Living Always Now…


being-present-1024x433Feel, savor, enjoy, embrace the moment that is now

Take on, overcome, fight, challenge the time that is now

Find God, your answers, your help, your deliverance, now

Live always your life now…

It is remarkable how much energy we squander reliving past moments and future times. When our recall is pleasant or our anticipation sweet, our time travel enhances our journey. But when with squinted eye we lament the past or rashly dread an imaginary future, we sully and tarnish our journey and cut ourselves off from the experience of life that is now.

Just as your mind was designed to think one thought at a time, no matter the speed, and always in succession, your experience of life was intended to occupy all the space of right now. The incredible sensory beauty of nature is to be both perceived and received now. The love of people and your relationship to them is to be performed and reformed now. The solution to your trouble, your difficulty, your toil can only be discovered and then rediscovered now. Your life is now. Your feelings are now. Your understanding is now. Your experience is now. Your decision is now. Your God (and mine) is now.

Our senses have become so easily distracted, so anesthetized, so diluted that we fail to register what we need to detect. We miss it. We look asconce. We harden our hearts. We blow past it recklessly and without thought. We never impressed on our minds what “it” is and why we need to address its beckoning. Instead we dart beyond it, nervously anticipating or retreating from its threatening, all the while never slowing enough to see it for what it is. Feelings of boredom or lethargy frighten us and in escape from them we fill the air around us with media or music or talking or booze or anything that will succeed in removing the threat. However, the specter is not removed just postponed. Then each postponed moment adds, multiplies and carries over until the life of the person is eventually lost.

A bad marriage isn’t one thing it’s a compilation of things. It’s a hundred unsaid sentences; a thousand unspoken thoughts, a million feelings unaddressed. The job you loathe became so by your own diminished effort, your silent acquiescence, your failure to shine and effervesce and move upward and onward. Your lack of money or respect or fulfillment came not because someone wrestled it from you, but because you gave it up in thought or in practice, or better said in failure to think and then act. You arrived at where you arrived at not by a sudden bolt or surge or happenstance, not by commission, but by omission. All that futile dragging about and wallowing in some long dead past moment or anxiously rehearsing some ghastly, dreadful, or shame producing future time succeeded in removing your precious perception from the thing you needed to take care of while it was still called “today!”

Our present time has become perilously occupied and as addicts we crave more and more of both quantity and frequency. We can scarce handle a break in entertaining media. In our compulsion our time diminishes leaving us exhausted and busy and tired. Instead of running, running, running we should stop and have the courage to take on the moment that is now. Don’t busy yourself with trifles. Don’t log on or search or shop. Don’t turn on anything but your beautiful mind. Allow yourself to feel again. Let pleasant and unpleasant emotions just be. Look at those thoughts that dog you and grab them by their leash. Consider whether they’re real or imagined. Push through the veil and see who has been driving your bus. Who or what has been moving you against your will from what’s most important to you in life and convincing you to settle for less than that? What wrong ideas or untested theories are hiding in the darkness and acting as chains to bind you where there are no limitations? The answers to these questions; to anything that ever plagued you are all right here, obvious and clear in the moment called now, in the sweet reverie between you and your Creator.

The message has been playing all around you since time was first initiated. It’s in the still small voice. It’s in quiet meditation. It’s in the honesty of prayer. It’s in yoga and in sitting still. It is found in every sunrise and sunset. It’s blended in the green of the tree leaves and grass and the bluish hue of the sky. It’s the ocean, the sand and the gentle breeze. It’s unplugged, outside and in every woods. It is your cherished life right now, and now, and now.  It is your distinctive, wonderful experience of life both right now and in every incredible, future, unique now.

Don’t grieve God’s heart by passing time and finding things to get you from one moment to the next. Don’t occupy yourself for occupation’s sakes. Don’t waste time in mindless distraction or in things not worthy of your experience. Instead harvest the bountiful crop to be savored in every precious moment of life. Honor your own heart and your own feelings. Trust yourself and move confidently toward those things that warm you and ask your heart to speed up. Open your eyes and finally see the incredible attention to detail; the unfailing love; the miracle that is this life all wrapped up in the wonder of time right now…

How cloudy, how faded, how dim our true recollection of times gone past

How blurry, how hidden, how hazy our view of some future day

Yet how clear, how true, how faithful the record of our lives ever in the moment called now

Live always your life now…

Just some good thoughts…

 

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The Wonder Filled Present…


8-article-hr-rm-gettyimages-83591401I learned through trial and error that you can give your growing vegetables too much water.  You’d think that more water meant a more abundant crop, wouldn’t you? Veggies need some water and some time to dig their roots down into the soil in search of water. If you make it too easy for them, they don’t dig down and they don’t grow. If you make it too hard by neglecting them, they wither and die. As humans, our joy is found in discovering how the system works already and cooperating with it. We were never asked to invent the process, but rather work within the frameworks previously established for us. Sure we can spend many years bucking against the system, trying and erring, trying and erring, but it’s always a wonder filled day when finally we learn how it works and work with it!

Your mind and more specifically your thoughts are also a system. The system was designed to produce something for you. It is neither random nor whimsical. It’s not happenstance, nor is it something outside your control. You can neglect the system and it will begin to wither and fail. You can overload the system and it will start to break down. It, like all of the systems that exist in this world, is always a delicate balance that requires an effort on man’s part to learn and master. You begin to neglect the system when you stop thinking and deeply considering in favor of habit and rote behaviors. It happens when you think you already know and have the audacity to conclude there’s nothing new for you to learn. The system becomes frightfully overloaded when you burden it down with worries and cares. One central theme of worry will overshadow all of your thinking and suffocate the life right out of you. Thoughts of your past failures and anticipating the doom of some future state, short-circuit the whole operation and reduce your vitality immeasurably.

Thought processes, though highly debated, have been estimated to number between 50,000 and 70,000 per day. Clearly the system was designed with a large capacity in mind.  However, the Wisdom behind the massive system planned for the thought processes to be managed one day at a time. The reason we miss the “wonder filled present” is because our minds are all over the damn place! Our minds have been schooled to flick around like dragonflies, changing directions frenetically, running from thing to thing to thing! We can barely tolerate the present moment without some additional source of information streaming into our consciousness from devices we must recharge every hour. In interactions with other humans we half participate at best. We nod and reply with 20% agreement having only partially registered what was said. With reverted eye we drift in and out of the moment, scanning backwards and forwards like radar, yet missing the target in the center. And as we faithfully miss the mark, our personal fulfillment suffers a mortal blow.

The precious moment called “now” is not found only in moments of quiet repose in a shaded wood or glimmering off the surface of the ocean. It’s not location dependent nor reserved for sunrises or sunsets. It’s not something saved as a celebration for the hard-won fight or worthy goal accomplished. It is life happening right now in the midst of the 50,000+ with the whole sum participating each one by one by one. It is your next idea, your next activity, your very next move. It is you waking, preparing, eating, walking, driving, parking, entering and working. It is the work to be done next in priority. It’s your opportunity to do good for your co-worker and his co-worker and hers. It’s in noticing her furrowed brow and asking if everything is okay. It is looking at the faces in the meeting and seeing them all one by one. It is pausing to think whether those words should be said out loud and choosing silence instead. It is observing the whole drive home then arriving with a determination to bring light and happiness to those with whom you interact the most, despite your familiarity with them and every imagined insult. It is your glorious opportunity to win the moment, the hour, the day and in so doing honor the God that made you!

Alive in the moment, you’ll find your mind relieved of a vast load of cares with the only threat to your existence being that which you can discern now and not that which has been deeply amplified within your fearful thoughts. The fretful pushing and driving to make something of yourself will be replaced by your recognition of a well-lit path that has been carefully marked out for you already, with your only requirement being to find it and keep yourself on it! Living your life one day at a time allows your soul to slow to the pace for which it was designed to run; a pace designed for the whole race. And like an athlete well skilled in how much energy to expend on a thing, you will finally sit atop the perch and with grace decide just how much of you the thing requires and whether you are willing to give it.

The wonder filled present has the antidote to life’s deepest problems because it works away at the bricks in the fortress without rashly seeking to rip out the whole edifice all at once. Obesity and poor health are tackled by the next decision and the next, until working in concert they produce a cumulative, dramatic effect. The root of financial problems are at last found out in today’s earning and spending without relying hopelessly on some false windfall of the future. Indeed all that plagues you, wrapped up and mystified in distracted backward looking and forward seeking thoughts, will suddenly come into laser clear focus begging to be addressed and remedied at last!

The wonder filled present is God’s solution, His gift for a weary, overburdened people, offering the promise that is found in today and only found in today. Life, as you well know, is far too short to miss it or waste it bamboozled and distracted by a world hell-bent on depleting your resources and squandering away your precious existence! Love your one life by making the decision to live it fully, comprehensively, completely, starting with today!

You owe yourself this gift!

Just some good thoughts…

On the Right Track…


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I was on Legacy Parkway the other day when I noticed the Front Runner train approaching parallel to me in the distance. As he got closer, I heard him whisper, “Do you want to go?” I replied out loud, “Ahh yeah, let’s do this!” I got to about 70 mph when I remembered the speed limit on the parkway was 55. I let him go because I already got him. As he whistled off into the distance, bright red and blue on a pristine carriage of sparkling white, I thought, that train is a powerful beast as long as he stays on his track!

If you’ve taken time to notice, everything in the natural realm has a right environment in which to function. As long as it stays in its rightful lane, it does what it was designed to do and does it effortlessly. When it gets out of it’s lane, it ends up as roadkill. Birds fly and no obstacle is too tall for them to fly over. Fish swim but flounder on the bank. Snakes slither in the underbrush and are damn hard to corner. However, humans are a little different. Their domain is all domains because they’ve been blessed with the ability to think. And because they can think and rely less on any natural programming, they have a responsibility to keep themselves on track; the right track.

How can you determine if you are on track? Well, how do you feel? So simple, yet profoundly true. My dogs sometimes poop on the unfinished basement floor because it feels like the outside. But you’re not a dog and know where you are. All people know where they are. They may not like it and they may not want to stay there, but they always know where they are. Unhappiness, discontent, distress and worry serve to show you that you are off track. When it doesn’t feel right it usually aint right and no amount of liquor is going to change it. When you are about to make a bad move you know it’s a bad move because your central nervous system makes you nervous! Having sex with your wife has no down side. But notice how you feel after sex with that woman you just met last night!

The right track has no downside either. It feels good because it is good. The choices you make while at peace will never lead you astray. But, make a decision based on fear and you’ll soon recognize your error. And even if you’ve gotten used to feeling numb, the sting of the wrong track will always make its presence felt. The trouble is we have gotten so used to ignoring our feelings and succumbing to this person and that collective idea, that we fail to operate our greatest weapon, our thought. What is true for you is true and those subtle urgings that command your greatest attention are your way to go; your only way to go. Not to worry, the system is flawless, replete with checks and balances. If, in your immaturity, you choose badly, you will learn it. If your motive was bad, that won’t escape you either. You know; you always know because of how you feel.

Life is lived best in its subtlety. It’s not found in grand decisions like where you’ll live or what profession you will choose. It’s found in a thousand seemingly insignificant choices that surround you every day. Just as a small departure from the tracks spells disaster for a speeding train, subtle compromises from good add together to ruin a life. It’s not the 85% you get right day by day that troubles you. It’s the 15% you are getting wrong. It’s the bad habits, the distractions, the time thieves, the hours spent in worrisome thoughts, the fears, the compromises, the apathy, the letting go. It’s wrong motives and selfish desires that strong-arm away your happiness. It’s not saying “no” when you know the answer should be no! We feel sublime on a diet not from immediate weight loss but from finally exercising self-control!

The right track is you feeling how God always intended for you to feel. There’s a reason we call delightful things – heaven! It’s the contented, peaceful, joyful you, minus all the bullshit. It’s you making the right choices in a 24 hour period and then having the opportunity to start all over again tomorrow! Looking forward on outstretched tip toes is as deleterious as craning your neck back to rehearse afresh the past. Life is to be lived on the right track today while letting tomorrow bring what it may. How much precious life have we wasted struggling to get to some place that has been struggling to get to us? How many mistakes that occurred in a microsecond of time live on and on, imprisoned in our memories today?

Your hopes, your dreams and every good thing you have ever envisioned is still there for you. To find it you must only get yourself on the right track. There is no requirement to be any smarter than you already are. The only requirement is to keep yourself in that place called “good” and cleave to it as if your life depended upon it. You don’t need laws and commandments and rules to do it. All you need is a willingness to listen to your own heart and even more willingness to make the necessary changes to stay the course. The fool will continue in reckless abandon and defy the bad feelings to his own demise. The wise soul will find sooner or later that all he needs to do is obey.

Don’t spend another moment of your life in endless prayers and questioning. Cease searching for some mysterious intruder wreaking havoc on your life. Instead slow your roll and pay attention to what’s happening all around you. Take note of how you feel and trace it back to some thought, some decision, some thing you just did and garner for yourself its lesson. Don’t beat yourself into religious submission to rules and dogmas that make no sense to you. The right choice always feels right and no so-called expert can dispute it. The converse holds true as well, though the whole nation calls it right!

You’re no Front Runner train my friend, and your choices are almost unlimited. The right track has a million destinations but there is always only one way to get there. Choose good! Choose the right track!

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

The Man You Used to Be…


red-sneakered-feet-walking-towards-phdRecently we had some old college friends over for a barbecue. Thank goodness I’m not as old as them! 😉 When I casually told one of them I was the clinical Director for my organization, he couldn’t believe that the guy he knew in college was the director of anything! I could see his point as my only objectives in life back then were to chase women, play basketball and find different methods to anesthetize myself! (smile) But, that was a lifetime ago… Afterwards, I couldn’t help but think how sad it would be to be the same person you were 35 years ago. None of us are the same person we were back then, nor should we be. This life is all about growth and finding out the obstacles that stunt our growth. So are you ready to find out some things that may have been stunting your growth?

By far, the number one culprit for impeding your progress in life, as Emerson aptly stated, is “carrying about that corpse of a memory.” What you did at any given point in time reflects how you thought at that point in time. It means nothing else. To assign your future course in life to a hodge-podge of foolish past decisions is the height of insanity. In fact, you are completely free to be today whomever it is you choose to be. Your past served only as the preparation ground to grow the person you are today. You needed your mistakes as much as you needed your successes. The difficulties you are experiencing right now are remnants of a course you have yet to complete. Figure it out so you can take the exam and move on.

Dwelling on the past, even yesterday, is a fool’s game. Learn whatever you can learn from it and immediately move forward. Spending your days incubating some failure serves only to guarantee future failure like a runner looking back in the race. The hotshot swimmer in the Olympics was so preoccupied with his opponent that he failed to even medal. Staying your mind on your past is being preoccupied with your opponent. No matter your inherent goodness or practiced virtue, you are going to fall prey to that spurious other power at times and for that you owe God nothing but a commitment to move ahead. How many good-hearted folks do you know who are locked into some past event, imprisoned in the decisions of yesterday? Let it go and move ahead!

Another impediment to future growth is the overuse and abuse of those squirrley little vices that promise you transport to another time and place. Do you remember the commercial where the 30-year-old is extolling the virtues of smoking marijuana when his acquiescence is suddenly interrupted by his mother’s voice in her home, in whice he still lives? Drugs and overindulgence in alcohol press a perpetual pause button on your life, stymying future growth while waiting for you to move out of that phase. Fun and games are all fun and games while your life is fun and games, but every man’s life has a day when he has to forgo fun and games for the work he must do. Indulge if you must, but find a way to balance your fun with the stuff you have to do! Go to work!

Of all the opinions that matter in life, the most important one is the opinion you carry of yourself. Enter your circle of friends and family that work together in unison to define just exactly who you are and where you fit. And again, in the words of Emerson, you are loathe to disappoint them! If you were “always” the joker you must continue to be the joker. If you were ditsy and scatterbrained, that moniker must stay with you for life. People in their estimation of you allow no room for growth or change. Of necessity they cannot because of their compulsion to fit your present life into their past estimation of you. But, growth demands the change and your responsibility is nothing more than to allow your present life to speak for itself! The fact that you were “never” the smart one is only a limitation in their minds, not your own. My dad still thinks I’m not mechanical though I’ve repaired my fair share of broken stuff. Once I configured an OshKosh B’gosh buckle into a door latch, but now I’m just bragging!  The point is, your only limitation is within yourself. Answering to public opinion; to your friend’s judgments; to your family background is like blaming your unmowed grass on the sunshine and water. Mow your own grass and no defense is required!

People’s opinions are in reality a judgment on their own lives. If they are callous and unforgiving, you must be also. Their suspicions of you are a testimony to their own motives. No man can possibly know another’s motive and until that person has lived in your shoes they have no opinion that matters at all. We don’t fault the poor mother who steals so her children can eat, nor can we fault another man for his hidden poverty we cannot readily discern. Underneath it all, people are basically good and kind and seek a means to express their goodness though a thousand voices scream to the contrary! Be your own self doing your own stuff that you know you must do. The value of your choice is determined by you and you alone… Other people cannot stunt your growth unless you allow it. Refuse it and grow!

Your life has a specific design in a specific place at a specific time. Your job is not to find out what the world wants, but rather to find out who you are and what you can best offer to the world. If you can do that, your life will grow in unparalleled dimensions.

You are not the man or woman you used to be, thank God. Instead you are the sum total of all the lessons you have mastered thus far. I say, get your PhD…

Just some good thoughts…

You are where you are…


o-START-WHERE-YOU-ARE-570In a flash of inspiration today it occurred to me that I am where I am. In the world of self-development and positivity, you can get tripped up from time to time. Tripped up because all self-development is a growth process and if you’re going to grow you have to start somewhere. You can smile a lot; say positive things; do your mantras and set your intentions, but you cannot lose track of the reality that today you are where you are.

This may surprise you, but I believe one of the greatest obstacles to your personal growth is in your failure to fully acknowledge who and what you are. You can get so swept away in speaking only of the person you want to be and blow right past the things that give you trouble. You know you have blind spots right? You know there are things that topple your castle with little more than a slight puff of air, right? Well, that’s part of who you are and why make that a bad thing? This where your personal honesty enters the picture. A whole interconnected system of things made you the person that you are and villainizing those sore spots serves only to talk you into not addressing them. Look, you are who you are. That doesn’t mean you are all that you can be, it just means you are at a place and time in your growth and you have to embrace that person before you can morph into a new person. What if instead of hating yourself for your absurdities, you decided they aren’t really the best you, but instead are learning opportunities to help bring out the best you? What if you had the audacity to love all of you, not just the good stuff? Imagine how much easier your life would be if you stopped devoting half your life to being mad at you for being you! Imagine…

My revelation today, amidst a very happy life I might add, is that I’m at a place in life where I know many things but also don’t know many things. It is infinitely easier to admit that I don’t know than to pretend I know; to guess, or analyze myself into oblivion. How much time have I devoted to a pain or a difficulty or a weak spot and have not moved one inch forward toward a solution? That is the clarity and the answer. I don’t have to know and neither do you. For goodness sakes, if you do not know, you do not know. This where my graciously Heavenly Father shows up. He knows and you don’t know. And, if you can stop condemning yourself for a minute and accept what is your reality, you can finally move to a place where change is actually possible. That is true humility, my friends. Humility isn’t just the absence of bragging, it’s acceptance regarding who you are and a willingness to learn something new. It’s the starting line of a race that lasts many years. How silly it would be to start a race in the middle and pretend you had a good start. You have to start somewhere and somewhere is exactly where you are today. What if I’m a bad person? Well, what if you are a good person with some bad parts? What if your bad parts came pre-packaged in your DNA and you had nothing to do with it? What if God knows your DNA and loves you anyway? What if God engineered a plan where your DNA is no longer even a factor?

There’s a tremendous freedom that comes with no longer having to know everything. The true design of life was that you would learn about your God and then He would be responsible to take care of you. That is the life that God envisioned. You were never supposed to be the “be all, end all” of knowledge. Let’s be honest, you couldn’t fix a cut finger by your own efforts. Oh, you could wash the wound and put a band-aid on it, but the real work happens outside of you. All of life works this way. Sure, you have stuff you have to do. Yes, you must work at things and apply your own best efforts! But in the end, someone, somewhere is helping you get where you want to go and He does it whether you believe in Him or not. His heart aches to supply your missing information. He longs to tell you and enlighten you and teach you. He just needs for you to admit you do not know and reach out towards Him, because He does know. He isn’t mad at you because He sees you for who you really are! He looks on your heart; that same heart that is reading this blog; the same heart that knows what I’m telling you is true…

You will be amazed at the transformation your life will take once you finally decide to relieve yourself of the burden of having to already know in exchange for accepting that you don’t know. Deep down you know you don’t know and pretending that you know is exhausting. Acting like you already are something you are not is also exhausting. Conversely, there are many wonderful things you already are, that you also haven’t discovered yet. There is a life waiting for you that encompasses all that you could ever imagine or hope for. You won’t discover it all at once, but that first taste is enough to keep you motivated for a lifetime of discovery!

You are where you are and you are who you are, today but, the promise of tomorrow awaits you! Embrace who you are, the good and the bad, and above all stop trying to know it all. Instead get to know the One who does…

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

You, the Unique, Wonderful You!


Bok-Festival-AzaleasI found myself gazing incredulously at God’s creation as the low light of an early spring evening glimmered softly upon the plant foliage, making the early blooms more vivid and more true. From innumerable shades of green contrasted against the deepest purples, richest reds and sparkling yellows, to the willow tree, bent over, chock full of the weight of a million, delicate white and pink blooms, all seemed to speak to my heart and encourage my soul. They adjured me to observe the Master’s hand, impregnated with a uniqueness carried out over a million iterations. And as I paused in quiet revelry, I understood. Everything that God has made is singularly, unique and in that unsurpassed majesty, is wonderful beyond comprehension. That, my dear friends, is the uniqueness that is you, the wonderful, unrivaled, unparalleled you!

You are a miracle of all miracles in that there is no-one just like you on the entire earth. Imagine for a moment the exquisite combination of genes, environment and upbringing that brought you into play. You couldn’t replicate it if you tried. There’s none that thinks like you; processes information like you or comes to the exact conclusions that you do. You are a one of kind model from a factory where all are of one kind. Your heart, your fears, your love, your tastes and your aversions combined have no match. You are on this earth to bring forth all that you truly are and you alone have been assigned your role. The world doesn’t need another Ghandi or Martin Luther or Mother Theresa, it needs you. They have already done their own work and for that the world is grateful. What remains only is the work that you must do.

You know, most people abhor their uniqueness in a futile quest to be just like everyone else. Their scarlet hair is an affront to them and instead of rejoicing in their rarity, they seek dyes and colors approved by the majority. A slightly lower ear, a cowlick, or a different color eye becomes a hinderance to happiness and fulfillment. And age exacerbates the process as millions cleave to the fleeting look of youth never once considering the mighty oak, scarred from the storms, battered, yet standing firm and proud in its place. People want to fit in and blend and follow plans someone else has made. They want to walk in paths well defined; fall in love as movie stars do; work for businesses whose owners are already rich; falling in line with all the rest, in perpetual pursuit of someone else’s life. And as they acquiesce and settle, they never once consider the place where they sit as master, living a life of their own making; offering all that they and they alone can bring.

Immediately dismiss the notion that all should be famous or adored or worshipped. Your prize isn’t fame or notoriety, nor does your contribution have to have altered the course of the world. Your gift is the gift of who you are and what you bring to the table that no-one else can offer. Your unique abilities not only bless the creation but they bring back to you joy unspeakable. And as you dare to stand as who you are, unashamed and adamant, you will find yourself immersed in situations and people and environments that need you the most. You never have to find them for they will always find you.

Thus it’s time to let the real you back out again. Be true to yourself. Love what you love and despise what you despise. Don’t hide your tastes or try to downplay your aversions. If you disagree, say so. If something touches your soul, don’t be shy. When others mock you for being true to yourself, their derision is a testimony to their own hidden self, still scared, laying low, clutching the bed covers. How could someone laugh or scorn you for being you. It would be more frightening if you were them!

You see, the systems of the world are pushing everyone on to the same course; a trail that leads nowhere and takes a lifetime to arrive. And the prize for having finished is hundreds of regrets in thousands of wasted days. Meanwhile that song; that dream; that ideal lays buried in your heart ever seeking expression but never having been given opportunity. And we wonder why people are so unfulfilled nowadays… True fulfillment can only come from the real you, expressing yourself in real ways, to a world submerged in illusion.

So, where do you begin? Begin by deciding today that you will never again utter a negative word about yourself. Choose to evaluate situations and circumstances and to eliminate endless self-evaluation. Don’t spend another moment in negative consideration of your own heart or motives or desires. Stop saying no to the things from which your heart says yes. Let your interest be your interest even if completely solitary in scope. Read books that speak to you and you alone. Be yourself unreservedly, immensely, unabashedly. And above it all, love yourself like you used to, without judgment and criticism and complaint. Love your flaws and your frailties and your foolishnesses. Love your quirks, your eclectic whims and even your absurdities. When is the last time you just loved yourself for who you are without apology? That is who you are after…

As the sun started to set and as the gentle, lowering light began to dissipate; as the foliage lost its radiance and the flower colors dimmed to shades of gray and black, and as the beckoning willow hid it’s tender blossoms for the night ahead, I couldn’t help but remember that our uniqueness is something that will never change and the world deserves to see it in the light of day…

Just some good thoughts…

Doing It Right!


869722f0785de9af467bcc8720d2d668Doing things right may bring a lot of things to your mind, most of which probably involve drudgery and compulsive adherence to rules, laws and religious dogma. Since me and rules are fairly incompatible, you can relax because this aint that! This is really about doing your life fully, completely, thoroughly; doing it all the best according to what is needed next. It’s about satisfying the just demands of the moment.

I recently watched the movie, “The Intern.” An interesting movie for sure, but the appeal to me wasn’t the clever story line. It was Robert De Niro’s character, Ben Whittaker. However, it wasn’t Ben’s desire to get a job or be relevant or even his patience in working with a pack of young folks. It was the orderly way he lived his life. It was his care for the little things. It was Ben’s full attention to the moment he was in and the demands of that moment. It was his attention to detail. It was his lack of hurry in favor of what should be next. It was beautiful and clean and crisp in a way I can’t yet put into words, but I’ll try.

The modern day laissezfaire notion of life implies that any desire to keep things clean and maintained is obsessive. Demanding to have things put in the proper place is categorically over the top. Organizing desks, closets or anything presently in a chaotic state stifles your ability to live and breathe.” Just let it go man!” “Why are you so OCD?” All this talk about instituting order is taking away my freedom to “just be.” And, like so many things in this life, you sort of end up with the exact opposite of what you were after. Instead of feeling relaxed and unrestrained you feel anxious, hurried and stressed. Well, there’s a reason…

The One who invented life is supremely organized and orderly. His attention to detail is breathtaking. Everything matters and there is nothing made that does not have an intended purpose or use. The reason that nature has such an appeal to you is because there is a fantastic intricacy behind it. There’s no rigidity or straight lines (because that obviously aint it-get it?), but there is an unparalleled order; a beauty; an exquisite symmetry.  How about your human body? No matter how it looks outwardly, there’s no sloppiness back of it. In fact, it’s so well done you can abuse it for a long time before it starts to break down.

Order not chaos is the dominating principle of the universe. And, the more you put your life in order, the better you will live. Fighting against and resisting order may feel good in the moment, but, as all illusions do, will never last. What you gain in momentary expediency, you’ll lose in sustained happiness. Your relaxing won’t be relaxed and your letting go won’t let anything go. Everything you walked past remains fixed, perpetually occupying your mind as undone. The coat slung on the banister requests action every time you see it and in ignoring it, it beckons the louder. The candy wrapper in the driveway calls out each time you park. The light in the bathroom whispers to be shut off. Your junk drawer in the kitchen serves as an harassing evil, assaulting your thoughts when brought to light. Order is seeking you, not for itself but for you.

Being a Bible fan, I often think of the account when Jesus was raised from the dead. After the incredible miracle of being raised from the dead, there’s another point of interest you may have missed. In the custom of his culture, Jesus was wrapped from head to toe in grave clothes, sort of like a mummy. When they came to see if he was risen, they noted that he wasn’t there and that the the mummified grave clothes were still there untouched with the napkin that covered his face neatly folded on top. Who do you think folded it? Well, Jesus did of course. Compared to the magnanimity of the event apparently folding a napkin mattered as well. Jesus was and is a perfect man. So, you put that together…

There was a time when people sat down together for dinner, with carefully planned place settings and matching dishes. There was a time when people put their work items away carefully in their custom briefcase. They hung up their suits after the office toil or put their boots in the mudroom for later. People took time to make matches in the sock drawer. They dressed with care and nothing was wrinkled or too worn. Dress shoes shined and grooming was impeccable. There was a time when the details mattered and folks took the time to do things right.

The frenetic pace of today has thwarted man’s ability to take care of business; his business. Distractions exist all over and steal away our time. We have so much to do that we don’t have time to do things right. But, I’d guess you have the same time today that the Ben Whittakers of the world had back then, only minus all of the distractions. You might be surprised to learn in the great by and by, that God will reward you just as much for washing your car as He would for recognizing your service and love to your fellow man. Doing things right extends to every category of life and like any behavior that mimics your Father in heaven, has its own blessings that you can enjoy today.

Doing what you know to do; that which is required in the moment, the clarion call to order, will bring you a peace and a satisfaction that is unequaled in this world. The time it takes to do so will multiply back to you in ways you have not yet imagined. There’s no pain in doing things right. The pain ensues from letting things go. Do it right!

God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…

Just some good thoughts…