“…only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand–and melting like a snowflake.” –Francis Bacon
Sometimes I am shocked into considering the ridiculous brevity of my life by…looking up at the vast universe or by looking back into the history of generations of people who have already lived and died. Sometimes it is a brutal confrontation with death in a dream or in an unexpected tragedy. But, when this happens, my life takes on the more noble qualities of:
- a sense of urgency to live fully today
- a sensitivity about what really matters
- a renewed commitment to live with courage, compassion, and surrender
I can make the sparkle and the melting count today. I can do what I was born to do with cheerful abandon.
Or, I can fret, fear, despair, complain, and squander what little I have left.
(encore post from July 2014)
If you’re not hurting and not alone this season, don’t assume everyone is sharing your joy. Don’t assume it’s the hap-happiest season of all.
Invite people in you normally wouldn’t.
Ask more genuine questions.
Have honest conversations.
Value the people around you enough to ask about the ways they’re hurting.
Listen well, love well.
And regardless of your situation: lean in to relationships, to other people.
Adapted from Robert Vore (from The Mighty newsletter)
On the rare days when I come face-to-face with my own mortality, my first cynical thought is…Why bother doing anything if I am just going to die? My second thought is…The plants need watering.
That pretty much sums it up for me. Even though nothing lasts, there are needs all around that I can meet and, there is that sobering awareness of other mortals who have used some of their fleeting moments to make my life easier to live. Where would I be if they hadn’t taken their short lives serious enough to use them wisely?
Who needs zombies and blood-suckers to scare them when we have nightmarish relationships with some of our bosses, co-workers, friends, and family?
I may be exaggerating a bit, but I was recently reminded what a major contributor to life-sucking conversations and fear-ridden negativity I was for way too many years! I tainted countless relationships with self-centered drama. No more.
This Halloween, I am grateful for my bomb-free, earthquake-free, and monster-free life. Many people don’t have that. And, I am keenly aware that my current pain-free state can change without notice, so I can’t afford to scare any good thing away (or take it for granted)!
I hope you have a great Halloween…scaring up some happiness!
In an elevator, I noticed light flashing randomly over the walls and ceiling. Looking for the source, I found it to be my watch band, reflecting wildly from slight movements of my hand. Something so small making all this beauty.
Of course I have seen it before
this reflective wonder
That I often ignore
But today I think of my own light
(and nothing is as small as it seems)
I feel my own power
Pulsing around me unseen
As wireless signals reach my phone
I chill to the knowledge
“I am not alone”
Ttransmitting energy everywhere
Now feeling electricity
In my fingertips and hair
Sensing the calling
The calling to shine
The calling to trust
(the magnified reflection) of my tiny and unlikely shine
Some people say that we have “summoned” whatever has come into our lives. And that made me so angry.
But, while passing the last aid station in a half-marathon, a volunteer asked if I needed anything. Because of pain from Plantar Facsiitis, I answered, “A new foot.” Two weeks later I broke my left tibia and fibula at the ankle. When I saw my foot hanging loose, I thought of that comment. It was the foot that I had disowned.
As my “new foot” (with two plates and ten screws) was healing, I was cautious to treat both feet with utmost respect.
Whether I “summoned” the break or not, I definitely have new appreciation for every bit of my body that I have often taken for granted.
Appreciation summons abundance.
I have taken you for granted.
I am surrounded by you everywhere and have forgotten to notice you.
I have used you, haven’t I?
I have used you to complain, to sigh, and to curse
Instead of laugh.
And have ignored the refreshment you give to my one trillion cells.
Without you, I can’t go on living (and that is not a metaphor).
Please don’t leave me.
Give me another chance (or several) to show you the gratitude your deserve.
Right now, I apologize.
I breathe in a breath full of you and promise to thank you more often.
It’s a good place to start.
Things I am sure about.
People in my life.
That might sound pessimistic, yet, after reading countless biographies and observing the lives of generations of family, friends, and associates, it is simply realistic. Even the most accomplished politician, star, athlete, entrepreneur, or inventor has been (or will be) subject to the ravishes of time.
Once I have accepted this, I can live without drama.
The aim is to balance the terror of being alive with the wonder of being alive.
– Carlos Castaneda
Some of the biggest falls I have taken in my life have been associated with ignoring the following important facts:
- What I think people think about me and what people actually think about me are generally two different things.
- What people say to me is not usually what people say about me (especially when I am their boss, family member, or competitor).
- Who I think really agrees with me and who really agrees with me are far from the same.
To avoid a rude slap in the face from reality, I must…
- find my security from within vs. from without
- remember that we humans, in order to avoid conflict, often say and do what is expedient vs. what is completely honest
- work daily on an inner life (based on awareness vs. illusion)
- solicit, accept, and reward honest feedback from peers, employees, and family