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.
Where is the fine line between…
- confidence and arrogance?
- flexibility and indecisiveness?
- humility and self-deprecation?
- self-respect and self-pity?
- candor and harmful criticism?
- compromise and cooperation?
- communicating and talking?
- helping and interfering?
- love and co-dependency?
I could go on.
The point is:
- Our happiness, success, productivity, and relationships depend upon the fine line between these character traits.
- The trajectory of our careers and personal lives is a function of how we think and how often we think about these distinctions in our daily interactions.
- If we chose the fast lane that speeds past these distinctions, it will not save us any time.
- And, again, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
(Original post 2013)
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…
Whether my tasks today is cleaning toilets or working my dream job, being the boss or looking for a job, changing diapers or signing autographs, going to the hospital or going on vacation, trying to get well or trying to excel, my obligation is still the same; do it with love. Do it all with love.
The highest task will be lowered without it.
The lowest task will be elevated with it.
There is nothing more important than being here, completely here, right now, with the passion and joy that is only born of love.
Let go of anxiety and live.
(original post 2015)
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?
No shame in trying.
Yet, why have I shamed myself for trying and failing?
Why does the self-hatred linger and linger and linger?
Why have the failures cut deep shame and rejection-scarred paths in my 3 AM mind?
Possibly because I forgot to change the sound track laid down on the memory.
The new one sounds like this:
You are so human.
You are brave to try.
You are failing better as a result.
You are doing the best you can with what you have where you are.
Your motives are right.
Keep gathering mentors.
While there is breath there is hope.