"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.
"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.
"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.
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.
"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.
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.
"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.
"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.
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!
"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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
"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.
"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.
"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.