately, we can rest secure in the knowledge that no matter what, we're going to be ok.

I let go of my desire to figure everything out in advance.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

GROWING EVERY WHICH WAY

"The garden of love is green without limit and yields many fruit other than sorrow and joy." 
~ Rumi ~

When I walk up the Tesuke Canyon Trail I observe that things grow all kinds of ways: straight, crooked, sideways, half-dead. There's no right way in Nature, there's just growth. So why do we think it has to look some particular way for us? We seem to want linear, predictable evolution, but growth is generally so much messier than that. It has to adapt and adjust constantly to windstorms, diseases, crowding, seasonal sunlight, floods, droughts, and whatever else life serves up.
     It may not always be pretty, but growth happens, and keeps happening. It is the elemental drive and pathway of all living things.

I accept the uneven and unpredictable nature of personal growth.


Monday, August 28, 2017

THE INSTANT GARDEN

"Haste makes waste." 
~ Ben Franklin ~

In an effort to have a flower garden out here in New Mexico, I have planted pots of flowers I liked the look of from a local nursery, and transplanted all kinds of wild growing flowers as well. But the thing is, it takes time to establish plants. In my experience, annuals are better than perennials at being happy right off the bat, but I prefer perennials because they come back!
     So what I have now is a pretty sorry looking garden with lots of flowers in shock. And some of them may not make it, and others will go through a rough-looking phase and then take hold and start to do well, and next year, all that remains will be lovely and vibrant. That's how it is with gardens. They take time.
     And I do the same thing with the seeds I plant metaphorically all over my life. I want instant results. I want the lovely garden NOW. But it takes seasons and light and the sun. It takes patience and perseverance and care. And in the end, it's totally worth it. In gardens, as in life, there's no way to rush the process of evolution. It takes what it takes.

I am willing to put in the time and effort to build something of value.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

THE HIDE-A-BUG LESSSON

"God has given you one face, and you make yourself another." 
~ William Shakespeare ~

Every morning when I take a walk I encounter these big black beetles on the trail. They don't seem particularly threatening. They just make their way and walk along. But if they feel threatened, which they often seem to, they put their heads to the ground as if to bury them. It's a rather pitiable sight to see them hiding themselves like this. Here they are, these big respect-inspiring creatures, afraid of everything. My husband and I have nick-named them hide-a-bugs.
     And don't we do that too? Pretend we are less capable than we are? Shy away from things and people when we feel overwhelmed or afraid? Pretend we're asleep, or not there when the phone rings? And threatened by all kinds of things and situations where the threat is all in our heads?
     Let's allow the Hide-a-bugs to be our reminder that even when we're hiding, in some way we're still in plain sight, and choose not to hide, but to stand tall and face up, and be our glorious inspiring selves!

I stand squarely on the earth and face what's in front of me.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

BEING HOME

"Everything is restless until it comes home." 
~ John Bate ~

Home is without pressure unless it's self-induced. There's no need to take things at any pace other than the one we choose, congestion is at a minimum, food is in the fridge... everything we need is at hand. And yet, how often do we miss the gratitude for having a home, for the feeling of home, and for being at home?
     Let's take a look around when we're there and re-evaluate our blessings. Let's celebrate our space and our beloved things. Let's revel in the conveniences, thank God for family and pets who love us, and linger in the quietude, especially if we live alone. Home is where the heart is, that's true, and also where the restoration happens, and the nourishment, and the sense of totally being exactly who we are.

Being home is a glorious and wonderful thing for which I am most grateful.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

HONORING SADNESS

"Happiness and sadness run parallel to each other. When one takes a rest, the other tends to take up the slack." 
~ Hazelmarie Eliott ~

Sadness is sometimes an underground affair. Lingering, lurking, whispering, whining, it masks itself as anger and frustration, or whatever it chooses- maybe fear- and yet, it's just sadness: quiet and grieving some loss, or nostalgic, or wistful about missed opportunities and the way things have turned out- a kind of sweet resignation, or acute sadness for human suffering- our own, and the suffering of those we love.
     It's not bad, not needing to be banished, only acknowledged and felt and possibly expressed to an appropriate other. Being human is hard, living life is challenging, and sadness is just a part of the mix.

I honor the reality of sadness in myself and others.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

INNER PEACE

"Meditation is the antidote to all the poisons of your life." 
~ Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh ~ 

Sometimes, a kind of frantic panic takes over. Calm centered living goes on sabbatical for an hour, or a day, or a week... and everything feels urgent, even though it's not. This is uncomfortable space to be in, and oh so welcome is the peace of inner quiet when it returns to us again- sometimes by our own guidance and sometimes by the inexplicable grace of God.

I deeply appreciate the space and experience of inner peace.

Monday, August 21, 2017

WHEN THE WORLD IS STICKY

"An unwatched pot boils immediately." 
~ H.F. Ellis

Some days things just don't go as we hope. It's almost as if there's a stickiness in the universe. One attempt after another fails in execution and then we get jammed up in traffic. These are tension inducing experiences, and resistance to them, while instinctual, is ultimately the wrong response. Being fluid, relaxed, and easy in our skins is what makes for a pleasant ride no matter the track.

I stay out of resistance and surrender to the flow of each moment.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

SEEING CLEARLY

"It is only the long and patient road that leads to anywhere." 
~ Muriel Strode ~

Sometimes I try to force things against my gut- to push against instinct with logic, and make things happen that don't feel quite clear and right, and the result is generally poor at best. It's a lesson I seem to need to learn over and over- to tune in, to pay attention, to stop pushing my will against the weight of the world, and, ultimately, to let go and get into whatever groove is offered up. Instead of negative judgement, not liking what's happening, irritability, blaming other people- all of which are a recipe for misery, I can stop and get clear on what needs to happen, and then move towards it, not with angst, but with trust, and a deep breath.

Letting go is a need that never dies.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

SHARING POWER

"What saves a man is to take a step." 
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery ~

Expressing what feels scary to express is liberating. Speaking the unspoken shines light on it and shrinks its power. When we hide our fears and dark thoughts in silence, they grow bigger and darker. When we let them out, when we give them away with words, there exists the possibility of transformation and release. So let's gather our courage and speak up. Let's free ourselves from our secrets and self-judgment.

I share my fears and insecurities as well as my hopes. 


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT PAYOFF

"Kind deeds often come back to the givers in fairer shapes than they go. " 
~ Louisa May Alcott ~

Generosity and gratitude guarantee good times. We can't help but benefit from giving and appreciating- both acknowledgements- in the first case of being prosperous (we have enough to share!) and in the last of being blessed- with life, and beauty, and people, and love!

I am generous and grateful. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

DISCERNMENT

"You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me. You shall listen to all sides and filter them from yourself." 
~ Walt Whitman ~

We need suggestions from others on occasion, and help as well. What we don't need is to completely hand over all of our decision making power, or to cow-tow, or shrink ourselves thinking we are lesser. The thing to do with ideas is to process them through our own value system, to filter them, consider them, see how they fit and feel, and then adapt them to us, not just recklessly take them on as our own without discernment.
     We are so quick to hand over our power. Let's not be. Let's ground ourselves and be centered and responsive rather than reactive, and considering rather than controlled.

I listen, absorb, consider, and choose before I act.

Monday, August 14, 2017

FIGHT OR FLIGHT

"Good instincts usually tell you what to do long before your head has figured it out." 
~ Michael Burke ~

The fight or flight question is an interesting one. When truly faced with a real threat, which is our instinct? Which do we choose? Do we flee the scene as quickly as possible to get out of harms way? Or do we run into it to see if we can help others or stand off the foe, whatever the foe may be?
     Like everything else in life, I can see merit and validity to both sides, so ultimately, I suppose, and as with all things, it depends on the situation, and what our gut tells us, and intervention from whoever we're with, and from above.

In a crises situation, I do whatever feels right.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

WE THE PEOPLE

"Only from the heart can you touch the sky." 
~ Rumi ~

Meeting new people and making new friends is a pleasure and a delight. We each have so much to offer and to learn- so much life experience and the gift of our personal perspective.
     I like people. I like their vulnerability, their humor, their changing moods and faces, and the love in their hearts.

I celebrate the gift of people!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

LIFE'S REQUIREMENT

"Courage is to feel the daily daggers of relentless steel and keep on living." 
~ Douglas Malloch ~

So much  of what makes us beautiful as human beings is our vulnerability, and our bravery in the face of all that we cannot control. Living, ultimately, is a courageous act, and it serves us well to acknowledge that, and to appreciate each other as we travel the road.

I celebrate courage in facing the unknown and honor the journey of each day.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

LOVE AS STRATEGY

"Gamble everything for love, if you're a true human being. If not, leave this gathering." 
~ Rumi ~

Love is the ultimate power and by it's nature yielding rather than demanding, and gentle rather than hard. And I'm not sure about "tough love" which almost seems passive aggressive in a way- being certain of what's best even if it feels harsh and brutal...    
     We can be loving and set boundaries. We can be loving and say no. Love does not preclude self-care or doing what's right- it has to do with our intention, and the energy within us as we move through the world.

I am honest about the difference between actually being loving and using love as a cover story for manipulation and getting my way.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

CONTROL ISSUES :)

"There's a way of breathing that's a shame and a suffocation and there's another way of expiring, a love breath, that lets you open infinitely." 
~ Rumi ~

When we stop trying to control what we can't control anyway, there is an experience of great relief and relaxation. To let go, to stop pushing and driving and "over-efforting" is a beautiful thing. And the paradox is that as soon as we stop, energy is often released that allows what we have been pushing for all along to happen at last.

I stop insisting and demanding and allow for grace to take over.

Monday, August 7, 2017

THINKING WE KNOW BEST

"Think not because the chrysalis struggles that it is in need of you. Oh! I pray you, stay your eager hands, lest you despoil its silver wings." 
~ Muriel Strode ~

What works for others may not work for us, and what works for us may not work for others. "One man's trash is another man's treasure," and "To each his own" both apply here. Plus, our believing that we know what's best often has a hidden agenda component, and may actually be rooted in a desire to control a situation in order to alleviate our fears surrounding it.
     But maybe we're just supposed to feel the fear- to acknowledge that it's there, reaffirm our faith, and then do what's in front of us. Maybe our wanting to fix others can be resolved as simply as that.

I stop thinking I can fix other people and love them as they are instead.


Sunday, August 6, 2017

KNOWING WHO WE ARE FIRST

"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do." 
~ Edward Everett Hale ~

We have to be somewhat clear on who we are and what we're all about before we go looking for advice. Others will readily tell us exactly what we should do, and how to go about it, and the more people we ask, the more instructions we can accumulate, so we need to know what guides us, and what matters- our values, and our non-negotiables.
     And it's better, perhaps, to enroll others in our idea and let them contribute theirs to it, than to show up without any idea whatsoever and let them steer our ship.

I invite people on board, but keep my hand on the tiller.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

COMMUNITY BEAUTY

"One is a member of a country, a profession, a civilization, a religion. One is not just a man." 
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery ~

We may be able to accomplish things of value without caring for others, but the value can't endure. It's impossible to thrive in total isolation on our own steam. We need others, and others need us. And what we can accomplish together is so much more beautiful than anything that results from the solo drive.

I engage others in my hopes and dreams.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

EVERY-WHICH-WAY THINGS GROW

"I learn more about God
From weeds than from roses;
Resilience springing
Through the smallest chink of hope
in the absolute of concrete."
~Phillip Pulfrey ~

There are all kinds of ways to grow- up, down, sideways, around things. Half-dead trees and bushes grow, and so do choking vines, and seedlings in pots. So there's no right way- there's just growth.
     We can trim it, tame it, fertilize it, nurture it with love- whatever we do with the growth in our lives, that's our choice. The point is to recognize that there are no limits on it, and no particular way it has to look.

I am grateful to recognize that everything living is growing in its own way.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

BEING THE NEW GUY

"It is clear that the way to heal society of its violence... and lack of love is to replace the pyramid of domination with the circle of equality and respect." 
~ Manitonquat ~

At a local dog park, where dogs are allowed off leash, our dog, Boss, was the unsuspecting victim of gang violence. That's what it felt like. A big greyhound was feeling territorial, and he kept messing with Boss, and then he attacked, and before Boss could defend himself, four or five other dogs joined in and were on top of him, one of them with his jaws clamped and no letting up. It was a terrible scene. Miraculously, Boss walked away without any injury other than soreness and pride- no blood, and nothing that required emergency care. But the emotional cost was high... for us as well.
     And it occurred to me that we do the same thing sometimes to the new guy. We gather together and judge and attack- not with a gripping bite perhaps, but with stinging words and whispers. And the new guy feels as traumatized as Boss did.
     Let's not start fights. Let's extend a hand. Let's be friendly and welcoming. Let's remember that we too were once the new guy...

I remember how hard it is to be new at things and am willing to be welcoming and kind.

Monday, July 31, 2017

SELF-IMPOSED PRESSURE

"One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important." 
~ Bertrand Russell ~

We create urgencies in our heads. We create tension in our bodies. Things are not going as smoothly or as quickly as we want them to, or others are not reacting as we feel they should. We try to manufacture reality as it pleases us, but with little success.
     One of my least favorite expressions from many years ago is that time takes time. I like it better now- and understand the wisdom in it... and yet, there are still days where I want to exert my will and demand things of the hours I have. But no amount of exertion will do the trick. Time really does take time, and each thing fills the space it fills and requires the care it requires, and no amount of rushing or insistence changes that.
     Settling in for the duration, committing to enjoy the process, taking breaks when necessary to refresh our perspectives- all of these help. And so does self-care, and so does a good night's sleep.

I accept the process of developing ideas and budding creativity and know that they cannot be forced.


   

Sunday, July 30, 2017

EATING CLEAN

"Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live." 
~ Jim Rohn ~

Eating clean seems so obvious. It’s how we feel best. And yet, we don’t do it. We convince ourselves that we can eat whatever we want whenever we want, and we can, but we fool ourselves into thinking there won’t be consequences, and, of course, there are.
     So let’s choose the consequence of feeling great, and do whatever we need to do to make that happen.

I take good care of my body.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

TAKING A STAND

“There is more to life than getting things done.” 
~ Jon Kabat-Zinn ~

It’s so easy to get caught up in being busy. We pride ourselves on how busy we are. We compare and compete- who’s busiest as if that gives us some kind of measurable merit. But it doesn’t. Not really.
     Our value is in being, in appreciating what’s around us, connecting with others at a heart level, being authentic, and honoring our truth. And yet, these things seem less culturally acceptable than being busy.
     Let’s change this. It’s within our power to do so. Let’s take a stand for our humanity. Let’s take a stand for the state of our souls.

I value the humanity in myself and others.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

WHAT MATTERS

"The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live." 
~ Flora Whittemore ~

Everything matters. Attending to each detail of our lives with care and integrity makes for a life that feels valuable and appreciated.
     And also- nothing matters. We could die in our sleep and have that be the end of it.
     And also- certain things, people, and principles matter more than others. Our partner matters more to us than a stranger on the other side of the world.
     Arguments can be made for and against every possible position on every possible front. So where that leaves us is wherever we choose to take a stand.

I am clear on what’s important to me.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

WHEN WE WANT SOMETHING

"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." 
~ Shakespeare ~

When we want something, we cannot see it clearly. All we see, and all we experience, is the wanting. And then, when we get it, it’s never quite as we imagined. It’s better in some ways, usually, and worse in others. It’s yin and yang and this and that and whatever it is- a mix. But when we were wanting it, all we could conceive of was the good, so it’s always a bit of a shock when reality sets in.
     Nothing is all good or all bad, and remembering that, we can take comfort in things, and people, exactly as they are- as more of a discovery than a knowing, and more of a curiosity than a fact.


I keep my mind open to all possibilities.

Monday, July 24, 2017

THE CHANGING NATURE OF FEELINGS

"It came to pass..." 
~ The Bible ~

When we are all twisted up inside, sometimes we can work it out on our own, sometimes we need a friend to point it out to us, sometimes the passage of time corrects it, sometimes something happens to snap us into a fresh perspective, and sometimes the cure comes through conversation.
     However it happens, the point is that it does, and what a blessing in that! We are not doomed to experience any feelings permanently. They come, they work through us on some level, and then they go. And hopefully, we learn something along the way.


I trust in the coming and going of my feelings.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

WHERE WE ROOT OURSELVES

"I will get my feet down to the earth." 
~ HD Thoreau ~

Life is such an up and down affair. We’re hot, we’re cold; we’re thrilled, we’re bored; we’re unstoppably confident and we’re filled with doubt. We flip-flop endlessly all around the map and are as changeable as the weather- our thoughts and moods as much as our bodies
     So where is center? Where is groundedness? Where is stability? The only possible place must be in the truth of each present moment- of what is so. Beyond that, it’s nothing but a mind game; nothing but speculation and posturing, fantasy, and fear.


I ground myself in the present moment.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

QUIETING THE MIND

"Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak." 
~ Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati ~

A busy mind is often a sign of fear or fret, sometimes a gift of rushing insight, but more often than not, just noise. And to quiet it, we need to breathe, to observe our thoughts rather than engage them, and to compassionately allow ourselves to be- free from thinking, free from planning, and free from distress.

I breathe deeply and surrender anew in each moment.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

BEING WHERE WE ARE

"Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life." 
~ Eckhart Tolle ~

Sometimes I am so excited for what's to come that I want it to come sooner, and I can hardly wait for it. I am restless, and can't sleep. And yet, everything comes in its own time and goes in its own time and forcing it it to be or do anything other than that is futile and leaves us agitated. Peace can only be experienced in acceptance of what is happening now.

I let go of the future and fully experience what's happening now. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

BEING EXCITED

"I giggle happy thoughts." 
~ Terri Guillemets ~

Being excited about new possibilities awakens something primal in us. Energy rushes to the ready- ready to begin, to create, to establish, to build. A sense of aliveness courses through the mind and body like high-voltage electricity. We are filled with ideas and the power, inspiration, vision, audacity, and faith to back them.
     Excitement at this level makes it hard to sleep. Like a horse at the gate we are amped up and ready to run. And yet, sleep we must. The creative journey is more than a few laps around the track, and requires our ongoing stamina, and sustained momentum over time.

My creative excitement is a slow burning fire.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

SHARING OUR HUMANITY

"There is comfort where we overlap." 
~ Ani Difranko ~

When we are lonely, the best thing we can do is engage someone we don't know in a conversation and find out about them. Such sharing takes us out of ourselves and awakens us to the energy of shared humanity, which is a beautiful and powerful thing. We discover ourselves in the other, and that brings us both into the light.

I ask people about themselves and listen from the heart.