musings and ponderings…
there’s a thought for me –
be aware of my words.
be fully aware.
it’s a thought that feels most challenging.
i am shaken over the division
that is happening in this country.
i see so much deliberateness in the creating of that division.
it is truly terrifying to me.
i am discouraged.
and i am afraid.
not a good combination to ‘walk with god.’
i realized today that i must put the fear down.
that the fear is a big contributor in making things worse.
and somehow, i have.
put most of it down, anyway.
i imagine it will leap back up and we’ll do a cycle
over and over and over again – me and fear.
but today, for now,
i feel stronger than i have in awhile.
where do i start?
how do i participate in a world
that feels more and more scary to me?
i will start with my words.
because i can.
because i don’t really know where else to start.
and i will do my best to be aware of what i choose
to add to this very noisy world.
our first day of our new year.
i feel completely unsure of where i’m going.
and it’s not the most settling feeling, i gotta say.
but there is some kinda excitement in it all the same.
i am headin’ out in just a bit to sit with resolutions.
gonna write them all out, and figure i’ll refine and
tweak as i go along this week.
i know a lotta people aren’t into resolutions.
i guess there’s some kinda negative rule feeling,
or maybe some sense of harshness.
i don’t have that.
i feel like it’s one heck of a great chance to focus,
to plan – to map!
yeah, it’s like a big map.
i’ve changed a lot in the last couple of years –
the things i want to better in myself really ARE
things that i WANT to do. i’m not making myself
do them anymore…i WANT to.
that would probably be a big difference as to
the resolution making.
i can get lazy.
and lazy is absolutely okay at times.
other times tho, it’s really something i’d like
to step out of. i guess it’s like everything else –
there’s a time and place for these things –
and sometimes it’s good to allow them,
and sometimes it’s good to reach beyond them.
figuring out that balance is prolly what being
healthy is all about.
i am heading into my 60th year this year –
i want to roll into the birthday feeling good
about what i’m doin’ with my life.
there’s some thinking to be done today!
and i’m absolutely tickled about that.
and there’s a whole lotta listening to my heart
that needs to be done this week –
and my heart seems to be pretty pleased with
the idea that it will be heard.
good stuff all around!
happy new year!
it’s new year’s eve day!
i’m thinking quite a lotta us are thinking
‘good riddance’ to this year.
and yeah, i totally understand that feeling.
tho, thru the whole thing,
i have been reminding myself over and over
that it’s been a gift.
but it was when i talked with one of my sons
this morning that i got really inspired about
WHAT a gift it truly has been.
he told me with great delight that this year
had been his best ever.
the smile flooded over my whole being.
he continued on with how he has learned more
this year than if he added up the last five.
‘he’s right.’ i thought.
so much of what i’ve learned, i haven’t liked.
and i have been fighting with what i am seeing.
listening to him,
really hearing him,
made the fight stop.
at least for a moment.
having blinders taken off.
finding beliefs you didn’t know you really had.
letting go of ones that you figure out don’t work.
all of that is really really good stuff.
and yeah, this year has brought so much of that.
it HAS been a good year.
and as i typed ‘good’ i could hear jocko’s voice.
do you remember him?
i posted about him ages ago.
introduced to me by this very same son.
he’s the incredibly male man who says to tackle
your problems and make the learning you get from
them a GOOD thing. and he says ‘good’ with this great
dramatic man voice.
got a problem? GOOD.
got a challenge? GOOD.
had a year that wouldn’t let you be a baby? GOOD.
what a gift it is to be here.
i have a feeling next year isn’t going to be
any more peaceful.
what’s that, jocko?
here’s to living the journey.
all of it.
and here’s to growing and becoming more
of who we want to be.
i had fallen behind on my readings of dr. electro!
have you been following?
not even sure what it is i’m talking about?!
my oldest son, josh, began writing this story
as a way to keep the seniors he works with company.
he sends this to different communities in the area
and also posts it on his blog.
with the holidays and all,
i just got behind!
but i caught up this morning.
and i gotta say – yet again –
this is one of my all time favorite things josh has done.
wanted to share with you.
if you’ve been following, just find the place you left off.
and if you’re new, scroll on down –
i think you have to go to the page before the one
that shows up…
he’s got them labeled.
you’ll find the start!
you might want to subscribe to his blog so you don’t
ever miss an episode! there’s no telling how long these
will go on for!
you can find it all right here.
i just love these!
i took a walk this morning.
i’ve been taking them again.
they are actually kinda mandatory
right now – must haves.
and two wonderful things came to me
as i went along.
one’s a visual.
and it’s a little complicated,
and would require about twenty blogs.
so i think what i’ll do is go with the question
that came with the visual and offer that.
it seems like a really delicious question to ask
ourselves as we contemplate the old year going out
and the new one coming in and consider resolutions
or directions or whatever it is that we are considering.
‘is life happening TO you or FOR you?’
that’s a good one, isn’t it?
definitely seems helpful right now.
setting that right there on the table for all of us
to partake in if we wish.
well, one thing this year has certainly given me is the opportunity for growth! i feel like everything that has happened has been one huge set up for my thoughts this week.
as we enter these last few days of the year,
i keep turning to things that will somehow
make up my new year’s resolutions. and all of it
seems to have to do with this past year.
i feel kinda like i’m a big ol’ stew pot right now.
and i keep tossin’ in ideas as if they were
carrots or potatoes.
if you have followed this blog for a little while,
you’ll know i’m a huge jordan peterson fan.
well, over my holiday time here, i have begun
to dig into his biblical lecture series.
it’s not your typical biblical series, for sure.
so if you’re ‘not into’ the bible –
that’s perfectly cool.
actually, it’s really good.
because what he does is take it –
with a respect that is incredible –
and use it for psychological perspectives.
and honestly, i don’t think anyone could do it any better.
the man is brilliant.
i have been watching it out of order, but finally
watched the first one (and plan on going in order
from now on) (each lecture is long – and packed
packed PACKED full of really good stuff.) (i’ve only
seen three so far.)
and in the first one he tells you that HE is there to learn.
i love him for that.
something he said that i saw in a different talk of his
(not one of these lectures…tho, maybe it’s in there)
was something that i ‘got’ but didn’t REALLY until this week.
i think his lectures are bringing it home to me now.
he told the story of alexander solzhenitsyn finding himself
in the soviet gulag – and asking himself what HE himself had done
to create the place he was in. what was his responsibility in it all?
like i say, i semi got it.
i got the point of radical self responsibility –
of looking at every action he had done that maybe added to
the climate of the horrible atrocities that were now taking place.
that’s quite an intense story –
to land in a concentration camp kinda place and wonder how
you had helped to build it.
to actually own that you had.
and maybe it’s taken me all year to finally come to a place
where i can ‘get it.’
i find myself sitting in a time that scares me.
i feel on the outside of a world that i used to feel comfortable in.
i see my country falling apart.
and for the first time,
i am asking myself –
what has my part been in creating this?
it’s not the first time i’ve ever asked myself that question about
a tough topic. the first time that kinda thinking ever entered my mind
was after the sandy hook shooting. i believe that’s when my
life began to truly open to radical self responsibility. i sat and
asked myself what was my part in creating the violent world we live in.
i find myself asking again – only this time it’s about the entire climate of america. how have i helped to create what i see going on?
and maybe this time the answers are coming easier.
which doesn’t feel real good.
so no, is not pleasant. but oh so important.
jordan has helped guide me with this thinking.
and while it’s incredibly heavy,
it’s also the only place i really have control.
and that is what his lecture series dives right into, i think –
how our ultimate goal can be to become the best person that
we can possibly be – and how, yes, that does affect the world.
this whole ‘best’ person stuff gets bigger and bigger the more
i explore it. the more i find, the more there is to find. it is having
a tremendous impact on me.
so i am sitting with all this right now.
heading into a new year.
and feeling like one heck of a stew pot.
just bubbling away.
i hope today wraps itself gently around you.
i wanted to leave you with the ecards that we offer.
they are free and you can send as many as you like.
send a few and bring a smile to your heart!
you can find them here.
and then…..for yet another smile –
my son, zakk.
there’s no one on earth like him.
ho! ho! ho!
merry christmas, my friends!
you know how frames really make a difference to art?
i notice that all the time when i frame something.
and if you pick one frame over another,
wow, sometimes the difference is stunning?
so, too, i believe it is with our thoughts –
how we frame them really really matters.
and it seems with me that when i need to work on
the framing the most,
that’s when i’m least likely to choose with care.
i was thinking of this after talking with a friend.
she’s really really sad about christmas this year.
so much so, she’s gonna pretend it doesn’t exist.
she figures that will keep her from getting so sad that
she can’t deal with it all.
that’s really sad.
and i get why. there is a lot to be sad about.
and she will be alone.
i understand why.
and it’s not like i’m beyond doing that.
it seems something any of us might try.
but i hope if i get to that point, i might think about reframing.
i guess maybe, what you actually think christmas IS
might be what makes a difference.
if you’re religious, it might be something that helps you.
and even if you’re not – like me – it still is something
that helps me.
i actually write christmas cards, right?
i mean…i CREATE them.
so, it’s been a lotta years of thinking what exactly
this day is for me. i can’t make them unless i figure that out.
always it comes down to some pretty big ideas –
and always always – light in the darkness.
it kinda helps that my dad died around christmas.
(years and years ago)
and i know,
what an odd thing to say.
but one of the strongest memories i have then
is something i probably mention every year in the blog –
the lights on the houses as i drove back and forth between
the hospital and my home. i was driving in the dark a lot.
and there, right there with me,
were the lights people put on their houses.
and yes, i felt like they put them there for me.
and i held on to them so tightly.
christmas lights have always meant a lot to me since then.
they were light i could hold in the darkness.
they were reminders to me.
light is there.
no matter how dark.
and amazingly, more people than ever seem to have put up
christmas lights this year. do we all somehow feel this?
and do we all somehow need the extra light this year?
i think maybe.
a lotta us need to reframe the holiday this year.
and it’s hard.
but i keep thinking – this is our light.
this is our reminder.
there IS light in the darkness.
i want to both reach for it,
and bow to it.
it is a gift like no other.