On purpose

“What is my purpose in life?” I asked the void. “What if I told you that you fulfilled it when you took an extra hour to talk to that kid about his life?” said the void. “Or when you paid for that young couple in the restaurant? Or when you saved the dog in traffic?…

Self-Reflection: Meaning and Purpose

“The meaning of life is to find your gift.The purpose of life is to give it away.” – William Shakespeare I read this quote earlier this week and it’s served as a reflection ever since. What is my gift? Am I giving it away? Have I found meaning? Am I fulfilling my purpose? Honestly, this was…

Doesn’t That Kind of Defeat the Purpose?

This was in front of me in the drive-thru last night. Yes, the woman got out of her car to pay for and collect her food. I know her windows were working because I saw her place her order (which took an unusually long time — should’ve been a red flag). So what the heck…

Naturally

“Pay attention to the things you are naturally drawn to. They are often connected to your path, passion, and purpose in life. Have the courage to follow them.” – Ruben Chavez I am naturally drawn to hearts… …art… …nature… …hearts and nature… …and words of wisdom and love. Don’t know what that says about my…

Highest compliment

Day 26 of the 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge: A compliment that’s stayed with you. Answer: My favorite compliment is when someone forwards a photo of a heart or unusual photo and they tell me that it reminded them of me or they thought it looked like something I would see. I share my photos in the hope…

Everything

Day 14 of the 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge: One thing you love about your body. Answer: My initial reaction to this prompt? I love my eyeballs because they are capable of rolling in my head. I know I’m not alone in this, but a healthy body image has never really been my strong suit. But then…

Monday Mantra

“Release yourself from the pressure of the perfectly-figured-out life and spend the day remembering what is good and true.” – Morgan Harper Nichols (I do believe that my dog is both good and true. Not the purpose of the quote, but worth tossing into the mix of things to remember today.)

Reframing the ‘what ifs’

What if I fail?What if I excel? What if I go and have a terrible time?What if I’ll have the time of my life? What if none of this is worth it?What if I can create my own purpose? What if they’ll hate me?What if they’ll be my new friends? What if I’ll never be…

Ah, yes…

“Being grateful doesn’t mean you have to love every part of your life. It’s okay to feel hurt when something doesn’t turn out the way you thought it to be, especially for things you have given so much of your heart. What gratefulness means is that no matter what happens or what you go through,…

Good enough

She’s not at peak bloom, but she’s strong in her purpose. And what a timely sighting she was. During my run early this morning, a pair of younger women were walking in my direction. I marveled at how put together they were — slim with coordinated, sweat-free clothes and stylish hair. Especially in the heat…

Random Acts of Kindness

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson, writer I spotted this snow angel in the park yesterday and, beyond how well it was made, it gave me a lot of food for thought. As I moved away from it, I wondered if…

Let’s Go.

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning, but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.” — Hal Borland , author It’s freezing outside and I’m happily hunkered down at home, creating my favorite annual post: the year in review. It’s always been amazing to me that even…

A Day in the Life. Sort of.

So that was close.  For three years now, I’ve completed a “day in the life” photo project, taking at least one photo each hour for an entire day (first project link here; second project link here). I recently realized that I haven’t done a “day in the life” since last year (here’s 2015). But I had one work trip left in…

Center for Advanced Gratitude

“Let go or be dragged.” – Zen Proverb Recently I read a column by Judy Woodruff that knocked me on my rear. It was called “I was my husband’s caregiver as he was dying of cancer. It was the best seven months of my life.” The title alone was a hook. Those were the best months…

29 Life Lessons…

…to learn from Thich Nhat Hanh: 1.) Never underestimate the power of a kind word, a touch, or a smile.  “The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” 2.) If you love someone, the greatest gift you can give them is your presence.  “The most precious…

This.

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” — Pablo Picasso   

Morning Affirmations & Stuff

This morning an email landed in my inbox from Spirituality & Health that included a wonderful list of “20 Morning Affirmations.” Here is a link to the full list, but below I pulled out a few examples, accompanied by some of my recent photos. – I greet the day with joy and gratitude. – I am so…

Outtakes…Without Deleted Scenes

Even for a Monday today was odd. And right out of the gate, too. During church this morning, I watched as a ladybug crawled up the back of the lovely yellow sweater of the gentleman in front of me. Starting at the waist, this little critter made its way up to the guy’s collar, and it was…

Lessons Learned

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde Today my grampa would’ve turned 130 years old. We’ve been without him for almost 25 years now. That’s so hard to believe. (That’s him holding me before my baptism.) He passed away when he was just shy…

Birthday Boy

Belated birthday dinner for my eldest. The big 23. A special occasion, smart phones were purposely moved to the center of the table/out of reach, while actual, focused conversations took place among three undistracted participants. It was nice. Of course, once the meal was consumed and after I was given the check, one by one,…

The Thing About Butterflies and Bees

Today was an unusual day. It seems that the monarch butterfly migration is currently making its way through our area. All day long, monarchs floated by my office window. Dozens upon dozens…sometimes as many as six in my window at once. It was amazing. I wanted so badly to get a photo of one, but…

Going, But Not Arriving

“When you practice walking meditation, you go for a stroll.  You have no purpose or direction in space or time.  The purpose of walking meditation is walking meditation itself.  Going is important, not arriving.  Walking meditation is not a means to an end; it is an end.  Each step is life; each step is peace…

The Small, Happy Life

Love, love this David Brooks column, “The Small, Happy Life.” (Link here.) Brooks asked readers to send in essays about their purpose in life and how they found it. This is what I assume is the first column about the responses he received. And it’s golden. I expected most contributors would follow the commencement-speech clichés…

To My Younger Self…

“Hi. I remember those cheeks. Be happy with natural curls and stand up for yourself. Relish every moment with Dad. Some people are cruel and dishonest for sport — but there are lots who are fighting a good fight and running a fair race. That is what deserves the attention and energy.” — Julia Roberts…

Half Full

Last night, I was able to go for a nice long walk with two lovely people who I work with while I was out of town for a meeting. Along the route, I noticed this “Half Full” message painted along the ground a number of times. I have no idea what it was about. Construction…