Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Life and the Living of it October 18, 2014

I used to think I did my best thinking in peace. It was quiet. It was relaxing. And my thoughts raced with big ideas. One of my favorite spots to this day is out by the biggest tree in my backyard paradise. Because every now and then, it’s good to be alone.

I was reminded of this today when my beloved forever family packed up and left me at my forever home alone. Though I was initially a little brokenhearted that I wasn’t invited along to one of my favorite not-so-little-anymore person’s football games, I got over it pretty quickly.

Alone with My ThoughtsIt isn’t often I have the house to myself these days. I couldn’t decide at first where I wanted to relax. I had my pick of the bedrooms, the living room, the basement. I had so many quiet options I struggled a bit to decide. I ended up in the living room in everyone’s favorite chair. It’s the chair everyone chooses to sit in first for a reason I don’t quite understand. I couldn’t get comfortable there, so I tried that crevice between mom and dad’s pillows on the bed. When that didn’t work, I tried the massive display of pillows in the guest room. Still nothing.

That’s when it occurred to me. Silence. It’s not my favorite thing. I’m hardly as anxious as I was as a puppy to be left alone, but the minutes ticked by so slowly this afternoon as I waited not-so patiently for my family to return home.  Minutes turned into hours as I waited by the door, which is admittedly one of the least comfortable places in the whole house.

In total, they were gone less than five hours, but it felt like an eternity. I was so happy to see them when they got home. Happy to hear mom and dad regale the day’s events while dear baby Carter was sure to contribute his fair share of screeches and babbles.

I missed that.

I know they say babies change everything. And around here, I suppose it’s true. But I don’t think it’s such a bad thing. Sure, I used to do my best thinking in complete silence that no longer exists in my world. And that’s okay. I’ve learned to love the chaos that surrounds me on a daily basis. I’ve learned to thrive on it. Because all the life and the living of it makes me feel more alive.

 

Over the Moon May 24, 2013

I’m back in my world. My parents have returned from their journey, and my subsequent stay at grandma’s house has drawn to a close. While I had a fabulous time away, there really is no place like home.

I was reminded of that tonight as I sat in my beloved backyard staring at the brilliant white light shining down on me. I’m no astronomer, but I’d say the moon is fairly close to being full tonight and it is a sight to be seen. You can blame the canine in me, but I much prefer the full moon to any smaller portion of it. In fact, we four-legged people tend to run with the go-big-or-go-home mindset in most things. (That birthday ice cream cone I got this week? Consider it gone in 60 seconds!)

Ice Cream FaceSo you can imagine my confusion at Sarah Ban Breathnach’s suggestion today to find fullness in emptiness.

“It’s difficult for many of us to accept that emptiness – in life or in the living room – can have a positive influence,” she writes in Simple Abundance. “We need either to become more comfortable with waiting to fill what’s empty with what’s authentic or become just willing to accept the exquisite fullness of nothing.”

I thought of this as I stared at that big bright object in the sky, realizing that regardless of its fullness, it is empty. Devoid of life. And yet the sunshine of the night sky is a thing of beauty, even in its emptiness. Like most things in life, it took a change in perspective for me to see what the light of the moon was trying to tell me tonight. It’s natural for me to see things through to completion, but sometimes its doing (or in my case tonight, seeing) what we fear that brings us powerful truth.

“Life’s landscape becomes a lot more interesting when there an entire dimension we’ve never considered before simply because we couldn’t see it,” Breathnach writes. Being a closer of things also has its way of inspiring me not to want to miss out on anything in life, especially an entire dimension of thoughtful opportunities. So tonight I have opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibility, illuminated by the full emptiness of the moon. It’s good to be home.

 

All the Small Things April 28, 2013

I figured it out! I know what we have to do. World peace is at our fingertips people! All we have to do is hug one another. All right, all right, I know I’m likely not the first one to throw this theory on the table, but please hear me out. The power is in the numbers.

Today I enjoyed 76 different petting sessions, made close to 20 people smile at least once, and spent more time being hugged and played with than by myself. That, my friends, is a good day. I’m certain I didn’t make anyone’s problems disappear, but peace was in the air in my favorite kind of way today.Small Smiles Make A Big Difference

All kidding aside, my experience today led me to wonder what the world would be like if we all committed to the theory to kill our enemies with kindness rather than violence. Perhaps one of the reasons the world is in the state it’s in is that people have stopped caring for each other. Something as small as a smile can make the day of the stranger on the street or a hug to somehow that just lived through an embarrassing moment. But not everyone chooses to engage in such the small things that make the world go round. It makes me squirm sometimes when people miss opportunities to bring light to the lives of others.

Again, I turn my simple mind to the simplicity of the minds of the little people in my life, who never cease to educate me. The best kinds of children’s entertainment are put together by people as wise as the little people they inspire. American writer Shel Silverstein is no exception to this rule, with his powerful poetry that speaks to the heart as well as the mind.

“I will not play tug o’ war. I’d rather play hug o’ war,” Silverstein wrote. “Where everyone hugs instead of tugs, where everyone giggles and rolls on the rug, where everyone kisses, and everyone grins, and everyone cuddles, and everyone wins.”

In retrospect, I won some pretty easy battles today. I was surrounded by family who have a culture drenched in love for each other. The same isn’t always true in an average day, and those are the days to make it count. Hugs and smiles probably won’t solve the problems of the world, but all the small things aren’t so small to me. So today I share my 76 petting sessions, more than 20 smiles and all of my hugs with the world in hopes that my small contribution makes a difference.

“Be faithful in the small things because it is in them that your strength lies,” Mother Theresa once said. It’s our world…why not make it shine?

 

Love Play Live: Lighting Up Darkness January 18, 2013

Have you ever tried to piece a puzzle together without the box? I’ve been trying that lately with Simple Abundance. I was worried that I was going to start sounding repetitive with the whole gratitude in simplicity storyline and folks would get disinterested. But I did not disregard my daily commitment to reading Simple Abundance, whether or not I made it a main focus of my blogger thoughts this week. I do wonder if that hasn’t had a negative influence on my weeklong reflections…I hope not, but I welcome any and all feedback on the matter.

What I know is that today’s Simple Abundance challenge struck a special chord with me. Living in Wisconsin, a state that gets cold and snowy and the hours of sunlight are at an extreme shortage this time of year, the concept of light amidst the darkness speaks to me.

“Outside, winter’s darkness closes in,” Breathnach writes. “Inside, you have found your own light.” We find light in the little things that may seem otherwise insignificant throughout the day, like that special treat mom gives me before she goes back to work after lunch, or that bowl of peas dad gives me after he and mom share a yummy Friday night steak dinner.Light Amidst Darkness

So again I enjoy today’s daily prompt in coordination with my daily journey toward comfort and joy:

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/daily-prompt-free-association/

Write down the first words that comes to mind when we say . . .

. . . home.

. . . soil.

. . . rain.

Use those words in the title of your post.

Love play live. When I think of home, soil, and rain, those are the first three words that come to mind for me.

…home = love: Mom, this one’s for you. We both love Phillip Phillips, but when I hear his lyrics to “Home,” I think of what you and dad did for me when you brought me home from the humane society. I picture these words coming from you, which fills my heart with so much love there really are no words to explain my thankfulness. Except for those set to beautiful chords by Mr. Phillips himself:

Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They  fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down love
If you get lost,  you can always be found
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going  to make this place your home.”

…soil = play: Dad, this one’s for you. All those times you we play around in the backyard when you don’t think mom is looking…those are some of my most favorite moments. I know sometimes I make a mess of the yard, and then I track dirt into the house, but you love me nonetheless. And I know you didn’t consider yourself a “dog person” before we met, so our quiet moments together without anyone else mean that much more to me. I love you, dad.

…rain = life: This one’s for my family. I know what its like to seek shelter in the rain without a warm, loving home. I would prefer not to sleep under a stinky green garbage unit ever again. Yet somehow rain is a reminder that I probably will never have to.  Because I have home and soil, I am thankful for rain. I greet the reminder of my blessings in life.

Inside, I have found my light.