Wednesday, March 31, 2021

March 31--Stick a Fork in Me

The first and final thing you have to do in this world is to last it and not be smashed by it.  --Ernest Hemingway

    It is the last day of March. I have now completed one full year of daily blogging, using the quotes in "Daily Peace," a National Geographic publication. While I cannot say that writing is my favorite thing to do, it has become an integral part of my days and my spiritual practice. I would have to say that I have lasted it, as least as far as consistent daily writing effort is concerned. 
    I bought a new book in the same series as "Daily Peace." It is called "Daily Joy." There are several themes in this line of NatGeo books. I chose joy because that is my word. It's what I strive to stay in touch with inside me, and bring forth in my daily living. It's a fun and worthwhile exercise to name your own personal word. 
    I'm feeling burned out at the moment, maybe a bit of what Hemingway refers to as "smashed." I have been pondering a break from writing. Part of me fears that I won't resume. Worse than that fear, however, is having a feeling of dread toward writing. That is no place from which to create, so yes, I am taking a break. It may be a few days or a few weeks, I can't say right now. 
    Thank you for reading. I'll be back!

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

March 30--Suffering

We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.  --Winston Churchill

    None of us has to look far to see someone who has endured great suffering and persisted. There seems to be no end to the forms of suffering available to us. Likewise, there are infinite means of inspiration and survival. 
    Yesterday's installation of a new water heater has vastly improved my short-lived cranky mood. While the drama queen in me considers no hot water a suffering state, really, it is not. I do see my tendency to view as suffering what are really minor inconveniences. We can say we have suffered through the pandemic, but we have also found many means of inspiration and survival, even thriving, under vastly changed life circumstances. Humans truly are Churchill's quote in action. We are resilient!
    Time for a HOT shower! 👍👍

Monday, March 29, 2021

March 29--In the Wilderness

The promised land always lies on the other side of the wilderness. 
--Havelock Ellis

    I would have to say that for the most part, I hang out in the promised land. I focus on gratitude and all the good in my life. I'm generally on a fairly even keel. 
    However, at the moment, I'm in the wilderness. I am sick of everything. I'm brain-fried from six days a week doing tax work. We have, in the short year of 2021, replaced our furnace, AC and dishwasher, and now the water heater has gone belly-up. We have had no hot water for four days. My back still hurts (pain in the ass?!?!). My personal rut is getting deeper. I want to go somewhere. I want to both hang out in person with friends and family and be alone. I want to sleep in, which is for me setting the alarm after 6:00 am. These are all first-world problems, I fully realize. And I'll snap out of it relatively soon. Sometimes I just enjoy being cranky. 
    Praise life--Opening Day is Thursday! Go Cubs!

Sunday, March 28, 2021

March 28--Life in Early Spring

Surely, in the light of history, it is more intelligent to hope rather than to fear, to try rather than not to try.  For one thing we know beyond all doubt: Nothing has ever been achieved by the person who said, "It can't be done."  --Eleanor Roosevelt

    Mrs. Roosevelt was quite the wise woman, and her words above ring true. 
    However, I feel like writing about other things. Yesterday afternoon my husband, dog, and I were hanging in our garage enjoying the spring sunshine. A new neighbor family came by to introduce themselves. They were delivering packages of fresh home-made egg rolls to the homes on our court. How cool is that!?!!? And the egg rolls are delicious! It was an uplifting event in a world where it's so easy to be dragged down by negativity.
    I received my second Moderna Covid vaccination this past Thursday. If I had any reaction, I missed it due to my back hurting so much. My back is improving, and I'm really looking forward to feeling safer in the world once the two-week post-shot "waiting" period passes. I have great empathy for folks in chronic pain. Being pain-free after the hip replacement has made me realize that I do not care for being in pain any longer. I remind myself that my body is continuing to adjust to the new joint and alignment. And it's rebelling from so much sitting at work...
    Tax season is crazy. With the ARP act, the laws changed mid-stream, and every day something new seems to come up. In this age of technology, we await the updating of a multitude of computer software programs to handle the changes. I'm not sure if the one-month extension in the filing deadline is a good thing or not. I'm still focused on April 15 as the end of full-time work, then part-time "finishing up" for the month after that. I can hardly wait to get back to the golf course.
    It CAN be done!

Auburn Hills, Wichita

Saturday, March 27, 2021

March 27--Hope Is Mighty

There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.  --Sir Bernard Williams

    It's a good thing that we can depend on the sun to keep shining. We don't give it a second thought. It will be around, doing its thing, for longer than any human can comprehend. Even when it is cloudy, we are sustained by the sun's brilliance. What we see as darkness or night is irrelevant to the sun.
    Likewise, hope sustains us in the face of any difficulty. If we give up hope, the difficulty wins. Something within us keeps at least a glimmer of hope alive--I believe it is innate within our souls. We come into this life with hope for joy, expansion and freedom. It is the inborn driving force that enables us to continue adventuring through life. 
    This year I hope to stay well and travel, especially to see family to the east. I hope to maintain my sanity through the rest of tax season. I hope to golf a lot. I hope to not gain weight. I hope to add at least one more stadium to my MLB quest. I hope to walk Barney nearly every day after tax work ends. I hope the Cubs don't suck. I hope we get enough rain this summer to keep the lawn in decent shape. I hope my garden is not overrun with tiny maple tree seedlings. I hope to once again complete over 100 miles swimming. I hope my fairy godmother will wave her magic wand and clean my house every couple of weeks. 
    Hope is fun! 

Sunrise in Fort Collins, Colorado

Friday, March 26, 2021

March 26--Releasing Old Nonsense

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.  --Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Yep, let it go. Too many of us have carried around too much baggage for too long. Two important life skills assist in this process. Those are forgiveness and making amends. 
    We can't change the past and other folks' unfortunate behaviors toward us. If we refuse to forgive, we add more weight to that baggage, which burdens only us. Forgiveness is freedom. 
    Then sometimes we are the ones who have exhibited unfortunate behaviors. We know, by gut feel, intuition, whatever you care to call it when we have screwed up. That's the time to make amends quickly, and "be done with it." A dose of self-forgiveness also helps the process along. 
    Starting today with a high spirit,

Thursday, March 25, 2021

March 25--Follow the Sun

Part of being optimistic is keeping one's head pointed toward the sun, one's feet moving forward.  --Nelson Mandela

    My dad was a great optimist. He transitioned in 2000, yet not a day goes by that I don't think of him. He frequently reminded us that "the Miller family sure has been blessed." Granted, we had our healthy dose of dysfunction, but at least he was upbeat about it! He worked hard, starting his own sawmill business in central Pennsylvania in the 1950s, and building a comfortable life for his family over the decades. He kept his feet moving forward, and I have no doubt that he would say he had a good life. 
    Optimism and pessimism are choices we make each moment. Pessimism comes from the outside, allowing events, circumstances and people to bring us down. Optimism, rooted in the magnificent spiritual essence deep inside, flows from within, not getting distracted by outside happenings. Simple observation will lead one to the conclusion that optimism feels better, so why not choose it? 
    Into the sunshine,

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

March 24--Stubborn Hope

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You want and watch and work; you don't give up.  --Anne Lamott

    I love Anne Lamott's writing. I highly recommend "Almost Everything," her book on hope. It is very entertaining, as she has a great sense of humor. It is also inspiring, as one would expect a book on hope to be. 
    Showing up and doing the next right thing is a concept I learned as part of addiction recovery. Living without one's "substance of choice" is rarely a one-and-done experience. It is a daily process of staying present and focused on the doing the right thing. It takes stubborn hope to do that one day at a time. Days of hope added together make an abundant lifetime. 
    Hope has enabled us to make it through the pandemic and seek a new, more sustainable way to live. A glimmer of the dawn is out there... let us not give up.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

March 23--Each Step Matters

To be fully human is to know that it's possible to face the unimaginable and somehow put one foot in front of the other.  --Oprah Winfrey

    Sadly, there is a lot of unimaginable out there. Physical, verbal and emotional abuse are rampant, and have been for decades, as evidenced by such revelations as the #MeToo movement. Human trafficking, violence, hate crimes, war, starvation--the unimaginable could easily overwhelm a soul. But that's the secret--the soul. There's something within us that knows we are eternal, that whatever appears outside us is not the truth of our essence. We have an inner strength that we draw on. It's a great mystery. It's there when we need it to "somehow put one foot in front of the other." My favorite saying that gets me through so many things is "this, too, shall pass." Whatever it is, it passes, and we are eternal, moving forward, sometimes trudging, step by step. I'm also quite fond of the "children's" book, "The Little Engine That Could."
    I think I can, I think I can,

Monday, March 22, 2021

March 22--Handling Change

It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best manage change.  --Charles Darwin 

    The first thing this quote brings to mind for me is the rioting at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Those who were not capable of handling the change in administration used violence to display their inability to cope. 
    Change is one of the few things we can count on in life. We are organically designed to evolve, and it is an unstoppable force given our free will and creativity. I would say that those who can manage change are the strongest and most intelligent. Those who seek to pull us backward are neither. 
    This weekend I changed state, Kansas to Colorado, and I changed from tax work to relaxing with family and forgetting about numbers and forms. These changes are not traumatizing. Why, then, are some changes so difficult? How about moving out of a home where you've lived for decades? What about losing a loved one? What if one receives a dreadful diagnosis? What about an anticipated promotion not happening? We can get into a pleasant "rut" and take for granted that everything will always be that way. But alas, change is a constant. Keeping our minds open to potential changes and the good they can bring makes the moving target of life much easier to handle.  
    Headed back to Kansas,

Sunday, March 21, 2021

March 21--Taking a Break

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.  --Kahlil Gibran

    I'm relaxing in a big, super-comfy, king-size bed in a hotel in Colorado, here to visit my kids. I'm away from the 6-day-a-week stress of tax work for a few days. Therefore, I don't feel like pondering suffering and scars, so I'll leave that to you, sweet readers. 
    Have a lovely day. I'm planning on it!

After last weekend's 20 inches of snow

Saturday, March 20, 2021

March 20--Fail Already!

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all--in which case, you fail by default. 
--J. K. Rowling

    Failure started early. As a toddler, learning to walk, I fell-down-went-boom, often, and got back up and toddled away. You did, too. We were encouraged to keep working at it. Later on, however, when we started to dream big dreams, we may not have been so encouraged. We may have been warned about the big scary world and the consequences of daring. We may have been diminished and discouraged by people who didn't know any better. Fear of failure certainly can expand into paralysis. That's not living, as Ms. Rowling's quote so clearly states. 
    All of life is a practice. Breathing (take a big one now). Walking (you still wipe out occasionally, don't you?). Eating (you still slop something on your shirt occasionally, don't you?) Living equals messes, mistakes, screw-ups, stuff requiring amends. This goes on till the day we die, unless one cocoons away in fear. Why waste all that great practice time!?!?!
    Digging the practice,

Friday, March 19, 2021

March 19--Alternative Beauty

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen. --Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

I offer these words about loving from Richard Rohr of the Center for Action and Contemplation:
    We’re told by developmental psychologists that there’s a staging in our growth in love. We have to start with self-love and respecting the self. If we don’t respect ourselves, we won’t know how to respect anybody else.
    Then God moves us to group love, family love, which is basically the love of people who are connected to us or who are like us. A lot of people don’t even get there. They don’t know how to love their family or those close to them or those in their group.
    From there, God moves us to the third level, which is universal love; I’m afraid a much smaller number of people get to this place. As we see in politics, in our country, and throughout the world, at best most people just get to the second stage of knowing how to love people who are like them: their race, their nationality, their religion, their political party. When we stay at this second stage of group love, we clearly don’t create a healthy society. We see this in the rise of white nationalism and the violence at the U.S. Capitol that took place earlier this year. Many of us who identify as white in the United States are just coming to understand that it was this second level of exclusive love for our own group that was the foundation for most of the oppressive systems of our nation.
Beautiful people do not just happen. 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

March 18--Impossible?

Start by doing what's necessary, then what's possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.  --St. Francis of Assisi

    I once formed a group of woman who named ourselves the Brave Broads (hence the blog name). We had the ultimate goal of skydiving. We started out doing what was necessary--looking at ourselves, our lives, and the limiting beliefs causing us to be fearful in a vast number of ways. We bonded as a group, learning to open up to each other about our faults, flaws, quirks, mistakes, hopes, dreams, joys, etc. I worked with each one individually in private coaching sessions, as well as working with my own coach. As we expanded our view of what was possible for us, we successfully tackled the Kansas State University Challenge Course, an excellent team-building exercise. We traveled together to Chicago and to a women's retreat in Alabama. 
    We had made the reservations for our skydive well in advance. Though we knew the date, it seemed fairly sudden that the big day was upon us, the day to do "the impossible." Long story short, we each jumped tandem out of a perfectly good airplane. In an instant, complete and utter terror turned into the ecstasy of free-falling. It was an amazing "impossible" experience. Sometimes I think back on it and can hardly believe I really did it. Fortunately I have the video to prove it!
    St. Francis "nailed" it.
Floating over Kansas


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

March 17--We Learn

There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.  --Willa Cather

    I'm in the midst of a tax prep storm right now, and I'm learning every day. I look forward to April 15, after which I joke about entering the witness protection program, thereby having the rest of the year to learn in calm, mostly. 
    I think we learn in storms because we are forced to--it's a matter of survival. Learning in calm is by choice, at a comfy pace. The pandemic created a storm for us to learn from, but it also created a lot of calm opportunity for learning by severely limiting our usual busy lifestyles.  
    Life is a great teacher!

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

March 16--We Always Have a Choice

You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.  --Maya Angelou

    I confess that I was well into adulthood before I realized that in any situation, I had a choice. It may have been simply to have a good attitude or a bad attitude, but I had a choice. Having that choice makes it easier to handle the many events in life that are out of our control. 
    I love the phrase, "you can decide not to be reduced by them." In my early years, there were many circumstances that reduced me because I didn't understand that I could choose otherwise. There was verbal abuse, addictive behavior, and my parents' unhappy marriage. I have worked diligently to rise up from the effects of those. All this has made me more self-aware, and better able to handle events without becoming less in the process. It is most definitely a daily practice to keep from slipping into old habitual behaviors. 
    Choosing a good today,

Monday, March 15, 2021

March 15--Rarely Easy

Hardships often prepare ordinary people for extraordinary destiny.  --C. S. Lewis

    We tend to think that someone who is experiencing "extraordinary destiny" just woke up there one day, piece of cake, no effort involved. That is rarely the case. Most everyone who has achieved in life has had to move through hardships, disappointments, challenges, setbacks. That's the preparation part of Lewis' quote. Anything meaningful is worth putting in the effort, though it may not seem to be so in the down moments. 
    An excellent example of today's topic is human birth. There is plenty of hardship both for the mother and the baby. It's an "ordinary" process, happening thousands of times a day around planet Earth. A new human life emerges, with infinite potential to make a difference in the world. That right there is extraordinary destiny. 
    Loving the process, 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

March 14--Stormy Times

Once the storm is over, you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain: When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about.  --Haruki Murakami

    This is so true. I can think of many storms in my life, some big, many smaller, and I don't know how I got through them, but I did. Yes, each one changed me. Going through rough times cannot help but change us. 
    I met someone yesterday who I am very hopeful can get me the new vehicle I want. My usual inclination is to shake hands, and due to the pandemic, we don't do that any more. For the first time, I actually had the conscious thought, "don't stick the hand out." The pandemic has changed our personal touching behavior, possibly forever. I feel some lingering sadness about that.
    Any time of great grief is a storm in life. Loss of a loved one, for example, feels like a bottomless pit of grief, and it seems like we can't possibly make it through. But we do, and we hopefully become more compassionate and empathetic as a result. The time-worn saying that the Universe doesn't give us any more than we can handle--it's true, but also proves that the Universe has more faith in our resilience than we may have. 
    I think of the many actual earthly atmospheric storms that move on our planet and cause great destruction. People who have suffered through those storms are living proof of Murakami's quote. 
    Let's celebrate our resilience!

I've lived in the Land of Oz for almost 40 years and
have never seen one of these, thank heavens!

Saturday, March 13, 2021

March 13--Be a Maker

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.  --Thomas Edison

    How many of us have the fortitude to stick with it like Edison did? I'm truly glad he did!
    I'm willing to bet that all great modern-day inventions went through many iterations before things "clicked." Somehow there was an internal knowing that the goal could be reached, and perseverance kept the inventors going. I'm not sure I wouldn't have given up. 
    Ernest Holmes stated that "everything is twice created." First we have the idea in mind, and then through focused effort, the item takes form. It may take a bunch of attempts, but hopefully not 10,000, to get it just right. We are innately designed to create and to continue creating. It does not serve us to identify creations as failures. That hinders us and the creative process. 
    I offer Yoda's wisdom, "Do or do not. There is no try." Have fun creating!
The Force is with you!!

Friday, March 12, 2021

March 12--Inner Might

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.  --Henry Stanley Haskins

    Staying in the present can be a challenging practice. What we have accomplished or failed to accomplish in the past can stick to us like sand at the beach. It is likewise with worries about the future. We cannot change what lies behind us, and we have limited control over what lies before us, so expending a lot of effort in those directions isn't really useful. The present moment, doing what is the next right thing, keeps us in touch with what lies within us, our very best right now, not distracted by past efforts or future uncertainties. What we have done or may do, successful or unsuccessful, good or bad, does not ever take away the inner essence of Spirit within us. 

Thursday, March 11, 2021

March 11--What Are You Putting Up With?

The first great rule of life is to put up with things.  --Baltasar Gracian

    Comically, the photograph in "Daily Peace" with this quote is of a glass of wine. I will admit that a bit of alcohol does help me put up with things sometimes. 
    We do put up with a lot of things to get through life... parents, children, work, bosses, strangers, friends, politicians, government, regulations, poor service, queues, delays, clutter, rudeness, pandemic, incompetence, nasty weather, even ourselves. Let's be honest--there are times when the best course of action with those we dearly love is to put up with them. It does not mean love has failed. Letting it all slide by without angst makes life flow much easier. When we can make constructive improvements in any of these things, fine, do it, but remember that one's inner peace is more valuable than any outside thing. 
    Successful "putting up with things" seems to me to be a short-term practice. Long-term tolerance begs the question of why one continues to put up with something like abuse, overwork, addiction, or bullying. Putting up with things can become a bad habit, devastating to one's life energy and soul. It takes effort to continually overlook nasty behavior. 
    I believe it a worthwhile exercise to investigate those things we are putting up with!

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

March 10--Patience

Have patience with all things but first with yourself. Never confuse your mistakes with your value as a human being.  --St. Francis de Sales

    How prophetic! I finished yesterday's post with "We are not our mistakes." Our value comes from the innate spiritual essence within us that can never be diminished or broken. Each of us is unique throughout all of eternity, and that certainly has to be worth something! 
    I love the idea of using patience first right at home, with myself. I can be hyper-critical of myself, not doing enough, either on any given day or in the grand scheme of life. I want things to happen much faster than is reasonable. I don't want to screw up. These ideas are not unique to me. I believe all of us could use more self-patience, self-gentleness, and self-appreciation.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

March 9--Let's Be Clear

You mustn't confuse a single failure with a final defeat.  --F. Scott Fitzgerald

    Sometimes we lose a battle, but eventually win the war. Let's face it. We've all had less than stellar moments in life. Because we get up each day and continue to give life a shot, we are going to have some results that we don't like, i.e., "failure." It's quite important not to link failure and self-worth. Our self-worth is based on our willingness to keep trying, keep moving forward, keep living, rather than on one or more failures in life. We are not our mistakes. 
    Practicing life,

Monday, March 8, 2021

March 8--Down, Up, Down, Up

The secret of life is to fall seven times and get up eight times.  --Paulo Coelho

    We learn this as babies starting to walk. Fall down, get up, fall down, get up. You'll never find a newly-walking toddler fall down and refuse to get up again. It's innate in us to keep on keeping on. It's a good thing we have this ingrained in us, because life most certainly is going to knock us down more than once. Relationships end, people die, jobs are eliminated, illness happens, accidents occur. Yet somehow we find the strength to get back up and keep coming back for more. 
    Life is good!

Everyone has a good heart... a magnificent source of wisdom and intuitive intelligence that can and does create our self-security, resilience, connection and fulfillment.  --Howard Martin of HeartMath

Sunday, March 7, 2021

March 7--Commitment

You have to pick the places you don't walk away from.  --Joan Didion

    "Commitment" can be a scary word. It conjures sticking with something enough to be accountable, a word that gives me the creepy-crawlies. I can certainly do "accountable," but I'm usually inclined to walk away at first. 
    What have I stuck with in my life? College, getting both B.S. and M.B.A. degrees. Marriage, 34 years and counting. Motherhood, 33 years and counting. 12-Step program, 33 years and counting. Tax prep work, doing my sixth year. Yoga teaching, nine years and counting. Coaching, going on 13 years. We've lived in the same home in Wichita for 36 years. I've been a regular lap-swimmer and golfer for decades. All these have been and continue to be blessings in my life. 
    What have I walked away from? My childhood home in Pennsylvania. Corporate technology work. My older brother Ken. Relationships wherein I was giving more than I was receiving. Addiction. The internal pressure of "you should do more." 
    We make choices. They are not always conscious, but we do make them. Walking away can prove to be a good thing or a bad thing. Fortunately, we can always make a different choice. 

Saturday, March 6, 2021

March 6--How DO We Do It?

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life. 

    I've been pondering this one for a few hours. Let's look at "this thing called life." We come here, pure spiritual beings squeezed into a helpless body, which is then squeezed through a small opening in Mom, and we are thrust into a completely foreign world. We have no means of getting our needs met other than by making a lot of noise or being very cute. We have to figure out and teach ourselves how to get around like the giants around us. Our muscles and bones are not yet sturdy enough to support us. People around us are making assorted noises that we need to learn to decipher as speech. It's a great thing that we are like little sponges who learn quickly. All that is just the first few months!
    We have to learn to feed ourselves, use that weird contraption with water in it where we are supposed to pee and poop, share (dang it!), and recognize that there are others like us here. After a few short years to adapt, they send us off to school with others our age, and a whole 'nother set of learning starts. Meanwhile, we become aware of our peers and learn about friendship, bullying, what's cool, what's not cool, and we start to wonder how we fit into "this thing called life." 
    It doesn't get much easier. We have to support ourselves, so we get jobs, maybe get married and have a family, take on all sorts of adult responsibilities. Raising children is an extraordinary blessing and challenge at the same time. If we do a good job, they move out of the house and create successful lives on their own. Then we are empty-nesters, in a whole new realm of figuring out what to do with ourselves. Eventually, if we are "fortunate," we age, and as so many have said, getting old is not for sissies. 
    How can we possibly get through all this???!?! It is in the remembering that we are "dearly beloved." 
    So grateful for "this thing called life,"

Friday, March 5, 2021

March 5--Let's Move On

You build on failure. You use it as a stepping-stone. Close the door on the past. 
--Johnny Cash

    There is a trap in life that has caught me repeatedly. Some effort of mine has failed, according to my thinking, and the resulting disappointment causes me to go into a phase of "why bother?" Fortunately, I recognized this pattern, the first step in eliminating it, but escaping it has been an ongoing practice. It can be a real challenge to close that door Mr. Cash mentions. 
    It is much more helpful to see a "failure" simply as an option that didn't work. OK, that didn't work, what can I do differently to get more satisfying results? It is a constant practice of looking forward rather than behind. Depending on infinite potential rather than disappointment is the way to thrive in life.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

March 4--Your Work Matters

Nothing will work unless you do.  --Maya Angelou

    Imagination is a wonderful thing, but once the ideas have formed well, we have to do something, some footwork or baby steps, to make the ideas work. One doesn't have to live very long on planet Earth to realize that riches don't just drop from the sky with no effort. Everything worth having is worth some effort. 
    Each of us plays a part in how the world works. I think gratefully this morning of the folks who keep our sewer and trash pickup systems going. This may not be a common item on your gratitude list, but life would be quite unpleasant if these systems failed or didn't exist. The same is true for farmers, delivery systems and manufacturing. Our world works because we do. 
    Thank you for doing your work, whatever it may be!

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

March 3--Bias Traps Us

If you can learn from hard knocks, you can also learn from soft touches. 
--Carolyn Kenmore

    Recognizing our biases is a key ingredient to learning. I offer these words by Brian McLaren, a teacher from the Center for Action and Contemplation, who has identified 13 biases that make us see things so differently from one another:

People can't see what they can’t see. Their biases get in the way, surrounding them like a high wall, trapping them in ignorance, deception, and illusion. No amount of reasoning and argument will get through to them, unless we first learn how to break down the walls of bias. 

Confirmation Bias: We judge new ideas based on the ease with which they fit in with and confirm the only standard we have: old ideas, old information, and trusted authorities. As a result, our framing story, belief system, or paradigm excludes whatever doesn’t fit.

Complexity Bias: Our brains prefer a simple falsehood to a complex truth.

Community Bias: It’s almost impossible to see what our community doesn’t, can’t, or won’t see.

Complementarity Bias: If you are hostile to my ideas, I’ll be hostile to yours. If you are curious and respectful toward my ideas, I’ll respond in kind.

Competency Bias: We don’t know how much (or little) we know because we don’t know how much (or little) others know. In other words, incompetent people assume that most other people are about as incompetent as they are. As a result, they underestimate their [own] incompetence, and consider themselves at least of average competence.

Consciousness Bias: Some things simply can’t be seen from where I am right now. But if I keep growing, maturing, and developing, someday I will be able to see what is now inaccessible to me.

Comfort or Complacency Bias: I prefer not to have my comfort disturbed.

Conservative/Liberal Bias: I lean toward nurturing fairness and kindness, or towards strictly enforcing purity, loyalty, liberty, and authority, as an expression of my political identity.

Confidence Bias: I am attracted to confidence, even if it is false. I often prefer the bold lie to the hesitant truth.

Catastrophe or Normalcy Bias: I remember dramatic catastrophes but don’t notice gradual decline (or improvement).

Contact Bias: When I don’t have intense and sustained personal contact with “the other,” my prejudices and false assumptions go unchallenged.

Cash Bias: It’s hard for me to see something when my way of making a living requires me not to see it.

Conspiracy Bias: Under stress or shame, our brains are attracted to stories that relieve us, exonerate us, or portray us as innocent victims of malicious conspirators.

    Let us consider these in ourselves, and how we might move beyond our biases to a more unified humanity. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

March 2--Infinite Potential

Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. The potential for greatness lives within each of us.  --Wilma Rudolph

    We would not have all the technological wonder we enjoy today if the power of dreams was not a key ingredient in creation, along with the perseverance of the human spirit. I'm so grateful for every dreamer that stuck with it, because I have transportation that takes me to work and around the world. I have instant connection with folks on the other side of the planet. I have a comfortable, safe, warm/cool home. I have convenient means to store and prepare good food. With the flick of a switch, I have light. Art in its many forms energizes my human spirit and reminds me of the greatness within each of us. 
    Dream on,

Monday, March 1, 2021

March 1--New Month for Resilence

Our business in this world is not to succeed, but to continue to fail, in good spirits.  --Robert Louis Stevenson

    I must say a personal "Hallelujah!!!!" that February has past. It's my least favorite month, and I'm convinced that it is the longest month of the year. 😉😉 The theme in "Daily Peace" for March is resilience.
    Resilience is defined as "an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change." If you have lived through the past year, you are resilient. Resilience is a very personal thing, and its strength and pace are unique to each individual. We recover or adjust differently depending on the inciting event. Grieving the loss of a loved one, for example, requires much more resilience than a broken appliance.
    Back to the Stevenson quote... I would simply offer that if we have continued to fail in good spirits, we have actually succeeded in life!
    Be in good spirits this Monday--spring IS coming!