I have seen too many pink-cotton-candy sunrises from my home or
while flying high above the earth to ever despair of life again
I have met too many stunning, underappreciated people in obscure places
Smiling through difficult and obscure work, to ever despair of life again
I have experienced too many rolling hills, starry nights
Mountain vistas and peaceful beaches to ever despair of life again
I must call up these images and allow myself to be refreshed
Again and again when life is disappointing, dark or incongruous
“In spite of everything, life is beautiful.” –Etty Hillesum (written on the way to her death in the concentration camp)
Original post 2011
Even when we think we don’t have a creative bone in our body, our minds and bodies are urging us to build, uncover new paths, journal, write, paint, draw, cook, garden, make someone smile or laugh, take pictures, or simply make something clean and shiny. We are created in the image of a creator.
I thought my life was mostly over before I gave myself permission to create and enjoy my creations.
I hope you will create today. Create joy for someone. Create joy for yourself.
Create joy in the limited time we have in this fertile place.
On this day, many are excited about their new lives and prospects, while others are disappointed that their lives have not yet become what they envisioned.
Sometimes, the disappointment is only about timing. Wait for it.
At other times, it is about nourishing our own growth.
Nothing flowers without nourishment, yet we often prevent our own flowering by…
- refusing to sit in the light (to feed our spirit)
- moving so fast through the motions of living (that our roots can’t go deep into the rich soil of our gifts and calling)
- running from, and complaining about, the rain (refusing, instead of seeking, discipline, insight, and instruction)
- blaming others for our bad luck (instead of owning the roots of our problems)
Today, I will patiently tend my own mysterious growth.
All human wisdom is summed up in two words; wait and hope. – Alexandre Dumas
Wait and hope versus give up and despair. Always.
When I think of the times…
- I didn’t wait when I should have, my insanity is all too clear.
- I despaired when I should have hoped, it is crystal clear that the decision cost me dearly.
What can despair ever do for me but steal my desire to do my best?
When facing difficulties, I now…
- ask instead of indict; “What does the Universe need from me?” vs. “This is unfair!”
- summon instead of rage; “Bring me one new idea.” vs. “This is too much to ask from anyone!”
When the student is ready, the teacher appears.
If you haven’t read it or seen the movie…
I think it was Robert Louis Stevenson who said, “Life should be dashingly used and cheerfully hazarded.”
Easier said than done, yet once we believe that this is precisely why we are here it becomes much easier.
Fear of what we will lose
Fear of scarcity in the future
The importance of protecting ourselves
Was all a lie
There was never anything more important
For the right reason
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliot
A few nights ago I had all of the out-of-control dreams: cars and people that wouldn’t cooperate, etc.
I woke up tired; but, alas, aware that all of it was about my buried fears.
The next night I read Neil Gaiman before bed and dreamed of doing daring things for the right reason.
I woke up buoyant; ready for whatever life had in store.
Words in books have saved my sanity more times than I can count.
Words in the unlikely books that I have read accidentally or reluctantly have done the most good.
When I talk to someone who is disillusioned and depressed, I pray they will read or listen to books that will fly into their dreams to fuel their hopes, change their mind, and expand their world.
I have certainly experienced this when I am depleted, losing hope and then, some element of promise surfaces and voila, I am suddenly re-energized.
Although, when there is a complete absence of promise or progress on the horizon, when darkness blocks out any light and failure seems to crush any chance of success, the so-called X-spot doesn’t exist.
But, there is a way (thanks to Tony Robbins, Shawn Achor and others) I have manufactured that almost there, X-spot advantage:
- I call to mind another success that made me ecstatic
- I relive it and feel the excitement of it right now in this moment
- I proceed as if I have already been declared a winner
Self-delusion? Or, merely taking charge of my reality as my heroes have done?
Read a book I thought was boring
But loved it.
Forced to be with people with whom I thought I had nothing in common
Found cool and interesting friends.
Lost a job that I really needed
But found one I needed more.
Sustained a heartbreak I thought would kill me
Now happier than before.
Learned impossible new skills
It was possible.
Depression said gloom and doom was unavoidable
Service and love overcame the darkness.
Tragedy said the world was irredeemable
There was redemption.
I cease to be surprised.
respected and impressive:
synonyms: distinguished · respected · eminent · venerable · hallowed · illustrious
Who says we can’t make this month impressive, distinguished, respected, eminent, venerable, hallowed, or illustrious?
However we arrived here (even if July dumped us unceremoniously) on the doorstep of August, we made it. There is no mistake about it.
Maybe we should remind each other to treat August as it deserves.
The surest way for me to start feeling bad is to start thinking about what I don’t like about others and how they treat me.
The purpose of Byron’s Katie’s inquiry work is not denial, but to insure I am not moving away from the better part of myself which is free of untested bitter judgments, opinions, projections and assumptions about what is not right with someone else.
Because, once I clear the emotional, reactionary clutter, and focus on the only thing I can change, i.e. myself, rather than the things I cannot, i.e. others, life then becomes much more…
The trouble is that I multiply my suffering (instead of alleviating it) by questioning other people’s minds instead of my own.