I Pledge Allegiance to Living Stress-Free

I pledge allegiance to living stress-free

Remembering worry doesn’t work for me

And neither does angry fretting (unfortunately)

I pledge allegiance to living stress-free

Because controlling people and things 

(I don’t control) is the job of Kings

Not me.

Truthfully

My worry and stress never helped one single soul

Only pulled me deep into a sucking hole

Where there was no benefit for me or anyone

Just an embarrassing waste of adrenalin*

*Some of us, who insist upon worrying, believe, erroneously, that the opposite of worrying is not caring. However, this is not the case. Often, surrendering is the only wise way to effectively care…and much more efficient.

Impulse to Give

There have been times that I have had an impulse to give and have hesitated too long, or tried to ignore the impulse altogether. I have always regretted it. Usually, fear was at the root of my decision.

When I felt I should give a compliment, I may have feared being overshadowed. Will they think they are better than me?

When I felt I should give encouragement, it might have been the fear of rejection. Will they question my motive?

When I felt compelled to offer support, it was probably a fear of failure. Who do I think I am? What do I have to offer?

When I felt an impulse to forgive, it was a fear of someone getting off the hook too easily. If I forgive them, they won’t get what they deserve.

When I felt I should give money, it was the fear of scarcity. Can I afford it? What if I need this in the future?

Related image

None of my fears were grounded. I could not out give the Universe.

Today, I will give without fear.

What Just Happened?

When we wake up and find ourselves in the wrong place

When our life gets worse with time instead of better

When peace has alluded us

When we wonder what went wrong

Eventually we must see the connection

Between our choices and our emotions

Our sowing and our reaping

Image result for easy choices hard life

The Ocean Speaks

Maybe one reason humans love the ocean is because it speaks to our cells, not only of beauty, but of deeply subconscious things.

Today I hear it say…

 

All of life is rhythm.

Don’t waste your time trying to stop it.

Face each wave with reverence.

Hear me roar.

Millions will never see me and cannot imagine my vastness.

If you do; bow.

And, when you are away from the ocean, bow to the ocean within you.

Honor the magnitude of my abundance.

Image result for jim rohn quotes about ocean
Asking is the beginning of receiving. Make sure you don’t go to the ocean with a teaspoon. At least take a bucket so the kids won’t laugh at you. – Jim Rohn

I Have a Dream…Not a Nightmare

dr suess

Historian Rutger Bregman’s TED Talk about eliminating poverty is worth watching even if you don’t agree with his conclusions. His quote, “The one thing that history teaches us is that things can be different,” reminded me that even when things have been the same for centuries, the tenacity of courageous thinkers and doers have made huge differences for us all.

Radical, “impossible” changes occur when we:

  • Use our gifts to make a difference
  • Dream new dreams
  • Refuse to give up
  • Face the world with courage

Living like this is so much more fun than complaining about, or shrinking away in fear from, the way the world is. As Bregman said, “Martin Luther King’s famous speech is “I have a dream, not, I have a nightmare.”

Loving Mercy and Mercy-Givers

The words of Micah, “…do justice, love mercy and walk humbly…” have always been a basic tenet of how I wanted to live.

Only, I’ve changed my mind about loving mercy. Before, I thought that phrase meant that we should passionately believe in doing merciful acts, but, now, I think it might mean more than that.

Maybe it means changing what we love. Maybe it means that we should love mercy (and people who model mercy and do acts of kindness) more than we love winning and money and power and prestige and status and sports (and people who model the best of those things). Maybe it means that we shouldn’t be beating ourselves up for not being rich and successful if we are working hard to be a mercy-giver.

Which prompted me to think about the opening story in Emotional Intelligence about a kind NYC bus driver who changed peoples’ moods…

Image result for emotional intelligence

And Anne Lamott’s challenging and irreverent book…

Image result for hallelujah anyway

Tenacity, Audacity, and Humility

“I tried.”

George Lucas’s response when asked what he wanted on his tombstone.

I would say he tried pretty hard. Barely graduated from high school, went to film school not even knowing what the word “cinematography” meant, figured out he loved it, and, then, kept his nose to the grindstone for fifty years. Even though his task-focused perfectionism often prohibited him from being the nicest person to work with, he changed the movie experience for the world.

I’m not even a Star Wars fan, but I am a fan of George’s tenacity and dedication to his vision, the audacity he had to challenge Hollywood, and the humility it took to say of his life, “I tried.”

Image result for george lucas quotes

If we take George’s advice and example, “Always remember, your focus determines your reality,” it follows, if our reality stinks, we only have a few options:

  1. Change our focus
  2. Hang in there with all we’ve got
  3. Or, make ourselves (and everyone else) miserable complaining about it

My life is a whole lot better since I decided to use options 1 and 2.

Give Up on the World?

I cannot give up on the world

While there are books unread

Their important words, to me, unsaid

Poignant voices of truth singing somewhere

Away from whom, I, deaf and unaware,

Cradle my uninformed opinions

I may be in pain and out of my mind with disdain

Cringing at the deeply-rooted, evil seed

The crawling malignancy around and within

Cold and calloused greed

But, really, can I wisely give up on the world? 

It may not be advisedly sane until I have used the one last effort

Of my sometimes rational brain

(Not in some melodramatic faint

Resigning sigh or fist-pounding complaint)

But in seeking, seeking, seeking

My sisters, brothers, mothers, kin 

No! Until then

I cannot give up on the world

(Spoken by the author who once thought herself the world’s greatest failure.)

Positive Does NOT Mean Oblivious

For those of us who resist optimism because it seems irresponsible…

Responsible optimists do not look at a world full of pain and pretend it isn’t there, they see the trouble without letting it control them.

A few tips that make this possible:

  • Expect the best…but always be prepared for the worst.
  • Face everything with the belief that you will have the resources to deal with it.
  • Refuse to waste your time pouring blame and shame on others for bad stuff that happens. We all screw up. It’s part of the deal.
  • Remember heroes who have overcome.
  • Recall times when good came out of “bad.”
  • Determine to make the best of whatever happens.
  • Say (like a warrior), “I was born for this! Bring it on!”

Braveheart-braveheart-727143_413_479

Demonizing or Deifying?

Nothing is ever as good as it looks or as bad as it seems.

Yet we still squeeze out the last drop of drama by demonizing people and circumstances that have disappointed us. (see social media)

And, despite common sense, we go on to deify other people, allowing our expectations to soar out of the range of possible fulfillment.

The happiest people I know are people who look at the world without illusion, who know that all of us are terribly inconsistent and fallible, who treat good news and bad news the same without jumping to dramatic conclusions, and who build structures of happiness on the inside rather than the outside.

It’s taken me way too long to learn this but I am inching my way there.

will rogers