In 5 days I’ll be running the Los Angeles Marathon as part of Beit T’Shuvah’s Marathon team We’ve been training since November and all of us are excited to tackle the streets of LA. My hip is a little sore after running 8.5 miles on Sunday but I should be fine by Sunday. To all of those who have contributed to my crowdrise page thanks and to those who still want to contribute
Nature has its many mysteries. When we look deeply there is always a gift. Not only does nature nurture us, it reminds us of the cyclical nature of life. It also reminds us how unpredictable life can be.
After a flurry of fresh snow, we have a sense of awe and transcendence as the sun melts the snow that is clinging to the trees. We feel a lightness of being as we look around and breathe in the fresh air. But it’s not always that way. Many of us have been in the midst of a violent storm that we thought would never end. Because we have been through many storms before, we have learned a fundamental truth. No matter how dark it seems, we know that the light of spring is coming. However with many of the personal challenges that we face in our lives we forget this lesson. At times these challenges overwhelm us, and that is all we see.
Spring, with its sense of optimism and hope, is a time of new beginnings. We ready ourselves for the spring ritual of planting our gardens. Although we don’t totally understand the process, we know for certain there’s an intelligence in nature’s way of doing things. But we need to do our part.
We prepare the soil for planting by first pulling out the weeds, which are the limiting beliefs that clutter our minds. Then we turn the soil and mix in compost and fertilizer before spreading the seeds, which are possibilities in the gardens of our subconscious mind. We don’t know how many of these seeds, or which ones, will emerge from the darkness to the light. But we have faith that if we tend to our garden, some seeds will grow.
We also know from our work together that our intentions determine what we harvest. Not only do these intentions provide food for the body, they provide food for the soul.
From the darkness there is a miraculous process that gives birth to creation. That’s the way it was for each of us. We emerged from the darkness of the womb to the light of the day. As we continue on our journey that light becomes brighter. There are two themes that keep emerging in this luminosity.
Happiness is a choice that is not dependent on our circumstances. There might be circumstances in our life that we wish were different. By courageously facing this dissatisfaction, we begin shifting to the Positive Side of Change. Once this occurs, the flame inside of us begins to burn brightly again.
It is our life fulfilling destiny and the evolutionary promise of our soul to live on the Positive Side of Change. Whatever is happening in our life, especially the challenges, is the precise location of our evolutionary edge. Yet we all fear change and waste energy trying to avoid or control it. We stay stuck in unfulfilling careers or relationships rather than enter the unknown territory that lies ahead.
We have an inner GPS of Change that empowers us to skillfully navigate the changing currents of life’s challenges and to consistently recognize opportunities for success and personal growth.
The second theme is that our ability to experience joy and love keeps expanding. Here’s why. We’ve been through more. We’ve faced more adversity. We’ve been stretched. We all know that there are things in the world that are horrific and tragic. Some of us have personally experienced some of these events. No one is immune from this pain-it’s part of being human.
As a result our hearts are more open and we’re able to experience more joy, and to love more deeply. We’re gentler with ourselves and have learned to accept the things about ourselves that we can’t change. We’ve learned to accept the imperfections in life.
By focusing on what gives us joy, rather than on the imperfections, we learn to smile in the midst of the storm. We know we’ll get through it. We’ve been there before. We focus on what’s right about our life. We smile for no reason. We stop asking “why.” We’ve made the choice. Keep making that choice. Keep spreading the seeds.
Think of this spring as a time of possibility. As spring unfolds it is my hope that the seeds you plant renew your sense of hope and optimism. May you be inspired by the journey.