Everyday Creativity

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As I start to believe
in the goodness of life,
I experience great wonder
at every little thing that comes my way.
Conversations about possibilities
that raise the hair on my arms,
a feeling of excitement for what can be.
A good cup of coffee I didn’t have to make,
handed to me by one of my family,
looking up at the mountains
and the blue sky,
enjoying a moment to write and to think.
As I let go of my rigid expectations
for how it is all supposed to play out,
there is so much more wiggle room
to enjoy this moment as it is.
And as it dawns on me
that I can seize little moments to be creative,
each day is another chance
to express the best that is within me.
A doodle here, a row of knitting there,
a funny little dance while folding laundry,
singing while I empty the dishwasher,
a poem a day, formless, without rules,
and creativity becomes normal
and essential, like my lifeblood,
like my beating heart, like my breath,
like the air that I breathe–
and I am grateful.

Priorities Change

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Priorities change.
It is no longer about being noticed in life,
but about noticing as much about life as possible.
Amassing wealth can only do so much,
but there is no limit to what can be done
by one with great will.
Instead of wielding power over someone,
we can cultivate the power to do what
will heal, what will help,
what will make a positive difference
in the lives of those around us.
Being right is not the goal anymore.
Now it is about connection,
communication,
compassion,
coherence,
collaboration,
coexistence.
What are your priorities?
If they are centered around
gathering more things
into your sphere of existence,
consider what you can take with you
when you leave,
and consider what you will leave behind.

Conscious or Unconscious?

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Remembering to breathe when you’re grumpy
can mean the difference between
making a difficult situation worse
or relaxing into a state of calm reflection
in which words are carefully chosen,
listening is active and deliberate,
and clarity is achieved.
It comes down to choice–
do you want to make things worse
or do you want to bring peace
into this world?
And it is a choice,
as much as your mind might
attempt to convince you otherwise.
You choose where you place your attention.
You choose your thoughts, words and actions.
The real question is,
Are your choices conscious or unconscious?
The ability to consciously choose how
you think, speak and act
is a rare yet necessary superpower,
a precious medicine that can heal this world of chaos.
It is one of the most difficult and important things
a human being can do,
and it is certainly not for the faint of heart,
not for the one who gives up
when the first signs of difficulty arise.
This is why training is of utmost importance.
Training in different contexts,
beginning with the most simple and easy
and progressing through increasingly difficult tasks,
will give you the strength
and the presence of mind
to move in this world with awareness
and to meet the greatest challenges
with equanimity.
And all of life is your training,
all of life is your practice.
If you choose to walk the path of the warrior,
see that this path is before you always.
Use this moment to awaken,
to grow stronger,
to see the important place you hold
in this many stranded web of life,
in this universe of infinite possibility.

What Separation Taught Me

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My little family of four
was flying standby today
and only two of us could board the plane
from Boston to Salt Lake City.
I didn’t want us to split up,
but my husband insisted, saying,
If we don’t do it this way,
it will be the same thing tomorrow.
At least this way, we’ll have a better chance
of all of us getting there,
even if two of us have to arrive later.

So I and my son boarded the plane.
My daughter was in tears as I hugged her goodbye.
I told her she’d have a fun date with daddy
and tried to cheer her up,
but inside my heart was breaking.
As our plane took off,
I held my son’s hand,
really feeling the distance expanding,
separating us from my husband and my daughter.
And it struck me that experiences
really aren’t so fun
if the ones most dear to your heart
are not there with you to share them.
Nothing can buy the deep feeling of  connection
that blossoms from within when you spend time
with those you love.
You could be on an island paradise
with delicious food, beautiful weather,
and luxury accommodations,
but without your beloveds,
it all becomes quite dreary.
So hold your loved ones close,
they are the most precious treasures of all.
When you’re happy together,
when you cherish one another,
it doesn’t matter where you are,
it all becomes so  lovely.

Live Peace

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It keeps happening…
People are dying,
Innocent people
who had no idea
that this day would be their last.
There they were,
going about their day,
and then suddenly it was over.
My heart keeps breaking
with each piece of news…
I want to cover my eyes and ears
and wait until sanity has returned
to this beautiful, precious planet.
But I am not an ostrich,
so I will not stick my head in the sand.
I am a human being,
and what I think, say, and do
impacts everyone around me.
Let my thoughts vibrate with peace.
Let my words resound with peace.
Let my actions express peace.
Let me live the peace I wish to see.
Let me be the peace I wish to see.

Critical Mass

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One of my students said
I am an atheist.
I don’t believe in God,
but I have always believed
in the goodness of humanity.
But now, after what has happened recently,
I’m having trouble believing
in humanity.
And I could really hear him.
I could see the sadness,
the doubt, the heartbreak.
I believe in critical mass, I said.
I believe that if enough of us
think good things and do good things,
there will be a wave of goodness
that will shift this world to a better place.
And, there are so many good people out there.
Yes, a few can harm a great many,
but a few can also help a great many.
Let us focus on the good.
Let us eat, sleep, breathe and dance goodness.
Let us be a part of the critical mass
shifting the world to a better place.