Every Day

I was talking with my son earlier about something I’m working on self-improvement-wise that he is invested in – which is very sweet and means a lot to me. I was telling him about something I did today toward that self-improvement mission, and I heard myself say to him, “One day at a time. That’s how we make change happen.”

And I was struck by my own words – not because I’m so wise and brilliant, but because while I know this intellectually, I also know sometimes I get so overwhelmed by the big picture of change that it’s crippling.  And even though I often live by (and encourage others to live by) the notion of “one hour at a time, one minute at a time if necessary,” for some reason it just struck my ear, mind, and heart differently today.

I think that was because it lifts up two things: the importance of a renewed daily commitment to change (which requires not only discipline but mindfulness and, to a certain extent, open-heartedness) – and it also offers up the chance to stop at the end of each day and acknowledge, “Hey. I did that. That was good. That felt good. That helped. Look at that. That happened today.” And it’s not about self-congratulations but rather encouragement, possibility, and hope – and again, mindfulness and being present to what happened that day.

I’m not Catholic, but I was very struck by Pope Francis’ words about peace in 2013: “True peace is not a balance of opposing forces. It is not a lovely ‘façade’ which conceals conflicts and divisions. Peace calls for daily commitment”.  I think it’s that same notion that moves me about effecting change.  And yes, certainly, as we’re working for change – and working for peace – working for anything that deeply matters to us, we hope and trust that over time, some behaviors will become intuitive and become part of our daily actions and feelings.  But if we want to grow, we have to keep revisiting what we strive for, what moves us, what we seek, how we seek to be part of this world.

Let us strive be present: to ourselves, to others, to the world around us.  And even if we don’t have it within ourselves to effect that change each day, if we’re still in touch with what we seek, that’s something very worthwhile.

May we find ways to show up, in whatever way we can, even in a diminished capacity, even just for a moment, and be present, one day at a time.

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Hope and Fear

It’s a fine line between hope and fear. And I also think one can be tinged with the other: they are not as black and white as they might seem.

I’m walking this line a bit right now, and alternately stepping off the line to one side or the other and feeling hope or fear more strongly.

It’s exciting but also scary. Hope certainly feels better. But sometimes I know we need to listen to fear. And that sometimes there cannot be forward movement in our lives without fear.

a way

I think I need to remember to be an argonaut.* I think I need to remember to breathe and trust my instincts and that it will all be ok. And that there’s the potential for great joy and becoming if I have the courage to move forward in hope and possibility.

Deep breath in. Deep breath out.

breathe

*https://dearworldhereismyheart.wordpress.com/2015/08/07/argonaut/

Jumbled Heart

Sometimes my heart is a jumble of all sorts of feelings, and I just don’t know why they’re all there. I know they are part of me. I know they may have something to say that I need to hear. But the jumbled sensation is not always a lot of fun.

Tonight I find myself jumbled inside, lots of love and gratitude floating around mixed with some melancholy* and questions. Tonight I am reminded of all the pieces of myself living in this jumbled heart of mine. I’m reminded of the story and journey of the open-hearted-marvel Elizabeth Gilbert as she sat in her deepest, darkest time, sat with herself, and invited all the parts of herself into her heart, blessing them, loving them, assuring them they could rest there in her heart and be at peace. (from Eat, Pray, Love)

So while I am deeply grateful that I am not in a place of great distress but rather just in the midst of a jumbled heart, tonight I try to bless the melancholy and the questions. “It’s okay. I love you. You can rest here. We’ll get through this together,” a variation on EG’s offering to herself.

I also want to recognize the love and gratitude of my jumbled heart, so tonight I am grateful for loved ones who wrap their arms around me with their words and love, grateful for connections with new friends who say “welcome,” grateful for dear friends who share that I am with them in their hearts even when I can’t be in person, grateful for my precious son, his open heart, and his indomitable spirit.

I know the jumble is part of Life. It’s part of having an open heart. I’m glad for that. I just want to become more connected to the peace and the blessings of all parts of the jumble as the confusion swirls around.

Peace

I think this is what my friend Brandon meant when he wished for all “a courageous sense of abiding peace.”

May we find peace in the jumble. May we find peace with the jumble.

* https://dearworldhereismyheart.wordpress.com/2015/07/25/melancholy-and-the-open-heart/

Argonaut

Okay, I’m captivated by this:

I saw it 2 days ago and can’t stop thinking about it. Mostly the word and the definition, but also the whole image Dictionary.com created, the whole presentation of this marvelous word.

I’ve long known of Jason and the Argonauts and the Golden Fleece and Medea, but I don’t think I’ve ever really considered what a non-Jason-related argonaut is.

I think maybe I want to be an argonaut.

I don’t want to do anything physically dangerous, I don’t mean that. But I read this as a person in quest of vulnerability, knowing that there may be some hurt that comes from that vulnerability, from opening your heart, from trying something new, from going to an unknown place, from being an adventurer in new territories of your life: and knowing that it is and will be so rewarding.

Yes, I want to be an argonaut.

Let’s see. Let’s go find it. Let’s go seeking. Let’s live fully.

Let’s be argonauts together.