Wednesday, June 30, 2021

June 30--The Wisdom of Years

The years teach much which the days never knew.  --Ralph Waldo Emerson

    As I impatiently watch the timer count down on the microwave, I remind myself that those are seconds of my life ticking away. That thought didn't cross my mind in younger days. 
    When I went to the orthopedic doctor the other day to have my sore knee checked out, the front desk person wrote "fall risk" in big letters on my paperwork. What? Where did that come from? Just from my age? I didn't fall to hurt my knee. I didn't complain of falling. I wasn't wobbling. Assumptions relative to age can certainly be maddening. 
    Looking back at earlier years, they were a whirlwind of finishing school, getting settled into working life, falling in love, getting married, being a homeowner, and having kids and raising them. In the meantime, I was working on my spiritual growth and recovery from addiction. Life was very full and rich, and it was all I could do to take one busy day at a time. It can be hard to see one's personal growth and learning each day, but as Emerson suggests, the perspective of years reveals much change and wisdom attained. 
    I offer words from the Serenity Prayer to summarize what the years have taught me:
    -the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    -the courage to change the things I can,
    -the wisdom to know the difference.
    It's an ongoing practice!

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

June 29--Satisfied?

To be able to look back upon one's life in satisfaction is to live twice. 
--Kahlil Gibran

    Peeking ahead, the July theme in "Daily Joy" is adventure. Adventure is what makes life satisfying, and it means different things to different people. 
    Can you look back upon your life in satisfaction? For consideration:
  • Have you experienced some adventure? 
  • Have you had good relationships with family and friends? 
  • Did you expand mentally, emotionally and spiritually? 
  • Did you try new things? 
  • Did you fall in love? 
  • Did you conquer one or more challenges? 
  • Did you create something that pleases you? 
  • Did you enjoy at least some part of planet Earth outside your hometown? 
  • Have you stood on top of a mountain? 
  • Have you had a dip in an ocean? 
  • Did you fulfill a personal quest? 
  • Did you survive a situation that seemed impossible to live through?
  • Have you experienced how another culture lives? 
  • Have you helped someone? 
  • Are you "comfortable in your own skin?" 
  • Have you made amends where indicated? 
  • Have you put your unique talents and gifts to good use? 
  • Have you enjoyed the companionship of a pet? 
  • Have you celebrated milestones of yourself and those you love? 
  • Have you cared for yourself gently and lovingly? 
  • Did you get to do/be/have what you wanted? 
  • Are you still living each day with anticipation of good? 
    Life is good, and yes, I am satisfied.

From a mountaintop in central PA, looking down on State College

Monday, June 28, 2021

June 28--What's Your Angle?

Happiness is largely an attitude of mind, of viewing life from the right angle. 
--Dale Carnegie

    I have been happy in the worst of times and cranky in the best of times, and vice versa. I can thus conclude that my level of happiness is a choice that comes from within me rather than being determined by outside influences. This is empowering. I can view life from the right angle no matter what is happening around me. 
    My right knee has been troubling me for a couple of weeks. I tend to get cranky when any physical ailment slows me down. I've been reminding myself that "this, too, shall pass." I have an appointment with an orthopedic doc to check it out. In my mind, it's a big, annoying, happiness-dimming deal. Then last evening, I saw in an MLB game a horrific collision between two players that left one with a career-threatening leg injury. That quickly gave me the "right angle" to see that my knee issue isn't that bad. 
    Both happiness and unhappiness can gain momentum within us. I lean toward happiness just because it feels so much better. 

Sunday, June 27, 2021

June 27--Let It Flow On By

To make the best use of what is in your power, take the rest as it happens. 

    What is in my power... the stuff I can control... really very little. Myself, my perceptions, my reactions. It's plenty of work in life to manage those things. It's a much better use of my time to work on the things I have power over, rather than to try to fuss, meddle and control the rest that is far out of my sphere. 
    Our world has seen events in the last few years that I would have never anticipated seeing in my lifetime. With so little control over these things, we've had to learn, to save our sanity, to "take the rest as it happens," and let it go. We make the best use of our power when we live each day well, with kindness, consideration and gratitude for those folks who share our lives. 
    Thanks for reading!


Saturday, June 26, 2021

June 26--Free Will Rocks!

We can always choose to perceive things differently. You can focus on what's wrong in your life, or you can focus on what's right.  --Marianne Williamson

    Facebook is the perfect example of Ms. Williamson's quote. While I don't spend much time on Facebook any more, I can count on certain "friends" to focus on the negative and certain others to post only positive items. 
    As I sit here and ponder what is wrong in my life, I'm having a hard time coming up with anything worthy to list. I got one! I don't have a maid to clean the house. Geez. That's because I'd rather do it myself (really!) than pay someone to do it. See what I mean? I am routinely so focused on the good in my life that I have to think hard to come up with anything wrong. And that is a good thing, for I've been working with my coach to maintain the mindset of "Yes, life CAN be this good!" 
    What we focus on in life expands. It is a law of nature, along with our free will. That would seem to me to make the choice a fairly simple one.
    Life is good!

From the Life Is Good store, my favorite clothing

Friday, June 25, 2021

June 25--Take a Step Back

Distance has the same effect on the mind as on the eye.  --Samuel Johnson

    The further we step back, the more we can see. Think of backing up to look at a painting or sculpture in a museum or taking in beautiful scenery. That's using the eye. 
    The bigger picture is most advantageous to the mind as well. We can get so mired in a problem or drama that there seems to be no solution. Mentally distancing from the situation gives us a new perspective and hopefully clarity. I suspect we've all been in a tense relationship situation where the best plan is to step away, regroup, and reconsider in order to behave appropriately and create the best outcome for all involved. Meditation is a powerful distancing tool, opening us to the realm of infinite potential as we recognize the expansiveness within us. I would offer that napping and exercising are also good distancing practices.
    Thinking of distance in terms of travel, certainly we get to see beautiful scenery, but we also nourish the mind learning about different cultures, traditions and history. There's way more to life than just our small day-to-day worlds.
    Stepping back and moving forward,

"The Bean" in Chicago's Millennium Park

Thursday, June 24, 2021

June 24--Someday

It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.  --J. K. Rowling

    Someday. Someday I'll be rich. Someday I'll be happy. Someday I'll have ________. Someday I'll lose weight. Someday I'll exercise. "Someday" is infinite and in the future. Life is now. Daydreaming is fun, no doubt. It is useful if we use the practice to create the baby steps of today that actually lead to dream fulfillment. Dreaming without action carries us away from the present where life is happening. We miss a lot. 
    I suspect we have all known someone who was living for retirement and passed away shortly after achieving that milestone. Being in an unsatisfying job tends to put one into "survive until" mode, where life passes one by in the anticipation of the big event, whatever that is. 
    There is something in every day to appreciate--waking up, coffee, bird song, air conditioners, electricity, flowers, transportation, food, home, loved ones--the list is endless if we simply pay attention. 
    Gratitude makes for good living,

Tony Robbins

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

June 23--Let's (not) Face It

If you shut your door on all errors, truth will be shut out.  --Rabindranath Tagore

    We all screw up, and that's the truth. If we try to hide all errors, not only would the truth be shut out, so would a great deal of learning. If we are open, we can learn much from mistakes. First and foremost, we learn not to do the same dumb thing again. Alas, that doesn't mean we won't.
    Denial--now there's some dysFUNctional stuff. It's the classic case of shutting the door on errors: "I'm fine." But there's truth underneath the denial screaming to get out. Any addict who has lifted himself up from rock bottom knows the veracity of Tagore's quote. Consider any closely guarded family secrets. In my family of origin, that was my dad's drinking. No one knew the truth except those living under the same roof. That door was shut and well defended. 
    Opening the door, letting out the truth, sets one free. 
    By the way, in the context above, "I'm fine" stands for f%*^#ked up--insecure--neurotic--emotional.
    I'm doing alright,       
The Awkward Yeti, heart-brain comics

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

June 22--"To Infinity and Beyond"

The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see. 
--Sir Winston Churchill

    Between a 12-Step program, spiritual coaching, journaling, and years of self-introspection, I have been able to cover a lot of my history, backward to very early years in my family. I have discovered the roots of many behaviors and beliefs that no longer support my well-being. I was headed down a very self-destructive path. Releasing those behaviors and beliefs, a continual process, has enabled me to feel, see and live a bright future. I have experienced and continue to enjoy great potentials as I look forward to an even richer, healthier life. One of AA's promises is "We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it." Learning from our past enables us to move forward into infinite potential. 
    Going there,

Monday, June 21, 2021

June 21--Let's Be Clear

We always deceive ourselves twice about the people we love--first to their advantage, then to their disadvantage.  --Albert Camus

    It's quite an accomplishment to allow those we love to simply be who they are, without wishing or attempting to change them. No one is totally good or totally bad. Falling in love, we tend to see no flaws or annoying habits in the person. This isn't fair to them. As we get to know him or her better and settle into a relationship, flaws and annoyances take center stage, and put the loved one at a huge disadvantage, possibly killing the relationship. This isn't fair to them either.
    Consider having and raising children... every parent thinks that the newborn they cradle in their arms is perfect. That is to the child's advantage initially, until they grow to the teenage years, for example. Seeing them as perfect teenagers (LOL!!!) is a huge disadvantage to their development and a parent's sanity. 
    "Live and let live" seems to work pretty well,

Sunday, June 20, 2021

June 20--Pay Attention!

To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle.  --George Orwell

    Maybe not so much of a struggle as a practice. It is quite easy to get into the habit of moving through days on autopilot, chained to a to-do list of have-to-do items that seemingly never ends. We take people and the routine of daily life for granted. 
    I'm sitting on a patio in Colorado enjoying fresh cool morning air, a variety of vibrant colors, bird song, and traffic noise in the distance, while waiting for coffee to brew. Being away from home breaks the usual routine and lends itself to being more attentive. 
    I've been reading lately about one's shadow self, those less than desirable characteristics and events that we all have, but would prefer to keep hidden. Given that this shadow is within us, I'd say it is in front of one's nose, yet we would rather overlook it. When this shadow is brought to light, we become free of the past mistakes and beliefs that no longer support our well-being. Knowing oneself more fully leads to ever greater ability to see on all levels--physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. 
    Happy Father's Day to all forms of fatherhood out there. I miss my dad every day. 
    Life is good,

Saturday, June 19, 2021

June 19--Humble Fellowship

One of the signs of passing youth is the birth of a sense of fellowship with other human beings as we take our place among them.  --Virginia Woolf 

“Humility . . . places us neither above nor below other people on some imagined ladder of worth. It places us exactly where we belong, on an equal footing with our fellow beings." --from 12-Step literature

    Humility is defined as freedom from pride or arrogance. I would also suggest that it is freedom from low self-worth, as in "I'm the lowest of the low." Humility is a state of balance, taking a comfortable place among our fellow humans. It takes life experience, both screwing up and achieving goals, losing and winning, so to speak, to realize that we are simply and gloriously human. As a dear mentor, Edwene Gaines, states, "We all do things we would not want to tell our grandmother about." When we are young, everything is a big deal because we believe all of life revolves around us. It takes a variety of life experience, i.e., wisdom that comes with age, to enable us to take things in stride, being a regular human among humans. That fellowship is comforting and supports a sense of inner peace. 
    Humility is a practice, 

From The Saturday Evening Post

Friday, June 18, 2021

June 18--Experience Rocks!

Nothing ever becomes real until it is experienced.  --John Keats

    Back to the watercolor class I'm currently experiencing. (See June 9 post for background.) I've purchased the supplies, and I am going to stick with it. I have no problem being a complete rookie and asking "dumb questions." (My instructor says there are no dumb questions, but there may be dumb answers. Good one!) In theory, I go to class, learn, play, paint, relax, enjoy. But the experience, getting real, is quite different. There is an insane person freaking out in my head. Our first exercise involved drawing straight lines to section off the paper, then drawing a prism, cylinder, cone and rectangle. While a ruler was offered (remember, I like STRAIGHT lines), I decided to go for it freehand, despite the anxiety of the insane person in my head. I lived through it, and you can see the not-too-bad results below. As our instructor said, "We're not trying to create a Rembrandt here." Whew! I'm estimating that this class is about 14 miles outside my box. I'll keep you posted on the "realness" of this adventure.
    Another example of Keats quote that comes to mind for me is snorkeling. I love watching nature shows about the ocean and its amazing variety of life. But when I was actually in the ocean snorkeling, seeing it for the first time with my own eyes--well, it was a powerful spiritual experience for me. There is an astounding complete universe under the surface of the water that most folks never see. 
    Grateful for experiences that stretch me,    

The beginning

Thursday, June 17, 2021

June 17--Look and Learn

One's destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things. 
--Henry Miller

    I consider the many destinations I have been to in my life. It wasn't about arriving there, but rather about experiencing the place, and that creates a new way of looking at things. One of my favorite spots on the planet is Alan Seeger Natural Area in central Pennsylvania. The beauty, the quiet, the solitude, the fresh air--they restore my soul. I've traveled many places around the world, from the poorest parts of Africa to the luxuries of all-inclusive beach resorts. Every trip has been a learning experience, both about the place and its people and about myself. Every situation has enriched my vision of life. 
    An open mind and curiosity are the keys to a new way of looking at things. Are those still active in you, or are you rigid and cynical? I'll take a sense of wonder any day. 
Fresh berry art at the
San Diego Farmers' Market

Flower made of Legos,
Botanica, the Wichita Gardens

At the Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, NY

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

June 16--Time Well Spent?

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.  --Annie Dillard

     This one is interesting to ponder. I feel like most of my days are fairly ordinary. Days are good and generally peaceful. Interactions with others are pleasant. I get to do what I want, for the most part. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed, sometimes bored. I live happily with my wonderful husband and dog. I do part-time work that I enjoy and which uses my skills very well. I continue to learn. I am devoted to daily self-care and maintaining my excellent health. These good days are making for a good life.
    But is that enough? There's a voice in my head that far-too-frequently tells me, "You should do more." The "more" is never specified. More house-cleaning? Yuck. More work? No, because I'm very attached to my flexible schedule and the ability to go and do whenever I choose. More to save the world? I wouldn't know where to start, and quite frankly, that's not my bag. 
    There is a quote in 12-step literature that I dearly love: "Each day we live well, we are well." Just think where we'd be as the human race if everyone lived well and happily and peacefully every day. That would make for a lot of joyful lives and a very content planet. 
Some of the family on a CO trek

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

June 15--Nature Tells All

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. 
--Albert Einstein

    What do I see in nature? The first thing is that everything is infinite--the blades of grass, the fresh air, the leaves on the trees, the sunshine, the grains of sand, the stars, those dastardly squirrels. Nature does not hold back anything. 
    Next I see beauty. It is everywhere, from the tiniest lady bug to vastness of the starry sky at night. The variety of natural beauty on planet Earth is staggering. Have you ever been snorkeling in the ocean? There is a whole other world of creatures and color below the surface of the water.
    I see order, divine order. I believe our planet is an intelligent living entity that knows how to care for itself and us. Everything and everyone on this planet, even those dastardly squirrels, has a purpose and reason for being here to support a rich and healthy life. We mess with this order at our own peril.
    I see joy. There are so many wonderful places to play, explore, climb, make sand castles and daydream. The variety of flowers alone is evidence of the sheer overflowing joy of Spirit to give us everything and more.
    And that's it--divine givingness. Spirit seeks only to provide for us and love us and delight us infinitely. When we truly understand and internalize that, we've got it made. 

Douglas Reservoir outside Fort Collins CO

Monday, June 14, 2021

June 14--Did We Have Fun?

Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality. 
--Nikos Kazantzakis

    The June 12 photo of my weekend golf course didn't quite represent reality. The greens were in generally excellent shape, but the rest of the course was in dreadful shape. Several of the women's tee boxes were bare dirt, and others had just a few weeds here and there. The fairways were hard to pinpoint. There were foot tall weeds all over the fairways. It was a challenge to play for me--remember I said a few days ago that as a gardener, the first thing I see is weeds? Many balls were lost in the poorly-mowed territory. There was much disappointment expressed among the group, exacerbated by the extreme heat and humidity. No one played to their usual scores. 
    But did we have fun? Yes! While we couldn't change the reality of the course, I feel we all did a reasonably good job of focusing on the fun of being away, hanging with friends, enjoying meals out, imbibing adult beverages and rowdy card-playing. I believe a good time was had by all.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

June 13--How Does Life Strike You?

Happiness depends more on how life strikes you than on what happens. 
--Andy Rooney

    If I based my happiness on what happens on my golf scorecard, my happy-o-meter would be registering very low. However, it strikes me that even a rough day on the course is better than, say, being home cleaning toilets. I am grateful that I am able to play, both physically and financially. It keeps me in contact with friends and enables me to meet new folks, both supportive of my happiness. 
    If I based my happiness on the news I glance at now and then, my happy-o-meter would melt down into an ugly mess. Fortunately, so little of it is directly relevant to me in daily life that I am able to restore my happiness level fairly quickly. 
    I think we all know folks who maintain a positive disposition even under dreadful circumstances. We can all do it, at least now and then. Unpleasant stuff is going to happen. Remember the old bumper sticker, "Shit happens."? If our happiness depends on life being great all the time, we're screwed. Let's go with wise Abe Lincoln: “Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” 
    Life strikes me as very good,

Saturday, June 12, 2021

June 12--New Eyes

The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.  --Marcel Proust

    Today I get to play a new-to-me golf course. It is a new landscape, surely. The "new eyes" part is me forgetting all previous golf strokes, good or bad, and enthusiastically taking on the new venue. 
    Really seeing, with full attention, is a challenge for me. As a severely overweight youngster, I was teased a lot, and I think I developed a very strong desire not to be seen (which is obviously ridiculous given the size I was, but there you have it). It seems that led me into the practice of glancing over most everyone and everything. It is still a huge difficulty for me to remember faces and names. 
    Nature is a great place to practice seeing with "new eyes." Maybe flowers were given to us just for this purpose 😉😉 I walk Barney a fairly similar route most days, and it's easy to ignore my surroundings. Reminding myself to look closely at the passing gardens always brings me the beauty of flowers, assorted greenery, water features and other critters. 
    Actual new landscapes are generally more the exception in routine daily life, but each day can be new when we truly pay attention and see with new eyes. 
    I'm off to sink a few putts...


Friday, June 11, 2021

June 11--Remembering

God gave us our memories that we might have roses in December.  --J. M. Barrie

    This immediately brings tears to my eyes. Having just lost a dear friend, lots of memories have been flowing through my mind. Life is so rich with experiences and relationships. Some we label "good" and some we label "bad." I guess the good ones are the rosebuds and the bad ones are the thorns. We choose which ones to focus on, and whatever the choice, we get more of those. I'll take the rosebuds, thanks. 

Thursday, June 10, 2021

June 10--Aspirations

To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.  --Kahlil Gibran

    Do you want to continue learning? Are you OK being a beginner no matter what your age is? Are you willing to risk missteps, mistakes, failure, looking silly, being disappointed? Do you have an event or trip to look forward to with joyful anticipation? Do you have a quest? Is what gets you out of bed in the morning (besides coffee) meaningful to you? Do you look forward to each new day? Do you put forth daily effort to maintain a healthy body, mind and spirit?
    "What do you want to be when you grow up?" This is not a question solely for youngsters. I believe we should continue to ask ourselves this for our whole lifetime. If we are truly living, we are always in a state of "growing up" into our greater potential. 

One of six stadiums remaining
on my MLB quest

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

June 9--Yes, We Do

We already have everything we need.  --Pema Chodron

    Amen! This is a very lofty and profound quote. Today I am using it in a very practical sense. Last night I attended the first of six watercolor classes. It was fun to reunite with the instructor from whom I've taken several art classes. The drawing workshop frustrated me totally. The acrylics classes were great fun and ultimately led me to the barn quilt painting. My artistic horizon has been expanded. It is important to me to keep learning.
    Back to the watercolor class... the first one was all about all the supplies we need to buy. The instructor talked about an exercise to begin exploring the different ways to use the paints and water. He knows me well enough to note in my direction that this medium is very different from acrylics, and I could be easily frustrated, having shown my love of straight lines with the barn quilts. When we were finished, he said, "Well, if I haven't scared you off, I'll see you next week." YIKES! I left there feeling like he had scared me off. Loud questions are racing through my mind:
  • Do I really have fantasies of being able to make watercolor art? 
  • Do I want to spend all that money on supplies for something that will only frustrate me? 
  • Should I just quit now? 
  • Or should I be bull-headed and stick with it and buy everything and torture myself? 
    Then a tiny voice speaks up, "It might be fun. You have the money. Why not try it? You can do it!" I know I'm having PTSD from high school art classes. This is stretching my self-knowledge and abilities, and that is always scary to me. 
    Writing this has been clarifying. I'm at least going to go shopping. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

June 8--Fun? What's That!?!?!

I never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun.  --Katharine Hepburn

    Losing a loved one really makes me appreciate "just being," alive and moving, with the great potential for fun in each day. Life can turn into a series of chores, "have to" things. That's no fun. 
    I am blessed to be at the stage of life wherein I don't have to do all that much. I'm perfectly happy just being and having fun. Fun for me is golfing (even though I suck at it), swimming, walking and playing with Barney, reading, watching baseball, hanging with family and friends, traveling, napping, seeing the kids in Colorado, swinging on my backyard swing. Writing this blog is "just being" and fun. I don't think anyone goes to their grave saying they had too much fun. 
    Heading to the golf course,
Outside Tiger Stadium, Detroit, June 2019

Monday, June 7, 2021

June 7--What You See

The question is not what you look at, but what you see.  --Henry David Thoreau

    I love going to art museums. These are classic examples of Thoreau's quote. Everyone who passes through looks at the same things, but what they see can be vastly different. When imagination and perception get involved, the options are infinite. This is a glorious aspect of being human. 
    In daily life, what do I see? I'm a gardener, so one would think I see beautiful flowers and plants. Alas, this life-long gardener sees weeds first, then the supposed-to-be-there vegetation. That's the natural reaction of someone who has spent hundreds of hours weeding. My greater intent is to see beauty and kindness. When I walk Barney, I notice the emerald green grass, the sturdy trees, the blue sky, and brilliant sunshine. When I run errands, I practice seeing and being kindness in interactions. Focusing on beauty and kindness bring more of those into my life. 
    By the way, I highly recommend the Art Institute of Chicago and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, both great places to practice seeing. The photo below is a huge sculpture suspended from the ceiling in the contemporary wing of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. It is made, I kid you not, of ordinary styrofoam cups. I see something to drink out of, the artist (can't remember) saw this. 

    Humans are amazing!

Sunday, June 6, 2021

June 6--Where Do We Wonder?

People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars... and they pass by themselves without wondering. 
--Saint Augustine

    I must say it does take some effort and persistence to dig into the mysteries of one's own being. It can be considerably easier to travel to exotic lands than to open one's closet and release the skeletons. Another thing I've come to realize as a yoga and Melt Method teacher is how little attention folks give to the magnificence and mystery of their own bodies. It seems like they don't want to admit to having a body, especially if it hurts or troubles them in some way. 
    Yesterday included the memorial service for a dear friend who nearly achieved the impressive age of 90. The location and the many folks attending and involved incited some PTSD in me, in addition to grief. I used to think that going to funerals as one ages would get easier, given that the number attended would most likely increase. For me, each one is getting more difficult, as my own gets closer. Death of a loved one is definitely an opportunity to explore internally--how we grieve, how we live, how we appreciate others and ourselves. 
    I've been blessed to travel to the many places mentioned by Saint Augustine, and to wonder and explore myself deeply. This all has led to a very rich and interesting life. How gratifying is it that we have infinite inner and outer territory to explore, enough for many, many lifetimes!

Saturday, June 5, 2021

June 5--What's Your Interpretation?

There are no facts, only interpretations.  --Friedrich Nietzsche

    Well! Haven't we experienced a lot of this, especially in politics the last five years!!?!?! Every single thing is interpreted through the perspective of each individual involved, filtered through the person's history, triggers, prejudices, etc. Acknowledging and accepting this brings greater understanding of others, and hopefully some level of peace. Resisting this brings only frustration and conflict. 
    Still figuring out life,

Friday, June 4, 2021

June 4--Take a Nap, Take a Walk

In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion. 
--Albert Camus

    I am totally onboard with the "turn away" part. I'm not sure I can understand the world, but if there is any hope of that, yes, it requires a step back to bring things into perspective. When I turn away from the world, I naturally turn within, and understanding myself better helps me to understand the world better. My nap time is my consistent daily turn away, which I refer to as my "stop the world, I want to get off" time. 
    Another "turn away" practice that is most beneficial for me is to not take anything personally. This is no small challenge. My codependent self thinks everything is about me. Separating myself from others' actions and opinions certainly helps my understanding of life. 
    My daily walks with Barney are also an opportunity to "turn away." His joy in being outdoors is infectious. He's not burdened by the cares of the world. He's alert, curious, always ready to go. He is love incarnate, and that's what I want to practice, and what I want the world to be. 
    Learning every day,
Nap time with Barney

Thursday, June 3, 2021

June 3--The Yin Yang of Life

One is never fortunate or as unfortunate as one imagines. 
--Francois de la Rochefoucauld

     D-R-A-M-A!!!! Most especially if you have raised one or more children through their teenage years, you know it well. So many crises! Maybe you thrive on drama. It does have its addictive qualities. 
    One would think that winning the big lottery jackpot would be the ultimate in good fortune, but post-winning stories indicate that it can cause all sorts of problems for the winner. 
    I am saddened by the passing yesterday of a dear friend. Despite the great sadness her many friends are feeling, it is good fortune that she is no longer in pain. We were very blessed by her long life, and I rejoice in her new state of bliss.
    We are enjoying family good fortune today as we celebrate the 32nd birthday of our younger son. 
    There you have it... fortunate/unfortunate, happy/sad, drama/peace. We move through it all. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

June 2--Magical Mother Earth

Look at everything as though you were seeing it for either the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.  --Betty Smith    

    Today's "Note from the Universe" by Mike Dooley further adds to Smith's sentiment:

Some claim not to know, and not to see...
But that there are…
Birds who sing at every hour of the day for no other reason than to be heard…
Creatures of the deep who flip and twirl just for the fun of it…
Furry friends who love just as dearly as they are loved, and…
Flowers so exquisite, pleasing human eyes could be their only explanation…
… must surely prove that you're living in the most magical fairytale ever imagined.

    My favorite flower is the lily, and they are blooming in my garden right now. Dozens of buds are about to open. They are "flowers so exquisite." We live in paradise if only we take the time to truly see it...
    Today I begin the twice-weekly drive to Clearwater to teach my MELT and yoga classes in person for the first time in 14 months. It is a beautiful drive through rich Kansas wheat fields. I love watching the wheat ripen over the early summer days leading up to harvest. It is an excellent reminder that our vibrant earth home feeds and sustains us.  
    Eyes wide open,


Tuesday, June 1, 2021

June 1--The Many Questions of 2020

There are years that ask questions, and years that answer.  --Zora Neale Hurston

    Whoa! Does that ever apply to life right now! I would say that 2020 asked an extraordinary number of questions. 
  • What is happening?
  • What can I do about it?
  • What is my personal responsibility in all this?
  • Can I change?
  • Do I want to change?
  • What is life without the usual busyness?
  • What do I do with all this time on my hands?
  • Can I survive the isolation?
  • Will we have enough toilet paper?
  • What can I do for exercise, to get outside?
  • How can I use this time creatively?
  • How can I stay healthy through the pandemic?
  • Are my loved ones being careful and safe?
  • Is this the direction we want to see our country continue to go?
  • How can we celebrate occasions without gatherings? 
  • When will this be over!!?!?!?!
    The list could go on and on. It has taken some time, but we've come up with a lot of answers--that seems to be the year 2021. 
    June's theme in "Daily Joy" is perspective
    It's all in how we look at things,

Did you say "walk"!?!?!