Take your gloves off

We all just want to be loved. I think of it often — when I feel I am acting out, when I see a colleague lose it, a friend struggle, or loved one unhappy. At the heart of everything love is the core of why we do so many things. We want it. We want it all the time. This idea from Mark Nepo in “The Book of Awakening” says it all for me:

“We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time.

When we hesitate in being direct, we unknowingly slip something on, some added layer of protection that keeps us from feeling the world, and often that thin covering is the beginning of a loneliness which, if not put down, diminishes our chances of joy.

It’s like wearing gloves every time we touch something, and then, forgetting we chose to put them on, we complain that nothing feels quite real. Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable.”

I was thinking about it in relation to Thanksgiving Day. Think about how loved you are and share that with others this week. Even if you might not feel loved – you are. Someone said in a meeting recently “You get what you give.” I love that. It is so true. As we go into a day of gratitude and thanks, remember to take off your gloves and get rid of your layer of protection. Be the raw and real you.

Make sure the doorknob feels cold, and the car handle feels wet, and maybe you will get more kisses goodbye, or maybe you should give them more often.

The tricks our minds play

I was talking to a friend a few weeks ago about a topic that tends to come and go in my life. It is one that always seems a bit hard to put into words. I can remember a time almost ten years ago when I was sitting on our bed in a loft we were living in. I had this surreal moment when I looked around and thought: all these things happening in my life are all a distraction to get me to not look at the painful stuff. A clearer thought was: working through the painful stuff is what moves you forward to that next level of understanding. It was not a fun time in my life. That day I was alone. Chris was traveling in China and life felt rough, bumpy, and not much fun.

The conversation from a few weeks ago circled back to that same feeling. Do we all have the craziest of lives because it keeps us distracted from the real and raw stuff we are supposed to be looking at the most? We do not want to so we stay hyper-focused on all that we have to do? We stay extremely busy, and then we never have to get really quiet and listen to that voice inside that tells us where we should really be looking? It has been true for me from time to time. I like to think that I am still listening even between all the many responsibilities and deadlines. Am I lying to myself though? Is it really possible? Or do you just need to walk away from it all, whether for a week, or month to really be able to see inside?

I just finished reading a book called “Dinner with Buddha” by Roland Merullo. At first it was a hard book to read. I could not get into it, and then as I found a few morsels of inspiration I was pulled into the quiet, thoughtful ideas inside. While it is a novel, it reads like a self-help book. There were quite a few ideas that come from the story and analogies the author shares. This idea in particular resonated as it made me think of that day ten years ago, and the conversation from a few weeks ago:

“Plugging along at monk-speed, I couldn’t help but wonder if it wasn’t all some kind of trick we were playing on ourselves. Maybe the more we crammed into a day the less we actually experienced. Maybe the addictive hurry was all a kind of racing away from our existential predicament, as if we could outrun old age and death, and as though, if we kept busy enough, kept moving, traveled farther, checked more items off the to-do list on any given day, then, like astronauts in orbit, we’d escape the bonds of ordinary time. Or escape, at least, the manic workings of our minds.” Page 118-119

Is that truly why we do so much? We are trying to get away from our minds and true thoughts? I sure hope not, but I can see it being true. I know it from the tricks my mind plays on me. Yet I want so badly to slow down, stop moving, get rid of the to-do list and live moment by moment into what my mind wants me to learn, however painful as it may be to look into all that is there for me to learn.

What do you think?

Split second choices…

It happens all the time. You know that moment when you start to tell someone something big, and deep, and raw. It might be how you really feel about them, or a story from your past, or it might be advice you have been holding back from telling them. At times you hold it in and later, as you walk away from them, you think inside: “I should have said it, I should have told them, I missed my moment.” You might even go back to that moment days and weeks later wondering if you will ever have an opportunity to share it with them. I was reminded of those moments when I read this on David Kanigan’s blog: “There’s that split second moment.”

“you know when someone asks you a general question like “how are you” or jokingly says something like “do you ever even sleep” and there’s that split-second moment where you consider actually telling them things like whether they’re good or bad things whether they’re sad or happy or anything at all you just think about telling them everything but you don’t” -jackfrost.co

It happens when you are out to drinks with a good friend, or a new friend, or maybe even a colleague. You start to tell them some part of you that you may not share with many, and you start to tell them about you, and then you stop. Often it might be hard to know why. Maybe it is an intuition that you feel, and other times it might just be bad timing, but you feel that moment, you feel that urge, and it stays with you. How often do you have these split second ponderings? They happen fast.

Other times you look back and realize how grateful you are that you kept your mouth shut. You are not ready to share that specific story. You breathe a sigh of relief for that potential slip, as you are not ready for the rest of the world to know just yet what you have been through, or what you are still going through. It is still too raw, too new. Did you stop yourself because you were afraid, or did you stop because you heard a small little voice inside that said. Not yet, not now?

We all have those split second moments. How often do they happen for you?

A writer, a scientist, a talker

A good friend shared this quote recently via social media, and it was a reminder to me to keep writing. You know those days when you say: “why am I still doing this?” Lots of things in our life take time, and sometimes that means time away from our family, friends, work. Each activity can be a sacrifice to not be doing something or being with someone else. Sometimes my blog has been that for me. At other times I wonder why I write at all. The quote my friend shared was from Chris Guillebeau:

“That’s the promise: you will live more curiously if you write. You will become a scientist, if not of the natural world than of whatever world you care about. More of that world will pop alive. You will see more when you look at it.

Writing needn’t be a formal enterprise to have this effect. You don’t have to write well. You don’t even have to “write,” exactly—you can just talk onto the page.”

I have read his book “The Art of Non-Conformity” and have a hold on his most recent book “The Happiness of Pursuit” which came out in early September. I loved the idea of being a scientist. I am like that each day when I blog. I start out by reviewing ideas and notes from my day. Sometimes I am sparked by something someone said. A conversation with a colleague, family member, or my better half. Other times it is an article I read, a video I watched, or some idea that was shared via social media.

However I came across the idea, I dig a little deeper to find out if my fingers will start to tap away. If they do, I see where the idea goes. I have almost two hundred draft posts in different stages of completion. Often I start a post and find that there is no ending, so I leave it and try another idea. Sometimes I go back to those older posts and find that I have an ending, and the writing comes alive for me again.

Be a scientist. Curious, raw, and alive.

A dozen bananas and a marathon a day

Here it is the third day of January, and most people are thinking about what they are going to do in 2014, but I want to talk about accomplishments for 2013. Not my accomplishments, though. Two individuals much more admirable. Janette Murray-Wakelin (age 64), a breast cancer survivor who was told she had six months to live and Alan Murray (age 68) fall into this category. They just completed their 366th consecutive marathon on New Year’s Day, their first for 2014, and their 365th for 2013 (365 marathons in 365 days). Both completed a marathon a day, and ran entirely around Australia for charity while also sticking to a raw and vegan diet.

While I have no plans to emulate their current life, I can be inspired and push myself from their example. While the internet mentions them as an elderly couple at 64 and 68, I would have to disagree. I would say they are still young in life. This article states that they also eat a dozen bananas a day, along with their green smoothie. My kind of people! I am always impressed with what individuals are capable of and what inspires and drives them.

So it makes me think, what are you not doing that you want to be doing? What are you afraid of doing because you think you are not capable? Or are you not doing it because you think you do not have time? I always think that is an interesting excuse. We find time to watch hours of our DVR, surf the Internet, and yet some of the things that are the best for us (exercise and eating healthy) are low on the list. It used to be low on my list too, and something shifted in my life and now I look at eating + exercise in an entirely new way.

Take a few minutes to explore their website, they have an amazing story. Hopefully their life has inspired you to know that whatever you set out to do tomorrow, this month, and this year, a lot is possible. You are capable of way more than you realize.