We’re here together, in the middle of the beginning of a pandemic story, with the future uncertain and, what if?
What if we…
invite simplicity back
find flow in life-giving rhythms and quiet moments,
remind our soul of connection’s promise and call an old friend
ask God for “help” now that our self-sufficiency isn’t enough
reclaim promises we’d intended to keep
oil our rusty joints with movement
declutter our mind and garage
reclaim our attention
linger over meals
ask for forgiveness
leave love notes on pillows
wonder at the gift of our beating heart.-Aaron McHugh
Here’s what I’m noticing, right now, our 1950’s-like analog life is illuminating realities about who we are, how we choose to live, what we value, our need for one another, and the stories we tell ourselves rudder our experience of this story. What we believe is easier to find again.
My brother witnessed what I imagine was panicked suburbanites at Bass Pro stockpiling guns and munitions for their stay-at-home last siege? Every kid ferried armfuls of rounds to the register as Dad locked and loaded. I’d be curious to hear their dinner table conversation their fearful narrative that’s driving their actions. There are also real stories of death of loved ones, job loss, and isolation. Here we are together.
A bright spot beyond the television and zoom calls is that our natural world is safe. If your city permits you to wander, leave your phone and venture out -heck yeah- even grab the dog and see, sense, smell what’s always awaited you out your front door. The treasures we might rediscover about our world, ourselves, and each other.
I’m a streaker. Not like Will Ferrell in Old School running through the campus quad-I’m running, yes, but with my clothes on and a mask. My app reads “108-day streak” of running 1 mile. Some days I run more, but at a minimum-snow or sunshine, I’m checking the green done box. I’m discovering the value of ritual, routine, and dailiness.
Our son Holden is streaking, 1825 days (and counting) of not drugging and drinking. His life-saving streak of “just for today” began with this seed of everydayness.
I called one of my mentors this week to check on him and his family “Staying safe and healthy?” As I expected, they schedule “Puzzle time, dog walks, and meals. When I was in prison, routines, and habits saved me. It gave me some sense of purpose and predictability.” Hope is easier to find when our routines and habits serve the story we want to be living into. Pick up meditation, go for a walk, ride your bike, pray, write, practice your piano scales or yoga, and do it every day. Start with a seed of today.
“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Seeds are stories brimming to unfold made possible by the first step- planting. Life is happening, friends, and we either believe Life happens to us, or we are consciously and intentionally co-creating our Life today by planting seeds. For a quick read on the magnification allegory of seed planting, pick up The Man Who Planted Trees.
Since January, here’s my daily meditation about fruit in an orchard, which starts with a seed.
“But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard-things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.” -Paul in his letter to the Galatians community
I want to become the ranch manager of an orchard of affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity able to marshal and direct my energies wisely. Somedays that story feels closer and more accessible than others. For today, I’m lacing up my New Balance and later will plant some new lettuce seeds in our outdoor garden for the summer BBQ season.
What seeds are already in you?
What’s true enough today-that you can believe-even if just for today?
Seed of gratitude: Write a hand written note to someone you are grateful for.
Seed of forgiveness: Say even if only to yourself, “I want to forgive (their name) for (……….)”
Seed of action: Find a post it note, small 3”x 3” size, write down one action step, to do, experiment that you will do, start today. (Has to fit on one side of the post it note).
I planted a seed ten years ago, it became my first published book. Don’t let the title throw you off, yes, it’s about work, and it’s about becoming wholehearted and how work-life balance is a myth. Discover sustainable rhythms instead. Fire Your Boss: Discover Work You Love Without Quitting Your Job. Pick up your copy wherever you buy books. My Work Life Play podcasts are released weekly.