Do You Love It Now?

Maybe if we loved things more fervently while they were in their “whole” condition, we wouldn’t have to piece them back together in order to really see them.

I thought about this quote a lot after screws and plates were in my ankle.

I think about it now while going through old photos. Where was my appreciation of my friends, circumstances, health, and youth when these photos were taken?

Instead of admiring the “whole” I was…

  • going from thing to thing without stopping for the moment
  • maybe comparing what I had to what others had, and longing for more
  • looking but never really seeing the “whole” sacred picture

Tread softly, for this is holy ground. Could we see with seeing eyes, the place we stand upon is Paradise.

-Christina Rossetti

Focus Equals Inner State…Always

I put clean dishes away in a warm kitchen

As I sip my tea to the purr of Leonard Cohen

Whatever else may happen to me along the way

I have just now, most assuredly, visited heaven

 

Had I focused instead on that funky pain in my pounding right ear

Or what my clueless family member should not have done

I would have plodded blindly through my tasks

Oblivious to its gift; this purest form of fun

 

I may be tossed mercilessly about and into labyrinths or holes today

Unbalanced or badly broken by life’s unexpected pitch or sway

But even there, in the darkness, focused on the simplest moments and simplest gifts

I can remember that heaven is, and is never so very far away

How Much Do We Believe in Due Process?

I dare you.

Take one day and count the number of times you pass judgment on someone or something 1) without giving them a chance to defend themselves, 2) without calling for witnesses, or 3) without examining contradictory evidence.

I dare you.

Imagine a world where we don’t casually and chronically contribute to the complaining or criticizing of institutions, politicians, decision makers, or acquaintances; where guilt is proven before we jump onto the band wagon of discontent.

I dare you.

Remember your own offences before drawing attention to someone else’s.

Today I was imagining what a lifetime graph of my mistakes and offenses would look like; how many times in one day, one week, one year I have needed forgiveness and forgetfulness from those who share the world with me.

An Impossibility in an Impossible Universe

When I say this to myself everyday, it’s much more difficult to feel bored, depressed or entitled.

This is why I now appreciate Science Fiction, and writers such as Ray Bradbury and Neil Gaiman.

It’s the way they make me notice impossible things.

 

I drank water today

And my body knew how to get it to the trillion cells that needed it

I didn’t train or even request

Specialized enzymes to metabolize nutrients 

Yet they worked, without a break, so I could wake  

And take care of my to-dos

I didn’t set up a sophisticated filing system in my brain

That sorted the essential instructions  

I would need

To spin through the galaxy at 1000 miles an hour

Cool-Weird or Annoying-Weird?

Cool-weird is salt-of-the-earth good.

These are the unique, rare, unorthodox, unaffected, delightful-just-being-themselves people. It doesn’t matter if they are rich or poor, popular or marginal, powerful or challenged, fashionable or not, their realness refreshes and challenges wherever they go.

Then, there are the annoying-weirds:

  • trying to be noticed
  • imitating their idea of cool-weird
  • frantic for approval
  • preaching their brand of weird
  • wanting to appear detached from opinions
  • flaunting their superiority over status quo, or
  • cluelessly crossing uncomfortable boundaries

How do we know which category our weird is in?

It’s very tricky. If we are in the later category, it takes being a learner vs. a knower to figure it out.

We have to be willing to ask…and listen…and notice…legitimate reasons we shouldn’t be weird.

But the annoying-weirds usually opt to know instead of learn.

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In My Hand I Hold…Only This Moment

“…only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand–and melting like a snowflake.” –Francis Bacon

Sometimes I am shocked into considering the ridiculous brevity of my life by…looking up at the vast universe or by looking back into the history of generations of people who have already lived and died. Sometimes it is a brutal confrontation with death in a dream or in an unexpected tragedy. But, when this happens, my life takes on the more noble qualities of:

  • a sense of urgency to live fully today
  • a sensitivity about what really matters
  • a renewed commitment to live with courage, compassion, and surrender

I can make the sparkle and the melting count today. I can do what I was born to do with cheerful abandon.

Or, I can fret, fear, despair, complain, and squander what little I have left.

(encore post from July 2014)

Lots of Underappreciated People

My year-end review for 2017 includes making a list of all the people who helped me get where I am today.

So far, I have one-hundred and forty names down with their specific contribution to my training, support, and development.

Yet, that list doesn’t even include all the underpaid public school cafeteria workers who put up with my constant complaining about the affordable food they prepared, or the people who had to pick up all my stinky trash, or the water-treatment plant people, or the linemen who worked to keep me from bitching about no electricity during the ice-storms, or the mechanics, road builders, and grocery stockers with invisible faces who kept things running for me.

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Appreciation routine:

  • Start the car: thank the assembly line worker

  • Drive: thank the laborer who built the road

  • Turn on the radio: thank the engineer

  • etc., etc., etc.

When It Is Not the Hap-Happiest Season of All

If you’re not hurting and not alone this season, don’t assume everyone is sharing your joy. Don’t assume it’s the hap-happiest season of all.

Invite people in you normally wouldn’t.

Ask more genuine questions.

Have honest conversations.

Value the people around you enough to ask about the ways they’re hurting.

Listen well, love well.

And regardless of your situation: lean in to relationships, to other people.

Adapted from Robert Vore (from The Mighty newsletter)

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What Do I Do with My Mortality?

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On the rare days when I come face-to-face with my own mortality, my first cynical thought is…Why bother doing anything if I am just going to die? My second thought is…The plants need watering. 

That pretty much sums it up for me. Even though nothing lasts, there are needs all around that I can meet and, there is that sobering awareness of other mortals who have used some of their fleeting moments to make my life easier to live. Where would I be if they hadn’t taken their short lives serious enough to use them wisely?

Scary Stuff!

dracula

Who needs zombies and blood-suckers to scare them when we have nightmarish relationships with some of our bosses, co-workers, friends, and family?

I may be exaggerating a bit, but I was recently reminded what a major contributor to life-sucking conversations and fear-ridden negativity I was for way too many years! I tainted countless relationships with self-centered drama. No more.

This Halloween, I am grateful for my bomb-free, earthquake-free, and monster-free life. Many people don’t have that. And, I am keenly aware that my current pain-free state can change without notice, so I can’t afford to scare any good thing away (or take it for granted)!

I hope you have a great Halloween…scaring up some happiness!