My mind is cluttered,
I see nothing that is there.
I am full of misery and regret
over the past I cannot change,
anxiety and urgency
about the future I cannot know.
And then something wakes me up,
snaps me out of it,
out of the dream of temporal reality.
It might be a breeze
or the bright sunlight
or a sound filtering in from outside
or my cat rubbing up against my leg,
but something wakes me up
and suddenly it all becomes clear.
The shapes and lines my eyes perceive
are so crisp and clear
and there is a luminous quality to everything.
It is so simple and so beautiful all at once.
This is it, I realize,
this is my life.
I feel content.
There is nothing to be added or taken away,
I need nothing to feel fulfilled.
This is such a blessed place to be,
no big deal
and the entire universe
all at once.
A cure for the days when it’s cold and rainy
and you’re in a funk:
A game called “One Hundred Things I Love.”
If you’re with a friend or several,
you can take turns completing this sentence:
Just keep going around and around
sharing what you love
until you can feel your mood lifting.
If you are by yourself, take a sheet of paper
and write I LOVE in huge letters at the top.
Then start thinking of all the things you love,
and write them down, one by one.
It only takes a minute
and you’ll feel a million times better…
no more room for an ick sauce funky mood!
hot chocolate on a cold day
kittens sleeping on my lap
kissing my children’s sleeping faces
wading into a cold stream in the summertime
watching a sunset over the ocean
writing in my journal
playing my guitar
a crisp, juicy apple
the sound of rain
walking in the woods
a gentle breeze
the smell of holly blossoms
riding my bike
and on and on and on…
Isn’t life AWESOME?
If you don’t think so,
play “One Hundred Things I Love”!!!
It’s finally sinking into my thick skull
that in order to be truly happy,
I need others in my life
and that giving to others
is an act of giving to myself.
To see those around me glowing with happiness
is a greater gift than words can describe,
and to know that I had a part in that happiness–
It’s a paradox that the more you give away
the more you have,
but this is the way it works
when your heart takes the lead.
Living in the paradox with an open mind
life opens up and hidden mysteries are exposed,
drops of dew glistening in the morning sun,
here and then gone. Let go of all of it.
What I once thought was real fades away
to reveal something even more beautiful,
graceful, precious and kind,
the way the chrysalis fades away
once the butterfly emerges.
Be still and watch as the world spins around you.
You are the center of your own universe,
a divine creator, more powerful than you could know.
Now, what shall you spin out from your center,
what will you weave into the fabric of your life?
Each day a new thread appears.
Can you follow it back to your center and rejoice?
If the quickest path to misery
then the quickest path to joy
is placing your attention on others,
seeing what you can give,
how you can help,
where you can go
to enrich the lives of others.
At the end of your life,
is it the piles of money
you will have amassed,
or the big house
or the fancy car
that will matter?
will you be able
to say with confidence
I gave all I had
and I loved with my whole heart.
I feel complete now,
knowing that I brought joy
to the people in my life…?
Each day we choose
one or the other…
or the kind of selflessness
that can heal the whole world.
Your actions matter.
The love you give matters.
Now, more than ever,
the world needs you.
Will you answer the call?
As my eyes open to see
this beautiful life
and my heart opens to feel
the waves of gratitude
washing through me
I stand in awe
of how incredibly simple
it is to be happy.
It’s so exciting to say
I have everything I need
to be happy
and to really mean it.
This is true wealth:
loving what you have
and needing nothing else.
This gratitude practice
will give you a lifetime of joy.
You don’t have to do anything.
Just breathe and be still,
look around you.
Isn’t life beautiful?
If you cannot say yes
to this question,
and keep looking
until you can say yes
with your whole heart.
Say yes to beauty,
awe, gratitude, simplicity.
Say yes to life.
At the end of the day
and happy about this.
I gave of myself today,
I gave the best of myself today,
and what better way
could I possibly live?
When it’s time for me
to leave this body
I shall like to look back
and see many days like this one,
knowing that as I gave my all
somehow my presence
made a difference in the lives of others.
Oh god. More laundry?
I’m so tired of spending my time
taking care of all these clothes.
I’m practically buried
in the mountains of laundry my children
and husband create.
I’m so sick of this.
I wish I didn’t have to do this.
But wait a minute.
Does this story help me to be happy?
This story helps me to feel put upon and resentful.
So how can I reframe it?
Wow. I get to do laundry!
I have a wonderful washer
that cleans my clothes
and a wonderful dryer
that dries them.
I am so fortunate.
I have two hands and ten fingers
capable of folding each shirt crisply,
and strong arms
that can carry the full basket
up the stairs.
I have a home and two beautiful children.
Here are the clothes they wear.
I’m so grateful I have these healthy children,
so glad I can keep them in clean, dry clothes.
I have a husband.
Here are his clothes.
He wears them to work.
He works hard
so that our family
can live in this comfortable home
and eat good food
and have a fulfilling life.
We are so incredibly fortunate.
The difference in my experience of life
as I shift from the first story to the second
is so profound
I can feel it in my heart, my body,
my eyes full of emotion.
that’s better, isn’t it?
Does this story help you
to be happier, more peaceful,
more open, more generous?
This is the power of changing one’s story,
of reframing the situation,
of shifting one’s mindset.
I have a lot of work to do,
but I’m grateful, so grateful
to have the tools to do it.