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Archive for the ‘Finding Your Center’ Category

Strength

“I want to share my secret with you.  I have learned to tame the beast within, and I do it without strain.  I use my spiritual powers.  I know that they are the true basis for my outward actions.”  Spiritual Tarot, Echols, Mueller & Thomson (1996).

Finding the strength within to manage life’s vicissitudes is a process not an event.  Growing stronger in faith and understanding allows us to stand firmly in grace and act in love.  We don’t do it perfectly.  But continuing in the work, we become a mighty Oak. Growing from a little acorn into a magnificent structure, able to withstand storms and provide shelter.

Messy

I have always lived with a certain level of organized personal clutter.  Albert Einstein said, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what then, is an empty desk?”  This comforting quote serves me well throughout the year.  However, there is a period of about three to four weeks late October through mid-November when my home office is a gargantuan mess.

This is the time when I bring the cornucopia of gifts I have collected throughout the year out of the closet;  join them up with recent purchases and then surround the pile with empty boxes, gift bags, wrapping paper, ribbon and bows, scissors and tape.  I am blessed with a big circle.

I do prioritize; GGK’s (great-grand children) first, then GK’s (grandchildren), packages to mail, December birthdays, and finally the rest.  As I wrap, label, decorate and begin dispersing the mass to the garage for temporary storage, I listen to soul-soothing music to help me stay on track and not go nuts. I keep muttering to myself that I am not going to keep doing this, and then…another season sneaks up on me.  To my amazement the closet is again full of gifts and I am always surprised!

I forge through the resistance to go pyro or rent a dumpster.  And then the moment comes.  The last packages have been processed, mailed and warehoused.  I return unselected gifts along with all the accoutrement to the closet (which I took the time to re-organize).  I clean, dust and vacuüm.

Turning on the little twinklie lights that outline the window and listening to The Mormon Tabernacle Choir belt out ‘Hallelujah’, I am content.  The chaos is over.  My regular messy is wonderful!

Perspective

Early Sunday morning I saw a very captivating TV spot.  It’s  focus is a young lad, cap on backward, a baseball and a bat in his hands, standing at home plate in a deserted ball park.  As he readies himself to throw the ball into the air and hit it as it comes down, he states out loud, ‘I am the greatest batter in the world!’  Wiff!  ‘Strike one’.  Again, he tosses the ball into the air announcing, ‘I am the greatest batter in the world;’  and again…wiff!  ‘Strike two.’ He turns his cap around. For a brief, intense moment he becomes one with his bat; he sets his feet; and in a steady, steely voice he claims with authority, ‘I am the greatest batter in all the world’…Wiff!  ‘Strike three’!

The batter is stunned.  He stands motionless.  Then a profound realization washes over his face.  His eyes light up, as a satisfied smile creeps across his countenance;  then he announces with great pride and confidence, “I am the greatest pitcher in the world!’

I have not a clue regarding the sponsorship of this ad, but what perspective!

 

 

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.