journal

musings and ponderings…

July 31, 2020

who exactly is it?

i have been doing a ton of thinking about this.
trying hard to focus on my best self.
and then wondering who exactly is that?

what does she look like?
what does her life look like?

as with all of us,
covid has forced
and is forcing
so many changes.

i have been trying to quiet a bit over here
and figure out what that means.

all i have figured out so far is that
it’s not mine to figure out.
it’s mine to listen for.

so i’m focusing.
with a main part of that focusing
being on the listening end of things.

i feel nudged to be open to a lot of life that i know
falling away.

i have been in this spot before.
and i’m sure to be here again.

what a journey, ya know?
what a journey.

focusing.
listening.
and opening?
(trying!)

July 30, 2020

thanking carl and josh!

josh shared this link of
carl jung quotes today on facebook.

i just sat with it and was totally wowed.
if you take it slow,
sit with each quote,
think of yourself,
think of the world,
think of yourself and the world,
well,
be warned,
you may have to just pick yourself up
off the floor as you go along.
i did.
over and over again!



July 29, 2020

perhaps

i wrote this bone sigh
a long long time ago.

it’s one of my favorite prints.
it’s called ‘perhaps’ and can be found here.
funny, i always link this one.
but there’s another as well.
a black and white one.
you can find that one here.

this isn’t a one time deal, is it?
it’s something we gotta do all along the way, isn’t it?

i hate that.
and i love that.

July 28, 2020

digging thru the gold

it’s no secret i’m one of the world’s biggest mark nepo fans.

i have most of his books,
and quote him often.

i remembered he had an insight about something
that i have been confused about most of my life.
and yeah, something that huge – and i forgot it.

so i decided to dig thru his books and see if i could bump into it.

snort.

that’s like finding a needle in a haystack –
he has SO MANY INSIGHTS that i have treasured.
and so many things i have underlined.
so i got lost in a sea of mark’s books.

and no, i haven’t found what i originally was looking for,
BUT i sure am enjoying the search!

i decided it would be nice to share one of those nuggets today.
but which one?

finally, after many choices, i settled on this one.
the depth in this takes my breath away.

‘How do we begin to inhabit our destiny of being here?
I believe it starts with reverence and listening,
with honoring every bit of life we encounter.’


he goes on, of course,
and writes about that.
but i think that right there is a thought that every
single one of us can toddle off with and really ponder.

immediately i thought of something in my own life
that this inspires me to be more aware of,
to listen deeper to, and to hold with more reverence,

and so, i offer this to you today.
maybe it’ll do the same for you.

July 27, 2020

one heck of a window

it’s quiet in here right now.
i mean,
really really quiet.

ac isn’t the main source of air in my house.
tho i do have a window unit in my office here.
mostly i use the whole house fan which is
right outside my office. (and loud)

or a little fan at my feet.

this morning – tho it is sposed to be killer hot today –
it’s not in here.
yet.
it’s just quiet.
nothing is buzzing but the insects.
my window is open.
butterflies are landing on the beautiful orange
flowers right outside that very window.
the hummingbirds haven’t show up for the day,
but i expect them shortly.

it’s so quiet that i heard it calling me.
the life outside my window.

i stopped everything and just looked.
talk about peace.
right there.

right there.
for me.
for us.
all the time.
and yet…
i rarely notice.

but this window of mine.
it’s feeling like a teacher lately.
or the portal to the teacher.
yeah, that’s more it.
cause the teacher is out there.
teaching me to find things in here.
in me.

this morning,
for a moment,
i have.

July 24, 2020

sharing…

it was perfect timing.
i hit weary again this morning.
and someone shared this with me.
and it just felt good.

it’s mike rowe talking about why he is doing
what he’s doing. i haven’t read/watched the links
that he included yet. but i plan to.

i’ll just cut and paste what was on facebook right here.

if it doesn’t speak to you, that’s fine.
just ignore me.
this is being posted for the person it might
just feel really good to.
i know i appreciated having it shared with me.

………….

Mike. In a recent post, you said you’ve been to Tennessee and Georgia, giving speeches and filming for your new show. Before that, you were on the road shooting for Dirty Jobs. Is it really so important to film a television show in the midst of pandemic? Is it responsible of you to encourage this kind of behavior when infection rates are spiking? Don’t you watch the news? More and more cases every day – aren’t you concerned?
Darlene Gabon


Hi Darlene
Of course, I’m concerned. I’m just not petrified.
On March 15th, the day after my part of the country was locked down, I posted a link to an interview with Dr. Michael Osterholm. I’m posting it again, because I believe you and everyone else in the country would benefit from listening carefully to what he has to say. https://bit.ly/2WLOM6o
Dr. Osterholm is the Director of Infectious Disease Research and Policy. This is the same epidemiologist who ten years ago, predicted a coronavirus would come from China and turn our country upside down. In his book “Deadliest Enemies,” he anticipated the utterly irresponsible way in which the media would report on the situation, the completely opportunistic and shamelessly political way our leaders would likely react, and the unprecedented chaos and confusion that would arise from all the mixed messages from the medical community. His resume is unexampled, https://bit.ly/3jvzQTW, and his analysis of the situation is the most logical and persuasive of any I’d heard so far. He’s also the only expert I know of who hasn’t walked back his numbers, reconsidered his position, or moved the goalposts with regard to what we must do, what we can do, and what he expects to happen next. I say all of this because Dr. Osterholm publicly predicted – in early MArch – that we could conservatively see over 100 million COVID cases in this country, with a very strong possibility of 480,000 fatalities – even if we successfully “flattened the curve.”

It took me a few weeks to accept this scenario, because 480,000 fatalities is a frightening number, and lot of other experts were saying lots of conflicting things. But eventually, I came to the conclusion that Dr. Osterholm was probably correct, and quickly navigated the four stages of grief that usually precede acceptance – denial, anger, bargaining, and depression. By late April, I had come to accept Dr. Osterholm’s predictions as a matter of fact. Since then, I’ve had three full months to come to terms with the fact that, a) I am probably going to get COVID-19 at some point, b), I am almost certainly going to survive it, and c), I might very well give it to someone else.
I hope that doesn’t sound blasé, or glib, or fatalistic, or selfish. Four-hundred eighty thousand deaths is an obvious tragedy, and I’m deeply sympathetic to all who have been impacted thus far. I’m also very concerned for my parents, and everyone else in a high risk category. But when Dr. Osterholm says that COVID can be slowed but not stopped, I believe him. When he says a vaccine will not necessarily hasten herd immunity, I believe him. And when he says that people have confused “flattening the curve” with “eliminating the virus,” I believe him.

Thus, for the last three months, I’ve been operating from the assumption that this is a year-round virus that’s eventually going to infect 100 million people and kill roughly 1/2 of one percent of those infected, conservatively. I’ve accepted those numbers. Unfortunately, millions of others have not. Many people have no sense of where this is headed, and I understand why. They’ve been betrayed by a hysterical media that insists on covering each new reported case as if it were the first case. Every headline today drips with dread, as the next doomed hotspot approaches the next “grim milestone.” And so, for a lot of people, everyday is Groundhogs Day. They’re paralyzed by the rising numbers because the numbers have no context. They don’t know where it will end. But Dr. Osterholm says he does, and I’m persuaded that he’s correct. He might be wrong, and frankly, I hope he is, but either way, he’s presented us with a set of projections based on a logical analysis, and accepting those projections has allowed me to move past denial, anger, bargaining, and depression, and get on with my life with a better understanding of what the risks really are.
Fact is, we the people can accept almost anything if we’re given the facts, and enough time to get evaluate the risk and make our own decisions. Last year in this country, there were six million traffic accidents and 36,000 fatalities. Tragic, for sure. But imagine for a moment if no one had ever died from a car accident. Imagine if this year, America endured six million traffic accidents and 36,000 fatalities…for the first time ever. Now, imagine if these accidents and fatalities – over 16,000 and 90 per day respectively – imagine if they were reported upon like every new incidence of COVID. What would that do to our willingness to drive? For a while, I suspect it would keep us all off the roads, right? I mean, six million accidents out of the blue is a lot to process, and 36,000 deaths is scary – especially if you don’t know how high that number could get. It would take us a while to access the risk, before we blindly hopped into our cars again. Eventually though – after getting some context and perspective – we’d be able to evaluate the relative danger of operating a motor vehicle. Then, we could decide for ourselves when to drive, where to drive, and how much to drive. And so we do.
Again, don’t misunderstand. I’m not ignoring COVID, or downplaying COVID, or pretending the risks at hand aren’t real. Nor am I comparing COVID cases to car accidents – I’m simply comparing the fear of each to the other, and the fear that always accompanies uncertainty. I don’t want to get this disease or give it to someone else, any more than I want to be in a car car wreck that injures someone else. But I’ve accepted certain things about the pandemic, and now, I’ve gotten used to the risk as I understand it. I take precautions. I get tested as often as I can, and if I can’t physically distance, I wear a mask – especially around higher risk people. Likewise, I wear a seatbelt, obey the speed limits, and check my mirrors before changing lanes. Yes – I’m aware that we’d all be a lot safer if we kept our cars in the garage. I’m also aware we’d be a lot safer if we all kept ourselves in the house. But that’s not why cars, or people, exist.
Anyway Darlene, that’s a long way of saying that I have accepted Dr. Osterholm’s numbers, and now, after three months of acceptance, I’ve made a decision on how I wish to live my life. Sooner or later, you will too. We all will.
Mike
PS. My foundation is selling masks to raise money for our next work-ethic scholarship program. They’re going fast…

July 23, 2020

keeping them separate

this mind watching thang?
i’m thinking i really really
REALLY wanna get the hang of this!

one of the things i mentioned a few blogs back was the idea about moments being separate. and how noticing that is really helpful.

okay, so i’m totally new to this, and i hate to cream what the author was saying. so i’m really hesitant to credit the author and book for this,
but i will because this is where i got the thought – but i apologize up front
if i’m creaming his thought! it’s from bruce tift’s ‘already free’ book.

he mentions dominoes and how when you line them up and
knock one over and they all get going, they look like one big thing
moving….but they’re not. they’re a buncha individual things.

and that’s our moments. they are individual things.
yet, we tend to clump our moments together and make stories outta them.

he gives an example of dropping a glass of orange juice and it breaks.
instead of it being a moment the glass fell and broke, it becomes a story –
‘i’m always so clumsy.’ or ‘why does my partner always buy slippery glasses?’ or whatever. right? we make a thing outta it and our story is off and running.

so, like i say, i’m not clear on this –
but! my unclear self tried it yesterday in a moment that felt bad.
and woe woe woe! i was genuinely surprised at what happened!

so this moment happens.
and i immediately feel bad.
and yep, the story started right up about it!
and it was a totally negative story.
but i stopped and said ‘wait. it was just a moment.
it’s not a thousand moments,
it’s not the past, it’s not the future. it’s just a moment.’

and i thought about the moment and what it was that really
happened in that moment.
no story attached.
just the moment.
and then!
whoosh!
the not so good feeling totally morphed!

it just totally changed.

it went from a pain/anger/resentment kinda feeling
to a total understanding of where the pain REALLY came from
and there was a sudden flood of self compassion.

no darn kidding.
like i didn’t try to do that.
it just did it on its own!

i don’t think that’s what he was saying was gonna happen!
and i’m laughin’ as i type this.
i think i have some learning to do.
not that this was bad.
i found this incredible!
just that i’m unclear on all of this and have so much to learn.

but i am stumbling into really cool things.
ha!
and so i thought i’d share….

July 22, 2020

already helping…

the whole mind gazing thing
that i mentioned yesterday?!
it’s already helping!

it’s making me listen to myself more.
my words and my thoughts both.

i got a little worn out from the heat.
and i have felt weary.

last nite i didn’t want to go do something
and told myself i was too tired.
then i asked myself ‘who is tired?’
i don’t even know what that means!
but i keep asking myself ‘who is….’ whatever it is
i’m thinking. i don’t know why i’m doing that,
or what it’s supposed to do –
but it turns out it’s a really cool thing.
cause i figured out – i wasn’t tired.
i just wasn’t.
then i tried to figure out what exactly i was.
it was like my light switch wasn’t on.
it was like i was dim.

and so i thought of the things i wanted to do
to brighten me back up. easy self care stuff.

(by the way, i don’t see eating sugar or doing something
that hurts my body as self care in any way. that makes
no sense to me. doesn’t mean i don’t eat sugar ever.
just means i know that sugar isn’t good for me and it’s
not something to do when i want to treat myself right.)

i tried to give myself some nutrients i wondered if
i was missing. i did a few things that felt really healthy
for my body and i looked at each negative thought that
popped up and let them slip away.

this morning – my head just feels so in the game.
now….i figure the lessons are gonna come quickly.
which means my head will get knocked outta the game
pretty quickly, i bet.

i’m hoping that i remember to do the ‘who is feeling….’ thing
when that happens.

so what i learned in less than 24 hours of trying to pay attention
is that i’m really assuming a lot about myself that isn’t true.

so far so good.
i’m loving this.

July 21, 2020

mind gazing…

or!!
not!!
maybe i’m going to get my wheels slowing!

maybe my momentum wheels need to just
slow their darn selves down.

i just started a long podcast.
if it’s awesome, i will share.
and i just pulled a book off my shelf that i want to explore more.
if it’s awesome, i will share.

here’s the thing –
one of ’em is telling me to pay attention to
my mind’s thoughts. to see what my mind is up to,
and why. and to kinda just observe.

the other just explained to me how we put all kindsa
moments together into one big thing, when really,
if we were just in the one present moment,
it would totally change what we do with it.

for me, both of these things really weaved together nicely.

and i have decided it’s time i did a little mind gazing.

and it occurs to me that it is the perfect time to start.
the world is nuts.
the nutso world makes me nuts.
well, what better chance to be looking at my thoughts
then when they spring off into being nuts so easily?!

i wanted to pop this out here in case you wanted to play
along with me. if i see anything worth sharing as i gaze,
i will absolutely share.

it’s quite a cool world inside us, isn’t it?!

July 20, 2020

word of mouth…

so.
yeah.
um.
politics.

something i only talk about
with a small handful of people.

it is mind boggling how actual real conversations
are so hard to have right now.

here’s the thing tho –
a friend told me about this.
she told me to help spread the word.
i got really curious and have been checking it out.
and thought the only way any new ideas are going
to gain any traction is with spreading the word.

so i wanted to share a link.

no need for your thoughts or comments.
i’m not looking for them.
all i’m trying to do is share a new idea.

this would be for anyone who is struggling with
our choices in november.

if you are, you might be interested in this.

if you’re not, no need to even look.

okay. that’s it for me on the subject.