WE MUST HOLD CLOSE THE DIFFERENCES RATHER THAN THE SAMENESS AMONG US, THEREIN LIES THE GIFT....
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Those among us who have never eaten fast food are
few.I do know one.Do you?Living in a fast food culture, do you not wonder what it has
done to our sensibilities, not to mention our taste buds?
Not only do we now define tasty as something reproduced
exactly across thousands of miles and multiple states, countries and
continents. But we have trained ourselves to expect things almost as quickly as
we can say them. Is our culture devaluing patience? What are the effects of this in our lives?
I sometimes worry that we have not only lost our sense of adventure but have lost the willingness to wait or be challenged.Is the road rocky, is the path steep?When we are occasionally stopped in traffic for road construction, how often do you see someone pulling out of the lane to reverse direction, or getting off at an earlier exit to avoid those minutes of waiting. What if we could use those bits of time to practice patience, for allowing something else to happen, a surprise, a breath, a glance. We might notice the horses in the field next to the road, or change the radio station to some wonderful music, open the window, lean out and look up,or even talking to the poor sod out there holding the sign.
Having obstacles or a bumpy road is not something to be avoided, as there are little bits of light to be found there. I understand that some things are not meant for us and we have to look for those to not linger in places we do not belong, but if things are hard or difficult or require some waiting how likely are we to stick with them. Do we no longer value the "practice" of something. Is this not the way to great art and exquisite craftsmanship?
I recently found my boxes of basket making supplies and I started working on a basket. The first three were so funny looking, I thought for a bit that I had lost what knack I might have once had, but by the time I got to #4 something else had begun to show up.
I am asking you to think about those times in your life where you stopped at #2 or #3. Most things are hard when we start to do them: driving a car, playing a guitar, making ciabatta bread......what about the these personal development things like: meditating, letting someone see your flaws, learning to communicate? These are not easy either, but just like the car, the bike or the loaf, we become more adept the more we practice. It is OK to NOT be good at something. It is also OK to take the time to get better.... we never get the good baskets or the long views of the land if we don't stay on the path.
I will stick with the effects of fast food on our minds and hearts to say....What about the element of surprise?
Why do we want to eat the same thing every time? It used to be that traveling included a
kind of adventure and story around the surprise of places.Now we are as likely to pull into and
chain restaurant (if you can call fast food restaurants) or spend time looking
up reviews online before venturing into a place.Yes, in those days of yore, we did get the occasional bad
meal, but we also had a story, a moment of curiosity, a dialog with ourselves
about what defined a place in which we wanted to eat.
We have been trained to be in a hurry, always.
We have been trained to not wander, to not relish the
journey, to not like surprises.
We cannot get those great vistas without the challenge of
a rocky road.It takes time.
Good things take time.Wait.Walk some
Be stalled. Wander off the path.It is OK, you might like it, and if
not, that is OK too.We don’t have
to be delighted every minute of our lives.
But wouldn't it be nice to be amazed and surprised, just for a moment?
Just for today...if you are going out to eat....go to new spot without checking Yelp first!
Just for today, if life pulls you into the slow lane or has you stopped....count clouds, sheep or blessings while you wait!
Just for today....imagine it is your birthday...because maybe it is!
Just for today....imagine what might be around the corner, then go see!
When we are trying on a new behavior, or trying to let go of an old one,we are so
outcome driven. It makes it so easy for our egos to beat the wind out of us..
Did we do it? Was it perfect? Was it as good as someone else?
those lines make your body clench up? .....your butt, your tummy and your
shoulders?? Wow such pressure............and oddly on doing the wrong thing.
Thomas Sterner wrote a book called The
He makes many points that I will not cover
here, but the one that really stuck for me was about “loving the process”. If we could just love the repetition,
the mistakes, the messes we make, the failures, we might just stick with
something long enough to achieve that lauded goal.
There is an entire field of Psychology based on principles linked back to the french philosopher Gaston Bachelard, called Depth Psychology.
James Hillman, a brilliant grandfather in the Jungian movement wrote often about the essentially healing, transformative nature of observation. Staying in the present, with yourself, an activity, an image from dreaming, in poetic silence, in reverence we watch.....that is when the magic happens.
There is something sacred in this attention. Wading into the depth of and experience, as opposed to using our talents to get us OUT of it. In Carol Rizzola's book, Illuminating the Twilight, she explores the historical and contemporary process of being present for the dying. "Being present to these storying moments brings to mind what the Ancient Greeks might have called the realm of the Muses, a sacred vessel in which the human psyche of the dying can find healing through expression."
I give you three other ways to enter this ideology. All invite something other than the mental, problem solving pieces of ourselves to sit with us. To observe. To listen. To be still.
Being still with ourselves is not the way of the collective. It is not much honored in our societal, value system, but there are those who have gone before, shining a light for us. Those who can help us be still, and OMG even enjoy it..
I invite you to peruse this bibliography and find one to support you being so much more gentle with yourself.... enjoying the ride. You might be surprised at what changes for you.
My neighbor has an
orchard in the valley and gave me a big lug of peaches.My other neighbor wanted to help so
bought the pectin and some sugarand we peeled and pitted and chopped up big drippy luscious yellow
peaches.. tossed them in the pot and stirred in some spice and laughter.We each ended up with enough jam for
It took me home to the
ranch.Summer days and my mom and
I hunched over the kitchen sink, peeling, peeling, peeling away.It could have been peaches, or apples
or pears or plums, or shucking corn for the freezer, or tipping beans or
It was always the two
of us.It didn’t feel like special
time then..I am sure I would have
rather been leaning over the back fence singing songs or playing with the dogs.
But now it is so sweet
a thought.Time with my mom.Such a gift, a blessing.
How often we are
living in moments, seemingly so ordinary, that we miss them.
Look up folks.Today is it!!!!Breathe deep, look closely at your
world…. You are RICH!!
Recently I saw a photo of the current Pope laughing. It struck me as somewhat unusual.. It started me on a search of photos of other religious and political leaders with a real smile on their faces.
He recently put out a list of 10 things you could do to be HAPPY.
1) Live and let live!
2) Be giving of yourself to others.
3) Proceed calmly in life.
4) Have a healthy sense of leisure.
5) Sundays are holidays, spend them with friends and family.
6) Create dignified jobs for young people.
7) Respect and take care of Nature.
8) Stop being negative.
9) Respect the beliefs of others.
10) Work for peace.
The Dalai Lama is often quoted saying that the one rule of his religion is to be HAPPY...
I think it includes being silly too.
Doesn't it seem odd when you think about it that we don't look for leaders that are happy people? This is a former mayor in Iceland, who created his own political party called the "BEST" party. He is a stand up comedian, and can be seen laughing, getting a tattoo, being generally silly, including dressing in drag for a parade. He swept the town off their feet with his energy and laughter and incidentally was very successful dealing with the issues of his capital city.
“As soap is to the body, so laughter is to the soul.” – Jewish Proverb
Perhaps we should be looking for the leaders that laugh, find joy, can be silly….. doesn't that seem wise?
Blessed are those who lead with laughter.
Happy Monday! Misty, with a smile! August 4th, 2014