Pop-Up Encouragement. Or Not.

When we are freaking out and taking ourselves too seriously…

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(Yeah, right. Like that will work. But, it may be worth a try anyway.)

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Admittedly, it is seriously difficult (and sometimes impossible) to keep someone else from freaking out and  taking themselves too seriously.

Yet statistics show…okay, well, my personal history validates…that lightening up only happens when a state change occurs.

And state changes don’t occur without a radical shift of focus. Here are some things that shift my focus:

  • getting hit in the face with ice cold water
  • getting pushed out of an airplane
  • tornado sirens
  • reading the right book, helping someone, or watching cat videos

Worth the Courage It Takes

When I am frightened to do what I think I might need to do

I often pretend I never heard the idea at all

When my heart skips a beat thinking of a risky move

I often turn up my activities to ignore the nudge

When the call of the wild arrives on the wind and waves 

I drown it out: nose to the machinery of the day

Cheating myself of the exhilarating plunge

Into the cold stream of courage

The one with the postcard waterfall cascading

Into the meadow of the dreams I have almost forgotten

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Wee Wee Wee All the “Waze” Home?

After programming the app with my destination and checking the arrival time, it would be ridiculous to:

  • ignore the technology and micromanage my trip
  • know all the turns I would have to take before it was necessary to take them
  • worry about how long each step would take

Because the end result had already been programmed!

And so it is with a life.

I can…

  • trust the process
  • quit being a control freak
  • fully use my resources, and
  • enjoy the ride

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Bewilderment Is the Norm

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I love this quote because it describes the state of affairs of a radically finite (and often confusing) existence, and reminds me to take it all in stride.

For the ultimate peaceful journey through this planet, I must…

  1. Expect to be bewildered
  2. Refuse to get cocky about what I think I know
  3. Go with the unresolved, uncertain, and disruptive


  1. Ranting about how other people and events don’t comply with my preconceived ideas and ideals
  2. Guarding my intellectual turf
  3. Disagreeing with reality

Thanks Joseph Campbell for the delightful signpost along the path of discovery.

“Resetting Ourselves to Zero” Encore

My writer friend, Dana King, used this term to describe an approach for learning from others. Here are some critical times I needed (but didn’t use) this approach:

  • A boss told me that my attitude was negative, arrogant, and oppositional. I told him he was wrong.
  • A potential agent criticized my script. I told him I wasn’t interested in hearing his suggestions.
  • A Grammy-nominated editor suggested removing certain scenes from a film I made. I was convinced my idea was better.

In each of these cases, the reaction I chose brought my success to a complete, expensive, painful (and now embarrassing) halt.

Today, I’ll practice “resetting myself to Zero” by hearing without saying but, however, or no.


(Original Post 2014)

Need Something More?

Have you ever been amazed that a tiny puppy can hold so much energy and spirit in such a small body?

Or noticed the spark of life that unfolds a tiny flower?

Or the speed of a bug’s legs?

Or the life-force present in a single meal devoured in a couple of minutes?

Walking on a frigid morning, I noticed the sun radiating so strongly off an apartment window that it felt like fire on my face. Yet, I had not thought about the power of this same life-force within my own body and mind.

Today, I recognize that this life-force is at my service, is waiting for me to recognize it, has been summoned for my use, and can make a powerful difference in the world.


Original Post 2012

It Went to Spam

There are good reasons I never changed.

Rules are rules. Mine are set so that…

  • Your advice goes to spam
  • New opportunities go to spam
  • Hope goes to spam
  • Anything that causes discomfort goes to spam
  • Anything that requires change or action goes to spam
  • Anything that speeds up my heart rate goes to spam

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But…wait a minute…I didn’t know the Universe was trying to reach me…if only I had known…but…

  • It seemed ludicrous
  • I never got it
  • I thought it was not for me
  • I assumed it was a hoax
  • I was afraid

Accessing Abundance

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“See yourself living in abundance and you will attract it. It always works, it works every time with every person.”

Oh, wait a minute, except with those who say…

  1. Yeah, right. If that were true, then I wouldn’t be so poor and miserable.
  2. I tried and it didn’t work.
  3. It is not fair that other people have abundance and I don’t.
  4. All I see everywhere is scarcity and trouble.
  5. But, you don’t understand how much my life sucks.

Prerequisite for seeing ourselves in abundance: Focus on non-judgmental acceptance of ourselves and our circumstances (without the “but”).

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Prerequisite for seeing ourselves in abundance: Focus on surrender (without the “but”).

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Guaranteed relief.

Avoidance and Justification for It

Certain parts of my work trigger an avalanche of fear and inadequacy.

So, I find something else to do, anything except what I know I should be doing.

It’s so predictable:

  1. I stare at the computer.
  2. I can’t think of anything helpful.
  3. I play solitaire.
  4. I decide my obstacles are too daunting.
  5. I abandon my work for whatever else presents itself.
  6. I wonder why I’m getting depressed.
  7. Then everything goes south on other fronts.
  8. Until I return to the work with courage.
  9. I ask for next steps.
  10. I get answers and inch forward.
  11. Eventually, I wonder why I was ever afraid.

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Here’s what I don’t know: the outcome.

Here’s what I do know: courageous living has its own reward.