October 2017
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Archive for the ‘Dreams’ Category

Thanksgiving

For me Thanksgiving is the quintessential  Fall harvest celebration.  The perfect time to enjoy the fruits of the labors of Spring and Summer; relishing family, friends and food.  The ‘thanks’ part is relatively easy; the theme is built right into the very fabric of harvest.  The ‘giving’ part maybe not so easy.

A few years ago I was introduced by a good friend to his ‘tradition of giving’.  A week or two before Thanksgiving he would go out and buy 25 to 50 turkeys.  Then he would strat giving them away.  Some went to food banks and other charitable entities, but his great joy was handing out 10 or 20 randomly.  (At Christmas he would do the same thing with jackets and blankets).

As the Holiday approaches I invite you to participate ‘in a random act of giving’ in addition to your usual charitable contribution.  It need not be grand or expensive for that is not the point.  A five or ten dollar gift certificate for your favorite grocery store,  coffee shop, gas station, pie shop; a bouquet of flowers; or just buying a turkey or two to give away.  It is fun.  It feels good.  It enriches us all. Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Surprise

I was mildly surprised that the primary definition of surprise is to ‘attack without warning; to take unawares’.   Several times a month I am surprised in some way or another.  For example, this past week I was surprised by seasonal temperatures well above normal; really warm, sunny, beautiful weather.  Followed shortly by unseasonally cold temperatures; frost, bone-chilling cold, premature winter.  This experience is more in line with secondary definitions like ‘astonishment’ and ‘amazement’.

Then there is the ‘surprise‘ party….  Similar to the recent swing of temperatures, I found myself on the giving and receiving side of these events.  Within less than 10 days my emotions were swinging between the two extremes of successful surprise;  rich and moving experiences.  I will be smiling with surprising contentment for the next several weeks.

 

Sacrifice

Sacrifice as a noun is primarily defined as a precious offering to a deity.  As Veteran’s Day approaches, sacrifice comes to the forefront of my meditating mind.

There are many forms of sacrificing; sacrifices that parents make  for their children; sacrifices made to save money; sacrifices made by dieter’s; sacrifices of time and energy by countless volunteers for numerous causes; and yes, even the sacrifice bunt.   In the recent horrific disaster on the East Coast many sacrifices large and small, known and unknown are being made every second.

Christ said that there is no greater sacrifice than that a man lay down his life for another.  This week I invite you to hold in honor and esteem the countless Veteran’s and their families who have served and continue to serve our great nation.

Giants

Thrilling!  Exciting!  Amazing!

When Major League Baseball moved to the West Coast in 1958, I was sorely disappointed because I was a Brooklyn Dodger fan through and through.  It took awhile but the Giants won me over.  I am not alone in my admiration of their ‘style’.  Watching a group of very talented athletes play together in a way that epitomizes the concept of ‘team’ sports is inspiring.  To have your home team win the World Series is frosting on the cake.

Thank you Giants!!

Voter

Today is the last day to register to vote.  There was a period in my life when I abstained from voting because I believed my vote just did not matter.  As I matured, as I observed people around the world willing to die for the right to become voters; active participants in their governing, my attitude changed.

Although I remain skeptical about the influence of my ballot in the major races, I staunchly believe I can and do affect the local political arena, especially in California where the ‘Referendum’ remains an active part of the political pasture.

My re-entry into the voting quagmire was ignited by a dear friend who was a naturalized citizen from a third-world country who held a  PhD in History from Stanford.  With his encouragement, we hosted ‘vote-debates’ in my home; inviting friends and family to an evening of pro and con discussions of the California ballot.  A truly amazing and profound experience.  To participate,  one had to go beyond the 50-second commercial interest ads to the heart of the issues.  These gatherings never became shouting matches, and at times persuaded me to alter my position.

I miss those meetings.  My friend has long since passed over.  Life marches on, and I find it more and more challenging and time consuming to pour over the ballot ‘legalese’ in an effort to be as responsible as I can to the honor and privilege of voting.

Perhaps it is time to bring back vote-debate night.

Appreciation

There are moments when I am overwhelmed by a life so full, my life.

Turning on a faucet and having hot, potable water available instantly; standing beneath a cleansing shower; turning on the heater (or air-conditioner); having a reliable car; bird-watching and star-gazing; richly satisfying work; good friends; family; the dazzling beauty of nature which surrounds me; the ability to read and write well; the freedom to vote…I could go on and on.

The overwhelming part of my deep appreciation for all these riches is how easy it is to take it all for granted.  On a global scale, I truly am one of the world’s richest people.  For my bounty of blessings and my daily bread I direct my deepest appreciation to the intelligence behind creation.

Choice

In a recent conversation with a dear friend, she shared with me an experience years ago which had a profound affect on the direction of her life.  As she relates it, she was sharing a journal entry with a close friend about a deeply traumatic personal experience  At the end of the entry she had written, “I don’t know how I am ever going to live with this?”  Her friend answered with, “How are you going to live with it?”

She said to me that the unexpected question gave her a profound insight she had not seen.  That  how she ‘lived with it’ was a choice.  It was empowering for her to realize that she had a choice. She went on to reveal that the insight  gleaned from that simple question has continued to guide her life ever since.

Her story was a powerful reminder to me.  A reminder of just how much choice we actually have when dealing with the challenging ebbs and flows of life’s vicissitudes.

Negativity

I have an active negative chatter-box; the inner voice that likes to beat me down.  Over the years I have gained considerable mastery over the flow of negative chatter.  However, the reality is that it will never go away.

I know these things: that it feeds on negativity; that it is most active when I am tired, frustrated, sad, and/or anxious.  I know that I have an arsenal of strategies to deal with the onslaught when it comes.  I also know that there are times when I want to wallow. Engaging my strategies seems like too much work.  But I know if I don’t, my negative chatter-box  will attack my well-being and my self-esteem mercilessly.  So even though it may take me awhile to work myself out of the mud, I will.

This week be mindful of your strategies.  If you have none, create them.  If you have them use them.  Life is more centered and peaceful when the chatter-box is contained.

Synthesis

“Act with a win-win attitude.  Use your creativity and sensitivity to blend all the diverse parts into a unified whole.”   The Original Angel Cards Book, Tyler & Drake.

Hope

When recently I came upon this quote, I felt fragile and empowered at the same time.

“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out.  Yet, I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.  I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death.  I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever-approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.”

Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl 1947