Monday, April 28, 2014

On Play, Teal Nail Polish, and Nashville

I have been reading over my past posts and thought one very specific thing: Umm... How about you lighten up a bit, Debbie Downer? (Also, post more. Note to self.)

Yes, life has thrown me some curve balls and some seasons have been tremendously rough. However, there is an abundance of beauty happening every second of every day if I look for it. If I want to see it. I am just at the brink of starting to learn how to approach life with a childlike sense of awe, wonder, fascination. Open eyed, open hearted.

The universe has a funny way of letting me know I’m on course with this stuff. For example, I wrote about how my word for 2014 is “play,” and the other day a friend had me pull an angel card (aka word of inspiration) from a bowl in her kitchen. The word is supposed to be yours, just for that day, as an inspiration and something to be mindful of.

Well, wouldn’t you know that nearly four months after New Years I pulled the word “play"?

Okay, Universe, I get it, I get it! Be open, be present, be grateful. That's the key.

The magic of life is right there, finding me in quite moments or in the midst of my daily routine...

I find it in tasting the BEST mac’n cheese (gluten-free even).
I find it in adult Easter egg hunts where we act like children and laughed late into the night.
I find it in teal nail polish and girly trimmings.
I find it in taking three carloads over to Goodwill and getting rid of things that weigh me down.
I find it in holding a fragile newborn baby whose parents are my friends.
I find it in a good book, a challenging TED talk, or informative podcast.
I find it on a hike through Fryman Canyon (where, incidentally, George Clooney’s house is).
I find it in shows like the Book of Mormon with fabulously talented tap dancing gay boys (er, men).
I find it in hummingbirds outside my dining room window in the early evening.
I found it in my trip to Nashville (even though the South is not the place for me and my hair does not fare well in humid weather conditions) last week where I get to explore the city, once again, with friends I haven’t seen in ages.

When your heart resides in a humble state and takes a few minutes to get quiet, it takes in so much more life. It enjoys to greater depths, laughs at higher frequencies and finds appreciation everything. Life is oh-so-rich and begging us to see love and joy in all its unique flair. Open up. Enjoy it all.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

I Don't Climb Mountains, but......

My radio silence has been intentional, although I’ve severely missed writing here. There’s a lot going on in life right now and that simply requires me to sit and focus on what I need at any given moment. Chaos is the most important time for self-care. Some moments I need a nap, or food, or silence, or laughter. Some moments require tears; others require me to power down my phone and laptop to be fully present to myself for a night. This is how I live moment-to-moment in the present these days. This keeps the crazy at bay and allows for a lot of grace and perspective.

Through it all I am meditating daily on a story a friend told me about a guy who was determined to climb one of the most challenging mountain trails in the world. This feat would take training, intense preparation, and it would take him two weeks to get to the top. Regardless, he was determined. As he finally started out on his journey, alone yet prepared, he passed a hiker coming down the trail. It was the first person he had seen all day.

With pep still in his step and excitement still brimming within him, he stopped the experienced traveler and asked,

“What advice can you give me for making it to the top?”

The traveler replied,

“You have to realize it’s just walking. There will be wind, rain, scorching sun, the forces of nature. You will realize you’re alone, you’ve never felt more alone, and fear will set in. There will be moments you will feel like you cannot possibly take another stride. In those moments, remind yourself that it’s just one step in front of the other. Take one more step, then another step. That’s how you’ll make it to the top. It’s just walking.”

I am struck with the incredible beauty of that story. How often does life feel unmanageable and we want to hit the reset button,
or quit,
or run,
or hide,
or disappear until the emotional nuclear warfare is over?

There is nothing too big, no such thing as taking too much time, and no reason to feel angst. All of life is just walking, just taking the next stride. We do not need to sprint or rush or be better to feel better. We get to feel the exhaustion, catch our breath, hydrate and remind ourselves...

It’s just walking.