Dancing To the Rhythm


Not Again.

It was one of those moments, and I was doing it again. I was in a trance. This time I wasn’t perusing Amazon’s many book suggestions like I talked about in Mindless Searching, I was in my own negative thoughts. Lost.

I caught myself.

Mucking around in my old stories wasn’t helpful. It was the old “somebody done me wrong song.” I don’t live there anymore. Why does this happen? It’s familiar, yes. And it was an old pattern.

But I’ve created a new life and a different story. I’m at a beautiful place. I don’t need that story to prop up my self-esteem.

It went like this.

I had been KNOCKED DOWN. Taken advantage of. POOR ME. But I’m STRONG, and I climbed out of the grime. Look at me now. See how MIGHTY I am. Yeah, can any of you recognize this story? It’s not that it’s a bad one. It’s familiar. Very Western. American. We glory in the knocked down, climb your way out and up to the top hero story. It just isn’t working for me anymore.

Shackles off.

I want a new story. Forget hardships and pain. I want to dance and live and thrive. Why not enjoy this life. So the next time I find myself singing that old tune, I’ll replace it with a new one.


I want to dance!!

Check these posts out –>The Flip Side-To Thrive,  Mindless Searching,  and  Vacation Poster Promises


Foolish Contentment

Drawing for user page

I went browsing on Realtor.com last weekend, just for kicks. I have pondered whether to fix up my place or trade to a place that has some of the features I’m wanting. With property values down I hate to add a lot of upgrades to my current place since it’s not going to be recouped for a while. This is my line of thinking at least. Thinking, mulling over, and obsessing. Here’s a bit of advice from others that I found helpful:

One of the human absurdities is the fact that we’re constantly thinking about either the future or the past. – Being Nobody Going Nowhere

Surrender literally means to stop fighting. Stop fighting with yourself. Stop fighting the universe and the natural flow of things. Stop resisting and pushing against reality. Surrender = Complete acceptance of what is + Faith that all is well, even without my input. It’s not about inaction. It’s about taking action from that place of surrender energy. – Let Go of Control/TinyBuddha

Letting go doesn’t mean we don’t care.  Letting go doesn’t mean we shut down. Letting go means we stop trying to force outcomes and make people behave. It means we give up resistance to the way things are, for the moment. It means we stop trying to do the impossible–controlling that which we cannot–and instead, focus on what is possible–which usually means taking care of ourselves.  And we do this in gentleness, kindness, and love, as much as possible. Melody Beattie

My fear is of being stuck with a piece of property that will be worthless. Remember the hot potato game we played when we were kids or even the dirty Santa game? No one wants to play the fool. Do I like where I’m at in life? Yes, I do. And not just my location, my lifestyle.

For me it’s not about keeping up with another person, it’s about pleasing myself. It’s not about someone else’s opinion. They can mind their own business. Only I know what’s best for me. It’s not about status, wealth, or fame. It’s about survival. It seems to come back to that a lot. Survival and getting stuck with the foolish choice. There is hope in knowing and wanting and then allowing things to happen. It’s hopeful to know that what I want isn’t a new house. It’s making a wise choice.

Kiva.org was foolish to think a $25.00 loan could help anyone. Kickstarter.com was foolish to think anyone else would care about up and coming entrepreneurs. Think of all the other fools out there. Foolishness could be bravery or shrewdness if the plan works.

We must learn to let go, to give up, to make room for the things we have prayed for and desired. – Charles Fillmore

As I started to picture the trees in the storm, the answer began to dawn on me. The trees in the storm don’t try to stand up straight and tall and erect. They allow themselves to bend and be blown with the wind. They understand the power of letting go. Those trees and those branches that try too hard to stand up strong and straight are the ones that break. Now is not the time for you to be strong, Julia, or you, too, will break. – Julia Butterfly Hill

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Know Thy Species

Self Portrait

You have to understand the rules before you can break the rules. At least that’s what I’ve been taught. One easy to understand rule is, people need oxygen. We can’t live without it. It makes us uncomfortable and we start to panic. We will fight against anything that keeps us from breathing. There’s no nice and compliant if someone is choking you. You will kick, claw, poke and jab.

I once thought it was important to be tough. Tough meant defying the rules. Defying what I needed. Things that were natural came too easily and where’s the challenge in that? Climb Mt Everest and prove yourself. Prove that you can make it to the top and still breathe. Scoff. It’s important to know the rule of oxygen. Humans just can’t live at 35,000 feet above sea level. There’s barely any oxygen. And it’s freakin’ cold.

By the same measurement, I wouldn’t expect to feed grass to a dog and expect him to leave the T-bone steak on the kitchen table. It’s natural and expected for the dog to eat the steak. So I realize I have to take a fresh look at being tough and strong. It’s not defying my need for oxygen.

…Know thy species…The best way to learn about a species is to study it in the wild, living in its natural habitat. This includes everything from what the species eats to how it moves, from common predators to mating behavior-everything…..This approach works for humans too…..To understand human health we have to study our own species, the human animal. The Paleo Manifesto-John Durant

Most of my life I’ve operated by existence. My thoughts were of what I needed to survive. And even then I questioned it. I scoffed at people who were high maintenance and was cocky that I wasn’t one of those women. I didn’t require a spa day or an entire room for closeting my shoes. I could travel with just one suitcase. I could get by on less. Now I ask why that was so important. My badge of honor looks rusty now. The truth has nothing to do with high maintenance or low maintenance. If I were an African Violet, I’d need x number of hours of sunlight and y amount of rain. It’s just the facts. Maybe I’ll still scoff at the women who can’t live without their mani-pedi, but I may also reconsider and enjoy one myself.

I want to dig into this more. One of the books on my reading list is, Me, Myself and Why: Searching for the Science of Self By Jennifer Ouellette

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Talkin’ Around the Campfire

For all the many changes in humanity, there are some essential things that haven’t changed. We still like to listen to each other talk. Whether it’s on an old radio show, around the campfire telling stories, a preacher behind a podium, a book being read or a podcast. For some reason the tradition of speaking and listening is still strong. I listen to a lot of podcasts while I’m working. It’s either podcasts or music. I tried listening to books, but they are too distracting, after all I still have to work.

The oratory tradition

Stories are what we swim in, what we breathe, and what we consume. They are how we teach our children the values that are important. “Santa won’t bring you any presents if you’re bad.”  I couldn’t even guess how many times we watched 101 Dalmatians or The Lion King when my children were young. I can imagine my sons telling their children stories of a lion king and the evil brother lion who wanted the kingdom for himself. Very much like the Star Wars stories set my generation’s values, Disney has played a large part for the current generation.

The stories you tell, tell who you are

I’ve decided to search for other stories. My culture isn’t Jewish, but we adopted  the stories that come from a long line of Abrahamic tradition. Stories of a god that came to a man in the fertile crescent. A god that promised that man a nation of his own. These stories are about a group of people that were not my people. We as a Christian culture adopted them because we all want god to come to us and promise us glitter and gold, or sheep and children in Abraham’s case.

My first thought was, what other stories cover that time? The Abrahamic tradition takes us back to the first herders and farmers. I’m thinking of The Book of Invasions (Ireland) Lebor Gabala Erenn, which was the inspiration for Karen Marie Moning’s writing.

Norse mythology, which might take me a lifetime to read it all speaks of Odin, god of the 9 worlds and lives in his heavenly realm of Asgard. Norse Mythology – Wikipedia and Norse history and culture

I also found loads of writings on this site Internet Sacred Texts Archive

I think I will start with Myths of The Cherokee

I’m not saying that the Abrahamic stories and the stories of Jesus aren’t important. I would like to find and compare them to other people’s stories. If you have suggestions I would love to hear them.

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Scripting Happens and It’s Okay

A number of different Mentos flavors

There’s such a disconnect between scripted politeness and genuine service. The one truth I know is that it’s difficult to teach genuine politeness and service. Here’s an incident I had one hurried morning before work.

Scene: Walgreen’s corner store

After gathering up the armful of items I needed, I started looking for some mints or hard candy like Lifesavers. I get to the checkout and there are no mints. I find a box of Mentos rolls behind the iTunes gift cards. The display box has only the bottom row of Mentos left. I tried three times to get them out of the box and each time knocking  the gift cards on the floor. Nevermind.

At the checkout, I place the bag of cat litter, the 2 liter of pop and various odd items I had in my arms up on the counter.

Me: Do you have any Lifesavers or mints

Clerk: Yes we do. They’re on aisle 19.

Me: Oh. None up here by the check out?

Clerk: (stunned look) No. There are some packages over there.

Me: Yeah, I tried to get those, but they are stuck. And the gift cards are in the way.

Clerk: We have gum.

Me: I don’t want gum. I want mints. Nevermind, I’ll just check out.

Clerk: So, has your day been okay so far?

Me: (I want to laugh hysterically) Sure, fine.

Clerk: (hands my coupons and receipt to me) You have a coupon here for $4.00 off of Prilosec.

Me: (nearly speechless) Thanks.

We’ve all encountered it. It happens everywhere. The waitress that really wants to go home as she half smiles at you or the customer service person which you can’t understand as he reads off of his computer screen. He calls himself Bob, but you know that’s not his name. It’s service, but oh so scripted. It happens because we need service. It’s either scripted help or robots. I guess my point is, that anytime you happen upon a truly helpful person, notice it. Appreciate it and tell them how much you appreciate their help. And when you are in the middle of a scripted moment, just remember to be patient. Remember that scripting is necessary because we live in a modern society in need of service. Scripting happens.

While the coffee is great, (I) can testify that it’s not the primary reason regulars come to Starbucks. It’s the element of personal connection. – Carrie Dils, Good Customer Service Skills

Story Eater

Philadelphia Story

Stories are the way we navigate our world, our chance to make sense of who we are and what we do. -Seth Godin

I like TV shows. I love to get into a good story and the very best ones you can get so lost in them, you forget they aren’t real. I’ve watched so many that it’s hard to remember them all. Some are still going strong, some have ended whether gracefully or not. Doctor Who, 24, Lost, Supernatural, Sons of Anarchy, just to name a few. I’m not sure what captures my attention. It’s not all in the suspense. It’s not all in the realism. It’s really not in the looks or sex appeal of the actors. I’ve watched shows that didn’t cast the best looking, but by a few weeks into them you adored the character and the actor. There’s usually an emotional tug of war. You can feel their struggle, either with their own temptations or their failures. Sometimes they are weak, but yet there’s some part of them you relate to. All I know is they have sucked me into their drama.

I sometimes wonder if this life is like that. If there is an afterlife, maybe we will look back and say, that was a damn good story. It might be like walking out of the movie theater after an intense show. Everything else seems a bit unreal and you just want to run back in and watch the movie again. Yeah I can imagine that.

What do you want your story to say? What emotional flavor is it? Happy? Charming? Cozy? Horror? Eek. That one’s not for me. I have mine pictured in my head. Lots of golden lighting. I update it now and then. I see the person I want to be as I grow older and how I want to live my life. With a name like, Wisdom and Grace. Or Sunlight on Raindrops.

Here is an interesting look at charity as it relates to stories:

What do we get when we give to a good cause?

Why on earth would a rational person give money to charity–particularly a charity that supports strangers? What do they get?

A story.

In fact, every time someone donates to a good cause, they’re buying a story, a story that’s worth more than the amount they donated.

It might be the story of doing the right thing, or fitting in, or pleasing a friend or honoring a memory, but the story has value. It might be the story that you, and you alone are able to make this difference, or perhaps it’s the story of using leverage to change the world. For many, it’s the story of what it means to be part of a community. – Seth Godin

Seth’s  full blog is available if you follow the above link. Thanks for stopping by and being a part of my story..

Off to a Good Start

And so we begin. Tune the instruments. Tighten the screws. Hitch up the horses. Wash the car and change the oil. We are going on a journey.

Every once in a while I want to go. Somewhere. Anywhere. I would like to travel, maybe even to exotic places. I read a blog from someone who had went to the Amazon. This couple travels to places like the Amazon, and I’m not talking about the store, so I enjoy reading what about their experiences. It’s exciting. Sometimes though I wonder if I don’t enjoy the thought of having been a world traveler more than I really want to travel.

The thought of commuting gives me a headache. All of the packing and catching planes and ticket purchasing and money exchanges.  Just the thought makes my head want to explode. I remember various trips I’ve taken just inside the states.

I have started a travel fund. I thought I’d save up the money and then I’d be ready. No more excuses. Well at least not that one. I’m sure I could come up with another if I needed to. My main problem with travelling is that I don’t want to go alone. Very boring. Interacting with another person is some of what makes it special. I know, there are those who will argue with me about it, but I’m such a loner in the rest of my life that I can talk myself out of going and doing the activities during the trip. So imagine I’m in my hotel room in Paris and I can’t leave the room because I’m tired. Who will shove me out the door to go have coffee at the bistro down the street? I need someone who is excited about getting out and seeing the sights. I don’t want to go constantly but some is necessary or otherwise why go at all?

I found this http://www.sixthman.net/ and it looks interesting. I’d enjoy listening to music and meeting the band. I can drink and be a groupie for a couple of days.

What If I Thrive?

What does it mean to thrive? What are the ingredients that cause a person to grow and develop at a healthy rate? Does it mean continually learning and improving as I have always believed? Or is it more of developing at a rate that is comfortable for yourself? I have always enjoyed nature and plants. Watching them grow and develop in their own time is fascinating to me. Lack of water or too much water can both stunt the growth, even kill the plant. Insects, fungi or physical damage can harm the plant. If that plant grows in the correct lighting, with good soil, with proper care, the plant can thrive. But it’s not one size fits all. Cacti need a different environment than orchids.

I’ve been interested in self-help since I was a teen, maybe even before. I’m not sure if it’s because I thought I was broken or because I’m a health conscious person. Under the Chinese zodiac, I’m a green (wood) snake. In symbolism green is for growth. I was born in the season, year of growth. Maybe that’s why.

thrive  (θraɪv) — vb ,

1. to grow strongly and vigorously

2. to do well; prosper

How do I thrive? I must listen to my needs and meet them as best I can.

Where I’m at right now, I’m wanting to see a more complete picture of the ingredients. I’ve noticed a bit of greed that sneaked in during my survival crisis. I want to regain that calm that comes with satisfaction. Enough said. Enough done. Job well done.

Buddhism says that life is in the pauses. The god is within in the stillness we only find when we get quiet. The Christian Bible states, Be still and know that I am God. Like the fish swimming in the water, that doesn’t know what water is, it’s possible I’m thriving right now and I don’t even realize it. So, what if I thrive? I think I will. You should too.

Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen – that stillness becomes a radiance.
Morgan Freeman
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/stillness.html#dLFUPGTqDRivCgTV.99

Why Others Don’t Bow to Me

I’m important. Can’t they see that? If I’m driving and want to go faster, why don’t get out of my way. If I’m shopping and the line is long at the check out, a new lane should be opened and I should be first in line. After all I’m important.

We spend most of our lives feeling this way and suddenly it dawns on us that we aren’t important. Psychologist call this entitlement. Did they have entitlement in the Bronze ages? Or in the 1800’s? I know in our culture it’s huge.

The alternative, the truth you realize when you learn you’re not the center of the universe, is that life really doesn’t notice you. The ants keep working. The rain keeps pouring. The birds keep screeching. Life keeps moving. If anything, we are in it’s way.

44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. – Matthew 5:44-45 New International Version®, NIV®

I have to remind myself of this a lot. Especially when I’m in my car and the other drivers are in my way. It’s not personal. We are all travelling and we just happen to be on the same road.


Your Reward in Heaven

I have another thing to say regarding what motivates us instead of money. There’s a book that I read this week that mentions that very topic. Drive-The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.  Sometimes it’s not the paycheck. What leads us to spend hours playing video games? For blogging and designing websites that are only for sharing with friends and family? Why do we put bumper stickers on our cars that say “My child is an honor student at…?” Does it gain us extra money? Did we earn it ourselves? Does it make us better people? See Counting Coup for more about money.

There really is another side to humanity that is almost anti-money. The antithesis of being rewarded in any external way. If we were paid to do some of things that we do, they would no longer be rewarding to us. It’s a strange thing. One piece of advice I read recently suggested to not find work doing what you enjoy. Keep your pleasure hobby as that, pleasure, or you will no longer have it as fun.

5 Reasons to Ignore the Advice to Do What You Love

4 Myths about Doing What You Love for Work

Is this what Jesus meant when he said you will lose your reward in heaven, heaven being the spirit nonphysical side of life? If you do something for the accolades, then it does lose some of the internal pleasure. Matthew 6:1

Here are some thoughts and examples I have:

  • Is our society turning to intrinsic rewards (fun, pleasure, internal pride, emotions) instead of external rewards (money, status, certificates, diplomas)?
  • This is mentioned in the book, Drive. The state of Vermont created a new type of corporation. It’s the L3C Low Profit Limited Liability Corporation and is meant to benefit community and still be considered a business. It’s a new way of looking at making money.
  • Fourth Sector-For Benefit companies are companies that believe in benefiting the whole community, not just the board of directors. “The boundaries between the public, private, and social sectors are blurring. A Fourth Sector is emerging.”
  • Open source software has been around for a few years. And because of the internet, people everywhere are giving time and energy to create software, games, communities, and galleries. Wikipedia is the easiest example. Anyone can contribute or edit it’s information. The information you give can be added to or corrected also.  It’s a group effort.
  • The most amazing example I think of right now is the Arab uprising of 2011. The volume of communication through Twitter and Facebook was amazing.  Speaking of the uprisings, Sage Journal says, Indeed some have been so bold as to label them as the ‘Twitter Revolutions’ or ‘Facebook Revolutions.’ 

“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” ~Buddha