Simply Shine!Celebrating the simple everyday wonders of life.
Spaciousness can often appear as emptiness, and it’s easy to mistake that for a lack of importance.
Until we sit in the empty space for long enough to hear what is really going on beneath the surface of life…like in the ocean, where layers and whole ecosystems live in places we cannot see. Then, when we finally make time to peer into the deeper regions, we are filled with such wonder that it’s almost impossible to speak.
Maybe that’s why it’s so hard for many of us to stay still and even want to live a more simple life. It can feel a bit boring compared to the more active, moving, inspiring life of a passionate creator.
I just got back from the ocean. It’s not simple there. The ocean is full of complexity and intense creativity, yet it has a way of returning me to simplicity anyway.
At the ocean, I sit for hours watching grey whales spout and dive while listening to waves crash upon the shore. I walk for miles along that same shore, stepping over seaweed and jellyfish, marveling that these are the same elegant creatures I saw floating in the aquarium exhibit the day before. My childlike wonder is apparent as I attempt to capture that delicate elegance with my phone.
“Once there was a woman who wanted to change the world & at first, she thought it’d be easy, because if everyone could see how beautiful it’d be, it’d take about a minute…but all the people she talked to were too busy to stop & listen.
So, she went off & did beautiful things all on her own & pretty soon people were stopping & asking if they could come along & do that, too … & that’s how she figured out how worlds change.” Beautiful Things by Brian Andreas/Flying Edna
Brian Andreas has a way of capturing the essence of life in a whimsical way that also causes us to reflect more deeply on our own lives. When I read his ‘Beautiful Things’ story today, it reminded me that world-changing can happen in the simplest of ways.
When we open our hearts to life, following its beauty and doing what we love… perhaps inspiring others to come along and do that too…we are changing more than we might even know.
When we allow our lives to be more FULL of beauty and spaciousness, more EMPTY of obligations and striving to make change happen, more EMPTY of need for accomplishment and success, perhaps this is where the real world-changing will happen.
What if this is really all life is meant to be?
Our world is changing, speeding up and growing more complex, becoming both more connected and disconnected at the same time. Perhaps we are being called to slow down, simplify, clear our excess so that we can return to what is more meaningful…and more beautiful.
I changed the sub-title of my Enough book to Clear Your Clutter, Change the World because I believe this is the heart of the simplicity conversation. We are being guided to get rid of what is less important in our lives so that we can tune into the more.
More meaning. More connection. More contribution. As we each find these in our own lives, the world changing will be inevitable.
Help the world change, one beautiful thing at a time. ~Shining Sor’a
(excerpt from my upcoming book, Enough: Clear Your Clutter. Change the World.)
You’ve probably noticed simplicity is a hot topic that appears to be reaching a tipping point. Here are a couple reasons why.
We are drowning in clutter and information overload. People are overwhelmed, exhausted, and unhappy. Some are depressed, others anxious.
Life is not simple.
While more connected than ever with what’s happening around the world, we are possibly less connected than ever to our neighbors.
If you’re not overly busy, you might think something is wrong with you because…how can you possibly have a full life without a full calendar?
I’ve spent years as an over-achiever trying to unhook myself from this belief.
And what about our children? They are labeled hyperactive, when perhaps they are just reacting to an over-busy world, over-stimulated by all the choices and activities, not to mention sugar and processed foods.
I saw a 2-year old playing on a tablet at a restaurant the other day and wanted to cry. I see young people staring at their phones instead of the sky and cringe.
Then I do the exact same thing and cringe even more.
I know it sounds harsh, but this is part of the reality of our world, and it’s a big part of the reason I’m so passionate about helping you simplify your life. I really don’t care how organized you are. But if I can help you create a more spacious and meaningful life, we just might bring a bit more balance to an out-of-balance world. read more…
I hold you in my heart. I carry you in my heart.
The Mother in me wants to wrap you in arms,
as I see you sitting there so very still,
with sadness all around.
But I stay over here, giving you room to breathe,
loving you across the space, because it’s all I can do for now.
God is Here, a surround-sound of such peace
that there is really nothing else to say.
As if there could ever be enough words
to bridge the gap between what was…and what IS.
So I sit with you, heart wrapping more than arms
…letting the tears wash away the pain that falls from your heart onto the fabric of our world.
Do not worry for me, or for the broken world we live in.
Only ask, and we will heal together, this fractured piece
of our collective heart, this beautiful world.
Today is a good day
to say: Thank You, Mom.
You gave me life, and more.
You protected me
when I was small, giving roots &
nourishment for growing wings.
I didn’t fully appreciate the miracle
until I became a mother too.
Now I see the sacrifices you made,
the blessings you gave
that live on in who I am becoming.
From birth through a lifetime,
the seed of your mothering continues.
And gratitude grows.
If you are a mother yourself, I celebrate you and honor your journey. I know it has not been simple. Being a mom is a highly complex, multi-layered, intricate dance of hanging on tight then learning to slowly let go…while still holding a lifetime of love.
If you’re not a mother, you have one. And this, too, is not a simple thing.
The mother-child relationship is so full of contrasting emotions. And whether yours are mostly of love and happiness, or something even more complex, I encourage you to dig deep this Mother’s Day to find the true blessing your mom gave to you.
When you find it, you’ll know.
It’s the treasure beneath all those layers of memory, the true essence of who you are.
So whether you’re being celebrated, or celebrating another this weekend, give thanks for mothers everywhere. They give so much more than we can ever know.
April showers. Spring flowers.
Clear the old. Plant some new.
Watch as the seeds of last season
patiently push through the ground
to announce the start of spring.
It takes sun and rain to make a rainbow,
and lots of love to help a garden grow.
Every little flower needs space,
so clear away the debris that’s
crowding your precious blooms.
Then consider this: what is growing you?
Your life is a garden, you the blossom.
So weed away the clutter & turn toward the light…
let all the colors of your garden shine through.
Today was beyond words.
From sunrise to sunset,
it was pure WOW.
Celebrating birth. Honoring death.
Connecting with friends.
Being a catalyst for clean water.
Basking in LOVE all day through.
A perfect kind of day.
I wrote this simple note on Facebook yesterday, then woke up in the middle of the night…thirsty.
I had been dreaming about water.
I got up, drank a glass of water, and went back to bed.
But I couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking about all the ways I take this simple convenience for granted.
In the course of that single, almost-perfect, day … I drank my morning glass of clean, safe water. I brushed my teeth, took a shower, shared tea with a friend, leaving my glass of clean water unfinished on the table. I got my car washed, took a walk by the river. More water. I had dinner with friends, 4 glasses of crystal clear water sitting between us on the table.
What made this day slightly less-than-perfect is that I wasn’t fully aware of those simple, almost invisible blessings I was receiving at the time I was receiving them.
But I’m hyper-aware at the moment. I even got up in the middle of the night to write this because I didn’t want to forget.
There is a treasure in you…
a deep quiet that surrounds
all the shiny objects stored
in the crevices of your life.
Here, in this still center
is where the adventure begins:
a hunt for the Diamond
that is the essence of You.
Open your heart wide in wonder;
let Stillness be your guide
when the clutter of the world
begins to crowd your joy.
Let go of everything if you need to,
just hold on tight to what you love.
Now let even that go.
When it comes back, you’ll know it’s Real.
So much of life and love is about holding on. We spend our lives attaching to things we can love: family, friends, partners, ideas, art, projects, possessions.
But what if the only reason we are attaching and creating is for the ultimate life lesson that will take us to something even greater?
What if the only way to experience this ultimate life lesson is to LET GO of everything we thought we loved, so we can open more completely to a truer love…the kind that knocks us to our knees in devotion while calling our Souls to soar.
Life is made of thousands of moments, and when we are so busy striving and chasing dreams, it’s easy to miss the essence of those moments.
Perhaps it’s time to slow down, savor the stillness, let go of what we are hanging onto so tightly and simply open our hearts wide to what is already here.
★ ★ ★
Find your treasure in the simple, still moments of your life.
One Life. Many Choices.
And every choice you’ve made thus far
has lead you to this place called “Here.”
So what will you choose to do now
with this single present moment
that holds all the unfulfilled potential
in this seed of tomorrow?
It may seem impossible to choose
anything big enough for all the Love
you hold inside…but really it’s quite simple.
Be grateful for this moment.
Now take one step. Then another.
Keep walking the precious path
of the One Life that is yours.
What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
A tribute to Mary Oliver.
What can I say that has not been already said?
Her words were balm to my soul, giving me permission to be in love with the world. With her simple words and complex ideas, she wove a tapestry of beauty that made me want to live fully, to free the awe that dwells in my heart.
She asked piercing questions and gave us wonder…not just of the physical world, but also a kind of wondering inquiry into the heart of what it means to be human.
As I make time to linger with some of her poetic wisdom, what I want to say more than anything is Thank You.
Thank you, Mary Oliver, for reminding me that simplicity is enough, that awe is the answer to just about everything, that I’m not the only one walking through life looking to be dazzled by beauty and married to amazement.
Thank you for doing way more than just having visited this world.
★ ★ ★
Choose Love. Choose Joy. Choose Gratitude.
Start with these to create your One Precious Life.
With a GLOW from my heart to yours, ~Shining Sora
Snowflakes falling, white on white.
Twinkling lights, brightening the night.
Fires burning to keep us warm.
Hearts opening, friends linking arms.
The space between notes, a silent sigh.
Smiles between neighbors, stars up high.
A memory of childhood, a cherished book.
Saying ‘I love you’ with a meaningful look.
Winter berries against a brilliant blue sky.
Love so big it makes you cry.
Through all the chaos and holiday noise…
Make time to cherish these simple joys
Have you lost your holiday twinkle?
It’s easy to do when the noise of the world interrupts our stillness, and life is so full that we forget to even look up to notice the beauty.
I was standing beneath this Mountain Ash tree the other day, texting my daughter, when I felt a plop on my head. Then another. At first I thought it was hail. When I looked up to see these bright red berries against a brilliant blue sky, I laughed out loud.
Then, silently admonishing myself, I put my phone away and went for a walk.
What is it about these made-up days
that creates such a whirlwind…
a holiday daze?
Black or White, buy Cyber
or get in line for the low-price fight.
Do the Gratitude Wrap-Wrap-Wrap
Turn off the excess for simple joys.
Embrace a different kind of noise.
This is what I have to say:
Gratitude is here to stay.
It’s your way, come what may. OK?
Gratitude. Every. Day.
Sometimes I feel like a broken record (maybe that’s why my opening poem came out as a rap song this month) … but I went into overwhelm this past month and for a time forgot to practice gratitude.
I decided to consciously dis-connect from the flurry of emails for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday to go into the mountains of Idaho to remember.
It’s not easy to be ‘everyday’ grateful. It takes commitment and resolve to find our way back to being thankful when life brings challenge and conflict.
We forget to say Thank You, or we say the words, but they lose meaning. Yet, still we ‘practice’ and continue to say Thank You, Life … even as our heart is breaking into a thousand pieces.
Gratitude is the golden thread that stitches all the pieces into something beautiful.
Every time I find my way back to gratitude, it’s a feast for my Soul. Perhaps this is the true Gift of our Thanksgiving holiday.
So keep passing the gratitude around, no matter how FULL (or empty) you are. It’s kind of like jello … there’s always room for more.
I Give Thanks for you, Sor’a
“Gratitude is the foundation for all prayer. When you say thank you, you fall into grace.” –Bob Sima
Musicians who compose their own songs are constantly building a legacy, and this one is a pied-piper of Love. Bob Sima is part muse and the lyrics of his songs are worthy of printing on your heart. I share a few below in this tribute to him as an everyday beacon. His music reminds us to believe, to stand together, to be the change. It calms and activates. It moves us to dance and it moves through us to heal. It transforms.
I had the blessing of meeting Bob in person this summer, along with his beautiful partner & new bride, Shannon Plummer, a beacon in her own light. Together they bring harmony to a new level, and their work becomes a beautiful art form where breath meets music meets spirit. Their performances are more about transformation than entertainment, though I found it highly FUN to be in the audience as I watched them weave their magic and coax the audience to sing, dance, become the message they were whispering with their lyrics and tunes. read more…