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I’ve got joy on my mind.  Perhaps it’s because I’m finding less time to visit with it.

While I figure out how to invite it in more often, I’m noticing how we find comfort in so much other than joy, like bonding over hurt and annoyances and complaints.  In figuring out what where my attention should go, I realize I want to connect less on there being too much work or feeling really tired or things are just seeming ridiculously hard.  And though all of that may be the truth, there is an equally true opposite point of view.

So the question becomes, which frame of reference will you claim?

I do my best to look towards the light, both in reality and metaphorically, and though I’m often guilty of it, I’d rather not succumb to the tendency to be that girl who bonds over her wounds.

Today is the most beautiful, sunny autumn day, the kind that still holds onto the sweet promises of summer.  I’m sitting outside, listening to other people’s conversations.  I’d rather not talk about how the sun can burn or how blindingly bright it is or how photos come out more interesting when it’s cloudy.

I’d rather stand in the sun and marvel at how warm it is, how it lights my life, how it fills my soul. How its vivid light may block the view of what’s in front of me, but forces me to see in ways beyond my eyesight. How good it feels to bask in the happy beauty of its yellow light.

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I’d rather talk about how the sun equals joy.

I’d rather tell you about the band playing in the park as I write this, how the singer’s voice is deeply soulful—singing in that way that makes you feel deep
down in your soul—how it is the perfect soundtrack for this unusually warm day, how it feels like the epitome of joy.

This is what I would tell you today.  And just the acknowledgement of that fills me with joy.

xo, with goodness and grace.

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You think life is funny sometimes.

For over a year, you’ve seen what you’ve called signs of love—hearts and words and things representing love.  You see them everywhere.  Sometimes you think of them as little gifts, beacons of hope when you need an emotional boost and validation when you are feeling joyful.  Other times you think you’ve gone slightly mad, giving such meaning to these silly hearts and those simple words, when maybe they don’t really mean anything at all.

One weekend you walk down the street on an overcast day, head foggy from fatigue and a combination of too few hours and too deep a sleep the past evening.  You’d been home all day because you thought you needed to decompress, to rest, but something in you needed to walk on this beautiful, breezy, almost-autumn day.

Because you are in a part of town you almost never visit, you don’t really know where to sit.  You pass by the bench close to the lady who looks like she could be chatty, then past the one next to the man sleeping.  Another bench looks like it’s in the perfect spot, but then you see a left behind pair of fancy flip flops, so you keep moving.

Finally, you choose a bench because it feels right, because you are in front of the river with two bridges on either side of you, because there you can drop into the pocket of stillness for which you came searching.

You settle in and take a deep breath, letting the stillness embrace you.  You absentmindedly look around, feeling everything but not really seeing anything. Then, something catches your eye.  It is a vibrant green, your favorite color.  It takes a moment for you to realize what it is, what it says.  And when you recognize it, finally, you are filled with awe.  And you are so moved, you begin to giggle.

Because, in the way life is unexplainable and mysterious and perfect, you were meant to sit on that very bench. Something was trying to make its way to you.

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May love find you this week.

xo, with goodness and grace.

New York City is poetry to me, for so many reasons.  In the midst of the constant whir of activity, random signs are found, if you pay attention.  Some people call them graffiti or street art, but I call them signs, including signs of love….

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…and signs of magic.

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Every now and then, you can also see inspired bits of poetry.  And like many poems I’m still thinking about what this one means.  But I instinctively felt the sentiment of this was so beautiful, I actually gasped.

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I am the beat of a thousand purple butterflies.  

If you pay attention, poetry may unfold right in front of you.

xo, with goodness and grace.

My favorite Sunday mornings are lazy affairs:  sleeping in, having a cup of coffee in bed after making an elaborate breakfast, and watching my favorite TV shows. This morning, I was watching Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday where she interviewed Paulo Coehlo, author of The Alchemist.  (It’s a book I’ve oddly never read, but immediately bought after seeing this interview.)  Almost halfway through, he said something that resonated with me in the deepest part of my soul:

God is only going to ask you one question…did you love enough?

These words made me close my eyes and breathe deeply.  I see signs of love everywhere, but I don’t always let it in.  Sometimes I miss it—eye contact not held, a deeply personal thought cut off by another idea of my own, attention not paid when it mattered most.  But in reality, I want to feel it, experience it and be it.

These words have been written on my heart.  My intention for the week is to live through the lens of love.

xo, with goodness and grace.

 

I love a hill.

If I’m walking in the park and I see a hill, I immediately feel the need to climb it. No, not climb—conquer it. The steeper, the better. As I widen my stride so my legs can take me higher, I feel accomplishment in simply making my way to the top. And once I get to the peak I think, Yeah, I did that.

I don’t always feel the same about life’s hills, metaphorically speaking.

No way around it, this week brought me to my knees. Clearly the universe was trying to tell me something….I just don’t know what it is. Everything—work, people, difficulties—was relentless and hard and felt never ending. Thank goodness for holiday weekends to offer a break.

An escape was necessary, if only for a day, so I dragged myself out of bed at the crack of dawn and got on a train. Destination? My happy place—the beach.

When I arrived I made my way far from the entrance so I would have some peace. Sometimes silence is the only cure. Just me and the seagulls and the salty air, this is what was needed to be the salve to my frayed emotions.

I stood near the shoreline and watched the waves roll in and make their way out. As I moved further into the water, I began to feel giddy at the ebb and flow of the tide. It crashed into me and retracted, playing with me like a master throwing a ball to his dog again and again. I began to laugh. Dare I say, happiness arrived.

One wave at a time, I was restored to center. The beach gave me back to myself, fortified with sanity and strength.

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Tomorrow there will be more hills to climb. This time I will be ready to face them.

xo, with goodness and grace.

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