“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” ~Rumi
“Isn’t this a miracle?” I asked myself in the milk aisle at Whole Foods.
It was a Wednesday night after work, and I was buying a few staples to get us through the week. It was a completely ordinary moment in a completely ordinary day, and it was miraculous.
Rewind a few years, same Whole Foods, same shopping list, and you’d find me absentmindedly wandering the aisles, lost in a head full of worries. I couldn’t tell you …
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~Albert Einstein
Just when you think you have the whole living in the moment thing down, a four-year-old comes along and shows you how it’s done.
I’ve been working hard on this, actually, keeping a gratitude journal and everything. I was feeling pretty good about my progress yesterday when I decided to take said four-year-old on a walk rather than rushing through the to-do list burning a hole in the back of my mind.…
“At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
When I was a kid, I wanted to be an Olympic figure skater. Or an artist for Disney. Or maybe a musician.
I wanted to be a songwriter and choreographer.
I made up roller skating routines in the driveway to Tiffany and Paula Abdul. (It was most excellent.)
I filled notebooks upon notebooks with illustrations.
And if you were to ask me to describe myself, I might have said, “happy.” Or I would have chattered on about …
“In time and with water, everything changes.” ~Leonardo da Vinci
This is a story about our past and progress. It’s about holding on and letting go, moving forward by moving inward, and time. And like any good story, it’s a love story in the end. I’m talking about the kind of love that eases suffering and restores peace. The love we show ourselves through patience and unconditional acceptance.
It begins with a box in the back of my hall closet, tucked neatly beneath the snorkeling equipment and board games we always forget about. I’ve moved that box from Texas …
“If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Dedicate today to the power of choice. Your choice. You can’t choose everything that you experience in life, but what you can choose is mightier than any circumstance, outcome, or other person’s opinion.
Where you focus your mind, how you use your words, and how you treat yourself and others are all up to you. One chapter at a time, you write your own story.
We all have the power to choose what …
“The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next.” ~Ursula K. Le Guin
Did you play with cootie catchers as a kid?
You picked a number and watched anxiously as your friend counted it out. Open. Close. Open. Close.
You chose a color or picture or word and waited in anticipation as your friend unfolded the flap and read your destiny.
Or how about that MASH game? Mansion, apartment, shack, house?
I played these games with an insatiable desire for all the details.
How is all of this going to play out?
“Let us fill our hearts with our own compassion.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
“Mom’s concentrating,” I tell my kids as I clean up after dinner. I suggest a game to keep them occupied. “How many words start with A?”
As I inspect the crumbs under the kickboard, I pay just enough attention to hear them play along.
“Mom. L!” (I must have drifted off.)
“Right. L is for?” And they’re off again. Be more present, be more present, be more present, I think.
M…N…O…I laugh to myself when we reach P. P is for pressure, that’s what, …
“Whatever purifies you is the right path.” ~Rumi
I’m tired of being good. It’s time to be deliciously free.
How I wish I could say that without rushing in to assure you that I promise I’ll still be good.
The truth is, I worry. Less than I used to, but still, I do.
I’ve probably had every kind of worry you could imagine. There’s the kind about things that haven’t happened yet, things that didn’t but very nearly could have, things that are highly unlikely if not impossible, things that are commonplace; I’ve worried about the things I want and …
“Always engage in the quest for life’s meaning, which is inner peace.” ~Longchenpa
When is a person complete? When have they finally “made it”?
Is it when they find love? Success? When they prove themselves?
I must have asked myself these questions a thousand times growing up. As soon as I recognized that you could be deemed successful or not, accepted or not, loved or not, I wondered where I fit in.
I questioned whether I was on the right path and when I would finally arrive. I wanted to be a total package. You know, the real deal. …
“Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
“Who are you? No, really. Who are you?”
I stood at my bathroom mirror, towel twisted around my head, inspecting my own reflection. A woman I hardly recognized looked back at me with empty eyes. Empty mouth. Empty insides.
“Who are you?”
“What do you want?”
“What are you thinking?”
I sighed and reached for the toothbrush. The truth is, I’d been there before. That empty-sad feeling. The feeling of not quite fitting in. Not quite feeling fulfilled.
Before, I’d brush …
“Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.” ~Charles Dickens
All of us have been hurt or angered by someone’s words at some point. Some words are blatantly cruel, and others are deceptive, appearing to be in our best interest but only ever leading us astray. These are the messages that leave us questioning who we are or how we should be.
I’ve been labeled timid and stuck-up. Speak up more, but stop interrupting. Be more assertive, but don’t complain. Be more outgoing, but be authentic.
I’ve been called …
“For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.” ~Thích Nhat Hạnh
My husband and I bought our first house two years ago. Expecting a child and excited to move on to the next stage in our lives, we listed all of the ways we would make the house perfect.
As first-time homeowners and parents, we assumed this list was manageable. Surely the house could be painted in a weekend! Of course we can get work done while the baby naps!
Indeed, it seemed manageable and, therefore, (to me) mandatory.