Tuesday, November 30, 2021

November 30--Out and In

Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.  --Tom Stoppard

    Earthly death is the big example here, leaving life as we have known it to return to wherever we were before we arrived here. I believe that to be an eternally blissful energy state. I'm thinking that the combination of eternity and unending bliss gets boring, so we periodically sign up to come back among the living for adventures--yet another exit/entrance combo.
    We leave the "nest" and create an adult life. We leave jobs, we go to new ones. We end relationships and form new friendships. We leave home and enjoy a vacation in a new spot. In looking for a photo for today's post, I saw the quote "When one door closes, another one opens, but sometimes it's hell in the hallway." Sometimes we get mentally and emotionally stuck in the exit, regretting the loss, and it's tough to see the good in the entrance. It always comes though, even if it is not in the form we may have expected. 
    Another quote I encountered: "If one door closes and another one opens, your house is probably haunted." 
    Always an adventure,

Monday, November 29, 2021

November 29--Eternal Good

Don't worry about losing. If it is right, it happens--the main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.  --John Steinbeck

    Huh? This sounds to me like relax and trust the process. I know that hurrying and/or trying to force things to happen does not help, and it only serves to stress me out. 
    Nothing good gets away... let's run with that. Yes, people, situations, places and experiences pass through our lives, but I believe ultimately that we hold the memories and goodness from each forever. Love is eternal. Everything that shapes us stays with us, making it all the more important to stay focused on the good, forgive as needed, and find the best in each person, situation, place and experience.   
    I think of nature. We are in the season of trees losing their leaves. It's right, it cannot be hurried. It is all good and necessary for the trees, to enable them to move through the winter and return their good to us in the spring. It is a beautiful process! Nature is an excellent example of perfect timing and infinite good. 
    Remaining calm,
Fall foliage in central Pennsylvania, 
where I grew up.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

November 28--Good Orderly Direction

It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.  --Ursula K. Le Guin

    I have been for quite some time feeling mostly "rudderless." That voice in my head is loud: "You should do more." More what? It is important for me to feel useful. However, I'm not really feeling jazzed up about anything. Tax season (mid-January to mid-April) is coming up, and that fully consumes me. However, this will likely be my last working tax season, and that will be three months of usefulness to replace. I really enjoy my assorted part-time work activities, but they don't use up all my time. Golfing keeps me going in warm weather, but it is quite limited now until spring. As you can see, my journey right now is kinda murky. Such has been the case before, and as I trust the process, clarity comes. For now my routine daily "journey" keeps me mostly content.
    As I sit and ponder an "end to journey toward," what I really want is to spend more time with my sons and daughter-in-law. We shall see how that journey develops...
    One day at a time,

P.S. A tribute to one who had a helluva journey... As I was trimming the Christmas tree, I pulled out the ornament pictured below, given to me by my friend who transitioned this past summer. It was a comical gift, in that she knew I never have and never will own or wear such a pair of spike-heel shoes. She did, however. She had a shoe collection to rival Imelda Marcos. The inside says, "All I want is peace on earth and really cute shoes." Thank you, Blanche, for sharing your journey with me!


Saturday, November 27, 2021

November 27--Wind Through the Trees

If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.  --Kahlil Gibran 

    This one is a little too deep for me, so I'll just fiddle with it. My thoughts go to this: I believe we probably learned in childhood and adolescence that NO ONE can truly keep a secret. At least that was my experience. If we don't want something out in "the wind," we need to keep it to ourselves. 
    This leads me to considering the shadow side of ourselves. There are some things that for our mental, spiritual and emotional health we need to set free. That is when a trusted professional comes in handy, someone we typically pay to keep our secrets. This has been an invaluable service in my life. 
    Bob Dylan: "The answer is blowin' in the wind."

Friday, November 26, 2021

November 26--Still Thankful

Your successes and happiness are forgiven you only if you generously consent to share them.  --Albert Camus

    It's the day after the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving and I'm still thankful. For gratitude to be meaningful, it has to be a daily gig. 
    I can't figure how one could truly experience success and happiness without sharing them. Joy is meant to be spread around. What uplifts one of us uplifts all. Our fear-based world needs all the good news we can get. 
    Here's a goofy fun example of sharing success... I am having physical therapy to strengthen my left leg and hip. Despite my quite-active lifestyle, a year after my hip replacement, my left leg is still weaker than my right, and I know that long-term compensation for that in my body is probably not a good thing. So PT is "kicking my ass," which is what I signed up for. Now remember, I'm a yoga teacher. I am learning great hip stabilization moves that I can use in my classes. My students know generous sharing is coming when I say, "I had another PT session yesterday." It's a win-win for all. 
    It's a good time to focus on GOOD and share it!

A shot from the recent rehearsal dinner...
family joy!

Thursday, November 25, 2021

November 25--Forgiveness is Worth the Effort

Forgiveness is a funny thing. It warms the heart and cools the sting. 
--William Arthur Ward

    Just do it. We forgive for ourselves, not for the benefit of the offender. If I don't forgive, I'm letting the person or situation live in my head rent-free. It consumes me and benefits no one. 
    Two things have helped me over the years to forgive. The first is "don't take anything personally." (See The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.) I'll admit that this is easier said than done. The second is to look on the situation with compassion for the offender. For instance, I see that my mother was an addict herself and had no means to recognize the problem or have help to recover, even if she had admitted to her problem. I feel sad for her as I experience the wonderful life that recovery has brought me. 
    Any situation is either love or a cry for love. May we allow the infinite Source of Love to flow freely through us.

Thankful for love and forgiveness!

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

November 24--Wealth?

Instead of comparing our lot with that of those who are more fortunate than we are, we should compare it with the lot of the great majority of our fellow men. It then appears that we are among the privileged.  --Helen Keller

    I'm approaching this from two directions...
    We in the U.S. are rich beyond imagining for the majority of the world's population. This was brought home to my heart on a mission trip to Uganda in 2005. My group built a simple brick home for a house mother and eight orphans in the Watoto village of Suubi. Watoto has done an extraordinary job of rescuing women and children and fulfilling their mission of creating leaders for their communities. The solid foundation of their work is a faith-based community built on the teachings of Jesus. The power of Spirit is mighty among them. This is true of the many indigenous peoples who have been able to maintain their cultures. 
    We in the U.S. are tragically poor spiritually, despite our material wealth. This is summed up by Father Richard Rohr:

We are finding it is nearly impossible to heal isolated individuals inside of a culture as unhealthy and unhealed as the USA, and inside any version of Christianity that supports exclusion and superiority. Individuals who remain inside of an incoherent and unsafe universe soon fall back into anger, fear, and narcissism. I sadly say this after 46 years of giving retreats, conferences, and initiation rites all over the world. Only people who went on to develop a contemplative mind could finally grow and benefit from the message that they heard.
A contemplative mind enables one to embrace and integrate their personality, shadow, woundedness, family issues, culture, and contextualizing life experiences under The One. . . .This is a truly integral spirituality.
    The power of Spirit is not mighty among us. We are missing the "truly integral spirituality," and that is true wealth beyond imagining. 
    Accepting daily the challenge of living in love,

Astronomy Picture of the Day, Nov. 23
X-ray photo of our steadfast sun

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

November 23--Get Silly

The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter. 
--Mark Twain

    And I thank the Universe for it!!! In a global environment wherein we could be thoroughly depressed all the time, laughter is such a saving grace. It is too easy to take things, including ourselves, too seriously. 
    One of my favorite performers is Greg Tamblyn. He is a witty, talented singer-songwriter with a lot of laugh potential in his performances and on his website. In response to the "How are you?" question, instead of "fine," "ok," or whatever, Greg suggests making up something unusual such as:
  • Still getting away with it.
  • Parts of me are excellent.
  • I feel a lot more like I do now than I did awhile ago.
  • You first, I need a baseline.
  • Pretty good since the sex change.
  • Diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
  • Vertically challenged, horizontally gifted.
  • Still 80% water.
  • My DNA says I’m a Neanderthal.
  • Still a big bag of happy atoms.
  • I ain’t had this much fun since the hog ate my bad uncle.
  • Glass half full.
  • Stranger than fiction.
  • Compared to what?
  • Wait...you can see me?
    The last one is my favorite!
    I would also offer that having a dog in one's life is an excellent source of laughter. For the first week we had Barney, we wondered if he could bark. In very short order, however, he has become quite the talker. There's a difference between his vocalizations for "isn't it supper time for me?" and "I have to pee" and "let's play!" He has also mastered the "you're leaving me" pathetic look. It has been such a joy to learn his comical personality. 
    Laugh! Make your day lots more fun!

Mark your calendar--
it's a thing--
always the first Sunday in May!

Monday, November 22, 2021

November 22--Our Precious Bodies

The body is a sacred garment. It's your first and last garment; it is what you enter life in and what you depart life with, and it should be treated with honor. 
--Martha Graham

    It took me a long time to learn and embody (pun intended) this truth. Childhood trauma and a mother who was an excellent cook started an early pattern of abusing my body with food. Eventually I learned that enough exercise would work off all I ate, and I abused my body with exercise. (Yes, that is possible.) I've also done every diet "in the book." I lived on 500 calories a day for a long time. My body and I were in a constant battle the first three decades of my life. 
    Getting into addiction recovery was the first big step for me in learning to appreciate my body. My body was not the enemy. It was my "stinking thinking." The second leap in body honoring came with a regular yoga practice, wherein the emphasis is on all one CAN do, rather than what one cannot. 
    Luckily through all this, I have remained quite healthy, which must have been from some sort of "mind over body" instinct that worked for me. I have avoided all the advice and "shoulds" relative to diet. My husband is a great cook. We operate on two basic principles: 1) eat food that spoils (not processed with years of shelf-life), and 2) know your ingredients (if you have to have a chemistry degree to understand the contents label, don't eat it). We don't demonize any food group. This works for us. 
    I also have a (probably too strong) skepticism for western medicine. I only go to the doctor if I can see no other alternative, and I don't take any prescription medicines. Doctors are under the strong influences of insurance, legal and pharmaceutical companies, so the patient is the "lowest on the totem pole." Rather than work with our bodies natural ability to heal itself, folks have become dependent on doctors with limited knowledge to fix them. This is not a good individual or global consciousness. We need look no further than treatment of chronic pain and the use of opioids to see that. 
    Take a few moments, mentally roam around your body, and thank your heart, liver, lungs, brain, etc for all they do. Our bodies are a magnificent mystery--there is so much more to us than we know!
Our bodies are one with 
the energy of the universe.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

November 21--Look! Up in the Sky! It's a...

There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.  --Oscar Wilde

    I'm kinda weary writing about heavy stuff, and this morning, tragedy is too much for me. 
    I am a big fan of the Astronomy Picture of the Day. I check it every morning as a reminder that 1) our planet and universe are magnificent, beautiful and awe-inspiring, and 2) there is Something Bigger Than Me that has everything in perfect order. Below is the light-hearted APOD from November 14.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

November 20--Don't Shut the Door

Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open. 
--John Barrymore

    The door I didn't know I left open was my addiction, for recovery has brought me an infinitely better life and great happiness. 

These are the words of author Holly Whitaker on the topic of surrender:
I’d always considered the word surrender to be blasphemous. Surrender was never a possibility to consider; it wasn’t something self-respecting, self-reliant folk like me do—we scheme around and bulldoze through whatever stands in our way. That all changed, abruptly, on that day in 2012 when I finally ran out of options and did the thing I thought I could never do—concede.

In A Return to Love, Marianne Williamson says, “Until your knees finally hit the floor, you’re just playing at life, and on some level you’re scared because you know you’re just playing. The moment of surrender is not when life is over. It’s when it begins.” It is entirely clichΓ©, but this was exactly my experience. The moment I finally let my knees hit the floor was when I finally stopped playing at life, and every bit of good that’s come to me since then stems from this reversal of opinion on surrender.

Surrender is the strongest, most subversive thing you can do in this world. It takes strength to admit you are weak, bravery to show you are vulnerable, courage to ask for help. It’s also not a one-time gig; you don’t just do it once and move on. It’s a way of existing, a balancing act. For me, it looks like this: I pick up the baton and I run as far as I can, and I hand it over when I’m out of breath. Or actually maybe it’s like: I’m running with the baton, but the Universe is holding on to the other half of it, and we have an agreement that I’ll figure out the parts I can and hand over the parts I can’t.

Life no longer feels precarious, or about to crumble—even when it is, in fact, crumbling. By surrendering to whatever is unfolding and by accepting what is, by giving up on the outcome and allowing life to flow the way it’s meant to, by stepping out of your own way and letting the natural order take the lead, you not only get a break from the exhaustion of having to control everything, but you also get to experience life, instead of what you think life owes you. (Hint: What life wants to give us is infinitely better than what we think it owes us.)
    It's a practice...

Woman Kneeling in Prayer
by Jack Black, Navajo Artist

Friday, November 19, 2021

November 19--Change? Me? If I Must...

Things are always in transition. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way we like to dream about.  --Pema Chodron

From the Nov. 14 "Daily Meditation" by Richard Rohr:

Throughout his ministry, Father Richard Rohr has recognized the power of Twelve-Step programs to bring about spiritual transformation. The steps parallel the counterintuitive wisdom of Jesus:
What the ego hates more than anything else is to change—even when the present situation is not working or is horrible. Instead, we do more and more of what does not work, as many others have rightly said about addicts. The reason we do anything one more time is because the last time did not really satisfy us deeply. 

Addicts—which I’m convinced are all of us, in one way or another—have an intense resistance to change. We like predictability and control. That’s one of the reasons addicts find it easier to have a relationship with a process or a substance rather than with people. Unlike objects, people are unpredictable. Having a drink, making a purchase, or turning to our devices can change our superficial mood very quickly. Even though the mood shift doesn’t last, it makes us feel like we are in control for a while. We don’t have to change our thinking or way of relating to people. We don’t have to sit with our boredom, discomfort, or anger, which short-circuits our ability to grow up and to move beyond whatever is in our way.

In the process of healing and gaining sobriety, salvation becomes not just something we believe, but something we begin to experience through the process of transformation through grace. Both Jesus and Paul were change agents. They were hated by their own groups precisely because they were constantly talking about change. The first thing Jesus said when he started preaching was, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). The word usually translated as “repent” is the Greek word metanoia, which is surely best translated as “turn around your mind” or “change your thinking.” Most of us won’t move toward any new way of thinking or actual change until we’re forced to do so, which usually means some form of suffering or disturbance that upsets our habitual path.

Until we bottom out and come to the limits of our own fuel supply, there is no reason for us to switch to a higher octane of fuel. Why would we want to change? We will not learn to actively draw upon a Larger Source until our usual resources are depleted and revealed as wanting. In fact, we will not even know there is a Larger Source until our own source and resources fail us. Until and unless there is a person, situation, event, idea, conflict, or relationship that we cannot “manage,” we will never find the True Manager.
All true, speaking from personal experience πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰πŸ‘πŸ‘

Two gratefully recovering addicts
(that's my big brother)

Thursday, November 18, 2021

November 18--LOVE JOY PAWS

Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.  --Colette

    Here he is, Barney Clark:
Our home protector

Too adorable for words

    We are closing in on two years of joy living with Barney Clark. He came to us through Beauties & Beasts, and he truly is a case of "who rescued who?". 
    Why, after 33 pet-free years of marriage, did we get a dog? We dog-sat our son's Golden Retriever Dusty for the year our son was in Australia. When he returned to Colorado, we took Dusty home to him. That was all well and good until we came back to our house with no doggie in it. I cried for three days. The quest began. Having a friend who is a B&B volunteer helped a lot. When she sent me the first photo of Barney, it was love at first sight. Yes, we'll take him! Thankfully, he recovered from parvovirus, and he has been our perfect companion ever since. He makes us laugh a lot. I can't imagine life without him!
    Bumper sticker: Your dog is the only relative you get to choose.
    Love a fur baby--you'll get way more love in return!


Wednesday, November 17, 2021

November 17--Bring 'Em On!

The person who has lived the most is not the one with the most years but the one with the richest experiences.  --Jean-Jacques Rosseau

    Amen! As I am accumulating years on planet Earth, I am less and less interested in stuff and loving experiences even more. My life has been blessed with a lot of rich experiences. It has been priceless being a wife, mother, aunt and dog-owner. I've had a lot of varied work experience, all of which has enriched me, even though I didn't care for some of it at the time. I've zip-lined and skydived.
    I thank my mother for planting the travel seed in me. My dad would not fly in an airplane (Dad: "You don't die till your number is up. I don't want to be up in a plane when the pilot's number is up."), so my mom took me. Before she passed, we went to Rome, Paris, Scandinavia, Japan, and the Canary Islands. I've been to Greece, Italy (again), Costa Rica, Canada (both ends), Mexico, Scotland, Ireland, Bahamas, England and lots of U.S. spots. In less than two weeks, I head to Jamaica. I am still on my "every MLB stadium" quest, with six more to go. 
    You don't need to leave home to have rich experiences, but it sure helps. How different would life be if we viewed each day as a rich experience?

Butchart Gardens, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

November 16--Warped from Childhood πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰

A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.  --Coco Chanel

    I have a lot of mixed feelings on this one. If I envision models on a runway, considering the source of the quote, then there is no way that I could even come close to classy or fabulous. High fashion and I are galaxies apart. 
    One definition of classy is "stylish and sophisticated," and fabulous is "amazingly good, wonderful." I may, on rare occasions, hit wonderful (at least in my own mind), but I certainly am a girl failure by Chanel's standard. 
    I see from what I have written above that I'm focusing mostly on outward appearance. I expect that is because I am so clueless regarding fashion trends. 
    Let's look at "classy and fabulous" from an inward perspective. That would mean a person who lives and interacts with integrity, a person who is reliable, who lives consciously, comfortable in her own skin, who is self-assured enough to have no need to prove herself. All these good qualities shine from within and create a beautiful countenance no matter what the dress may be. 
    I revise the quote: A girl should be whatever she wants to be.

I figured it out!!!!! Most little girls had Barbie dolls:

I had a Tammy doll:

Monday, November 15, 2021

November 15--The Occasional Whining

Self-pity in its early stages is as snug as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable.  --Maya Angelou

    Self-pity is a common characteristic of a non-recovering addict. He/she is comforted by blaming others, the world, God, whatever, for the misery and for life being out of control. When that attitude hardens--hitting rock bottom--self-pity no longer brings comfort. It becomes a roadblock to incorporating recovery into one's life. 
    Not an addict? We all indulge in self-pity sometime. Other folks don't know how to drive--oh, poor me. My order didn't arrive on time--oh, poor me. I didn't get that thing I simply had to have--oh, poor me. The whining may make us feel comfy, but trust me, those around us are uncomfortable with it. Hence we have the phrase, "First world problem." 
    The antidote for self-pity is gratitude--let's practice that.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

November 14--Who Can You Trust?

Whoever is careless with truth in small matters cannot be trusted in important affairs.  --Albert Einstein

    Have you ever had that feeling that someone was not quite telling you the truth? [I giggled to myself after I wrote that--we had a POTUS who did it hourly!!! No wonder so many of us were terrified for four years!]
    If you have raised one or more children, chances are good that a major lesson you taught was that lying is not a good practice. 
    Back to my first line above. I believe we intuitively know ("gut feel") when someone is being "careless with truth," either by exaggeration or lying. One source of common trauma I have seen in many friends is that during childhood, they witnessed ongoing things in the home yet were told that things were not as they were seeing and feeling them. That disconnect leads to mistrust of oneself and others, just as Einstein states. I experienced that, and it took me years of work to be able to trust anyone, even a little. Going with "a bad example can be a good thing," it led me to value reliability as the supreme character trait in myself and others.
    Integrity rocks,

Saturday, November 13, 2021

November 13--No Chocolate, No, No, No

Crave for a thing, you will get it. Renounce the craving, the object will follow you by itself.  --Swami Sivananda

    Have you ever tried to talk yourself out of a desire for chocolate or ice cream or bacon? "Renounce the craving" and everything in the universe looks like the craved item. I have vast personal experience with this one. 
    I LOVE carrot cake. (Actually, I'll admit I love the cream cheese frosting more than the cake, but it's more acceptable with the delivery system of the cake.) However, I don't keep it around, because that's all I would eat. So I treat myself, once a year around my birthday, to one piece of carrot cake from a local favorite restaurant. That's enough. It's a goofy system, but it keeps the carrot cake from following me around. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰
    Deprivation is not a good plan,

Friday, November 12, 2021

November 12--Personal Power Platform

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.  --Alice Walker

    Thinking IS our power. Everything is created first in thought. We give up our power by thinking we don't have control over our thoughts. We certainly do, though it is not necessarily easy. If we have been subject to a long-term atmosphere of trauma or criticism, it is tough to believe we have the power to change anything for the better. We tend to make up stories about "whodunit" to us, what they did, and how we have suffered, and we repeat those stories to whoever will listen. Holding onto those stories is an act of giving up one's power. 
    The 12-Step programs have an interesting take on power. The first step is admitting one is powerless over the substance of choice. The second and third steps involve recognizing that there is something greater that can empower the addict, and turning over the substance and his/her life to that power. Powerlessness truly leads to a higher power that works. 
    Developing and maintaining one's personal sense of power is an ongoing practice requiring daily attention. I'm really struggling with this idea right now, being in a repeating pattern that I feel powerless to change. Woohoo--yet another growth opportunity! 

The fall colors of Pennsylvania, my home state

Thursday, November 11, 2021

November 11--Lighten Up

It is easy to be heavy; it is hard to be light.  --G. K. Chesterton

    It is especially easy to be heavy if we get caught up in all the ugliness of our world nowadays. It takes effort to move one's focus from that to all the good, to lighten up. Here's an amusing take on the quote--it's easy for gravity to keep us on the planet, but it is hard for us to levitate. 
    It has been a heavy couple of days for me, so to lighten things up, I bought a "cake" of brightly colored yarn, and I'm making myself useful with a crochet hook. Repeating the pattern as I stitch takes my mind off "heavy." It's a meditation of sorts. 
    Heavy is outside us; light shines forth from within. Let's shine. 

My "light" project(s)

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

November 10--Infinite Reservoir of Good

Everyone chases after happiness, not noticing that happiness is right at their heels.  --Bertolt Brecht

    Let's get past the idea that we are here to be tested and suffer. That is a misleading proposition supported by assorted religions, designed to control the masses. We are here to experience joy, expansion and freedom (Abraham-Hicks). With that as our goal, happiness is right here (at our heels), within us. Being our natural unique selves, using our talents (we all have them), brings forth the happiness from inside. We are tapping into the infinite reservoir of good from whence we came and which supports us throughout eternity. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

November 9--Don't Grieve??

Don't grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.  --Rumi

    Rumi had a really-big-picture perspective on this one. Life goes on, and things go and come in other forms, even loved ones, I believe. Rumi was encouraging non-attachment, easier said than done. 
    Don't grieve. I have some difficulty with that suggestion. Sadness and grief are natural human emotions, and if we don't feel them and let them pass, that energy gets stuck in our bodies to our long-term detriment. "Easy come, easy go" could certainly make for a carefree life, but I don't think it's that easy. We get attached to people, lifestyles, places, things--granted, sometimes too attached--but that's part of life on this planet. Grief is a very personal emotion, both in intensity and duration. We cannot tell someone how to grieve. Grief inspires compassion, and that is something that is very much needed in our world today.
    OK with grief,

Colorado sunrise by D. Hardin

Monday, November 8, 2021

November 8--Boredom is Motivating

Perhaps the world's second-worst crime is boredom; the first is being a bore. 
--Cecil Beaton

    I am a fairly easy-going person. I generally go with live-and-let-live, and most folks don't bother me. There are, however, a couple folks whom, due to past experience, I would rather not encounter for the remainder of my life. I was in the same room as one of them this past Saturday night, and I was able to avoid the person. Pondering this, I realize that both of these people fit my "bore" category perfectly. 
    I know that I am guilty of this one on occasion--the "organ recital." That is giving a detailed list of one's medical issues, doctor appointments and aches. The women's locker room at the YMCA is the place to get a hefty dose of that. I'll admit that is oddly motivating--it keeps me exercising, and I don't want to be a bore giving anyone my list!
    And yes, I am prone to boredom, mostly seasonal. About this time of year, when baseball ends, before basketball is in full swing, as golf and gardening seasons wind down, I get bored until I adjust. Boredom doesn't feel good, so I don't hang there for long. 
    Have an interesting week!

Sunday, November 7, 2021

November 7--Just Be Quiet

He that would live in peace and at ease must not speak all he knows or all he sees.  --Benjamin Franklin

    My son and I played golf recently, and we were paired with two gentlemen who were retired from the military. Being the only woman in the group, and clearly less talented at golf, one man seemed very poised to give me pointers, suggestions and advice. My son called it "man-splaining." It stressed me out for a couple holes, but fortunately the threat dissipated quickly and we had a pleasant round.  
    I remind myself often to just keep quiet. For the most part, the world does not need my opinion. I admit that I have mixed success with this self-reminder!
    I had a discussion recently with a friend regarding whether or not to speak up when we disagree with someone. I believe it's a case-by-case decision. It may be worth it to keep quiet to maintain peace. It may be so offensive that a response cannot be helped. Here is an example. A few years ago, my father-in-law, a Notre Dame graduate, in the presence of his wife and me, said, "Notre Dame really went downhill when they let women in." The noise I made and the look of horror on my face surprised him, and he went on to defend his position, until his wife said her classic line, "We don't need to talk about that now, Dick." 
    If I know that I will feel frustrated with myself if I don't speak up, then I will choose my words carefully and express myself. In the end, maintaining one's serenity is truly the most important factor.
    Quietly observing,

Saturday, November 6, 2021

November 6--Take a Nap!

Sleep is the best meditation.  --Dalai Lama

    YES! YES! YES!!!!!! I read this quote by His Holiness a long time ago, and I have never forgotten it. I am one who considers daily napping a hobby, and being able to say that I am also meditating is a bonus! 
    My mother took daily naps. I believe it was her time for "stop the world, I want to get off." I view snoozing in a similar way--a time to be alone with my thoughts and refresh for the rest of the day. Seriously, I plan my life around my naptime. Except during my annual three-month gig doing taxes, I rarely miss a nap. I decided a long time ago that I am an introvert, and I also determined that I am a person who needs a lot of sleep. I'm fine with both of those aspects of myself. 
    Looking forward to today's "afternoon meditation," πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰

Barney is meditating.

Friday, November 5, 2021

November 5--Counting Preference

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.  --Albert Einstein

    That's some genius material for our November theme of wisdom. There is a lot that we count that ultimately doesn't matter--our possessions, Facebook friends, bank account, vehicle fleet, and time, to name a few. That is the "can't take it with you" stuff.
    "Everything that counts" is what makes life worth living--family, friends, love, meaningful vocation, health, a good attitude, faith, hope, beauty, nature, life experience--none of which lend themselves to counting. 
    Even though I am a "numbers nerd" and I love counting, I'll take the things that cannot be counted every time. 

Thursday, November 4, 2021

November 4--Contagious

You can catch health, happiness, and success from others just as easily as you can catch worries, bitterness, and failure.  --Dale Carnegie

    We've all been around someone whose negativity sucks the life energy out of us. We've all been around someone whose wellness, optimism, and enthusiasm for life inspires us. Both have a visceral effect on us, and I think it is fairly safe to say that we prefer the inspiration of "health, happiness, and success."
    Does misery love company? I guess the miserable enjoy bringing others down, but that does not serve anyone. It's a lose-lose for all. 
    I have a small poster in my office that states: You choose which party you shall attend. It includes some lovely artwork and is signed by Mary Anne Radmacher. I want to hang at the party where "health, happiness, and success" are in attendance so I can catch them. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

November 3--Choose Consciously

We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them.  --Kahlil Gibran

    I have two reactions to this quote: "yep" and "yikes!" It is so true, and serves to keep me on the path of choosing joy, so as to avoid the sorrow route. Life will have sorrows, such as losing loved ones, but I do not need to create more sorrow for myself with a negative attitude and self-defeating behavior. 
    Here's a simple example of Gibran's quote. Regular readers know our son was married recently. This is a huge, joyful event for me, inspiring a LOT of emotion (Energy in MOTION). [I kid you not, just as I am writing this, my son texted me the picture below from the wedding day.] I know my tendency to drink too much when I am in such an extreme emotional state. So I made a commitment to the couple and several friends that I would not drink alcohol at the event, i.e. choosing joy ahead of time. I felt clean and clear-headed through the whole celebration, and that was priceless. 
    Our choices matter,
Extreme JOY!

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

November 2--Anger Burns

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.  --Buddha

    Good one, Buddha! I've done a lot of inner work to get rid of long-held and deep anger. I've discovered things that I didn't even consciously know I was angry about. I still feel there is some anger lurking in me. I tend to be addicted to self-righteous anger, and that comes out when I am driving. I am not proud of this behavior, just sayin'. 
    Not a day goes by that I don't see or read something that can bring me to an angry state. I have two helpful sayings to divert myself from going there. One, from spiritual mentor Edwene Gaines, is "Isn't that interesting?!?!" The other, I believe from my mother-in-law, is "Some people's kids!" Everyone is someone's kid, and we all are equally irritating sometime. 
    I've been burned by that hot coal enough to know that I now prefer serenity.

Monday, November 1, 2021

November 1--Wisely Appreciating

The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.  --William James

    The November theme in "Daily Joy" is wisdom. 
    Let us begin by overlooking whatever we may consider flaws in our bodies and bless those vehicles that enable us to be here. This is written by UMC minister and artist, Jan Richardson:

This blessing takes
one look at you
and all it can say is

Holy hands.
Holy face.
Holy feet.
Holy everything
in between.

Holy even in pain.
Holy even when weary.
In brokenness, holy.
In shame, holy still.

Holy in delight.
Holy in distress.
Holy when being born.
Holy when we lay it down
at the hour of our death.

So, friend,
open your eyes
(holy eyes).
For one moment
see what this blessing sees,
this blessing that knows
how you have been formed
and knit together
in wonder and
in love.

Welcome this blessing
that folds its hands
in prayer
when it meets you;
receive this blessing
that wants to kneel
in reverence
before you—
you who are
home for God
in this world.
    Grateful for my healthy body,