Beauty Between the Lines

Why would anyone want to climb Mount Everest? Or bungee jump off a bridge into a 500 meter abyss? Or sleep on a sidewalk in a tent?

To prove that we can.

Not everyone is an adrenaline junkie and I’ll admit I prefer five-star treats over slumming in the City, but life offers moments for us to experience the depth, breadth and heighth of it all. And that includes extreme moments in time to test our limits.

And so it was for me this past weekend. I got to taste the sweetness of life in a completely new way by helping a friend at a street festival in Frankfurt. Because his wares were so valuable (and plentiful), we had to sleep in the stand at night. Having never slept on a military bed in my life, it was surprisingly comfortable. We had a system, complete with refrigerator. And I found out I am capable of a lot more ‘hardship’ than I thought. Even the periodic 3 a.m. street sweeper that sounded as if it might suck us up like a Wizard of Oz tornado couldn’t stop us.

I’m not that five-star pampered princess after all. In fact, I’m tough as nails. And that good girl who wanted to get everything right? Yeah, she’s gone home. For good.

So that’s most likely why people push themselves to the near breaking point. To simply see how far they can go. To understand there is more beauty between the lines and that sometimes we have to dance outside of them, peering in to the mystery that unfolds as we breathe in life’s magic — city sidewalk and all.

Dance Between the Raindrops

Yesterday I got caught in two rainstorms. In my old, pre-Slow life, I may have found that to be problematic at best. But now I take it, take it all, with a blissful acceptance that everything is meant to be. And to be offered an opportunity, at every moment, to grow beyond yourself, to see things as a chance to dance, not fret.

When you look at it that way, getting wet is not such a bad thing after all.

We make up stories every day about the why, what and wherefore of things. We categorize, analyze and discern meaning where there perhaps is none.

We are mean-making machines. We thrive on finding it in virtually everything.

And if we are built this way, to define things, even time itself, as something, anything, why not interpret your world as a thing of beauty?

You have the power to orchestrate your reality to the highest good.

When you believe, you begin to receive – in ways you may never have thought possible. People will start to notice that smile on your face and want to know more. Goodness will gravitate toward you because you have the eyes to see it -at long last.

So dance between the raindrops. Embrace joy wherever you can.

It is worth it. It really is.

 

Mind Unpolluted

Over a year ago I decided to stop watching TV regularly. In fact, for twelve months I didn’t watch it at all. I immediately dropped ten pounds, which never returned. And I discarded an enormous amount of mind pollution in the process.

Photo Courtesy of Celina Stone.

Photo Courtesy of Celina Stone.

Peeking in on the news every once in a while is like watching the movie Groundhog Day. Nothing changes. Day after day. The coverage is the same. Just fill in the blanks. If it isn’t bad news, it’s not considered news at all.

I found it distinctly depressing.

In this day and age you can fill your mind with information at any time. And it eeks into our brains whether we want it to or not. Billboard signs, messages on the sides of city busses, magazine racks at the check-out counter. All of it is telling you what you desparately need to live a fulfilled life. As if you aren’t already because you are not yet in possession of said product, idea or fashion statement.

In those moments when your mind is reeling with data, step into Nature. Its message is clear: you are here. So am I. And believe it or not, we are one.

It’s simple, really. Nothing more is asked of you than to exist. Just as you are. Without makeup. Without fancy shoes. Without that must-have hairstyle that sets you apart from the rest.

Nature is about acceptance of That Which Is. It has its own rhythm, unstrained and non-rushing. It blooms, wilts, dies, regenerates. It undulates and rotates and captivates.

Nature simply is.

If we were to emulate a life according to Nature instead of one according to all those man-made messages, we would live a life fulfilled.

I’m game.

Are you?

Light Heals

Sunlight is a necessity. If you have lived in darkness for a long time, seeing the Light for the first time in what feels like years is like rebirth.

Foto-9Light heals.

After living through stormy times, I can’t stop smiling now. The sun and its warming rays fill my soul.

Go to the Light. And if you can’t see the Light, be the Light.

You may not think it’s possible, but believe me when I say: anything is possible.

You simply have to believe.

Darkness be gone.

Hello sunshine!

Everything on the Outside Started from Within

According to a recent job satisfaction survey, less than half of US workers are satisfied in their jobs — for the seventh year in a row.

Imagine a world in which everyone did what they loved — or loved what they did. It would be a blessed place. Love would replace frustration, anger and angst. The Earth would vibrate on a higher level.

As my children and my sister’s children begin to think about their futures and what makes their hearts sing, I am reminded of the tight-rope walk between following a pragmatic road and one of passion regarding career choices.

At the tender age of eleven, I knew I wanted to be a writer.

At the crass age of fourteen, I knew where I wanted to go to college.

At the ripe old age of twenty-six, I (briefly) held a job that allowed me to practice all that I had learned in nine years of higher education.

And by thirty I became the writer I had always wanted to be.

As I list the chronology of my particular path, it doesn’t seem as if all that much time went by between knowing what I wanted to do and actually doing it. Perhaps that is the benefit of years gone by that time seems to shrink to a little list of events.

How we fill the gaps between the lines is what our lives are made of. Every step we take can place us in the direction of our higher vision.

If you don’t have a higher vision, how will you know where you are , where you are going or where you want to be? How can you ever be satisfied if you don’t know what makes you happy?

Taking a moment each day to ask yourself what your truest purpose is helps you align your actions with those goals. It puts a spring in your step as you know what you are doing and why.

Some days may be more productive than others, but every moment of your life is a part of the Greater Scheme of Things.

It is okay to ask questions along the way. You don’t need to know all the answers. But never stop questioning.

Cherish the time you spend at work — or however you spend most of your time. If you hate what you are doing, find another way.

There is always another way.

This is your life. You get to live it as you want to.¬† And that life, which began in your mother’s womb, never stops coming from within.

In fact everything on the outside started on the inside. If you are in concert with both, you will find peace. And love. And yes, perhaps most of all, satisfaction too.

Love Lives Here

“Do you see why I love this place?” I peered over my sunglasses to my sister. She took a sip of her drink, looked at the lake that shimmered in the mid-day light, then said,

“Oh yes, girl. I see.” She considered a moment, then continued.

“I see that love lives here.”

Happiness lives within. But what I have learned is that even when you try really hard, your external circumstances can override that space inside. Sometimes we have to change the  scenery to realign with that sacred place within ourselves.

And so it was with me. I ventured to a new place, a city that oozes love. It is rumored that the central train station in this town is filled with train tickets, ripped up in a state of passion by people who do not ever want to leave.

I believe it.

What I have found here is the most joyous centeredness I have ever felt in my entire life.

The place I am now says, “You were meant to be here. And I will prove to you every day that it is so.” It is an infectious sense of rightness. It is nothing other than love.

While I am a firm believer in making lemonade out of the lemons life offers, there are moments when packing up that lemonade stand and moving elsewhere is the most powerful choice.

Go to where your heart sings the loudest.

Find the place in your world that makes you smile eternally. You were meant to shine. And if you aren’t shining right now, you might need to find that place in the sun that sets you free.

It’s worth everything. This is your life.

What are you waiting for?

 

 

The Magic Kingdom

Magic lives everywhere. It hangs from the trees, it slides through the sand, it nestles between the rocks in the mountains. Magic breathes between the spaces of our lives. If we give it room, it will flourish.

Every one of us has the possibility of living in the Magic Kingdom. It is simply about opening up to it. I once told a friend that from now on I would lead a magical life, no matter who shows up in it. It was a decision I made, perhaps the best one in my entire life. Because magic has come in so many beautiful forms since that day.

The way we view the world has a deep impact on how we experience it. If we interpret people’s actions as well-intentioned and kind, they will begin to believe it too. The love you give begins to grow in the hearts of others that they then pass on in their lives. Magic expands as we honor its goodness, acknowledge that it is truly there. Magic, like people themselves, just wants to be seen.

And when you catch a glimpse of magic’s shimmering flame, you need do nothing at all for it will come to you. And then you will hold the key to that Kingdom.

I promise.

The Days of Silence

For the past few days I haven’t talked much. I can’t remember the last time I got to be this quiet. You see my kids are headed to the United States to visit their grandparents so I had most of the weekend to myself. I did office work, straightened my living space, got the mail. I slipped into a rhythm of silence that has been equally delicious and refreshing.

People pay big bucks to ‘go dark’ in their lives, entering a space of meditation at retreats or special digital device-free vacations.Today we actually have to go out of our way to quiet down.

How often do we enter the silence in our lives?

Silence is hard to come by. Even in the most pastoral settings, our modern-day world encroaches on our personal solitude through airplanes overhead or autobahns near by. It is rare to find a place in the developed world where there is no sound.

It’s everywhere.

Could you spend a morning not saying a word? Is it possible?

Slow silence nurtures the soul. You can start by turning off the radio, going offline and minimzing your verbal communication for even just an hour.

Try it. You might find that less is indeed more.