Let the fire burn
Let the flames devour the debris
Let the heat enable seeds to open
Let the ash make fertile soil for growth
This little poem was inspired by a story I read about sequoia trees, the oldest known trees, probably 3500 years old. I read that a key to their longevity is fire because it clears the space so the existing trees can thrive, and its heat opens and releases seeds for the next generation to grow.
I thought about how this kind of transformation happens in the workplace. When those with years of experience move on, space is created for their own and young professionals’ growth.
* I took this photo of a fire burning in our backyard fire pit in the spring.
I feel at peace when I remember:
- Everything is already OK.
- I have all that I need to take the next step.
- I don’t have to know.
- Each breath invites the opportunity to be alive, awake, aware.
- All I really have is this moment.
- I make a difference by choosing the thoughts I acknowledge and live into.
This is an excerpt from my journal. These little conversations with myself are like poetry to me. They arise from someplace wise deep inside of me – sometimes it seems someone else is actually doing the talking. They inspire me and keep me pointed in the direction I want to go.
What do you remember to support you in creating what you want in your life?
* I took this photo of these orange double daylilies growing in my backyard during the afternoon light.
I’ve had a fascination with ‘possibility’ for more than a decade now. And, I love quotes – mainly because they inspire possibility in me. 🙂 I thought it would be fun to gather a collection of ‘possibility quotes’ and put them together into a sort-of poem. (Scroll to the very bottom of this post for the names of those credited with each of the quotes.)
“When nothing is certain, everything is possible.”
“Our thoughts and imaginations are the only real limits to our possibilities.”
“Only those who can see the invisible can do the impossible.”
“The only limits to the possibilities in your life tomorrow are the buts you use today.”
“Many are living far below their possibilities because they are continually handing over their individualities to others. Dow you want to be a power in the world? Then be yourself.”
“The vast possibilities of our great future will become realities only if we make ourselves responsible for the future.”
“We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.”
“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: You haven’t.”
“Every day holds the possibility of a miracle.”
* I took this photo at my friend’s cabin on Lake Koronis at sunset.
Quote Credits: 1. Unknown 2. Orison Swett Marden 3. Jeffrey Fry 4. Les Brown 5. Ralph Waldo Trine 6. Gifford Pinchot 7. Thich Nhat Hanh 8. Thomas Edison 9. Elizabeth David
Each moment a precious space.
Never like the one before,
or any that will come.
With a breath it arrives,
and moves on.
We hardly notice its beauty.
The miracle of it awaits our attention.
How many moments are there? Is a moment a second, or something even smaller, or bigger? Is a moment a breath, both the in and out breath, or each a separate moment? Is a moment a feeling? an experience? a memory?
However defined, how many ‘moments’ do you notice in a day? How many spaces -however larger or small – do you create in your day to simply notice, to awaken?
There are a million little miracles awaiting you this day.
* I took this photo of honeysuckle in my backyard on a sunny morning.
She let go
By Reverend Safire Rose
She let go.
Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of fear. She let go of the judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely,
without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a
book on how to let go… She didn’t search the scriptures.
She just let go.
She let go of all of the memories that held her back.
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go.
She didn’t journal about it.
She didn’t write the projected date in her day-timer.
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.
She just let go.
She didn’t analyse whether she should let go.
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.
She didn’t call the prayer line.
She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.
No one was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort. There was no struggle.
It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A small smile came over her face.
A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.
I first experienced this poem when it was read out loud as part of the University of Iowa Holden Cancer Center Yoga practice I’ve been attending regularly since my breast cancer diagnosis almost 7 years ago. All of the instructors – Lisa, Teresa, Jessica, Helaina, and Abbey – are amazing and special people and they create a special sanctuary filled with healing energy.
The first class I attended in September 2011 was led by Abbey and I remember how gentle she was with us, how she the practice fed my soul, how I left feeling light and hopeful and alive. I’m unsure now how long ago it was that Abbey read this poem to us – it speaks to me frequently and I try to take it as sage advice when I feel afraid or angry or attached.
What helps you let go?
* I took this photo in Santa Clarita, CA when on a walk with my family.
A deluge of joy
That’s it. My 4-word poem. 🙂
This phrase has come to me again and again over the past week or more. The first time on a run, where so many feelings and ideas sprout. It was the morning after an overnight storm – a ‘gullywasher” or “trashmover” as some might say. And that’s how it feels, like I’m being washed over with joy and residue moved away, leaving me clean and fresh.
Have you ever experienced so much joy that you can hardly fathom it?
* I took this photo somewhere in County Clare, Ireland.
Awaken, my dreamer self.
Share what you see.
Open your heart’s desires.
Lay them out before us.
Let us touch and feel them.
Explore the possibility in them.
Breathe light and life into them.
I wrote this poem back in September 2015. I found it earlier this year when thumbing through one of my journals. It has been speaking to me ever since. It seems it’s time to open my heart and breathe into my dreams.
Ah, yes, and just how to do that? Perhaps by engaging in a little stillness. I sit with excited anticipation, ready to play with possibility and discover what appears before me.
* I took this photo of a Red Admiral butterfly as it entertained me and my husband one Saturday night on our deck.
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.
Outside the Swim Lane
We dive in
to the cool blue water,
we are on the team.
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,
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
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
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.