Quote Tuesday

Walk along the Glacier

Walk along the Glacier (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

May the sun bring you new energy by day.
May the moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away your worries.
May the breeze blow new strength into your being.
May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty,
All the days of your life. ~Apache blessing

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Here’s To Making Magic And Mistakes in 2014

Fireworks

Fireworks (Photo credit: bayasaa)

It is a new year and there must be something that I want to say about it. In this post, I already disclosed that my word for 2014 is ‘courage,’ and believe me, there is much to say about that in future posts. A Facebook friend posted a quote about the New Year written by Neil Gaiman. Initially, I thought it perfect, but still I hesitated to use it in this post. Lest there be any misunderstanding, I love the quote. In fact, here it is:

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some find books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful. And don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or create or sing or live as only you can. And, I hope somewhere in the next year you surprise yourself.

As you can see for yourself, it is an inspiring and uplifting quote. I particularly like the first sentence, especially the reference to ‘good madness.’ Generally, one thinks of madness as a negative or undesirable state of being; such as, “That woman is mad,” which is a less offensive way of saying, “That woman has lost her f***ing mind!” When I think of the phrase ‘good madness,’ I think of one taking affirmative steps to let go, have fun, engage in raucous laughter, and to live fully and happily.

I suppose that I should add that in my mind, all New Year wishes and offerings are, in actuality, blessings pure and simple. When one blesses you, as the Oxford dictionary confirms, they may intend to invoke “a prayer asking for God’s favor or protection.” On the other hand, the word ‘blessing’ is also defined as “a beneficial thing for which one is grateful; something that brings well-being….” A sincere well-wisher is expressing in mere words, a gift of his or her’s desire that you experience the very best that life has to offer.

Anyway, I went to Neil Gaiman’s website curious to see what I would find. After wandering to and fro, I discovered a ‘blessing‘ that I identify with and offer to you for the New Year. It is:

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.” ~ Neil Gaiman

Much like the phrase “good madness,” “making mistakes” is a call to action. The opposite of action is inaction and although it ensures a lack of risk and, I suppose one can argue, a sense of security, it does not allow for growth or the opportunity to engage in our lives. Personally, I think that it offers a lifeless and boring existence, lacking happiness or excitement.

Life provides us a series of choices and decisions. Which path do I choose?  Which job do I take? Is this the man or woman of my dreams? Don’t search for certainty where there is none to be found. There is no certainty in any decision that we make. In fact, there is a 50/50 chance that the choice that you make is right, and an equal chance that it is a big, fat mistake. Such is life.

The answer is not to shield ourselves from our ‘mistakes’ by refusing to act. The very act of choosing is life affirming, and it is a fact of life that some of our choices will be mistakes. The thing is that mistakes are the stuff of life that, if responded to properly, offer opportunities for growth and inner wisdom. They offer life lessons that certainty will never offer. It takes courage to act in the face of uncertainty. Just do it and prepare for a rich and exciting New Year filled with abundant blessings. I’ll toast to that!

Blessings, Lydia

All will be well. ~St. Julian of Norwich

Making Peace With 2010

Peace, Victory, Two Fingers - from the origina...Image by \!/_PeacePlusOne via Flickr

As I woke this morning and looked out the window, the puddle of water on the top of our hot tub is evidence that it rained at some point during the night. The rain explains the nagging headache that has bothered me for days, since my migraines are largely attuned to barometric pressure changes. I can only pray that it is now at its peak.


Nevertheless, a migraine is not first and foremost on my mind. No, it is the end of 2010 that is a mere two days away, and I, along with many others in this country, around the world even, are in a race. A race to choose our intentions for the new year to come.  The choice is not taken lightly. Some agonize, and ruminate over the decision to the extent that an outsider looking in would swear that a life or death decision is surely being made.  In reality, what happens year after year is that we look upon this time as another opportunity to get it right; a way to ring out the old and ring in the new, but the fact remains that as Jon Kabat Zinn says “wherever you go, there you are.” A new year is a new beginning of sorts, but  in many instances, our life pre-2011, still haunts us.  How then do we reconcile with 2010 so as not to carry our old issues into the new year. 

Of course, there is no one answer to our dilemma. In perusing the web,  I found an article on the Huffington Post by Dr. Cara Baker. http://goo.gl/OHWwO. In the article, Resolving What Really Matters: 7 Practices For A Fresh New Year, Dr. Baker recognizes our quandary:
The truth is this: We simply do not know where we will be one year from now, much less tomorrow. This being the case, what do you want to make of today so that you feel great about yourself? I’m not talking about adding stress or taking on a mad-dash attitude! The last thing either of us needs is one more thing for the to-do list. No, I’m thinking more about what you’d like to drop from your life that would improve your sense of gratitude. For example, what “accounts” do you need to close in order to live freely? How could you do so simply? Dare I say it: how could you lower the bar to what’s been unrealistic? . . . . What if we were to revise our standards, giving ourselves more slack? 
She goes on to offer 7 practices  that allow us to make peace with 2010 and to go into the new year, and the new decade, with a sense of peace and purpose, as well as an idea of what may be important to us. They are listed below.
  1. Recall the gratitude you have for what others have given. 
  2. Recall the personal challenges that have helped you grow. Find compassion for the simple expressions of good that have come your way.  Tell those who’ve assisted your unfolding.
  3. Recall moments of beauty. Beauty comes out of chaos. (Share the memory with someone you love. Ask them theirs.
  4. Recall the new people, places and things you discovered that touched you most. ( Write a thank-you notes in three sentences or less, and send them.
  5. Recall the dreams that have continued to stir your heart, pressing your spirit to express them while you still can. Ask someone you love about their current dream, and share your own.
  6. Recall the unexpected moments of encouragement you’ve found in nature, in the stillness, or in a glance or look from another living creature that have reminded you that connection lives, and that life is richest when appreciating the simple things.
  7. Recall one favorite moment from this year that touched you deeply.  Thank whomever needs thanking. 
These practices apply as the year, and a decade, come to an end. There is no question that for many of us, 2010 has been a year of change, upheaval and turmoil. (When we factor in the preceding 10 years, it is mind boggling to think of the change, both good and not so good, that we have encountered!) It is little wonder that one would have the “don’t let the door hit you in the back” mentality towards this year. Dr. Baker offers us a way to view the positive aspects of the year, instead of focusing on the negative.  By doing so, we close out 2010 acknowledging its many challenges, but also making peace with it by remembering the joys and blessings that came our way.  I encourage you to read the article for yourself here http://goo.gl/OHWwO

Happy New Year, Happy New Century. 


Blessings, Peace & Joy  to you and your family, Lydia

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