Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Wednesday Wish (121); Hope Has a Secret

photo by vladimir kush via www.beautiful life.info

When your heart is still
And your mind runs rabid
When the cold reaches in
And the warmth leaches out
Will you shut down?
Close the shades and lock the doors?
Or will you open the windows
To let the breeze
Ruffle your drapes
And flutter your skirts
As you forgot it could.
Will you ignore the urge to kiss?
Or welcome the pain
That may follow.
Let the cold win?
Or have hope that
The scent of a flower
Will melt
Your ice.

Has a secret
Its petals
Are soft
And filled with feelings.

Not the feelings we think we should have,
The preferred
Or the appropriate

But those we do have
The ugly
The dark
The shadows among the light
The pains that no one likes to look at
Let alone admit.

Yes, there, is where hope grows its roots.

Not in the pretend
Or the fake
Or the ignore
Or the shallow.

But in the wise hum of your deep
That place that invites you to honor where you are
And what you see
That place that invites you to feel it all
No matter how painful
Giving every last bit
Its time to be heard

has a secret
its roots are raw
and vulnerable
and it trembles with the beauty
and the pains
of life,
and it surrenders
oh dear God,
it surrenders
until the love that
always is
its strength
stronger, wiser,
red-hot pulsing
than all the rest
that ever
pretended any otherwise.

Has a secret.
It sails
To the winds
Of your

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wednesday Wish (120); A Lighter Shade of Life

photo via cedarpond.blogspot.com

Let me tempt you to follow me, my friend, just for a little while? To suspend the busy for a moment of dream, for a moment of gentle, for a few short strokes of kind. I’ve been waiting all night, you see, watching as you slumber, watching as you let those emotions and attitudes color your canvas a darker shade of light. I wont take you away for long. The lighter shade of light never keeps me from anything so I’m sure it wont keep you.

Have you seen the leaves just outside your front door? Did you notice that they wave to you when you head to work, when you don’t notice that you’re too busy to care? Do you know her name, for each one has a name, you know, nothing is exempt. This one is Lady’s Mantle, Alchemilla vulgaris, and she holds drops of water that look like dew but they don’t come from outside her, they come from inside, a gift, her essence, in memory of you.

And who else do you live among, yes the people but what about the things you forget to see every day? What about the rock you stumbled upon when it was trying to stop you from moving too fast? Or the fly that kept hitting the window, inviting you to dance? Did you hear the wind as it whispered funny jokes, as it tickled the trees and laughtered the leaves? Surely you see them all, surely you realize you’re not alone.

There’s a lighter shade to every light—have you ever seen the sun peak out from the clouds? And everything has a voice, already speaking, already heard, by open hearts, soft hearts, gentle ones that cherish the delicate and treasure the vulnerability in every single thing. When we learn the names of our flowers, when we recognize the stones, when we are touched by the animals and moved by the trees, we extend who we are, transforming a darker shade of light into a new, brighter, life-affirming light.

This path isn’t cement or carpeted with gold for it is hidden behind the busy and beneath the tough where so few dare to follow. Maybe they think they’ll be lonely or lost, or left alone spiraling into outer space. Truth is, when we connect with everything around us, not just the people but the rest of it, too, we realize we are less alone, less lost and more alive than we ever realized before.

For you see, the light of life is contagious. And there is always something around you, even a rock or a leaf or stray bunch of grass, begging you to see it, begging you to hear it, begging you to gobble up some of its life-affirming light. And when you finally do, when you finally recognize and enjoy the gifts surrounding you, you can’t help but dip your brush into that lighter color, painting your canvas an entirely new, brighter shade of life. Not just that, I'm fairly certain you won't be able to help but ask for another one's hand to lead them down the same path that I have led you.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wednesday Wish (119); Find Your Dream Space

photo by benjamin von wong via thisiscolossal.com
I found it today. Along the winding road and beside the sea, it began its call to me. At first it was silent, a little nudge, that’s all. And then, after my deep breath and my daring to set my worries free, I began to open up. Not to the have-to’s or the should-do’s or even the might-do’s or the better-do’s, nope. Not to any of those do’s at all. At that moment, and with that deep breath, I let go of all requirements and nestled back into Me.

It started with a garden that drew me in. Blue scabiosa, fluff-white peonies, a cluster of lupines and a butterfly dancing from one delectable treat to the next. I lifted my foot off the gas. I moved it to the brake. And when the next street sign came, I put my blinker on and turned.

The road meandered like a stream, showing me bits of beauty but not all at once, tempting me with the scent of mock orange or was it lilac, mixed with the brine of the sea. The lush green spilled out into the road. A chipmunk skittered out of my way. And a red cardinal stopped to watch on the top of a weathered pine fence.

By the time I reached the end of the road, I was smiling. I knew without knowing in my head, that this was exactly where I was meant to be, that this was exactly where I didn’t know I longed to be.

They were stacked like bunk beds, one above another, the kayaks, the canoes, the rafts and the row boats, each one inviting a different state of heart, each one waiting to be taken out to sea. And further on, past the row of evergreens where the water opened up into the sea, I found the sailboats. And when I did, I nestled even deeper into me. I had found a place where I felt safe and free. I had found my dream space, that place that invited me to be more Me.

*          *          *

Your dream space is always near, always beckoning, begging you to hear its silent call. You can’t hear it when your head is filled with have-to’s or should-be’s. You can’t see it if your thoughts are racing. You wont even notice it until you stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and move from Do-ing to Be-ing. Being where you are. Being where your deeper Self wants you to be. Being where you didn’t know you longed to be.

No need to till the soil or to even plant the seeds. It’s all right there already, waiting for you whether you do anything or not. So why not breathe out? Why not nestle in? Why not return to the gentle wonder that you are at your core? For your dream space awaits… every day of every moment of your one unique life.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Wednesday Wish (118); Soar with a Nurtured Spirit

photo by david talley via images.google.com

My breathing is labored, but it matches my stride. I find my rhythm and stick with it. My legs, they remind me of untapped strength, of energies stored in muscles I cannot see, can only feel, and my arms, well, they push my little one, up, up, up the hill and over the bridge—we’re on our way!

Back Cove is well known by locals. It’s not far from the center of town and it welcomes both athletes and amateurs. In the summertime, when the sun is perched high and round and the sea wallows warm and gentle, I need to be there. Often. I need to be where my body soars and my surroundings echo the freedom of the sea. I need to be in this welcome space where my spirit is set free.

So I run. And sop up the lushness of my Northeastern landscape like a true foreigner, appreciating every ounce of even the most delicate of things. I breathe in the scents—the wild roses, the freshly born deciduous leaves, the tinge of brine soaked sand and the left over silt along the rim of the sea. I meet unfamiliar plants and smile quietly at unknown birds. I hear leaves as they’re ruffled by the breeze, a low growing grass, a towering tree. And all the while, my spirit fuels me forward, no stranger to the beauty that inevitably lies ahead.

I had never seen her before. I could barely see her now for she was quite a bit ahead of me. But I could see she was pushing a stroller. And it was filled with not just one child, but two. Her legs worked hard. Her arms and back struggled to find the strength. She would run a few steps and stop, run a few more and stop again. And as I moved closer, I began to sense her struggle in other ways, too.

I could’ve just run past her, seemingly self-absorbed, keeping my thoughts and feelings to myself. I could’ve judged. I could’ve ignored. But because I was tuned in to myself, I knew that was not what I was meant to do. I knew I was there to help. I knew our paths were about to cross for a beautiful reason. So I slowed a bit as I neared and I let my words come from a deep and caring place.

“In case you didn’t know, you look great!” I said, with a heartfelt smile, catching her bright smile directed at me in return.

“Thank you! You do, too!”

And for the next half mile at least, she followed me, close behind, never once stopping, never once slowing, and I’m quite certain never once losing her spirited smile. 

And me? I ran one of my happiest runs at Back Cove in a very long time.

*          *          *

We are fueled forward when our spirit is fed with kindness, with love, with caring. We find new strength to cope with the difficult things in life when we surround ourselves with people and situations that nurture the delicate nature of spirit. Exercise that seems insurmountable. Tests that feel overwhelming. Challenges that seem far too much to handle—it is our spirit that will get us through every time. Nurtured, we can do anything we set our hearts to.

Find those places. Find those people. Find that sweet spot inside that knows what your spirit needs. Seek out the moments that invite kindness, love and caring to emerge both as a gift from yourself to others and from others back to you. For you see, with spirit on your heart’s side, you can only ever win. With spirit on your heart's side you are nothing short of … magic.