“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.”
—Margaret Fuller, 19th Century American journalist and editor
Image from Unsplash by Kaizen Nguyễn
My grandson Weston loves lemonade. He loves it so much that he prefers it to eating if given the choice. One minute a full glass is in front of him and the next it is empty and he asks for more.
Another wonderful thing about Weston is his thirst for knowledge. His candle is always ablaze with interest in learning about his world and showing others what he can do.
How about you and others in your personal and professional communities? Where do you have the greatest thirst for knowledge and the interest in lighting the candles of others?
Who are the open-minded and always ready students in your world? How can you be their teacher, mentor, or coach supporting the next steps in their development? How ready are you as a student, and who are the wise ones in your world that help you light your way?
“Joy is the emotional expression of the courageous yes to one’s own true being.”
—Paul Tillich, 20th Century German-American existentialist philosopher
Image from Unsplash by Zachary Nelson
How often do you jump for joy? When was the last time you experienced this feeling, lifting you to new heights of self-expression?
One way to explore this topic and perhaps make a few more leaps in the years ahead is to examine all the roles you play in life. How you spend your time and who you spend it with will offer clues to where and when you give yourself permission to shout yes to your own true being.
Who are the happiest and most joyful people you know? What is it about them that attracts you and others to them? How might you use their example to be more joyful yourself? If your list is a bit short, look to the children in your life for some coaching.
Take pleasure in what’s already here.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Lala Azizli
For many people, pleasure seeking is almost a full-time job. They seem always on the hunt for the next great experience to place a check mark on their bucket list. Life, however (for most of us) is what happens between those peak experiences, and can seem routine and boring.
Years ago, there was an TV ad campaign for Van Camp’s pork and beans with the catchy jingle, “Simple pleasures are the best.” Although pork and beans may not be your thing, we can all recognize that simple pleasures are also the most abundant if we heighten our awareness and appreciation of them.
Turn on your pleasure-seeking radar to see what’s already here. Keep a log or list to capture the things you easily recognize and perhaps a good number of those you often overlook. Consider placing all of your senses on high alert to expand your list even further.
“Worry compounds the futility of being trapped on a dead-end street. Thinking opens up new avenues.”
—Cullen Hightower, American quip writer
Image from Unsplash by Yellow I’m Nik
Over the past several weeks I’ve become increasingly aware and sensitive to the worries, complaints, and repeating gossip in the people around me. I am sure I must participate at some level, but I can’t stop wishing others would cease and desist with these ever-looping, dead-end conversations.
I wish I had a magic wand to shift other’s perspectives to open up new avenues to more empowering and productive paths in their discussions.
What are some of your best approaches when you and others in your communities are trapped on the dead-end streets of worry? What can you do to open yourself and others up to new avenues of thinking?
“I think you should always bear in mind that entropy is not on your side.”
—Elon Musk, entrepreneur, investor, and business magnate
Image from Unsplash by Ravi Patel
I’ve recently noticed more and more people in my communities simplifying their lives as they age. Entropy causes both people and things to fall apart, and it takes considerable energy and effort to keep things in working order. With this in mind and with the hands of time always turning, we get to choose where to focus our energies to keep our most essential life elements going and slow entropy’s inevitable victory.
What essential infrastructure projects in your life are getting the most attention and energy? Where do the issues of health and quality relationship stand on your list of priorities? What other areas are most important to maintain in good working order for as long as possible?
“Divine seeds are scattered throughout our mortal bodies.”
—Seneca, ancient Roman Stoic philosopher
Image from Unsplash by Annie Spratt
I’m sad to say that over the past few years, I’ve attended more funerals than at any other time in my life. Beyond the sadness and grief I’ve felt, I’ve come to more fully appreciate the celebratory stories often told by friends and family. Learning about these individual’s lives and discovering their gifts, talents, and contributions to the world is heartwarming and inspiring.
How often do we truly see and appreciate the divine seeds in one another? Why does it often take someone’s passing for us to discover their best qualities and gifts?
How can you seek out, more fully appreciate, and acknowledge the divine seeds in others today? How can you look beyond all the mortal and imperfect aspects of one another to see and celebrate their soulful virtues and wisdom?
Being grateful doesn’t have to be some grandiose thing. Examine little pleasures and let them land in your awareness.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Timo Volz
Take a deeper plunge into your senses today. Note what you are seeing, feeling, hearing, tasting, and smelling.
In just the past few hours I…
- Saw sunlight reflecting off a lake
- Felt my soft pillow and cool sheets against my skin
- Heard the sound of falling rain
- Tasted my favorite oatmeal on-the-run breakfast
- Smelled fresh coffee brewing
What are some of the little pleasures you experience throughout your day? How can you be even more present and grateful for the blessings we often overlook?
“Joy is the most enduring cosmetic.”
—Chip Conley, American hospitality entrepreneur, author, and speaker
Image from Unsplash by Ian E.
I am a people watcher. How about you? Although I usually look at the whole person, recently I’ve paid far more attention to people’s faces. Beyond features of good bone structure and symmetry, I pay particular attention to their eyes. Perhaps it’s the two years of mask wearing that has us pay closer attention to these windows on how people are feeling to check in with each other.
Who are the most joyful people in your life? How can you increase your engagement with them to get a bit more of this enduring cosmetic on yourself? A good place to start is with young children.