Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Happy is a Way of Seeing

Next time you feel sad
You only need to look around
to see all the reasons
to let Happy outshine sad . . .

If John Denver can let sunshine on his shoulders make him happy
You can let that same sunshine at least bring you a smile.
So why not start there?
Because of sunshine.

Then …
Let that Light in just a little bit more.
Watch it warm you as it goes down
Into that deeper part of you
Where your truth lives, where your You lives.
Then ignite the Brave
BE who you are.

Remember how beautiful you are
Not because you fit in
But because you are different.
Remember that no matter where you are or who you are with
You can always choose to dance,
To laugh,
To be Happy.

Then remind yourself that Happy is a way of seeing
And every way of seeing can be made a Habit.
So clap along with yourself
Back to Happy.
Because it is always there
Always inviting you
To see the brighter side
To touch the world with your beautiful, brighter Self.

Happy December to you, my Friends!
Thank you for making my life Happy!
Today I dance with you wherever you are in the world!
Today I focus on and share my way of seeing . . . Happy!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wednesday Wish (146); Gifts On Our Path

photo via googleimages by lagringasblog.com

The first few times I saw him, his eyes were red and watery, overflowing with introspection and hurt. He oozed fumes of alcohol and stumbled when he walked. My daughter watched him, too. Both of us touched. By his eyes? By his heart? By his energy? We didn't know. We just knew he was a gift on our path.

One day, she decided to share something with him. She chose her new book.

“My daughter has a book to share with you. Would that be ok?”

He lifted his heavy head, his mouth making a half smile, not sure he heard me right. “She wants to share . . . her book? With . . . me?” He was dumbfounded.

I nodded my head, “With you.”

He transformed, a marionette lifted from its deadened slumber.

When she was finished sharing, an unexpected question sneaked from my mouth, “Did you sing yet today?”

“Did I sing?”

“Uh huh. Sing. Today,” I said, smiling gently.

“Not yet,” he answered, his face unsure if it wanted to laugh or cry.

*          *          *

Every time I saw him after that, I asked him, “Did you sing yet today?” And almost always he would lift his eyes up to me with wonder, my smile reflected in his, and his in mine.

Then one day, he caught me.

I was getting my mail.
“Did you sing today?” he asked me with a bright clearness that I had yet to know.
“Sorry?” I said, my head not computing.
“Have you sung a song yet today?” he said again, smiling from ear to ear.

And together we laughed . . .
And laughed.
And laughed.

Our hearts a mess of happy.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wednesday Wish (145); The Red Balloon

photo by clipartsheep.com via googleimages

I’m not sure if I was the only one who saw it. But I am sure I am the only one who did anything about  it—the red, heart-shaped helium balloon trapped with a string beneath the branches of a very tolerant looking tree. And when I did, I shared it with the only human option, the man walking right beside it as I passed him on my morning jog.

“You know what this means, don’t you?” I said to him, this friend I had never met, my eyes looking first at him then into the branches of the aforementioned tree. “We have to set our hearts free, to unleash the love...” And after I giggled a bit, I kept right on going. After all, it was my morning jog.

But as I ran away, I realized that he might not have seen the balloon. He might not have even known what I was talking about. And then I started to wonder, dreamy-eyed me, if I had made it all up. Maybe there wasn’t a balloon. Maybe my imagination had fooled me. Maybe I had finally taken this running business too far.

So as I rounded another lap and found this friend I had never met ahead of me for a second time, I decided I would ask him.

“Did you see what I was talking about or just think I was crazy?” I stopped running to hear his response, my breath only slightly slowing down.

“I didn’t at first but after you left, I took a closer look. You meant the balloon, right?

“I did! So you saw it! Is it still there?”

“It is and I’ve decided you are right. I’m going to try to free it the very next chance I get.”

“Yay!” I said, outstretching my arms in victory. “I can’t wait to see her fly free! Just think of all the people who will see her, of all the messages she will share, of the love you will grow! Hooray!” I sang as I ran on, his smiles warming my back.

And so he did. He set that red, helium heart-shaped balloon free. And she flew up into the highest sky I had ever seen!

“Look! Do you see her? Do you see her? You know her message is for you, don’t you?” I said to everyone I passed. “Share the love, set your own heart free, love . . . more. That’s her message—to you, to me!”

To You.

To me.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wednesday Nugget

photo by alex bamford via googleimages

Imagine you are running a race. A long race. And you’re exhausted. Almost spent. You aren’t sure you can even make it to the finish line. Can you feel your lungs burning, your legs turning to jello, your heart about to die?

And then you come around the last bend to see everyone you have ever known, everyone who has ever known you . . . jumping up and down, clapping, cheering for you. Some have tears streaming down their faces, others have their hands close to their hearts, but everyone is supporting you. Everyone is cheering for you. Everyone is sending you their love.

What happens to you?

You are transformed. You forget your pains. Your lungs find new air. Your body suddenly comes alive. And you race with pure joy and enthusiasm to the finish line.

*          *          *

That’s what love does. It propels us forward, breathes new life into us, gives us enthusiasm for living and a smile on our face. With love, we thrive.

You have the power to transform lives.

By simply loving.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Wednesday Wish (144); A Good & Kind World

photo via izismile.com via googleimages

He was angry. He was driving so closely behind me that I could see the tightness in his face, the way he kept his eyes hard, the lids more closed than open, his mouth a thin emotionless line. He gripped his steering wheel with the same tightness, his hands at the top of the circle so I could see those, too. I wondered if he was off in his imagination, fighting an unfinished fight, so I tapped my breaks. He braked, too, but without waking from his angered slumber. Instead, he moved closer still. His eyes even more determined.

The man I met on the road today was stuck in a state of being. A state of anger. And as hard as I tried to avoid it, it was starting to suck me in, too. Stop tailgating me! What is your problem? Get off my ass! I was falling. And fast. I took a deep breath.

I don’t want to be in this state.
I don’t want to feel anger.
I know the world is a good and kind place
And I know the only way to live in a good and kind world
Is to make it so, myself.

I stopped the car at the next stoplight
And I walked back to his car, to his angry eyes.
He rolled the window down.
Half way . . .

“I know you are a good man.” I said, in my most authentic and tender voice. “And I know . . . know . . . you have a good heart. But when you follow me so closely I don’t get that feeling. I feel bad. And I know you don’t mean to make me feel bad. Because you are a good man. A kind man." I reached out and squeezed his shoulder with all the love I could find in my heart. "If you want the world to be kind to you," I said, before I left, "you have to be kind to the world.” 

And do you know what he said in return?

“Bless you. Bless you. Bless you,” over and over again, his eyes looking at me with pure gratefulness, no longer tight and angry, but soft and filled with tears.

*          *          *

When the world is angry, we can join up forces and fight it off with still more anger.

Or we can take a breath and draw from our hearts, to give love to those who need it the most.

I choose to live in a good and kind world
And I know the only way to live in such a world
Is to make it so, myself.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Wednesday Wish (143); The Raging Fire . . . Within

photo by forloveofmyshadow.wordpress.com via googleimages

I shuddered. My whole body feared what lay ahead. What had I agreed to? What had I expected? How did I not know that it would hurt this much? I tried to swallow down the lump in my throat but it wouldn’t go away. I tried to blink myself somewhere else, anywhere else, just not here. But nothing changed. I was immersed. And the only way out was through.

I felt like a page in a novel, the page where the main character watches scenes from their life just before they’re going to die. I saw my mother braiding my hair on my first day of school. I saw her tears when I got on the big yellow bus, her hands clutching her heart. I saw my father teaching me how to ride a bike, and the pride in his face when I finally figured it out. I saw my brother and I on our swing under the big pine tree, and my other brother shooting road signs with his paint gun when I drove him to school. Ok, maybe I wasn’t going to die.

“It’s only a year.”

Was that supposed to comfort me? I used to complain about December 26th being the worst day of the year because Christmas couldn’t be further away. I knew the truth. A year might not be that long for an adult, but for a kid, especially this 18 year old kid, a year stretched out to eternity.

“Thanks, Dad,” I managed to squeak out, wiping the tear away before anyone saw it.

Where was my strength? Why did I ever think it would be exciting to leave my family and everything I had ever known to live in a foreign country by myself? Where was that vision now? I looked down at my heart, a pile of broken shards at my feet.

“You can do this, honey. I know you can. And you are going to come out on the other side, too. Better, not worse. I know you will.”

I nodded, my lips sealed, my face dripping with tears.

The flight attendant asked for my boarding pass. Her hands were metal jaws. Behind her was a tunnel of raging fire waiting to consume me. One last hug from my dear mother and I would walk forward. Alone. To find what lay beyond that raging fire . . . within.

*          *          *

That’s how it always is, isn’t it? No matter how much we like to think otherwise, no matter how often it even looks otherwise, the fires we most fear aren’t outside us. The biggest monsters, the biggest fears, rage within. And until we find the courage to walk through them, we will never know what lies beyond. Beyond our limited sight. Beyond our limited emotional capacity. Beyond our limited vision for what our future might be.

Leaving my family for a year as a teenager changed me, and changed me in ways I never could have imagined. I learned that Newton’s law of every action having an equal and opposite reaction, applied to matters of the heart, too. For every time I chose to walk through my suffering, I also grew in equally uplifting and pain-free ways. That is, none of my pain was ever in vain. All of it, ultimately, grew me, expanded me, opened me in beautiful ways that nothing else ever could.

Ever since that day almost 30 years ago, I’m often reminded how important it is to continually press myself forward. Everything in nature experiences a constant state of change so why then, would we humans be any different? Why do we try to prevent ourselves from changing? Is it because we are afraid to walk through those fires? I know I still am. And I’m not even sure it gets that much easier the more I do it. But I do know that the treasures awaiting on the other side cannot be found any other way.

Change is painful. Growth hurts. But a life without them isn’t truly rich. And I would like my one wild, well-lived life to be filled with more treasures than I can possibly imagine.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Wednesday Wish (142); rEVOLution

photo via firstcontactgroundcrewteam.com

She stood behind the counter but the unhappy in her voice filled the entire post office. It was irritated, it was frustrated, it was downright angry, and there was no hiding it. It came out with such clarity and conviction that I watched as customer after customer went up to the counter like meek little mice, knowing they were about to be blasted.

And yet she didn’t look like a monster. Her dark hair was cut into a simple bob that fell just below her ears and even though her fingers moved noiselessly through the air as if longing for something that would never be, her eyes told me that her softness wasn’t far away. It just needed an invitation, a safe place to be heard.

I watched her. I listened to her. I visualized the little girl she once was and began to see that little girl hiding behind her eyes, in the angry adult she had now let herself become. I didn’t need to know why. I didn’t even blame her. We all have reasons to be angry, don’t we? I just loved her. I loved her where she was, anger and all.

And then it was my turn to approach her.

“How’re you doing?” I said as genuinely as I felt, my eyes lasers, determined to connect with her softer self.

“I’m ok,” she said, not looking at me, busy with my packages.

“I mean, really . . . I care.”

She stopped what she was doing to look up at me. For a moment she wasn’t sure how to handle me. Was I attacking her? Was I being kind? And if I was being kind, why? What did I want from her? She chose to play it safe. To remain hard. “I told you, I’m fine.”

“You know,” I said, “everyone in here is just starting their day. And you not only hold the power over their packages, you also hold the power to change their day. I guess I just want you to know you’ve already changed mine.”

Her eyebrows scrunched together and her eyes, they weren’t sure if they needed to harden or soften. “Excuse me?” She tried not to care too much for it was obviously uncomfortable for her.

“Uh huh, you have.” I leaned in so the rest of the customers couldn’t hear, “I see who you really are and I know you’re a good and kind person with a very big heart.” I paused. “You’ve reminded me how important it is to see with the eyes of love.”

She twitched her head to the side as if to stop a budding tear.

“You gave me that, you know, even in your disguise,” I said.

“My disguise?” she was trying to hide her softness now.

That’s when I smiled. Softly. And nodded. “Your disguise.”

“Thank you,” she said, after a hard swallow. “It’s been a hard week and I guess I just let it get the best of me.”

“Begin again . . . Susan,” I said, after searching for her nametag. “Be who you really are. The day is still yours.”

“Yes, it is,” she said with a soft smile. “Yes, it is.”

And together we smiled, our hearts nothing but a mess of soft happy goop, no anger in sight.

*          *          *

Anger is all around us and it threatens to engulf us if we aren’t careful. From where I stand, the only way we don’t fall prey to the things that hurt us, is to arm ourselves with love. Yep, love. And love for even the most angry and hurt of us all. Call it a revolution of LOVE. The only rEVOLution that can ever save us all.

This week I challenge you to LOVE, to love as often and with as much force as you can, both yourself and everyone around you. Everyone. Even the hardened postal worker. Overturn hardened hearts back to the softness they once were, peel away the layers piled on for protection, reassuring yourself and those around you that you and they are safe---safe to be who we all are. Be the love you need for your own optimal functioning. Be a force in the rEVOLution of love, a force to truly be reckoned with.

For if we don’t want to live in a world filled with anger and hate, then we must do something about it. We must begin our own rEVOLution of love.