journal

musings and ponderings…

September 8, 2016

decisions – part three

wow.
okay, if you’ve been following,
it started with the penny jars.
good decision jar.
bad decision jar.
payin’ attention.

then the payin’ attention got me thinking
about what makes a good decision good?
what is your goal?

(if you’re just hoppin’ in, this is all covered
in the last two blogs)

and NOW i’m stringing it out into –
‘what is it you need?’
(which totally goes hand in hand with the
‘what’s the goal?’ theme.)

here’s the muddy thought process –

it’s easier to use an example of when you’re struggling,
but shoot – this is for ANY moment at all.
just easier to see when you’re struggling, i think –

do you know what you need at any given moment?

so if you’re struggling and someone walked up to you and asked –
‘what is it you need?’
would you be able to answer them?
sometimes i could.
sometimes i couldn’t.

so i got to thinking about it.
i’d like to be able to always answer that.
when i’m struggling.
when i’m on top of the world.
and everywhere in between.

and if i can link it to good decisions, well, that’d be really awesome.

so.
you’re havin’ a rough day.
and you ask yourself what you need, or someone else asks you….
do you say ‘man, i need a bowl of ice cream.’
well, maybe.
that’s not always out of the question.
there are definitely times that’s the answer.
but sometimes the answer’s just a little bit past that –
something more like – ‘i need a break where i’m just gentle with myself.’
or something like that.
and then you follow thru on something healthy and gentle for yourself.

and THAT would get me a penny in the good decision jar.
yes, there are times a bowl of ice cream would get me a penny in that
same jar. but not very often. more often it would be something
where i’m REALLY taking care of myself.

‘what is it i need right now?’

i love that question.
and i love linking it to good decisions.

i guess every bit of this decision stuff i’ve been thinking about
is different angles on the same thing – awareness.

and so i keep goin’.
tossin’ in pennies and thinking……

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September 7, 2016

really watchin’…

okay, this whole good decision / bad decision thing
has got me really thinking. (check out yesterday’s blog
to ready about my new penny method!)

i’m on hyper alert in watching everything i’m doing.
it’s kinda cool. i know it won’t last, so i’m just savoring
it while i’ve got it.

so now, i’m in the midst of how do i know if it’s a good
or bad decision? some are so obvious, there’s no question.
but some are not.

this morning as i was going thru my facebook feed,
i watched a horrible vid that totally spread hatred to one
particular person. it was supposedly done in fun, and
the person who was the brunt of it is someone who spews
a lot of hatred and isn’t anyone i respect.

but NO ONE deserves what she got.

i had no idea what i was getting into when i popped
the play button. and the person who posted it is someone
i love.

so do i comment or not?
do i say this is just spreading ugliness and hurt?
or do i pass it by?

i sat there for the longest time trying to decide.

one thing i really dislike about facebook is that people
give their opinions when a lot of times it’d be better
to just be quiet. most times i think it’s really good not
to give an opinion if no one asked.

but then……do you watch hate and just leave it?
we all know that’s not okay.

after debating and sorting thru a thousand threads
to the whole thing,
i left it alone and kept going.

but i’ve been thinking about it all day.

what’s right? what’s wrong?

there’s a lotta threads here that i’m leaving out.
they’re complicated and not the point of the blog.
so i’m gonna need you to just trust me that i weighed
this a whole lot.

what i ultimately came to is our famous family question –
‘what’s the goal?’

i think that’s gonna be what leads me here with every decision.

the goal here would be to not support hate.
but it’s more than that. it’s to support love.

i think one of the tricky parts is the righteousness that
can get mixed in. that’s what made this whole video
possible. the people doing it felt righteous. they felt it
was okay because who they were doin’ it to was someone
hateful.

but seems to me like righteousness is always going to
lead you the wrong way.

righteousness is a really scary thing.
and we all got it.

sooooooo…….keeping that in mind, i didn’t want to turn
my friend off with my own righteousness.
i didn’t want it to be righteousness at all.
i wanted it to be love that was guiding me.
i decided to watch how things went.
if this spread any more, i’d need to say something.
for now, i need to trust a few thousand strands that i know are involved
and give my friend the space.

that’s where i am with it.
but it’s taken hours of thought to get here.

that whole goal thing is really really helpful.
seems like it’s always coming in handy.
if the goal gets defeated in the process,
maybe we gotta really think about the process.
and always always always we gotta watch what is
true love inside of us and what is guided by feeling
righteous.

that’s all on my mind big time today.

who knew a little mind game with pennies was gonna
get me so darn alert and aware of what i’m doing?

pretty darn cool.

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September 6, 2016

a penny here…a penny there…

got into a great conversation with my sons
about decision making recently.

we mused over what makes a person make
bad decisions their whole lives,
how do we learn from the bad ones,
and do we really make an effort to make good ones?
do people really change from bad decisions to good?
and are we gonna be people who pay attention or not?

one of them came up with the idea of two jars –
a good decision jar and a bad decision jar.
based on the decisions you make every day,
you throw a penny into whichever jar fits your decision.
this can add up to a lotta pennies.
and a lotta thought about what you’re doin’.

i woke up this morning and thought about it…
but wasn’t inspired to actually do it until after another
conversation with another son.

okay.
i’m gonna do this.

altho, of course, i’m tweaking it all to use what i’ve
got layin’ around here. so it’s not jars…..but it works.

then i had to decide what earned pennies, and what didn’t.
it could get a bit cumbersome, ya know?
and i wanted this to be something i’m actually gonna work with.

so i decided i’d do it for the more pivotal decisions of the day.
figure that’d keep me doin’ it.
(hey! i just realized! i get a penny for that!)

the other bin is for bad decisions.
i’ve even got some dimes and quarters hangin’ around for
the REALLY bad decisions or the REALLY good ones.

i’m hoping i can keep this up for at least three days.
cause you know how it goes……we stop, forget, let it fall to the side.
but i figure three days will get me really noticing.
and who knows…..maybe i’ll go three more days after that.
i’ll see where it all takes me.

but i loved the idea.
and the reminder – if you want to manifest something in your life,
maybe all you really gotta do is pay attention to all those seemingly
small every day decisions. maybe that’s the life changing stuff we
sometimes seek but don’t know where to find….

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September 5, 2016

happy labor day!

i’m off to goof –

but had to post this much.
i love my job.
sometimes tho, i forget.
i read this and remembered –

“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” –Confucius

September 2, 2016

a little inspiration…

someone shared this on facebook.
i was a little ahead of schedule,
so i stopped to watch.
i am so glad i did.

more than one thing in here caught my attention
and really inspired me.

i would say this is for older women everywhere –
but perhaps it’s for every single one of us anywhere…

it’s jane fonda giving a ted talk about women entering
their third act of living.

check it out by clicking here.
i just loved it!

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September 1, 2016

so much to learn…

the only boxing i’ve ever seen is in the movie, rocky.
and even then, i didn’t see all of it.
my eyes were closed thru a large portion of the hitting part.

i don’t understand boxing.
it makes me cringe and certainly worry about the guys
who are doing it. both taking the hits and giving them.

but because i am always interested in life stories,
i find myself reading ‘by george’ the autobiography of
george foreman. (if you’re like me and didn’t know who
that was – he was a big time boxer turned preacher.)

it all started out from an innocent conversation in the kitchen
about burgers…the next thing i knew, i was on wikipedia
checking out this boxer guy. intrigued, i found a copy of his
book…and here i am. reading.

there was a story in there i wish i hadn’t read.
i don’t think it’ll ever leave me.
and it really disturbed me.
wasn’t about george himself.
but some people he grew up with.

wow.
to grow up a poor black guy.
wow.
and yeah, one’s mind wanders to what it would be like
to be a poor black girl.

when i drive thru the rougher parts of the city,
my mind will wander and i’ll think about it all.
but it’s so far removed from anything i’ve ever experienced.
i try to be aware.
but seriously……a middle class white gal doesn’t get it.
or at least, this one doesn’t.

reading about it is really powerful for me right now.

and i’m thinking how this guy went around beating everyone up.
because he was good at it.
and he wanted to be good at something.

wow.

the things that drive us.
i’m thinking they’re the same in all of us.
we want to belong, fit, be good at something, matter.
the ways we go about getting that – well, those are different.
but wow.
how incredible i can read about this teenage black guy from
the roughest of the rough and he can remind me of someone
who is on the opposite end of the spectrum……but still, i can
see some of the same stuff in both of them.

it really had an impact on me last nite.

i lay there staring out the window comparing two people i never
would have thought to compare ever before. and seeing the
drive way down deep that kept them going.

it’s all of us, isn’t it?

we’re all the same.
and if we don’t think we are, we should look again.
we have such a need to be loved and to be seen and to matter.

i think the more we’re aware of that, the better.
seems to me like it can only help to know
what’s driving us.
and it has got to help to really start seeing that
it’s driving everyone.
in such very different ways.

there is so much to learn.
and so many areas that i know nothing about.
what a feeling to have my eyes opened by
a book about a boxer.

i absolutely love that.

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August 31, 2016

love class…

i seriously think we need classes on love.
i really really do.
i know ol’ leo buscaglia used to give one
out in california. and i so wish that coulda been
a nationwide thing.

i adored him.
altho, i have no idea if he ever touched on
how HARD it is to love.

i think he kinda made it seem easy.
basically forgive and just love the other person.
that appealed to me when i was in my twenties.

now that i’m in my fifties, i want some addressing
of the strings that get tangled inside of us,
the ones that get in the way of loving.

i gotta say, i find it all really hard.
so hard that there are times i’m totally exhausted
just from trying.

how about when whoever you love has wounded you deeply?
that’s hard stuff to deal with.
important stuff.
but hard.
what exactly is love in that situation?
what is healthy?
what is not?

how about the everyday hurts that stack up that you
don’t deal with? that gets crazy too.

how do you learn the healthy balance of stepping out of
yourself and seeing the other person and being present
for them all the while holding boundaries?

how do you learn that you matter more than anything,
and at the same time, not at all?
and that if you can learn that balance,
you can truly hold light in the world.

do you ever really learn that?
can you?

how do you learn that a whole huge part of love
is allowing life to unfold without the need to control it?

i can see these things.
i can understand how they fit and how they matter.
but actually trying to put them into practice
can completely wipe me out.

sometimes i think i do it.
sometimes i really do.
but it’s not natural to me,
and it takes all the muscle i got.
and while pleased i managed a fleeting moment,
i get pretty discouraged about all the moments i didn’t.

can you imagine if you grew up with this stuff?
tryin’ to figure this stuff out and understanding that love
truly has nothing to do with those disney movies?

sometimes i think that woulda helped me  a lot.
but maybe not.
maybe it doesn’t matter.
maybe you just gotta keep tryin’ over and over again.
maybe you gotta get so wounded you don’t think you’ll
ever be okay.
maybe all that stuff is part of the learning.
maybe it helps you grow your compassion.
maybe it’s exactly what it’s sposed to be.

whew.

i have no idea.
but i know i want to learn to love.
for real.
even when it feels like it’s too darn hard.

i have no idea what this life is about.
but i do know that learning to love is the deepest
desire i have. and i’m thinking that i just need to keep
following that pull…

altho, sometimes i just need to take a break on the couch
and watch a movie.

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August 30, 2016

always wingin’ it…

i remember the first time it dawned on
one of my sons that i didn’t know what i
was doing with the whole mothering gig.

i guess he never thought about it before.
he assumed a mother knew how to be a mom.
sure had him fooled.
well, for awhile, anyway.

then he saw that i hadn’t a clue and was just wingin’
my way thru it.

how funny he thought i knew!

my whole life is one wingin’ my way thru.

and i find myself flappin’ those wings harder in some places.

in the middle of an intense flappin’,
i remembered a really powerful visual i had years ago.

i went back to all my memories i had that were really
really hard and sad, and i put a lantern in my hand
in each memory.

in one, i didn’t have the strength to hold it up,
so i remember seein’ myself with it just hanging at
my side.

that was a real powerful thing for me to do for myself
all those years ago. and i remembered it again.

the lantern.
it’s a wonderful symbol for me.

and i thought about it today.
and pictured it with me.
when i went to take a shower,
i pictured it being the light that lit up the room.

it’s sittin’ here on the floor next to me as i type.

what if you go sit with someone and you don’t know
how to help them? well, shoot, you can quietly
just set the lantern down between you. and let that
be enough.

what if you’re feelin’ sad and you don’t know how
to help yourself? well, just plop the lantern down
next to you and know it’s there.

so what’s it a symbol of?

your inner light?
god?
faith?
the flow of the universe?

yeah.
i think so.

and it helps me remember that life’s not mine
to control.

i just need to show up.
and hold the lantern.

i can do that.

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August 29, 2016

strength again…

strength keeps coming up over and over
for me over here.

today i got this –

“maybe strength is nothing more than
making healthy decisions for yourself.”

that’s no little thing.
that’s when the chips are down and you’re feelin’
your worst – to STILL pick the healthy thing.

maybe that’s what strength is.

in a conversation this weekend,
we talked about strength being the muscle
it takes to hold your tongue and not hurt someone on purpose.

sounds easy enough.
but oh how we want to strike out when we’re hurt.

the ones who don’t get so much respect from me.

and it’s a healthy choice.
for everyone.

so i’m liking this healthy choice thought.
and totally want to work on it.

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August 26, 2016

waking up again…

how does it work?
is our journey  to becoming who we are
just one big series of awakenings?
that idea really thrills me.
can you imagine being 93 and still
experiencing awakenings?
that’s really quite a thought, isn’t it?!

i can feel something in me waking up!
i can actually feel it.
and this is the first time it feels good.
it’s been feeling a bit rough for a few
weeks now.

okay, more than a bit rough –
it’s been feeling so incredibly hard.

but as i read last nite, i knew something
was happening inside of me.
something i really wanted to happen.
and something i didn’t know needed
to happen –

i am ready to claim more of my voice!

i woulda told you i claimed it already.
i thought i had.

but i can see that’s just not fully true.
and i can feel it inside –
that it’s time.
it’s come.
and i really need to do this.

i thought of something i had read once.
it’s been a long time. it’s all fuzzy.
but it was about there being three different
places that we kinda operate from.
fear was one.
anger or aggression or something like that was another.
and i can’t remember the third.

i  knew mine was fear.
i have a lotta fear in me.

my father had a lot in him.
i think of him often when i watch it in me.

and as i read last nite, i realized i didn’t HAVE to be
operating from a fearful place.
that i can change that to fearless.

yeah, me.
me who doesn’t like the word ‘brave’ cause it scares her.
suddenly i was ready to be fearless.

seriously.
that’s one heck of a brand new thought for me.

and then i read these lines from ‘when women were birds’
by terry tempest williams –

“Soul utterance: to speak through our vulnerability with strength.”

and…..

“We must learn to speak the language women speak when there
is no one there to correct us.”

both these lines did it.
they seemed to be the final nudge for me to realize a part
of me that’s been quiet all my life just woke up.

wow.
that brings tears to my eyes.

it will be hard navigating. trying to figure out how to communicate
what i need to. but i am totally planning on learning.

i have to.

i think back to my dad. and his fear.
and i realize, i don’t have to be the same.
i am a woman.
and i think that gives me one heck of an advantage.

and i am going to learn to speak the language women speak
when there is no one there to correct me.

wow.
go figure.

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