What Do You Contain?

“The beauty you see is also in you…
You only see what you contain”

Isn’t it one of the lovely circles of life that the beauty we take in, we hold, and it in turn allows us to see and experience more beauty in all things?  I am privileged to live in a most beautiful place and it has opened my heart to other beauty in my life.  The beauty of a group of 15 kids ranging in age from 5-12 working together and helping each other in our community garden in our Libray Kids in the Garden program.  One child has profound hearing loss and speech difficulty, yet was easily welcomed and included by all the others.  The youngest seems painfully shy, yet found his footing with the help of another child a couple of years older.  The two oldest, where there seems to be a marked difference in maturity, hung together at first, then realized the younger ones were struggling with the scavenger hunt and split up to help the younger ones.  All of this coöperation, with not one episode of unkindness or lack of enthusiasm, was truly a thing of beauty.  As the weeks go by and our tomatoes, carrots, broccoli and assorted other goodies begin to ripen and the kids get to know each other better I expect there will be more moments like this.  This day, which was glorious in every way, with warm sun and clear skies, came on the heels of gray day after gray day, punctuated only by rain and wind.  I felt deflated and filled with the kind of gloom that only a long Montana “sprinter” (spring on the calendar – winter outdoors) can induce.  Then suddenly sun, smiling excited faces, and my hands in the dirt to turn it all around in a quick two and a half hours.

This morning we are back to “sprinter” even though summer is only days away, it is wet and cool again.  But the beauty lingers in me and I see how green the grasses and trees are, washed clean overnight; and the wildflowers continue to burst forth with the long hours of daylight with or without the sun.

Continually watering the inner garden and filling oneself with every moment of beauty and tranquility grows inward radiance becoming one’s gift to the outer world as well as to oneself.  Add a full mix of care, compassion, hope, joy, wonder and beauty of all kinds.  The more one contains of the positive  the less room to hold anger, sadness, cynicism or indifference.  Taking care what is added to the container, mindful that all that one contains colors all that is seen and done; choose wisely.

Grabbing Joy

Sunday I planned to spend the day shopping, one of my less favorite activities.  But we had our first day of the year of temperatures in the 50’s and it seemed too fine a day to spend in a car or a big box store.  Instead I enjoyed my morning coffee watching the sunrise and the day warm as the birds made their presence known, sounding as joyous as I felt.  I was able to wander around the property looking to see what the melting snow had uncovered and feeling the soil soften under my feet.

Just before dusk as I was heading in I heard a rustle in the grass and turned to find the biggest flock of wild turkeys I had seen so far.  My best estimate, counting turkeys on the move being what it is, was at least sixty.  Although they are a less attractive bird from a distance, up close their feathers are iridescent and catch the sun as they scurry along.  Another sight I would have missed.

Seeking out moments of joy, even if it means a change of plans to soak up an unexpected opportunity can not only offer the immediate pleasure, but a happiness boost (now that is something they need to offer at Jamba Juice!), every time that I  recall the experience.  Just now thinking about turning around to see the flock come trooping out of the trees makes me smile.

Today I will turn my mindfulness to finding a sight or sound I can savor, even as I am shopping for the mundane.

Sunny Sunday

The sun is out, and it feels like spring.  There are two robins in the tree outside my window cavorting and celebrating as well.  What a glorious way to start the day!  I am incorporating mindfulness (paying attention to the here and now) with gratefulness into my thinking about every moment. I am using what the politicos refer to as spin to change my thinking.  Last night during a roaring wind storm, during which I tend to worry about all sorts of flying objects and damage, instead I turned my thoughts to how lucky I am in a warm safe home, with a cheery fire and a huge selection of books; gratefulness.

One of the risks of this somewhat Pollyanna-ish thinking is the loss of being taken seriously, always hugely important in the past.  But when I framed it in a new way, would I rather be taken seriously and be unhappy or would I rather be happy and let the chips fall where they may?  I chose happiness.

Today I will sing, loudly, all the way to Missoula, dance when I dry my hair and put my purchases away, and laugh just for any old reason or no reason at all.  Happy Sunday.

When the sun shines

I am so inspired this morning to work outside even though it is cold – I still find it amazing how much the sun has a direct effect on my mood and my energy. I sat on the porch step this morning just to watch and feel the sunrise, only later did I realize it was only 15 degrees…no wonder the cat did not want to join me. Our bodies are so in tune with the natural world, if only we pay attention. Mindfulness today and every day.