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"emotion"

Slow the F%#*k Down! #MondayBlogs

In the words of Ferris Bueller , "Life moves pretty fast." I dare you to slow down. I double dog dare you. 

I drive too fast and too aggressively, rush in and out of stores, text instead of talk, grab and go instant/fast food, multi-task my way through the day, gulp instead of sipping...Sound familiar? I know I'm missing out.

What if...

I dedicate myself today to doing less today

I cook a meal on the stove not in the microwave

I chew my food and focus on tasting it

I pull over to the right lane and pace with the traffic

I do one thing at a time...ONE THING AT A TIME from start to finish

I call instead of texting

I visit instead of emailing

I look at the people around me and consider them as, well, people who are also living too fast

I linger for a moment longer in a conversation...somewhere past the 'Hi. Fine. Good. Nice weather" phase of the conversation

What is, just for today, I slowed the F&$%k down? 

Yep. Today. 


Death the King of Terrors...but Not

I had lunch with a dear friend today. She recently lost her brother, at the age of 29. In sharing her journey -  her very sacred, tender journey with me - she mentioned a poem which she shared with me later. 

Death is nothing at all. 
I have only slipped away into the next room. 
Nothing has happened. 

Everything remains exactly as it was. 
I am I, and you are you, 
and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. 
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. 

Call me by the old familiar name. 
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. 
Put no difference into your tone. 
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. 

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. 
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. 
Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. 

Life means all that it ever meant. 
It is the same as it ever was. 
There is absolute and unbroken continuity. 
What is this death but a negligible accident? 

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? 
I am but waiting for you, for an interval, 
somewhere very near, 
just round the corner. 
All is well. 

Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. 
One brief moment and all will be as it was before. 
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

This "poem" wasn't really a poem at all, but rather it was originally part of a sermon delivered in 1910 by Henry Scott-Holland (1847 - 1918), a priest at St. Paul's Cathedral of London. The excerpt has long outlasted it's original message ("Death the King of Terrors"). I found it comforting.

Thank you, my friend. All is well.

The Focus Needs to Be On You

Allow me to ramble a bit...

It isn't about the famous, the known, the popular, the powerful... Your life, your capacity for love and light and even the darker side of your humanity is what it's about. In as much as we can manifest our best self, the next level of self, in strength and compassion there is the IT of living. The distractions of others avail us little. Be you. It's what matters. Share you. Care with you.

While this may sound self centered, it really isn't. The one job that I have that nobody else can do is the job of being me, living my life, caring for me. True there must be a giving, serving expression of my living and often in the serving I find out much about myself...

Serve food to the homeless. Help someone change a flat tire. Visit the sick. You'll soon learn a bit about what it really important - still...

This giving needs to come from the solemn and wondrous responsibility of becoming oneself. It is far easier to spend my time and energy caught up with external political events, natural disasters, jerks in the coffee shop and other matters which require none of the work or discomfort of paying attention to my part in all of this and growing to be the next best version of me. 

I need a walk in the woods...

I am NOT...

Prejudice

I have little more than an intellectual understanding of the Civil Rights Movement. I have only 'media reported' experience of the words and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I did not walk. I did not go to jail and neither did anyone in my family. I am a man saturated with white privilege, by virtual of my birth, education and social circles - and I know it is wrong.

I don't really know what to do about it except this: I try to be kind to everyone I meet, embrace the few and uncomfortable opportunities that I have to experience the cultural and economic differences of my world. I work to be more self aware of my thoughts, prejudices and limitations and then to push beyond those to new perceptions and actions. I commit to working on what I am presented with each day - to NOT be the limited person I was yesterday.

I simply want to find a way to love myself out of these limitations and to demand that others do the same.

It may not be enough, but it's what I've got..

Hear that?

You're hiking in the woods with a good friend and all of a sudden she stops you and whispers intently, "Hear that?"

You freeze in your tracks, try to control your heavy breathing and listen...

At first nothing. Then a stirring in the brush. The snap of a twig somewhere behind you. You turn to look. A family of whitetail deer-  several does, a fawn and then a majestic buck come into view. You are amazed. Then, there - you see it all. The wildness, the beauty, the strength of the moment - nature, raw and untouchable, untamed. The buck catches your scent on the air, stares at you and your friend for a moment and then snorts and the deer are gone. 

You and your hiking buddy look at each other and smile, then laugh. You've been graced by the woods, touched by a fleeting moment of surprise and you both know it.

Nice?

Here's the deal. What about the woods we are hiking in right now? Am I listening for the subtle sounds of beauty approaching? Is a colleague (or Spirit) trying to alert me that I'm missing something important? Am I willing to stop and really soak up this moment?

Hear that?

Top Holiday Memories - Episode 4

Then there was the time that without any provocation and no history of misbehavior, Eleanor the Siamese cat leaped from the ground into the Christmas tree and sent it crashing to the floor. My in-laws, who housed the cat, subsequently tied the tree to the door hinge with twine ever year – even after Eleanor died.

Top Holiday Memories - Episode 3

I don’t know what possessed me. Most of us were standing back stage in the elementary school cafeteria that doubled as our auditorium. I was in the fourth grade and we had just begun to plan for the Christmas program. We were all singing America and although I was always an outgoing child, I didn't know the first thing about singing but when we got to “…above the fruited plains” I couldn't help myself. Something deep inside of me expanded and I sang so loudly that the music teacher rang back stage shouting, “Who is that!?”


I sang “O Holy Night” as a solo that year. It was one of my first “on stage” moments. It is one of my mother’s all time favorite memories – mine too.

Top Holiday Memories - Episode 2

The colors of blue, green, red and bright white danced across the ceiling; the patterns always different - an intertwining of light, creating brief illusions of texture and living shapes. If I listened closely I could hear the ping of the bulbs as they flashed individually on and off. I lie on my back on the sofa, staring at the ceiling watching for repeat patterns and tried to imagine what would come next. My thoughts flashed from the lights to the coming of Christmas. What was in the present under the tree wrapped in the bright green paper with my name on it?


I could have stayed there forever. In some ways, I guess I did.

Is America Really the Greatest Country in The World?