The Good Life

The Good Life

“We’re on the go for love to open our lives to walk tasting the sunshine of Life.”

It’s getting cold up north and I don’t like the cold. I’m never ready for wintertime. The chill. The ice storms. I’m summer’s girl. Give me the beach, some sun, and a book. That’s my good life.

It’s the oddest things that make us smile. Our favorite songs. A good hot dog. Popcorn at the movies. Hugs from our grandparents.

Life is lived in the small moments. What do you enjoy?

Walk through life

Beautiful more than anything

Stand in the sunlight

Walk through life

Love all the things

That make you strong,

be lovers, be anything

For all the people of

Earth

You have brothers

You love each other, change up

And look at the world

Now, it’s

Our’s, take it slow

We’ve got a long time, a long way

To go,

We have

Each other, and the

World,

Don’t be sorry

Walk on out through sunlight life

and know

We’re on the go

For love

To open

Our lives

To walk

Tasting the sunshine

Of Life. – Amiri Baraka, Answers in Progress from Brain PickingsSelected Plays and Prose of Amiri Baraka

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I Am Safe

I’ve admired the European lifestyle for many years. What I’ve watched in a carefree manner began to be the way I wanted to pattern my life. I’ve felt stressed from the uptight expectations of the American society, stretched thin from not enough down time to recharge. I complained that I wanted to move to France or Italy or even Sweden just so I can get away from our hectic ways. Give me siestas and long vacations.

Wine and bread

While I’m working through my lunch cramming down the last bite of food, I’m thinking there’s someone in France sipping a glass of wine with her friend and eating a crusty baguette. Vacation only made this worse.

Somehow, the other side of the pond has always seemed greener. Europe’s healthcare system, vacations, their unpretentious philosophy of life, more liberal politics, all of these were more to my liking. But something interesting happened while I was driving back to work from a doctor’s appointment. I glanced out the car window and noticed there was a flock of geese lounging on the golf course, safe. Only golfers were near enough to chase them.

What Happened?

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There’s a lot of talk about healthcare in the states, and you’d think we were all dying on the streets without any care at all. I don’t want Medicaid defunded because this affects everyone, hospitals and doctors included, and of course, the patients receiving care. But that’s a political conversation. What I did realize about my own situation is that I am doing alright. And I came by this truth by changing my inner picture. Instead of seeing bad, I caught a glimpse of what’s good in my life, but this has taken retraining. Rehab for my brain. Neurolinguistics. Read this post. Can you Neuro Lingo.

I’m alright

I was returning from an appointment with a doctor who was helpful and kind. I have good healthcare. My job allows me to leave in the middle of the day for an appointment. Yes, our system is complicated. It needs improvement, not abolished as some want to do. I’m also trying to remember that the grass is pretty damn green on my golf course.

Some helpful links:

Neurolinguistic training that helped

Similar blog posts:

 

Hard Times Come Again No More

1803421922-tumblr_mevga9vhge1rla79eo1_500Some weeks are exhausting. Getting out of bed is more than I can do. But then I meet people who are suffering, lost their job, a child has cancer, and it makes me realize I’m okay. Just whining here. This song is for those who have had some real hard times.

Maybe this is you. Did you take two steps forward and slip three steps back? If this hasn’t been one of your good weeks and it seems that only the vultures are your friend. I’m sorry. I wish I could be there with you and help. Could you consider singing part of this song with me? It’s one of my favorites. The band is Eastmountainsouth.

let us pause in life’s pleasures and count its many tears
while we all sup sorrow with the poor
there’s a song that will linger forever in our ears
oh, hard times come again no more

’tis a songa a sigh of the weary
hard timesa hard times come again no more
many days you have lingered around my cabin door
oha hard times come again no more

while we seek mirth and beauty
and music light and gay
there are frail ones fainting at the door
though their voices are silent
their pleading looks will say
oh, hard times come again no more

’tis a songa a sigh of the weary
’tis a songa a sigh of the weary
hard times… hard times come again no more
many days you have lingered around my cabin door
oh, hard times come again no more

’tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave
’tis a wail that is heard upon the shore
’tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave
oh, hard times come again no more

Read more: Eastmountainsouth – Hard Times Lyrics | MetroLyrics

I hope tomorrow is full of joy and delight.

Check out Crimson, Eleven, Delight, Smell of Dust After Rain

Insatiable 

Take five minutes. Only five minutes. Five minutes to calm. To listen. To be quiet. To pray. To meditate. To stop and smell the fragrance of the scarlet roses in your mother’s front lawn. Slow down five minutes.

Life’s been tugging on me with its incessant neediness and each pull feels as if it will take me down with it.

I want to change the world. Change society. When I see the desperate face of a refugee, there’s a pang of empathy and a desire to help. I see the needless waste of human lives thrown and tossed into the skirmish of wars fought over pettiness or another’s profit. It infuriates me.

My idealism is a black hole of never finished projects. I cannot save the world. I cannot change society. But I absolutely cannot afford to despair. Or to check out.

So, I’m taking five minutes. Five minutes to listen to music. To feel the perfection of this moment. To heal. To give. These five minutes I can do. In these five minutes I can reflect and remember who I am. Would you join me?

Five minutes.

I’m not a Jackass Whisperer

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Tenderfoot. Softie. I used to hate those names. Once those words said to me could make my blood boil. I was a tough girl, and I was strong, able to take on the best of you. I ran barefoot over gravel. Snakes, bugs or even toads did not make me squeal.

I might have been a fighter with a big ole’ chip on my shoulder, but yeah, I was still a softie. I fell in love, gushed with pride over my adorable babies, felt pain before and after surgeries, had my heart broken, and etc.

Like Brené Brown, I’ve come to realize being vulnerable isn’t a weakness. Softness holds strength. I’m thinking of the almighty power in the aroma of coffee in the morning. It moves me like no bell of alarm could. Or the giggle of a young child. The smell of dirty laundry. What about the viral memes that flow through society with the ability to change a culture?

“There is no intimacy without vulnerability. Yet another powerful example of vulnerability as courage.”
Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Softness won’t make a terrorist drop his gun, leave that to the pros. Let’s remember home and restore goodwill here. <-tweet  

Ideas for hearts: Muffins and coffee. Fresh flowers and a thank you card. Kind words. A kiss on the cheek. These acts heal broken hearts, mend fences, end strife.

“UnMarketing: “Don’t try to win over the haters; you’re not the jackass whisperer.”
Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Living My Words

11e8efb0de99e437aa6c5a7983a86f94I’m not a great poet or speaker, but that never stopped me from saying what I felt. Maybe at times I’d be better sitting down and letting others wax poetic. Maybe. It’s a tough call to know when to speak up and when to sit quietly, hands folded. I want that wisdom.

There were times when I’ve spoken, and the words echoed back at me. Awkward. A room full of conflicted expressions and I was reluctant to continue. I wasn’t understood. How do you breach people’s defenses? Do we have an obligation to try?

It’s awkward at best to keep speaking. Usually, we sit. Or grow red in the face, yelling at our new opponent. The enemy has been marked. There’s another strategy to try. Stop the oratory. Become ordinary. Be Joe. Be Jane. Simple people, everyday activities. Change things. It’s alright if you’re not a great spokesperson. Maybe you hated speech class or drama in school.

Do you tell your friends about your favorite TV show? That local dive you went to with your guy last weekend. Did you share those pics on Facebook? Yeah, so did I.

We’re all spokespersons, all the time. Marketing has caught on, outfitting individuals to advertise for them using Instagram and blogs. They look fun too! It’s all in the name of profit. (i.e. Kelly in the City, Read this: Confessions of an Instagram Influencer

And no I’m not talking about plastering your profile with religious or political slogans. No! This is the opposite! Live your words for awhile. Be the good.

Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But, please don’t be meaningless.

Here are some of my book suggestions:

Scary Close: Dropping The Act and Finding True Intimacy

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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World of People Who Can’t Stop Talking

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The Sun Still Shines

 

good day

Getting my hands dirty. Working with my entire being – mind, body, and heart by creating something that stirs excitement and that brings hope to others, that’s what I crave. I like helping people build their lives and find out how they can change and grow in ways they didn’t think they could. There’s nothing better.

 

When I read about the Jimmy Carter’s of this world or the Nobel Peace winner Kailash Satyarthi, I want to run and join them. I want to start an organization. People who are changing the world by ending poverty like The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Those creating access to crownisfallingwater such as Water.org and Charitywater.org are groups I shout from the mountaintops. Good things are happening across the globe. Notice it. Join in.

 
Years ago when I was in the Christian movement I wanted to be a part of the millennial generation because I believed they were the generation changing the world. Crazy huh? I assumed it was all about a God thing. Not so. It’s about people, working together, with different attitudes, methods, and backgrounds, all coming together to end suffering in the world. One subject matters, we all must care for our fellow man.

Check it out – Things That Are Right

Vacation Poster Promises

Vacation Poster Promises

There are plenty of posters and travel blogs promising bliss and restoration. Smooth, polished rocks, cascading waterfalls, and green plush grass are there for you. Rest and Restore. Leave your worries behind. Well, I chuckle. Life’s just not that convenient. Worries are like clingy little babies. They want to be fed, and they want only you. To remove them takes some conscious choice. Mindfulness.

Mad Max Highway

I drive the same short stretch of highway connections every day. People like me are jamming this interchange, just leaving work and wanting to go home as quickly as possible. Tired. Cranky. Maybe short on patience. Twice this week I’ve had the same thing happen. Two different people cut me off when there was an opening for me to enter a lane. Once it was my lane and the fellow thought I wasn’t quick enough I’m guessing, he passed me. The nerve! Both episodes I reacted poorly by speeding ahead, glaring or yelling. Something inside me quickened, warning me. Bad responses. Not that I might harm someone, but what if another, a third party, was injured. Was I willing to continue this same path? As I realized I wasn’t mindful or grateful, I noticed a large tire in the middle of the highway. Would I have hit it?

Allowing Stupid to Be Stupid

Last week I mentioned in Mindless Searching clicking through one book after another. I realized after twenty minutes had passed that I was not interested in any of the books I was looking at.  I was in a trance. Mindfulness doesn’t happen by accident. It’s something I have to do. Pay attention. Watch the road. Stay calm. Let the anger go. Allow the stupid to be stupid and not even the score, because life isn’t fair.

Serendipity and Irony

I’m a passionate person, which is why I’m not good at just letting things slide. Some things can be planned, but there are a lot of stuff that just happen that are so much better if they happen on their own. For instance, the lemonade that I drank in Mexico. I couldn’t have planned that and made it taste any sweeter. And the memory of that day couldn’t bring me any more joy if I’d planned it.

When a moment happens and the events come together it seems perfect, as if you’d planned it, serendipitous. Athletes call it the flow or the zone. They’ve planned for it by practicing, maybe even visualizing. Who knows, that could be what happens to us when our lives have real things that fall into place. Ironic isn’t it?

 

 

 

We Survive, But What Will It Look Like?

We Survive, But What Will It Look Like?

I realized after the listening to several French citizens’ response shortly after the tragic concert bombing in November that what I felt some of us are missing here in the states. Love. One of the girls that came out of the concert stated it so clearly, not that she loved those that bombed them. No, but she felt love for those that she was with at the time and she was glad to have been with people she loved enjoying an evening of freedom. And her heart was filled with love even while she was searching for her boyfriend and friends. She wasn’t the only one that I heard say statements like that.
Their response to terror wasn’t to build a wall or blast the shit out of those evil bastards. It was, we are put on this earth to enjoy life. We will live. They want us to be afraid. The terrorist want us to fear because they hate our freedom, but we won’t let them take it away.

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We become what we fear or we become what we love. We in the United States of America should not forget this. I want to live, not hide or pretend to be Rambo.

 

 

It’s Still The About People, Right?

It’s Still The About People, Right?

I think we as a society have forgotten something here. It’s not about the task in front us. How fast can you finish your spreadsheet? Are you a democrat or a republican? We sold more doohickeys than you. Is it about the people? Is it about the job? Is it about the thing?

Most jobs at their start were about helping, or at least solving a problem. Nutrition. Water. Disease prevention. Somewhere along the line they lose their focus. It’s easy to forget. If you’ve ever worked in a daycare with more than five children, you know how that feels. Children whine, they cry, they poop, and they need. It’s constant. You forget that you cared about these noisy, fussy children. At one time, you wished to nurture them. Now all you want to do is stop the noise. Suddenly it’s about the thing. The diapers.

The squeaky wheel problem

It seems to make sense to prioritize in order of priority.

Do the urgent stuff first. Deal with the cranky customer who’s about to walk out, the disenchanted and difficult employee who hasn’t had the right sort of guidance (lately), the partner who is stomping his foot.

The problem with this rational prioritization is that it means that the good customers, the valuable employees and the long-suffering but loyal partners are neglected. And they realize that they should either get squeaky or leave.

If the only way to get your attention is to represent a risk, people will figure that out.

(The other problem is that you end up spending all your time with cranky, disenchanted, difficult people who are stomping their feet.) – Seth Godin

I think it’s important to check ourselves and ask it’s still about the people, right?