To Love a Person…

IMG_1867To love a person is to learn the song that is in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten.

― Arne Garborg

Great Depths of Kindness

I’m always rambling on about kindness.  It’s, in my opinion, one of the paramount things we should strive for in our lives.  To be kinder to ourselves, to our fellows, to animals, to the natural world around us.  This quote, that came the other day in the Sierra Club’s Daily Ray of Hope, fits that philosophy and thus has been added to the inspirations page on this blog.  Be kind.

1534876_10152212584160802_2075198641_oMake your heart like a lake with a calm, still surface, and great depths of kindness. ~ Lao Tzu

Our Deepest Fear

I play fantasy football, and fantasy basketball, and fantasy baseball.  I’ve played fantasy football for some time now.  First with a group from work (we still play, which is awesome), then with the POD (we still play, which is awesome), and now with the CREW (which is also equally awesome).  Fantasy basketball started last year with the CREW and was so much fun we’re doing it again this year.  I see it as becoming a yearly thing, something we all look forward to.  Baseball?  We did it this season.  It wasn’t as much fun, but I think with some tweaks by the commish (that’s me), we might make it slightly more fun next year.  At least we’ll give it a try.

The point of writing about all this fantasy sports play is really not to write about all this fantasy sports play.  What I wanted to write about was inspiration, power, and being yourself, in all your glory.

I started out  this morning by looking for inspiring videos to post on the league page of our ramping up fantasy basketball league.  I’m the commish of that league and like to throw out notes and inspiring videos every once in a while to add a bit of spice to it.  It’s fun.  So I was looking for videos and came across one I’d seen before, and one I probably posted last year during the basketball season.  It’s a clip from the movie Coach Carter and is, I think, one of the most inspirational scenes of its kind in film.  The poem, abridged, spoken in this clip, is by Marianne Williamson and is called Our Deepest Fear.  I thought these beautiful words were a lovely reminder about what is true for all of us — be all you can be, be all that you are, don’t be afraid — live, and inspire.

Our Deepest Fear
By Marianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

Put One Foot In Front Of The Other

When I was growing up I watched, like many of us, the holiday film “Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town”. I was five the first time it aired. It’s amazing how something so simple as a young kid watching a fun holiday movie can stick with a person all these years later, and yet it has.

For some reason, unknown to me actually, whenever I’m facing some difficult time in my life, and there have been a few of those, I hear the words of the song “Put One Foot In Front Of The Other” in my head. It pops in there, all on it’s own. Most specifically the chorus, “put one foot in front of the other, and soon you’ll be walkin’ cross the flo-o-or, put one foot in front of the other, and soon you’ll be walkin’ out the door”. It’s meant to be a song about trying and making a change. For me it is those things, but it’s also a song about moving forward, one step at a time. It says to me that as long as you keep taking one step and then another you will move through whatever it is that’s hard into somewhere new and beautiful. It’s a song about fortitude and perseverance, it’s about looking forward instead of backward. To me it’s a song of hope.

Putting one foot in front of the other gives me comfort and reminds me, in the larger scheme of things, that though life can be hard, inconvenient, scary, and awfully painful sometimes, it can also be magical and beautiful and full of wonder and love.

Today I thought I’d share the little song that’s had such an impact on my life because I love it, but also because maybe there’s a person out there who will feel the message, get inspired, get up, and put one foot in front of the other. It works for me.

Words Written

The forests are the flags of nature. They appeal to all and awaken inspiring universal feelings. Enter the forest and the boundaries of nations are forgotten. It may be that some time an immortal pine will be the flag of a united peaceful world.

~ Enos A. Mills

New Inspiration

A couple of quotes recently added to my inspirations page.  I used to have one up in my room when I was in college, and the other, later, up in my office.

 

In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.

― Albert Camus

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Quote of the Day

You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.

– Frederick Buechner

Playing For Change

Liz, fellow angle and rock star human being, shared this with a few of us today at the office. This is one of the coolest, most inspiring, videos I’ve seen. Ever. If this doesn’t make you feel good about being alive, living on this planet, and getting to share the human experience every day, I don’t know what will. Take a listen and then head to the Playing For Change website to check out other videos and support this fantastic movement/cause.

Today, Nina Says It Best

The Lyrics pretty much sum up my elation today. It is, definitely, a new dawn, a new day, and I’m feelin’ good!

Birds flying high you know how I feel
Sun in the sky you know how I feel
Reeds driftin’ on by you know how I feel

(refrain:)
Its a new dawn
Its a new day
Its a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good

Fish in the sea you know how I feel
River running free you know how I feel
Blossom in the tree you know how I feel

(refrain)
Its a new dawn
Its a new day
Its a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good

Dragonfly out in the sun you know what I mean, dont you know
Butterflies all havin fun you know what I mean
Sleep in peace when day is done
That’s what I mean

And this old world is a new world
And a bold world
For me

Stars when you shine you know how I feel
Scent of the pine you know how I feel
Oh freedom is mine
And I know how I feel

(refrain)
Its a new dawn
Its a new day
Its a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good

Be In It

 

awakening.jpg

This last weekend, while Karen and I were driving over to the beach, we listened to the new Melissa Etheridge CD, The Awakening. In one word… inspiring.

We drove along, listening, and after each song we talked about it… the message, the depth, the musicality, her voice. I was inspired. This is a woman who has something to say, who knows who she is, and who gets what life is really about.

I started thinking about what that means… getting life. To me I guess it means seeing in. I picture it as either skipping rocks on the pond, or stepping into it and exploring. You’re either in it, or you’re looking. You either jump in gleefully with both feet, not always knowing what’s in there, but you do it anyway… or you stand on the shore, looking out… wondering and afraid. Believe me, stepping in isn’t always easy… but when you do, when you are afraid but go in anyway, you conquer fear.

As for me, I ‘d rather be in it. I’d rather be splashing around, sometimes making a mess, than not. Life is what we make it. What an enormous power, a tremendous responsibility, and how beautiful.

My answer to all of this, what it all means to me, is this… love deeply, speak your personal truth, look up at the moving clouds, hug the people you care for as often as possible, live honestly, listen to all types of music, walk barefoot outside in the rain, tell the people you love that you love them every chance you get, taste new foods, notice the light and the changing of the day, appreciate what you have, do things that scare you, see as much of the world as you can, talk to strangers, look people in the eye and smile when you do it, read a variety of books, don’t take yourself too seriously, laugh all the time, work in the dirt with your hands, don’t be afraid to cry, do things that are silly, make art, close your eyes and feel the sun on you, breathe deeply, dance, and see… see into life. Dip your toe, or better yet… dive. Be in it.

Legson Kayira

Families have many stories. One of ours involves a man named Legson Kayira. Giving Legson a home during the 60’s is something my family is proud of, and should be. They took him in, which was probably not really as easy as they let on, and then proceeded to make a life long connection with him. In fact, during my mom’s wedding last summer one of the events we have pictures of was a phone call to London, where Legson and his wife have lived for several years. In the photos my mom and all of her siblings who were present are lined up along the side of the house talking on the phone, or waiting to talk on the phone, to Legson.

Today I was looking around for info on Legson Kayira because, I think, I’m facinated by the story of a man who would walk across Africa to get an American education, and I’m proud of the part my family played in his journey. Legson later wrote a book called “I Will Try” about his experience and has written others since. My grandparents had a copy of that book and I remember as a young child being told the story of Legson’s journey and how he stayed with my family (grandparents, mom, and her siblings) after arriving in the states, during the time he attended Skagit Valley College. At the time several articles were written about his journey and experience and during my search I happened to find the article from Time Magazine called Destination: Skagit Valley. Amazing what can be found online.   My favorite part of this particular article, of course, is the quote by my grandmother. It’s classic Martha. As for our family’s part of the story, it’s classic for them. They took in a man who valued education because they could appreciate that aim, and because they felt they had something to offer him, which, for my part, I can testify to. It’s an amazing family, who has, throughout the years, touched many lives in such a postive and great way. They’ve left, and are still leaving, an incredible legacy, of which Legson Kayira is a small, yet amazing part.