Accompaniment

Music is mighty and I can’t imagine a day without music! Friedrich Nietzsche is said to have said “Without music, life would be a mistake.” Mistake or not, life would certainly be bleaker without the sounds and vibrations of music.

Midway through the week, let’s ward off the bleak with some intentionally selected music. Maybe music is medicine you can hear! Feeling lonely? Tired? Sad? Mad? See what 5 minutes of upbeat or inspiring music does for that mood.

“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”  – Maya Angelou

May music accompany you wherever today leads you.

Do It Scared

There are certainly times when we may (in our right mind) feel no fear. To have that internal calm makes action easy. But there are also times when we cannot get in touch with a sense of peace about action before us. But if the action before us is certainly for our good – if we know in our bones what the next step is, we cannot allow fear to keep us from good.

Perhaps a ‘healthy dose’ of fear can keep us from taking action in pride or arrogance. Maybe fear protects us. After all, buckling our seat belts or wearing a helmet may have at their core a tiny speck of fear, disguised as cautious reason. But when we now that fear is limiting us – keeping us from a future we know is right for us – we cannot afford to let fear hold us back.

So while I would love to wish you a #FearlessFriday, my friend, I hope that even if facing fear, you will find the courage to act, even in the face of fear. When you know in your heart that it’s time to take positive action towards a worthy goal, do it – even if you have to do it scared.

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.      – Nelson Mandela

1-800-273-TALK

As a personal favor, PLEASE take a minute to save this phone number in your contacts NOW. Yes, please do it now. By having this number handy you may have an opportunity to truly be a lifesaver!

1-800-723-TALK (8255) is the National Suicide Hotline. It is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Often, when a person is having a suicidal crisis, a simple simple question and a small act of support can change an otherwise tragic trajectory. Have the number handy. Save it in your phone now.

More often than we may realize, there a persons in a suicidal crisis around us. This number (and the compassion you show when you share it) can be a game-changer! You can be a life saver!

Thank you! And while we’re at it, why not ask a couple friends to save this number to their phones, too? You never know who may need it!

Thanks for being awesome!

Glory and Passion

One the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth, may I suggest that you choose from the inspiring quotes below, one to hold in your heart today – or perhaps for longer. Mandela had much to say about liberty, education, struggle, and human dignity. May you find a pearl of inspiration that will move and change you.

If you’re feeling content, but you know in your heart there is a difficult change you should make – I think Mandela would ask you to pursue that change.

There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.

If you’re feeling stagnant or stuck – I think Mandela would urge you to do act in spite of fear.

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

If you’re feeling defeated by past experiences – I think Mandela would encourage you to try again (and again.)

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

If you’ve accomplished a challenging goal – I think Mandela would applaud you and expect you to support and assist others achieve their goals.

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

Happy Birthday, President Mandela!

Strive for Better

Here’s another thought-provoking quote by  Brazilian author and lyricist, Paulo Coelho, to hopefully help move our week in a positive direction. (I forgot how much I love this guy, so watch for more of his wise words in the future.) 

“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”

Think about this quote and consider whether you have seen evidence of its truth in your life or in the lives of others around you.

Can you be certain that it’s true – that it will be true for you? Perhaps, perhaps not.  You may ‘know in your bones’ that the quote is true. If so, I wish you have courage to act upon it! But perhaps you think it only might be true. That’s no reason to completely dismiss an idea, right? It still might be a path that’s important for you. So go ahead a try something new, if only to combat stagnation. If you’re undecided as to whether it’s absolutely true, you can always choose to believe it – even in the absence of evidence.

Aim for a lofty goal and see what happens!

DFTYA!

Friday the 13th

Who says that Friday the 13th is unlucky? And why would we want to let ‘them’ decide what sort of day we’re going to have? I happen to think that today is going to be a wonderful day.

On Fridays, not only do I get to serve brave and hopeful folks who are willing to battle their addictions, but we have pizza! And today is the Friday that the therapy dog comes to visit us! What’s unlucky about that?

And after work today, I have the privilege of officiating a wedding for a lovely couple. So I’m feeling very lucky today. And when all is said and done, my opinion counts when it comes to what kind of day I’ll have.

So shoving superstition aside, today is your lucky day (just because we say so!)

Good things are going to happen today.

Count on it.

Expect it.

Make it so.

(I double-dog dare you!)

#IFeelLucky
#LuckyFriday

Adversity, Adventure, and Advice

Many years ago I read “The Alchemist” by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. Today rarely a day goes by when I don’t think or speak of the book or it’s central theme. I recently heard a quote by Coelho and searched to find that it is from a book I have not yet read.

Without reading the book, the quote impresses me as being true. It is similar to other truths I know. It even sounds like advice I have given. I have often found that advice I’ve offered to others has also been important for me. So today I will share a quote. It invites the reader (and the writer) to choose to see adversity as adventure. I hope that it is helpful advice for at least one of us!

“I can choose either to be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It’s all a question of how I view my life.”  – Paulo Coelho

Photo credit: Niels Akermann

One Step Closer

A journey to the top of a mountain or the journey to a neighbor’s house both begin with a step. Some climbs can seem dizzying and even impossible at times. spiral staircaseBut even a small step gets us moving and then – almost anything becomes more possible than it was when we were inert.

Most of what we learn and accomplish is accomplished in small, repeatable steps. Epiphanies happen, allowing heroic and unfathomable deeds to be done, but most of human learning and growing is done in lots of tiny steps.steps-2375617_1920 Fear not, the path grows shorter the instant we dare to move forward. Yes, stepping out can be uncomfortable for sure, but… staying somewhere we don’t belong is far more uncomfortable.

At the risk of stating the obvious, if you take one step and you’ll be one step closer.

And if you remember the year 1980 and the Doobie Brothers, there’s this:

Take good care of you today and take (at least) a step in that worthwhile direction.

Summer & Solstice

During the first week of summer (in the northern hemisphere) our minds might be full of plans for a trip to the beach, a camping excursion, vacation, or weddings.

It’s the season for popsicles, picnics, and popcorn at the bandstand on a buggy, muggy night. The swooning woodwinds and blaring trumpets occasionally accompanied by the swelling sound of a mosquito near an ear.

trumpet

Perhaps summer conjures memories of walking a secluded beach at sunrise, bathed in the quiet roar and rumble of the surf as the gulls scratch the blue sky with their calls.

sea shore

Wandering and wondering as one walks among the trees in a favorite forest, seeking shelter and shade in the sanctuary of towering trees.

sunbeam

Please be sure to make time to just breathe and be still. Experience this season, this day, this hour, this moment. Whatever comes to your mind as we round the corner into another season, may we practice acceptance of the changes that always come.

#DFTYA!

 

Take All Your Senses for a Walk

The value of a brisk walk can probably not be overestimated! Even a short walk can bring meaningful change to our physical, mental, and emotional state. So make it a goal to make time for a walk today – even if it’s only five minutes.

And while you’re walking, try to focus extra attention on just one of your senses at a time for a a minute or two.

Smell all of the scents there are, pleasant or otherwise, trees in bloom or chimney plume.

Feel the way the ground meets your foot, sense the breeze as it moves through your hair or across you cheek, and then moves limbs or leaves or dust around you.

Hear the sounds that surround you, some near and some distant, some natural, some human made, birds, laughter, horns honking, and perhaps even the sound of silence.

wind chime

See the light and shadows play across your path. Watch as clouds slowly morph from shape to shape.

And then if you can, allow yourself to be engulfed in all of those pieces of the world around you. See, feel, and hear a moment as you breathe deeply.

Please do make time for a walk today, and as I do I will be thinking of you.

 

Random (?) Questions

What animal your fond of?

Why?

What attribute does that animal display which may be helpful to you as you face a current challenge?

And if you don’t feel like literally responding, that’s perfectly OK. But at least contemplate the questions, please. They might be beneficial (and not completely random questions after all!)

Thanks for taking good care of you!

 

Mistakes or Lessons

Most of us will agree that learning an important lesson sounds like a positive step. Learning is good and lessons prepare us. Fun or not, learning lessons is good for us.

Most of us will agree that making mistakes can be embarrassing and painful.

Some of us will realize that  mistakes and missteps are opportunities to change and learn and grow. Choosing to see “failures” that way is a game-changer! When faced with a mistake, press the pause button, take a couple slow deep breaths, and summon a sense of curiosity to explore how else you might have tried or what else you could do differently.

The lessons will keep happening. The real question is whether or not we will choose to learn from them, so that we may move forward.

#ChooseWisely

 

Hustling Hope

Hope is curious stuff. It’s always right in front of us and yet, so often, hard to see. Hope is undeniable, irrefutable, and evident, even in the midst of tragedy (perhaps especially there.) Hope has the power to change almost everything. Hope is always near, but there are eyes which cannot see it. Hope can meet needs and yet some will never taste it. Sadly people perish every day while surrounded by it – unable to see it or know it.

grass gems

When people wonder what my blog is about or why I take the time to post, I suppose an appropriate answer would be that I want to hustle hope. As long as I have breath, I want to shine the light on hope, point your eye toward hope, sing you a song of hope, or share a story of hope. There seems to be plenty of demand in the world, right?

Hope is the stuff that allows us to see that the same rainstorm that cancelled our parade sprinkled “leaf gems” all over our garden. And when I take a moment to look at the gems on the grass and flowers, I feel hope.

leaf gems

Hope is what I peddle. It’s what I hustle every day – or at least every day while I have it in stock. Hope alone doesn’t change things, but it seems to be a catalyst which allows things to change or helps them to. It’s the greatest game-changer of all because it can serve as a sort of a key to unlock things which seemed, mere moments ago, to be impossible.

On your journey (aren’t we all on a journey?) hope can definitely change your outcome, whether you believe it or not. In fact, whether or not you believe it is part of the key that can unlock hope’s power. So try to stay hopeful. And if you have trouble staying hopeful, stay in touch with your friendly neighborhood hope dealer!

#HopeDealer

 

Let it Rain

Right?

We may as well “let” it rain rather than hate it, wish against it, or try to pretend it isn’t raining. Rain happens and I usually choose to suppose that the rain happens for a reason. Then it’s not only neutral, but it actually feels positive.

Decades ago, whenever there was a thunderstorm, my mother would turn off and unplug the television. As the storm approached, she’d go to the den and start playing songs on the piano. We’d all be in the den in no time once we heard the piano. Before we knew it, we’d all be singing at the top of our lungs. My siblings and any neighborhood kids who happened to be in our yard would fill every seat in the room and laugh as the thunder clapped and the lightning flashed. Some of the neighborhood kids would get permission to come to our house before a storm started, because they were more fun at our house!

Sometimes we’d say that the angels were bowling in the sky and the really BIG crashes were strikes. We sang and laughed and even shrieked when lightning struck really close. We’d count the seconds between the flash and the crash. But I never remember anyone panicking. Singing through the storm and laughing when a shriek interrupted a verse, we road out many, many storms.

When we were older, my mother explained that she was terrified of lightning storms and that for all those years she was trying to keep herself distracted with the piano and singing. By doing so she taught most of us to “let” storms be storms. Some of us even like storms – even 50 years later!

When it comes to those things we cannot change, we can always change our mind. Or as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said…

“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.”

 

 

 

 

Grace

Here are a few thought-provoking quotes about Grace.

5.31.2018 grace 3

Grace is my hope/wish/prayer for you today.

butterfly nose

May you have sufficient grace to hear the message that the universe is offering you today, regardless of the messenger.

5.31.2018 Grace

May we listen in grace, walk in grace, and offer grace to all. Please don’t forget to treat yourself with grace, too!

 

 

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