What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination,
will affect everything.

It will decide what gets you out of bed in the mornings,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read,
who you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.

Fall in love,
stay in love,
and it will decide everything.

– Father Pedro Arrupe

I’ve decided to fall back in love with life, nature, and the simple things in life. In the process, I’m becoming more aware and appreciative of the wonderful things that surround me.

Sinissippi Park in Rockford, IL

What gets me up in the mornings? Just the thought of a new day, filled with possibilities, fills me with vigor. I get out of bed ready to fill my day with little adventures, ready to savor every moment’s delight. The sight of my husband still sleeping on his side of the bed puts a smile on my face. I sneak a peek at my two daughters still snug under their blankets and the peaceful way they sleep reminds me how fortunate I am to have such wonderful family. I go downstairs, and as Dexter hears my footsteps, I see him anxiously waiting to be let out his crate. {Now here I digress but} as I look into his puppy dog eyes, I think of power – the ability we all have to affect other creatures, our environment, other human beings. I let out a sigh and release a thought out into the world – a hope for all human beings to exercise power with caution and compassion. {Now let’s go back to my mornings. Of course, at this point I’ve let Dexter out already.} I go to the kitchen. I brew my coffee and light my votive candle. Their aroma fills up the whole living area which helps me meditate and enjoy a few minutes of silence before everybody else wakes up. I draw open the curtains and I look outside my window, out onto my own view of nature. It’s very easy to take for granted the things you see everyday but I’m really grateful for my backyard view. I can see the lovely red and orange hues in the sky at sunrise, observe the life cycle of leaves and flowers as seasons change, enjoy the visits of my wild animal friends like the birds and the squirrels. Coming back from my reverie, I take in a deep breath and prepare myself for a busy day of homeschooling and everything else in between. And as I go through my day, I delight in the excitement I see in Rinoa’s eyes as she learns something new. I get frustrated whenever I hear Mica’s groans as I give her more schoolwork. {Hey, life isn’t perfect.} I treasure my walks with Dexter, enjoying the fresh air and time spent alone dwelling in my thoughts. A quick exchange of greetings with friendly neighbors is a plus during these short, refreshing walks. Then my day winds down to a relaxing evening which I will reflect on in a future post. *wink

This week’s reading from The Tao of Daily Life, entitled “The Best Meal”, is about finding joy in the simple things. And, as you can see, it coincides with my reflection on the passage above.

How about you? What gets you up in the mornings? Do you drag yourself out of bed, dreading another day at work, or do you start your day with zest and delight? What fills your life with great fervor? I hope you’ve found it. If not, I hope you’ll find it soon.

Con mucho amor,

If you missed the previous Tao lesson, here is a quick link to it: