When was the last time you felt successful? Perhaps it was graduation from college. High school? When you landed your first “real” job? Or got a promotion? Or a raise? Or perhaps that time you won the 100 meter hurdles at the state meet. Maybe when you published your book? When you finished the series and every book was a best seller? Maybe when you got the lead role in a play. Or in a movie. Or when you got a great advance or contract. Or perhaps when you heard your parent say, “I’m proud of you.” Or when you received public acknowledgement that you are a person of value to the company. Maybe it was when someone noticed you’d lost 30 pounds. Or cleared up your skin, or got some new clothes. Maybe the last time you felt successful was when when you got a gold star on an assignment in fifth grade, or scored a basket in a junior high pick-up game.
Or maybe you are still waiting for that successful feeling because success has seemingly eluded you so far. Maybe you think that success just isn’t in the cards. That feeling of success can be awfully slippery. It can show up at your door like the popular guy that everyone wants to date, make you feel like a princess for a week and then disappear in a cloud of exhaust when you don’t follow the script or when you stop paying attention to what matters to you. The quest toward “feeling successful” can leave you wondering where your life went when you were looking around the corner for something else. Continue reading “Success Comes Quietly”
The first real snowfall of a newly cold season is always a little shocking. Especially when it seems to come out of nowhere on the tails of an Alaskan typhoon. One day the ground is brown and dry, the sun is out and the corn is still waiting to be harvested…..and then next everything is blindingly white, the horizon is grey with snow-filled clouds and the memory of dry ground grows more distant with each glance out the window. Piles and drifts of snow now cover every inch of the ground, buildings, trees and roads.
This morning as it was still coming down, I went out into the garden and woods behind the house on snowshoes. It was eerily quiet, all sounds muted by the layer of new snow. Even though we live out-of-town, cars can still usually be heard going by on the busier roads, planes occasionally fly overhead and people are out and about. Not so today-it was silent, except for the thud from piles of snow that sometimes fell to the ground from the trees, or a bird calling from an unseen perch. The only sounds I could hear were from the earth herself, relishing in the respite from human frenzy, enjoying the deep stillness, if even for just a short while. The silence was eventually broken by a tow truck that slipped off the road and into the ditch, its lights flashing in the white expanse, but even the harsh sounds of metal clanging were overshadowed by the sense of calm.
Perhaps this sense of stillness and peace is the earth’s way of telling us to stop. To rest. To slow the constant push to move on to the next thing. There are so many who may never stop to take in what is actually happening in the world. To rest. To be with what is happening “right now” in their lives. I suppose that is their choice, and one that I have to accept. I’ve been that person, too, and will probably be again. Even on my best days, I’ve never been able to impact someone else’s free will. And sometimes I forget that I have my own to do with what I wish. That’s ok as long as I remember more than I forget. Those ‘other’ people? They are ok, too, and they can exist how they need to. So can I. I can choose to acknowledge the way of stillness and peace, even in the midst of those who do not. Even in the midst of my own inner typhoons when they start to swirl – every storm has an eye, after all, one that provides space to remember and grab onto that peace to ride out the next wave.
So I can embrace the stillness that lives inside and give thanks for it when it is visible outside. I can make peace with what is, what has been and what will be. And above all, as Rumi celebrates, I can Come out from the circle of time and into the circle of love. I can be shocked by what’s possible when I live that way.
Allow yourself to be shocked by what’s possible.
What does love mean to you?
Love tends to be a word of many meanings: The devotion of a parent to a child, romantic love between two adults, a child’s love for a pet, the love between friends, an individual’s love of nature, and love of the self. There are a myriad of ways that love shows up in the world. And in a world that has more than enough conflict and negativity, we might argue that the power of love has the ability to overshadow all else and has more impact than we realize when we skim the surface of what it can accomplish.
There have been studies that indicate being with a loved one or pet results in a drop in blood pressure (*State University of New York), and other reports have demonstrated that being in an intimate relationship can result in a longer lifespan (*National Institute of Medicine). We know that building self-confidence and accepting the present, even while working through difficult situations, can have profound impacts on our physical, mental and emotional health – sometimes far beyond what we might think possible. We might even go as far as saying that supporting someone else, no matter how far removed, as they work toward their best health and wellbeing is a way of expressing love: A love of possibility, infused with positive energy, a love for humanity and all of its intricacies, and love via a deep sense of knowing that any positive actions and words speak an ancient truth.
Eventually you will come to realize that love heals everything, and love is all there is. –Gary Zukav
So, a simple word – love – is a way shower to abundance and life: To possibilities, wellbeing, and contentment with all that is. Take the rest of this month to think about how love is showing up for you each day, and make a point to show it to everyone you encounter as you move through your own version of reality.
Come out from the circle of time and into the circle of love. — Rumi