Thursday, September 30, 2021

September 30--Compassion

The purpose of life is a life of purpose.  --Robert Byrne 

    As we close out September's theme of "purpose," I offer these words of Matthew Fox:
Compassion is everywhere. Compassion is the world’s richest energy source. Now that the world is a global village we need compassion more than ever—not for altruism’s sake, nor for philosophy’s sake or theology’s sake, but for survival’s sake.

And yet, in human history of late, compassion remains an energy source that goes largely unexplored, untapped and unwanted. Compassion appears very far away and almost in exile. Whatever propensities the human cave dweller once had for violence instead of compassion seem to have increased geometrically with the onslaught of industrial society. The exile of compassion is evident everywhere...

In acquiescing in compassion’s exile, we are surrendering the fullness of nature and of human nature, for we, like all creatures in the cosmos, are compassionate creatures. All persons are compassionate at least potentially. What we all share today is that we are victims of compassion’s exile. The difference between persons and groups of persons is not that some are victims and some are not: we are all victims and all dying from lack of compassion; we are all surrendering our humanity together.
    Let us each, as we can, offer compassion to ourselves and our world. That is an excellent purpose.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

September 29--Balance Required

Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.  --Gustave Flaubert 

    I looked up the definition of "violent" and I'm going with the option of "very strong or powerful." Flaubert's quote above makes sense with this description from the "Famous Authors" website:
A perfectionist by nature, Flaubert’s publishing frequency was much less than that of his peers. The reason being is his painstaking perfectionism. He would spend days and sometimes even weeks to compose a single page. And he was still never satisfied with what he wrote. Gustave worked very hard on his writing and refused to use synonyms, instead he believed in the principle of finding le mot juste (the right word) always. His ultimate aim was stylistic perfection for which he repeatedly revised his work.
    If he was that much into perfectionism, I expect the rest of his life was regular and orderly so as not to be a distraction from his writing. His best known work was "Madame Bovary."
    Speaking from personal experience, there is a fine line between "regular and orderly" and being a control freak. (I'm guessing Flaubert went quite over the line.) An organized, orderly life makes time for those things we truly value. If we are continually lost in the chaos of life, creativity, joy and expansion are the big losers in the effort to survive. Controlling every detail, however, is its own distraction.
    Trying to stay on that fine line,

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

September 28--Staying Psyched for Life

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. 
--Sir Winston Churchill

    One of the emotions that has been most challenging for me to deal with is disappointment. On the flip side, for me the most valuable human quality is reliability, following through with one's commitments. I grew up in an unreliable environment which led to a lot of disappointment. That leads to life-long recovery work. 
    I've learned to handle disappointments relative to others pretty much. It's the disappointments in myself that are so troubling. I feel that I come up with good ideas and services, but they don't measure up to my view of success, so once again, I'm disappointed. 
    (Side note: I was MAJOR disappointed in my golf performance this past weekend. However, I love golf so much that I can go back to it without loss of enthusiasm. Golf is a good sport in that regard.)
    Fortunately I somehow, being a human, have a lot of resilience and an ongoing need to be useful in life. So despite my disappointments, I've been able to continue trying new things, learning, and expanding. That's a good life. 

The practice green overlooking lovely Lake Ponca, 
Wentz Golf Course

Monday, September 27, 2021

September 27--Time to Simplify

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.  --Eleanor Roosevelt

These are the words of Minister Adele Ahlberg Calhoun as presented in Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation on September 25, 2021:

Simplicity creates margins and spaces and openness in our lives. It honors the resources of our small planet. It offers us the leisure of tasting the present moment. Simplicity asks us to let go of the tangle of wants so we can receive the simple gifts of life that cannot be taken away. Sleeping, eating, walking, giving and receiving love. . . . Simplicity invites us into these daily pleasures that can open us to God, who is present in them all.

Aging has always been about simplifying and letting go. Sooner or later we realize that we can’t manage all the stuff and activity anymore. We have to let go. The practice of letting go and embracing simplicity is one way we prepare ourselves for what is to come. One day we all will have to let go of everything—even our own breath. It will be a day of utter simplicity—a day when the importance of stuff fades. Learning to live simply prepares us for our last breath while cultivating in us the freedom to truly live here and now.

Here are some of the practices for simplifying Calhoun suggests:
  • Uncomplicate your life by choosing a few areas in which you wish to practice “letting go.” Clean out the garage, basement, closet or attic. Go on a simple vacation. Eat more simply. . . .
  • Intentionally limit your choices. Do you need six different kinds of breakfast cereal, hundreds of TV channels or four tennis rackets? What is it like to limit your choices? Does it feel free, or do want and envy surface? Talk to God about this.
  • If someone admires something of yours, give it away. Find out just how attached you are to your things. . . .
  • Make a catalog of all the gadgets you have in your home, from the dishwasher to the lawnmower. Which gadgets have made you freer? Which could you share? Which could you get rid of and not really miss?
  • Where have you complicated your life with God? Consider what actually brings you into the presence of peace. Spend time there.
Less stuff, more peace,

Sunday, September 26, 2021

September 26--Texas is Troubling

Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.  --Helen Keller

    I want to offer hopeful view for the future, so here are the words of Patricia Pearce titled "The Mind's Lone Star State": 

I know many of us may be deeply troubled by what is happening in the state of Texas. I’d like remind us that this world is a form of dream, and if we look at these events from that understanding we can see how they can help us in our awakening if we are willing to allow it. So let us do some dream work.

As you know, Texas calls itself the Lone Star State. It places a high value on autonomy and individualism, takes great pride in being big, and sees itself as set apart from the rest of the nation.

In a dream, all characters and all elements represent an aspect of the self. In this sense, “Texas” symbolizes an inner state, a state of mind, in which the self believes itself to be alone in this universe, able to set itself apart from the Reality of Union. This, of course, is an impossibility. Nonetheless, the mind has inhabited this illusion of separateness and created a world based upon it.

Consciousness on the planet, though, is now undergoing a profound shift in which the idea of a “lone” anything is coming to an end. This is causing great fear in those who are deeply identified with the consciousness of the past.

Subjugation and Exclusion

In this “Texas” dream scenario we see two things happening: the attempt to subjugate the Feminine and control the Feminine’s power to bring forth life, and the attempt to suppress the right to vote, especially by those on the margins of society.

Yet this is exactly what humankind has done for millennia during the patriarchal era: subjugated the Feminine, excluded the “other.”

The present “Texas” dream scenario is helping us all by bringing to the surface these thought-patterns that have been held deeply in the collective mind so that they can be seen clearly, acknowledged honestly, and released completely.

All of these events now playing out in this “Texas” dream are born of fear. If the Feminine principle were not on the rise, there would not be such a desperate attempt to control and suppress it. If the collective mind, the collective consciousness, had not already chosen to “vote” in new ways, choosing a new reality for itself, there would not be such a desperate attempt to keep people from the “polls.”

And yet there is something else happening in "Texas:" groundbreaking research into vulnerability and shame (see the work of BrenΓ© Brown) which can help open the way for a human future that is free from the debilitating need to be "self-sufficient" and "invincible."

Awakening in the Dream

So the question is, what do we do with this information? How can we open fully to what this “Texas” dream is offering us? How can we become lucid characters in this collective dream? How can we embody the New in the midst of so much unconsciousness and fear?

First of all, understand that “Texas” is not an enemy. The idea of enemy exists only in the ego-mind (in truth, there are no enemies) and what we are witnessing is simply the patriarchy and ego’s last stand.

Secondly, rather than seeing this as an external drama playing out, take a moment to look inward to find the inner “Texas.” Acknowledge that there is a self within you that believes and experiences itself to be a “lone star,” living in fear of the “other.”

Thirdly, love that part of you that has suffered so terribly under this illusion of separateness. Hold in compassion the aspect of yourself that is so terrified of the Feminine Power within you—your own capacity to generate life and to co-create with the infinite Universe. Be gentle with this fearful “lone star” self that is so afraid of the epic transformation that is occurring on the planet. There is no need to mess with this little "Texas" self. There is only a need to bless it.

Finally, as much as they may frighten us, be grateful that these patterns are coming to the surface now in order to give us all the opportunity to recognize them in ourselves and release them.

When you do all of this you are already changing the dream. You are already weakening the collective mind’s allegiance to its idea of separateness. You are already making of yourself a portal through which Love can shine, bringing Its peace to a fearful world.


    We all have our inner work to do to bring about a world that works for everyone. 

Saturday, September 25, 2021

September 25--Are You Wishing Upon a Star?

Great minds have purposes; others have wishes.  --Washington Irving

    I'm heading out this morning on a two-day golfing adventure. I'm excited to play a new-to-me course and hang out with good golfing buds. Being honest, I'll have to say that I am an "other" wishing I will play well. A great mind full of purpose may get me into trouble and frustration. I'm better off golfing with the mind of a goldfish, needing always to forget the last shot, be it good or bad. 
    "Purposes" implies to me that the great minds are actually doing something to accomplish their goals, as opposed to the others "wishes" which amount to day-dreaming and no constructive action. I'm all for imagining. After all, everything starts as a thought. I feel certain in saying that many more thoughts have floated off as wishes than every became anything concrete. Great minds with purposes have brought us all the conveniences of modern life, and I am grateful.
    F-O-R-E!! (Just kidding, I can't hit a golf ball far enough to scare anyone. I wish!!!!)

Friday, September 24, 2021

September 24--Einstein Rocks!

Out of clutter, find simplicity.  --Albert Einstein

    I must share some humor. This is the sign at a local equipment rental business: "This is my step ladder. I never knew my real ladder." πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰ Happy Friday!
    This is a topic I love--clutter! We take ourselves too seriously. We are too attached to our stuff and our status. They make life complicated and cluttered. Being the obnoxiously organized person that I am, clutter drives me nuts. This does not mean that I don't create my own level of clutter. As I look around the woman cave this morning, I see several piles of clutter that need my attention. My clutter meter is hitting the critical stage. I had a very tidy mother who made me clean the house every week (any wonder I despise cleaning?!?!), so I learned early on that clutter was not to be tolerated. Clutter disturbs my psyche--disorganization leads to muddled thinking. Clutter requires mental energy that could be used more productively elsewhere. 
    No clutter? AAAHHHHH... life is simple and easy. Everything is orderly, including my thinking. Einstein nailed it. He was pretty smart. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰

Normally I would put a 
photo here, but the 
photos of clutter made
me crazy. There's clutter, 
and then there's CLUTTER!!!

However, being a dog is simple.
Dusty (left), Barney (right), best buds

Thursday, September 23, 2021

September 23--The Choice to Live in Joy

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it.  --Helen Keller

    If we weren't so good at overcoming suffering, this world would quickly become an overwhelmingly horrible place. I've seen plenty of suffering in my lifetime, but I've also seen the incredible resilience of human beings. I am encouraged by our seemingly infinite "keep on keeping on" attitude. 
    We choose to live in suffering (hell now), or we choose to live in joy (heaven now). I offer these words by Richard Rohr in response to the question, "What might a joyful mind be?":
  • When your mind does not need to be right.
  • When you no longer need to compare yourself with others.
  • When your mind can be creative, but without needing anyone to know.
  • When you can live in contentment with whatever the moment offers.
  • When your mind does not need to be in charge but can serve the moment with gracious and affirming information.
  • When your mind follows the intelligent lead of your heart.
  • When your mind is curious and interested, not suspicious and interrogating.
  • When your mind does not “brood over injuries.”
  • When your mind does not need the future to be better than today.
  • When your mind can accept yourself as you are, warts and all.
  • When your mind does not divide and always condemn one side or group.
  • When your mind can critique and also detach from critique.
  • When your mind can wait, listen, and learn.
  • When your mind can live satisfied without resolution or closure.
  • When your mind can forgive and actually “forget.”
  • When your mind doesn’t need to complain or worry to get motivated.
  • When your mind can find God in all things.
    Joy works for me!

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

September 22--Their Opinions Don't Matter

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.  --Abraham Lincoln

    There is a book by Terry Cole-Whittaker titled "What You Think of Me Is None of My Business." If we let others influence our resolution to succeed, we may not end up in the successful position we anticipated. There are plenty of naysayers, those who discourage risk-taking, who love to spoil the fun. They likely even think they are doing a good service. It is a great challenge in life to ignore the opinions of others and live true to oneself and one's dreams. Abraham Lincoln truly lived his statement. 
    Here's to another successful day!
Aaahhhh, coffee!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

September 21--Doing What I Can

I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.  --Edward Everett Hale

    It is often noted that we don't know how a soothing word, a smile, or a kind gesture affects another person. Few of us are like Mother Theresa, ultimately achieving official sainthood. However, I've had quite a few "saints" in my life who have made my life considerably more wonderful than it would have been without their loving presence. They did not refuse to do what they could. 
    I do tax returns for a couple hundred people a year. Often I don't even meet them. I do what I can do so they don't have to do it. I teach Melt Method and yoga to about a dozen folks each week. Only a dozen? It matters to them, and I love to do it. Our dog Barney is a rescue. We can't rescue every dog, but it surely matters to Barney that we chose him. I don't have to write this blog, but again, it's something I can do, and I enjoy it. You get the picture--doing what we can do, what we love to do, is a great service, even if we are not vying for sainthood. It need not be a strain to let our love flow. 

Monday, September 20, 2021

September 20--Success is Shy

Success is blocked by concentrating on it and planning for it. Success is shy; it won't come out while you're watching.  --Tennessee Williams

    I'm doing a book study this fall (see Sept 12 post for details) on "The Way Out--A Revolutionary Scientifically Proven Approach to Healing Chronic Pain." The approach is called Pain Reprocessing Therapy, and one of the components is "outcome independence." The idea is to follow the process and not focus on the outcome, relief of pain, even though that is the success desired. If you work too hard focusing of being free of pain, you stress yourself out and make the pain worse. The Williams quote would have fit perfectly in the "outcome independence" section of the book. 
    I LOVE baseball. (Who knew, right!?!?) The ultimate success in baseball is winning the World Series. However, October is a long way off from April early season games, and while the big goal is well known, nearly every day there is a game to focus on, one day at a time. Players have to stay in the moment of the grind. It takes win after daily win, lots of them, to make the playoffs. 
    With any goal, you do the footwork and hopefully you can coax that shy success to eventually come out. 
    Joyfully anticipating cooler fall weather,

Alas, we're back to "Wait till next year!"

Sunday, September 19, 2021

September 19--Impossible? Ain't No Such Thing!

Every noble work is at first impossible.  --Thomas Carlyle 

    Forrest Yoga teacher training in 2011--28 days straight, 12-14 hours a day, 600 miles from home. It very quickly registered in me as impossible. Fortunately, I spoke with an assistant teacher about my difficulties, and she helped me in assorted ways. I completed the training, albeit chanting to myself non-stop, "one minute closer to home." I have been teaching ever since, a very rewarding part of my life. 
    I remember when I started doing tax preparation work back in 2016. Even though I'm a math and computer nerd, there was one very important aspect of the process that I just couldn't seem to get. But I kept after it. As so often happens, there was that unexpected moment of "Oh! I get it now!" The process became considerably less mystifying after that, and I became a lot more productive.
    What could be more satisfying than accomplishing the "impossible"? We do it our whole lives, starting off with learning how to move from here to there. Conquering life's challenges makes it so much fun to be here! Remember how Lassie always found a way to rescue Timmy?!?!!?

Saturday, September 18, 2021

September 18--We Can Do Better

Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.  --Henry Ford

    Although the Ford Motor Company is quite the empire today, I'm fairly certain that Henry had multiple opportunities when starting the company to "begin again more intelligently." 
    A multitude of dieting failures and inability to get a handle on my eating behaviors finally led me to a 12-Step program, where literally life began anew for me in a much more intelligent fashion. My failure to adapt to a pastor change (among other things) caused me to leave my church office job and be self-employed with a flexible schedule and variety of work that I truly love. Other than these instances, I don't feel like I've had huge failures in life. But I've had plenty of "Well, that didn't work so well. What do I do differently next time?" If we stopped whenever we hit a failure, life would quickly be a dead end. We humans are not wired that way, thank goodness! 
    Happy Saturday!
1896 Ford Quadricycle Runabout, 
1st car built by Henry Ford 

Fully electric 2022 Ford Mustang

Friday, September 17, 2021

September 17--We are Capable

What one has to do usually can be done.  --Eleanor Roosevelt

    Given my disdain for it, the first thing that comes to mind regarding this quote is house-cleaning. I can do it. If I push myself just a bit, I can muster up some gratitude for the fact that I am still physically able to do it. 
    There are plenty of unpleasant things in life that we just get through--medical treatments, taxes, conflicts, unsatisfying work situations, weather too hot, weather too cold, car and appliance breakdowns--this list could get quite long. I note, however, that one person's drudgery could be another's delight--clothes shopping comes to mind. Exercising is another example. Just as the full gamut of emotions is necessary to be a well-rounded human, the whole spectrum of life activities, from joyful to dreadful, enriches one's life. 
    Yes, it does feel really good to have a clean house!

Trust me, I'm not this organized!

Thursday, September 16, 2021

September 16--Woohoo!!!

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.  --Ralph Waldo Emerson

    I have seen this quote many times, and it always makes me smile. I'm a fairly mediocre golfer, but my mantra is "My enthusiasm makes up for my lack of skill." And so it is--enthusiasm is a powerful force. It keeps me golfing even though I may never break 100 (I said I was mediocre!!!). 
    What keeps us going other than enthusiasm? I expect many of us have known a dear one to transition when he or she just couldn't muster the enthusiasm to keep fighting for life. I get that. 
    Enthusiasm carries us through tough times. One of my favorite children's books is "The Little Engine That Could." How's that for enthusiasm!?!?! We take one more step, even though we can't see the destination. We have faith. We know Something Bigger has our backs. We have hope that whatever the obstacles may be, they shall resolve or pass. We persevere. It's the innate human spirit that continually reaches enthusiastically for more. 
    Psyched for today,

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

September 15--Both Are Needed

To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.  --Mark Twain

    Was Twain prophetically talking about Donald Trump?!?!? πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰
    Alas, I'd say we now have ignorance in epic proportions. I'm not so sure about confidence. 
    I'm guessing that Twain was talking about ignorance of the possibility of failure and confidence to overcome any potential obstacles. Those would both be quite helpful in generating success. Likewise, ignoring opinions of others and being confident in one's inner guidance would be supportive of a successful life. I am slowly seeing the validity of Twain's quote.
    Today I shall ignore negative thoughts and sentiments and have confidence in the goodness of life.
A "Life is Good" shirt

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

September 14--Quite a Journey!

Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.  --Auguste Rodin

    Today is a journey looking at my religious background and sharing some powerful words of Richard Rohr (Center for Action and Contemplation). In terms of September's theme of purpose, I feel the first sentence below sums it up:

    Your image of God creates you. This is why it is important that we see God as loving and benevolent and why good theology still matters. One mistaken image of God that keeps us from receiving grace is the idea that God is a cruel tyrant. People who have been raised in an atmosphere of threats of punishment and promises of reward are programmed to operate with this cheap image of a punitive God. It usually becomes their entire view of the universe.
    Unfortunately, it’s much easier to organize people around fear and hatred than around love. Powerful people prefer this worldview because it validates their use of intimidation—which is quite effective in the short run! Both Catholicism and Protestantism have used the threat of eternal hellfire to form Christians. I am often struck by the irrational anger of many people when they hear that someone does not believe in hell. You cannot “believe” in hell. Biblical “belief” is simply to trust and have confidence in the goodness of God or reality and cannot imply some notion of anger, wrath, or hopelessness at the center of all that is. Otherwise, we live in a toxic and unsafe universe, which many do. --Richard Rohr
    I was raised in an ultra-conservative Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. I was given the "cruel tyrant" God. I explored some other options while in college, and then when my mother died when I was 23, I gave up on religion altogether, with an emphatic "fuck you, God." I eventually came around to wanting a church community again. I worked at and attended a Methodist Church for many years. It was a fine place to introduce my children to religion. It was a fairly liberal Methodist Church without any hellfire. I moved into Religious Science (NOT Scientology) as my beliefs matured. I could live and work with the idea that we create our experience with our thinking, and that we could therefore create a heaven or hell of our choosing. Heaven and hell are NOW, based on our choices, rather than some place we land in the future. 

    Heaven is not about belonging to the right group or following the correct rituals. It’s about having the right attitude toward existence. There are just as many Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and Jews who live in love—serving their neighbor and the poor—as there are Christians. Be prepared to be surprised about who is living a life of love and service and who isn’t. This should keep us all humble and recognizing it’s not even any of our business who’s going to heaven. What makes us think that our little minds and hearts could discern the mind and heart of anyone else?  --Richard Rohr 
    I have learned so much about spirituality in the 12-Step program. It has brought me to the point where I have a loving relationship with my Higher Power, and I do not need religion to complete me. I am whole in the sight of Spirit, eternally. So are you.
    None of this, my religious journey, was a waste of time, because I feel I have used the experience wisely. 

Monday, September 13, 2021

September 13--What is Success?

Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.  --David Frost

    I consider it a fairly big challenge to define what success is. Do we use some conglomeration of what the world considers success, in terms of wealth, power or celebrity? Or do we have a deeply personal definition? I consider myself successful because I birthed and helped to raise two fine, healthy human beings. I've had other successes in life, too. But mostly I've done what I love, and that feels good, and that good feeling is success to me. 
    Barney and I had a safe, easy trip home from Colorado yesterday. Today I will do what I love--swim, get resettled at home, and teach Melt and yoga--that is a successful day.
    Happy Monday!

Sunday, September 12, 2021

September 12--Overflowing!

You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings. 
--Elizabeth Gilbert

    Today Barney and I head home to Wichita. While I miss my husband and my home, it is tough to leave after such a fabulous week. I had great family time, super fun golf, lots of chill time, many doggie walks, powerful conversations, and I even did a lot of (long-put-off) computer work. Manifestation of blessings this week was a piece of cake!
    Today's manifestation of blessings is sharing the opportunity to eliminate your chronic pain (or avoid it!)...

IMAGINE: Life without chronic pain

Book Study Opportunity

Chronic pain exists in epidemic proportions in our society. Do you have chronic pain? Headache? Backache? Joint pain? Other? Would you like to avoid it or stop it and live a fuller, richer life? It is possible! This book offers revolutionary insights into chronic pain and a proven method for reducing and eliminating it. You will learn a LOT about yourself and your brain!

What: Zoom Book Study
When: 7:15 pm Central time, five Tuesdays: Sept 28, Oct 5/12/19, Nov 2
Investment in being pain-free: $50 per person
Where/How: Via Zoom (yes, you can!)

You can pay via my Paypal link by clicking on the "Contributions" tab above. If you need other payment options, please contact me at the email address below. 

You need to purchase your own copy of the book. Once you have paid, I will send you the Zoom link and class outline.

Questions: email me at

Saturday, September 11, 2021

September 11--Time Flies...

Pleasure and action make the hours seem short.  --William Shakespeare

    "Do what you love, love what you do." That is the "Life Is Good" clothing brand slogan, an excellent motto to live by. LIG is my favorite clothing. This multi-million dollar company began in 1994 by two guys selling t-shirts out of a van in the Boston area. I expect the motto still holds true for them after years of growth and success. 
    Playing golf with my sons is the best-est, most wonderful, joyful-est, silliest, love-filled activity in my life. Four hours with them on the golf course flies by like an instant. 
    Then there is boredom. We all experience it on occasion. If I'm bored, there is a good chance I'm not moving. As Shakespeare indicates, if I get moving somehow, that takes care of the boredom. 
    We all have things we love to do. Do you do them? Or do you live in "it would be nice to ________, but I don't have time." If we are truly doing what we love, time becomes irrelevant. Experiencing pleasure affects time in magical ways. 
    Being a person dedicated to the hobby of napping, I consider taking a nap a very pleasurable action, and yes, that nap hour is a short one!

Friday, September 10, 2021

September 10--Live and Learn

The only source of knowledge is experience.  --Albert Einstein

    Amen! I've always wondered how a youngster fresh out of college could become a life coach or counselor, when they have so little real-life experience. I would also say that age alone does not a counselor make. Experience is the key. 
    We learn so much from our experiences, not the least of which is empathy. Once you've suffered pain, illness, surgery, loss of a loved one, addiction, and so on, you know what these things involve and can appreciate what others are experiencing. As my muscular mobility declined with my ever-disintegrating hip joint, I gained a better understanding of body movement and was more aware of how other folks could or could not move. This is quite helpful for a yoga teacher. Now I know about life with an artificial joint. For instance, I have to take antibiotics before I go to the dentist, as any sort of infection would mean disaster for the titanium joint. This is forever. Who knew!?!?! One of the most powerful things I learned from my successful hip replacement was how much life energy went into dealing with the pain before I agreed to have surgery. Chronic pain is life-consuming, and I get it now--I've experienced it.
    Below is a photo of my writing experience this morning. My knowledge gained is that cool air is incredibly glorious, coffee is the staff of life, dogs are curious angels, and in this moment, as always, I am awesomely blessed. 
The Rockies are off to the left, 
shrouded in a smoke haze.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

September 9--Inspiring Work

Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it.  --Madeleine L'Engle

    It's quite challenging to set down every single detail of a project before starting and expect that to carry you perfectly through the process. Once the "baby steps" get underway, things will happen. Unexpected blessings and obstacles will arise. Directions may need to change, or at least a detour may be needed. Each change of plans in the midst of a project is a new opportunity for inspiration. 
    There have been multitudes of inspirations, dreams and ideas that never came to fruition, because no work was ever started. I have had quite a few of those myself. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰ 
    I would say that today's quote describes very well the process that happens for those who are successful in recovery through the 12-Step programs. Addicts start because of misery, hitting rock bottom, and each step brings new inspiration relative to how life can be better if they put in the work.
    Even writing this blog fulfills the quote above, because I've learned to just start writing, doing the work, and the inspiration comes. Magic! (Not really.) 
    Loving the work and inspiration,
Colorado naptime cuddle puddle

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

September 8--Everything??? Everything!!!

Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose.  --Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

    "Everything in this life has a purpose." I know this in my head, but sometimes it's missing from my heart. A lot of things don't make sense to me, like squirrels, cockroaches and mosquitoes. I guess they are food for some other creatures. After my uncle died, my aunt had a man-friend who helped her out and kept her company. Once when I was visiting them, he spent a half-hour telling me how to cook a possum. I kid you not! Alas, I can't relay the directions. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰
    I offer this quote from Bruce Lee: "Seriously, if you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it'll spread over into the rest of your life. It'll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being... There are NO limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. A person must constantly exceed their level." 
    There is always more for us to know within ourselves and all of creation. Everything and everyone are "here and now" for a reason. 
GRRRR!!!!--Digging up my plants

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

September 7--Silence IS Golden

The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.  --Mark Twain

    From a master of words! What happens in a pause? We can breathe and listen, both internally and externally. That pause may make all the difference in what ensues from there. 
    I'm a big advocate of breathing. Yes, we've been doing it our whole lives, but unless you've put some effort into learning it, most folks don't know how to breathe to their best advantage. Trust me--as a yoga teacher, I know this! You can change how you feel just by altering your breath. For example, making exhales longer than inhales is a calming practice. Using the breath in a "rightly timed pause" can make the difference between a successful interaction and a complete breakdown in communication with escalating animosity. 
    I also think of the pause or rest in music. Each one is equally important as the notes surrounding it. Music would not be the same without rests. 
    I would offer that in most interactions, listening is the better choice. Shut up. Pause and listen. That's a "note to self" that I need this morning!

Monday, September 6, 2021

September 6--Be Truly Useful

Don't find fault; find a remedy.  --Henry Ford

    Oh, boy, how I wish everyone on the planet would adopt Ford's mantra. There is simply too much whining going on. How's that for whining!?!!? I believe it was Einstein who said that one can't solve a problem with the consciousness that created it. 
    I grew up with a much-older brother and mother who were poster-children for the blame game. Most of the blame was aimed at my dad, but no one was immune from their accusations. And that was it--all fault and no remedy. Alas, I have to go with my oft-repeated mantra: sometimes a bad example is a good thing. 

    Our lives have meaning and purpose. . . . We either help build this world up in love or tear it apart. Either way, we bear the responsibility for the world’s future.  
--Ilia Delio

    Love is the remedy. 

Sunday, September 5, 2021

September 5--What is Success?

Success is often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable. 
--Coco Chanel  

    If even the slightest possibility of failure kept us from doing things, we would never get anything accomplished. Enthusiasm, persistence and faith have carried humans through and beyond an extraordinary number of potential failures.  
    I am pondering "success." There is the huge and visible success that Ms. Chanel created. Entrepreneurs and inventors have made our lives richer and more productive with technology and products that most of us would never have considered. How many times have you said, "I wish I would have invented that!"? (Velcro, post-it notes, etc). I wrote my first book preventing myself from considering failure, and likewise for the second book. To me, it is a success that I actually wrote and created finished products that one could hold, read and use. Financially, both were big failures. But here I am, still writing. Our only hope for success is to keep after it, whatever "it" is.
    Today I drive with Barney to Colorado for another week of fun and chilling with my kids. Guaranteed success there!
"The Success Iceberg"

Saturday, September 4, 2021

September 4--"Surrender" is not a dirty word.

Dream big--dream very big. Work hard--work very hard. And after you've done all you can, you stand, wait, and fully surrender.  --Oprah Winfrey

    We have to do our part, do the footwork, accomplish the "baby steps" without forcing. Along with that, we recognize that Something Bigger has our backs and It is supporting us and orchestrating "behind the scenes." A simple example... I have decided that I want to lead an online book study this fall. Therefore, I need a suitable interesting book. I bought one possibility, and within a week, friends offered me two other great options without my even asking. I love synchronicity!
    I was given an interesting look at surrender earlier this week talking with some recovering addict friends. Addicts have to learn to surrender their substance of choice if they want to recover. Surrender can be quite challenging for folks whose lives have depended on a (false) sense of control. The point was made that we had already surrendered our lives to the substance of choice, so we know how to do it. We just need to surrender to a Higher Power rather than to the substance. Huh! I've learned my HP is infinitely more dependable than a box of Thin Mints. 
    Let's have some bumper sticker humor... "A dog is the only relative you can choose." 
    Dreaming, working, surrendering, loving life,

Friday, September 3, 2021

September 3--Understanding

Do not weep; do not wax indignant. Understand.  --Baruch Spinoza

    Brian McLaren, a teacher at the Center for Action and Contemplation, describes a mystical experience he had in his youth:
    A few friends and I snuck away to a hillside and found ourselves sitting under one of those sparkling autumn night skies. I walked several paces away from my friends and lay back in the grass, fingers interlocked behind my head, looking up, feeling strangely quiet and at peace. Something began to happen.
    I had this feeling of being seen. Known. Named. Loved. By a Someone bigger than the sky that expanded above me. Young science geek that I was, I pictured myself lying on a little hill on a little continent on a little planet in a little solar system on the rim of a modest galaxy in a sea of billions of galaxies, and I felt that the great big Creator of the whole shebang was somehow noticing little, tiny me. It was as if the whole sky were an eye, and all space were a heart, and I was being targeted as a focal point for attention and love.
    I had a similar experience as an adult lying out on the Kansas prairie one starry night a few years ago, with the sun setting on my left and a super-moon rising on my right, watching a million stars "begin" to shine. I was leading a retreat, and I came back from that hilltop knowing that everything is OK and all would go just fine. And it did. And I remember that experience often when I go "off the rails" with fear. Understanding is a powerful thing.
    Ever so grateful for Something Bigger Than Me, 

Thursday, September 2, 2021

September 2--Perplexity

Perplexity is the beginning of knowledge.  --Kahlil Gibran

    I don't know that I've ever seen the noun "perplexity." I think I've only ever seen and used the adjective "perplexed." I love new-to-me words.     
    Wonderment. Curiosity. Confusion. Perplexity. The feeling of now knowing, not being certain, wanting to figure things out--that keeps us humans going. What a world we have to inspire the desire to know! Life is full of mystery. We need look no further than our human bodies to find infinite perplexity and many lifetimes' worth of investigation. 
    I must say that I am not always comfortable with perplexity. I enjoy feeling like I have the answers and I'm in control. The pandemic has given us a huge dose of perplexity and a huge dose of knowledge. Personal confusion and uncertainty has led me to many great and fun things in life. I know that Gibran's statement is true. The key is to keep the faith through perplexity until the knowledge comes. That requires openness, patience, and self-trust. 
    Last night I stayed with a friend who lives way out on the open prairie. This city-dweller saw the stars in all their heavenly glory. I even saw a shooting star. Talk about perplexity--a whole universe of it!
    Staying curious,
Astronomy Picture of the Day,
The Andromeda Galaxy
July 18, 2021

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

September 1--September = Purpose

Try again. Fail again. Fail better.  --Samuel Beckett

    September's theme in "Daily Joy" is PURPOSE. 
    Speaking of joy, I have returned to my much-missed Friday morning ritual of going to estate sales. It is treasure-hunting at its finest. Sometimes I find nothing of interest and other times I hit the jackpot. Last Friday was a jackpot day, which literally included joy. I found a throw rug in my favorite color (red) with JOY in big letters in the center. I expect it would be considered Christmas-y, but "joy" is my word, so into my bathroom it went. It makes me smile. 
    Life is like estate sales--keep showing up, and you never know what you'll find. I've been to a few sales where I didn't even go inside because the house looked and smelled so gross. I've been to huge, lavish homes, the exploration of such being a treasure all its own. Life is like that--yuck moments, "mountain-top" experiences, bummers, wins. We keep at it. The drive to live out a life of joy, expansion and freedom is profound and potent. I love that about us humans!