think of a flower

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Being
Unknown

Think of a flower,
growing in the ground.
Think of the roots that anchor it,
that bring up nourishment.
Think of how it grows
without a thought of serving others.
It does not worry of tomorrow.
It does not think of yesterday.

It does not compare itself
to the other flowers,
to the grass,
to the sunshine, or
to the animals that share its earth.
It simply grows
with great dignity and power,
in its own way, at its own pace.

It blossoms for itself,
and yet the beauty that it brings
contributes to the great beauty of the whole planet.
It can be enjoyed by many
or seen by none,
and this does not diminish its beauty,
or its power,
or its strength.

And when it finishes its cycle,
it dries and withers.
Still there is no fear.
There is no worry.
There is no regret.
And in no time,
it begins the upward progress again
to a new blossom.

This week I received this beautiful poem from my new friend, Maria Gonzalez, best-selling author of Mindful Leadership, who recently joined me and my colleagues for the 2nd Annual Mindfulness@IBM Summit on 4/26.  She saw it on the wall of a Hospice facility, next to the Roof Top Garden. It is a beautiful invitation to awareness, awakening, surrender and openness. Among the words, may you find a beautiful seed to flower your day.

If you know the author of this beautiful piece, please let me know!

 

Learn more about Mindfulness@IBM.

* I took this photo on the roadside of a morning run near the J&J Ranch in  Rothbury, Michigan.

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with newfound freedom

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Outside the Swim Lane

We dive in
to the cool blue water,
exhilarated —
we are on the team.

We swim,
lap after lap,
within the swim lanes,
marked with plastic rope.

As we are racing to win,
one day we glimpse something
on the other side of our rope.

We continue peaking,
over there,
past the lane barriers.

And, we see new possibility,
beyond the markers,
that keep us in line.

Our muscles strong
from endless swimming,
together we carry the rope away.

And now we explore,
with newfound freedom,
whatever little delights
and giant miracles await.

This poem came to me after a conversation with a dear colleague. Together we’ve cycled through incredibly delicious opportunities related coaching and mindfulness, and yesterday we sat in curiosity about what the next cycle might be…

I can’t decide how to title this poem I birthed today…what do you think? “With newfound freedom” or “Beyond the swim lane” or something even more delectable?

 

* I took this photo at Playa Los Locos, Suances, Cantabria, Spain.

Another step forward

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Another step forward

I feel it this morning
A magnetic pull
Toward the light
The universe turning me
Ever so gently
So the sun shines
Fully on me
Radiating energy
Awakening my joy
And inviting me:
Take another step forward

The first iteration of this poem came to me last week. It’s still rough – only on the 3rd iteration. Yet, I am inspired to share it with you today.

In my quiet time this morning, I feel the power of nature, of light. From a place of stillness, I feel this pull that shapes me. I see how this unseen energy can shape my mindset and lift me above any challenges I face.

May you feel the light and the call of nature to awaken to what’s possible today.

 

* I took this photo in San Agustinillo, Mexico.

the world that awaits you

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Last week I shared a poem I wrote about a new beginning. Here is another poem about new beginnings written by John O’Donohue, which I treasure – not only for the beautiful message that resonates deeply within me, but also for the lovely way that it came to me. After finishing an 8-week Mindfulness by Design virtual series with my colleagues Katiuscia Berretta and Annahita Varahrami, and as we were embarking on the new year of 2018, Kat sent this gift to me.

I believe in beginning again, over and over. I see fresh starts in moments throughout the day, each new day awakening, the perspective that a trip can bring, a new  opportunity to make a difference, meeting a new found friend, in flower buds opening to the sun…

I am inspired by the invitation of courage and energy and openness that comes to me through this poem.

For a New Beginning
By John O’Donohue

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

 

* I took this photo of a peony growing in my backyard. You can see this same flower in full beautiful bloom. 

a new beginning

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A New Beginning

You stand at a point of departure –
a place from which to powerfully transform.

Choice offers itself to you.
Stay here?
Or, courageously step
in the direction of dreams?

What will be lost?
What will be gained?

From a still place within
intentions move to the surface.

Reflection invites clarity –
insight shapes inspired action.

You step into a new beginning.

Honestly, I don’t recall when I wrote this poem. I have had many new beginnings, big and ever so small. I see the opportunity to start anew every day, even multiple times on a given day. Each time I notice a negative thought and choose another narrative to carry with me, I open to something new.

These small every day beginnings come from years of making time to be still. Every day. Time to simply be with myself. Sometimes I do a little exploring – reading and journaling about what’s important to me and how I want to move through the world, for example. This time of reflection invites clarity – sometimes profound (for me, anyway ;]) and sometimes so simple. And from this grounded place of insight, I am able to be intentional about my path forward, to make choices that support inspired action.

 

* I took this photo at sunrise in San Agustinillo, Mexico.

with grace and gratitude

italyfinland15 863.JPGWith grace and gratitude

This moment

contains

all of life’s

little gifts.

Ah,

to receive them

with grace

and gratitude.

This is the final of four poems that came to me in a flurry at the start of March. I have found gratitude to be so grounding, and to bring me the grace to move through life more at ease. (I spent several years diving deep into gratitude in This Abundantly Delicious Life.) It is dedicated to my dear Aunt Mary who is an inspiring role model of living life this way.

An author who opens my mind and inspires grace and gratitude is Naomi Remen – I love her books, Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather’s Blessings, both of which I have read multiple times. They include touching stories with important take-aways. Try reading one to start your day over a period of time and let me know how it changes you.

Other related posts:

 

* I took this photo on the Isle of Capri, Italy.

choice awakens

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Choice awakens

Choice

awakens

in every

moment

as an invitation

we can accept

over

and over

again.

This poem was most certainly inspired by how I spent the month of February, taking the Real Happiness Challenge with Sharon Salzburg. Now I’m reading through her book, Real Happiness, to reinforce my discoveries. One of the most helpful insights is how we are at choice in each moment and how, because we are human, we get to keep choosing over and over again.

Other related posts:

 

* I took this photo in San Agustinillo, Mexico with the zoom on my little Canon powershot.

the power and magic

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The Power and Magic

Do you ever

just pause

and feel

the power

of your heart

beating

and experience

the magic

of being

alive?

Last week I wrote about how poetry has been flowing through me lately. This is another of the short unpublished pieces that came together in my morning quiet time. This piece was inspired not only by Mark Nepo but also Ruth Fishel’s time for joy daily affirmations.

So, do you?

 

* I took this photo in San Agustinillo, Mexico. What good fortune to catch this beauty in a magical moment of stillness!

back to now

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Back to Now

Repeating

like a heartbeat

the opportunity

opens

to bring

our attention

back

to now.

I’ve had a little burst of creativity lately, stimulated by quiet morning reflection time. This poem and several other short ones moved right through me. That’s how it seems to go. Periods where nothing comes, and periods where I’m like an open channel where words come flooding through. The opening typically arrives after reading something inspiring and sitting in stillness. One of the books that inspires me is Mark Nepo’s The Book of Awakening, a New York Times Bestseller.

You’ll find more image quotes at Where Possibility Awaits. I post a new one each Monday morning.

 

* I took this photo of the sky from the deck in our backyard in Iowa.

The Simple Everyday

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The Simple Everyday

I Wake
And I See,
Hear, Feel,
Listen, Speak.

I Look
for Peace,
Wonder, Joy.

I Create
Connection,
Sparks, Pauses.

I Find
Contentment
And Meaning
in The Simple
Everyday.

This poem is like a little prayer of intention for me. It helps me open to possibility as each new day unfolds.

* I took this photo in Porto, Portugal.