What Are We Going to Make Today?

Even when we think we don’t have a creative bone in our body, our minds and bodies are urging us to build, uncover new paths, journal, write, paint, draw, cook, garden, make someone smile or laugh, take pictures, or simply make something clean and shiny. We are created in the image of a creator.

I thought my life was mostly over before I gave myself permission to create and enjoy my creations.

I hope you will create today. Create joy for someone. Create joy for yourself.

Create joy in the limited time we have in this fertile place.

Where Is the Fine Line?

Where is the fine line between…

  • confidence and arrogance?
  • flexibility and indecisiveness?
  • humility and self-deprecation?
  • self-respect and self-pity?
  • candor and harmful criticism?
  • compromise and cooperation?
  • communicating and talking?
  • helping and interfering?
  • love and co-dependency?

I could go on.

The point is:

  • Our happiness, success, productivity, and relationships depend upon the fine line between these character traits.
  • The trajectory of our careers and personal lives is a function of how we think and how often we think about these distinctions in our daily interactions.
  • If we chose the fast lane that speeds past these distinctions, it will not save us any time.
  • And, again, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

(Original post 2013)

Descent into Love

Being open without being loved is terrifying.

Although, if we love but are not open, there is no room for growth and improvement.

Where there is both openness and love, there is maximum growth and unlimited potential for happiness.

This is not an exact quote from K. Killian Noe but I was moved by the power of the insight while listening to Melinda Gates’ audio, Moment of Lift.

K. Killian Noe founded a simple healing model to help homeless and recovering men and women based on this premise. Yet, the premise has healing implications for all of our relationships.

Hiding our flaws is tempting and much easier. No one wants rejection, disapproval, or mockery.

Yet, powerful love and healing only comes by going deep into honesty with ourselves and others.

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If You’re Going to Be Anything

Be genuine.

Often, the ultimate battle.

The “every moment” part is the big challenge.

Yet, at least, I am more aware when my ego runs to my rescue, trying to prop me up by:

  • Seeking attention
  • Obsessing upon what someone thinks of me
  • Being ashamed of, or apologetic about, who I am
  • Dishonesty
  • Gathering status symbols
  • Becoming offended by someone’s words or opinion
  • Posturing for approval
  • Hiding

I’ve found the power to be genuine resides in the liberating thought: no one needs to approve of who I am because I am what I am for a genuine reason.

We Think We Are the Only One

Every one seems so together

While we are encased in private terror

Afraid someone will notice

We don’t belong there

 

At a high school reunion, we admitted to our former rivals how scared and lonely we had felt. I apologized for not noticing that they were just as worried as me.

If I had only been less self-centered, enough to notice others’ pain.

If I had only relaxed into life enough to drop the elaborate self-protection.

But, such is the learning curve.

Now I can make up for lost time.

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Prepare to Be Surprised

Read a book I thought was boring

But loved it.

Surprise.

Forced to be with people with whom I thought I had nothing in common

Found cool and interesting friends.

Surprised again.

Lost a job that I really needed

But found one I needed more.

Surprised again.

Sustained a heartbreak I thought would kill me

Now happier than before.

Surprised again.

Learned impossible new skills 

It was possible.

Surprised again.

Depression said gloom and doom was unavoidable

Service and love overcame the darkness.

Surprised again.

Tragedy said the world was irredeemable

There was redemption.

I cease to be surprised.

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Help! I’m Poisoning Myself!

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Ironically, many of us worry a whole lot about eating and drinking “clean” while we are actively mentally poisoning ourselves.

The most important thing I can do today to stop my own poisoning is to root out any traces of hatred in my life.

Where to start looking?

  • Accusations I make about others: Usually I have found the things I react to with the most venom are:
      1. greed
      2. selfishness
      3. arrogance
      4. carelessness

(Coincidentally, these are all things that I struggle with myself. Oops. Revelation.)

  • What I talk about:
    1. who disappointed me
    2. who I don’t like
    3. who frustrates and angers me
    4. who I am jealous of

If I can first, be aware of these two areas, and second, catch and release the accusations and negative words, poisoning myself will happily cease.

The Purpose of Challenging What We Think We Know

The surest way for me to start feeling bad is to start thinking about what I don’t like about others and how they treat me.

The purpose of Byron’s Katie’s inquiry work is not denial, but to insure I am not moving away from the better part of myself which is free of untested bitter judgments, opinions, projections and assumptions about what is not right with someone else.

Because, once I clear the emotional, reactionary clutter, and focus on the only thing I can change, i.e. myself, rather than the things I cannot, i.e. others, life then becomes much more…

  • sane
  • manageable
  • pleasant
  • loving
  • clear
  • peaceful
  • hopeful

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The trouble is that I multiply my suffering (instead of alleviating it) by questioning other people’s minds instead of my own.

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To Lift or Not to Lift

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“Overcoming the need to create outsiders is our greatest challenge as human beings.”

Melinda Gates’ book, The Moment of Lift is a refreshing reminder of the power we wield when we include rather than exclude groups or individuals.

Bigotry. Racism. Sexism. Enslavement. Discrimination. Alienation. Condescension. Smugness. Superiority. Class distinctions. Cliques. Judgmental, critical, and condemning words.

All cripple and oppose progress.

 

Will I Rise above Me?

Although I am still groggy with the sleep of the self-centered

Reality slowly fades into focus

Unveiling my ego’s shocking aim to lift itself

By pushing hard on someone else

If it must

Claiming that I am superior 

And have more of a right to something or other

 

I shrink and cringe at that creature

Who must diminish another

To feel comfortable with myself

The Coolest Thing about Screwing Up

Redemption always waits close by.

Even when we think…

  • it is too late
  • we have gone too far
  • we have done too much damage
  • we are irredeemable

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It is never too late.

Our picture of the perfect outcome may be flawed anyway.

Redemption always waits close by.

To ere is human. To learn humility is worth it.