Are We Percolating?

The first stirrings of reality creep into our thoughts reminding us of another day. Begin again. It starts slow like an old aluminum percolating coffee pot my parents had when I was young. The water boiled, bubbling into the coffee grounds. No automation, no timer. The water, the beans, and a lot of practice made the coffee.

When the new age folks started talking about our generation waking up and about this being the dawning of the age of Aquarius, we missed the jarring concept of waking. It isn’t all daisies and butterflies. I stub my toe often on my way to the kitchen to feed the cat.

Reality has a way of slapping across our tender young faces and tossing our idealism into the trash. Really it doesn’t give a damn. Like the weather, it floods the mansion and the cheap motels. It gives no notice of your pay scale. Either way, you’re still deep in Texas flood waters.

We are a cocky people with a lot to learn. Love is more worthy than power. An army will never defeat a group of people banded together in unity. Yes, they may die, but they do so in togetherness. There are powers beyond might. Abilities that have been forgotten from generations long ago. Our world looks like a lot of school kids have been fighting. But people are hurting and we need some adults.

Mornings and awakenings are disrupting. Think about that every morning when you make your breakfast. If you drink coffee, and you make a perfect cup, how tasty would it be without the grinders and special tools?

And one more thing. This next morning, remember if this is a new beginning, yeah mornings suck, but sunrises are beautiful.

Good morning lovelies!

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Change.....
Change….. (Photo credit: B Gilmour.)

Change is a lot of work. I’ve update my life and restarted more times than I want to think about. Packing, moving, unpacking. I went through a 5 year period in which we moved 5 times. Crazy. I’m the girl who has lived 40 plus years only 30 miles from her home town.

This week my office was doing some reconstruction around my cubicle. It’s funny to me since I’m the only one left in the area and I’m expecting to hear at any moment, “you have to move.” They’ve asked if I want to move and no, not really. I like my quiet corner of the world. It’s dark and I’m not bothered much. I sometimes feel like the old guy from the Disney animation, Up (2009)

I ponder buying a new car or moving to a new place like I’m looking at a spreadsheet of credits and debits. Is the thrill and novelty of changing worth the effort it takes to change? Even in just trying to set up a new habit, the benefits have to outweigh the effort. Some are worth it. For example, working out, or more specifically, running has been worth it. I enjoy it and miss the effort when I can’t hit the pavement. Even beyond the euphoria of the run, the sweat makes me feel I’ve accomplished something.

Most of my changes are for progress. It’s not the novelty that makes me put in the mileage or sign my money away. I will sweat and endure the pain if it’s important to me. Maybe we’re all that way.

I just watched a family member move to another city and state. It’s difficult to watch someone go. It’s difficult to see the emotions on their face. There’s the uncertainty mixed with the excitement. New experiences and new people. A bigger city means more opportunities for the activities you like, but there’s also the trouble of finding a place to live and new friends. It takes time for the new place to feel like home. Finding a favorite store or a favorite running trail.

If you’re feeling like the earth has moved out from under you, don’t worry. Just breathe. And remember why you’re doing it. Over time you’ll find your balance again.

Teetering is Working the Balance

In the world of nature there are two known familiar states. Balance and imbalance. We humans are a part of this, teetering back and forth. Even if you just look at the last few hundred years, you can see how trends are on or off. Long hair is in style. No, long hair is out of style. Expansion and regression. Destruction, regrowth, and calm.

The other night I decided it was time to give my cat a bath. I got the comb and cat brush out and started brushing her and rubbing her head. She likes this. Then I get more serious, getting to the areas that really need some work. Before I wet and shampoo her, I try to remove as much fur as I can, so I brush her hair against the growth. Suddenly all of this attention is not fun for her. She protests and glares at me, like I should already know not to brush her like that. Don’t rub the cat the wrong way.

With everything going for us, all green lights, regular paychecks, no sickness, no cavities and all of those things, you would think we would be happy, like my cat. And maybe some people are. It does seem though that it’s not the case for most people. With all the drama in the government and all the drama on the job, I’ve come to believe that people get bored when things are smooth. When people get bored they stir up drama. Like a dirt devil in Australia, the dirt starts swirling and soon everyone forgets what started it all. The cat’s hair was rubbed the wrong way.

Life is about balance. Every so often a whirlwind needs to come along and stir things around just so we know we’re alive. It also has a cleansing effect. After the stirring, when things resettle, we can easily make the changes we want to make to our lives. Does that make sense? When things are in a pattern, if you start changing your normal way, people notice. They will protest and demand you fall back in line. When the cat’s hair and the dirt is flying around, if you change, no one notices. You’re not the drama.

The easiest time to make changes in your life is when everything is changing. Grab your chance. Freebie here – also, boredom is a sign to change your pattern in any little way. Do a different hobby. Change something in your routine. Change your hair. We need the balance and we need the imbalance.

Lost Thoughts

Earlier today I had a wonderful thought and I was going to write about it. Something about perspective. I’ve done other things since then and the incredible thought floated off to lost thought heaven. Or wherever good thoughts go when they die. Or get lost. Maybe it will reincarnate into an ever more so incredible thought. I don’t know if I will recognize it, since I don’t remember the earlier one.

I’m not the best at holding a thought anyway. They’re slippery. If I don’t write them down or remember them, what would happen to all the thoughts I think throughout the day? Would I use them anyway? Are they there in me already therefore I think of them or are they floating around like gnats that have to be captured to keep them? I guess I haven’t really thought of it so much before. Speculating here, but if the thought is mine already and I don’t write it down would I keep it?

Tenacious. I want new ideas and new truths so much that I refuse to let anything drop. I ruthlessly want it, but I know I should relax.  I can’t imagine relaxing. All that is in me wants to grab hold of ideas and wisdom. I need to learn. I need life. It is the part of my personality that is eager and likes to run ahead, but also gets caught up in an idea and lingers, exploring the various parts.Writing Like Mad. I think I just got lost in my own thoughts.

Taking up Running


In the beginning of all things we tend to feel quite silly. Picture me, chubby girl, jogging through my neighborhood. I’ve got the shoes, the shorts, a water bottle and of course the required music blaring in my ears. At this moment, my pace is nothing to brag about. My GPS phone app clocks me at 5 K  in 57 minutes. And that’s estimating that my last 30 minutes will be the same as my first, which they won’t. By the time I get a mile and a half (about 2.4 K) of walking and running in, I’m sweating like crazy. My calves burn and my knees are weak. I am no picture of athletic prowess.

Of course, it won’t always be like that. Eventually I’ll build up enough muscle to finish in half that time. Hopefully I won’t be as sore. My stride will look stronger and my run will be more fluid. I picture myself like as a leaner version than now, running like a gazelle through the neighborhood. Onlookers will be in awe of my agility. I wonder if I should take my hair out of the ponytail. Hmmm, then the wind could blow it as I run. I would also be in color coordinated clothing. Shoes, shorts and tank top all coordinated. Yeah, I look like I belong.

It’s humorous because when I started with my old tank top and 10-year-old shorts and shoes, I felt awkward. Pretending. I’m pretending to be a runner because it’s cool. It’s trendy now. And I hate being trendy. Aside: Running vs jogging. The two are technically the same. Jogging doesn’t become running at a certain pace. Jogging is just an uncool word for some people. I’m not sure where this started except possibly in the marathon running group. You can’t jog a marathon, right? When I looked up the terms in all the online running blogs I could find, no one was sure of the difference between the two. Jogging tends to imply you are trotting along through the neighborhood with no intent to do any more, as opposed to running. In the case of running people tend to mean that they are training for a run or a marathon. But that’s all speculative.

As I was saying at the start, when I started running, while wearing my out of date shoes, I felt awkward. So to legitimize myself I purchased some official running gear. The funny thing about that is the models displaying running shorts and tanks are 5’10” and 100 pounds. Their BMI is probably 5%. I know, I know, it’s really 14% and I’m exaggerating, but they are skinny girls. My BMI is a lot higher than that. All those chubs on my body are well-earned. It took a lot of cookies and pints of ice cream to build them. My BMI is nicely bumped over the 25% that is the line to cross to become unlovely and overweight. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/BMI/bmicalc.htm

Now that I have my running gear, at least I know the shoes are not going to injure my knees and shins. With time, I will develop the strange quirks that go with being a runner. I don’t know if I will ever feel authentic because my mental picture is so hero-i-fied that no true person could meet it. I think we do that with a lot of things. Even being an adult, which is something that comes with age and we don’t truly earn, the mere act of not dying brings us to it, we can feel like we are a fake. In the beginning of every attempt, we step one foot in front of the other until we’ve trained our senses to become familiar with our new task. Adulthood, parenting, hobbies and vocations are all that way. It always feels strained. Not quite right. Awkward. Like everyone sees your stumbling and fumbling. That actually makes me smile. Even though I may not reach gazelle-like grace in my running, eventually even I can become comfortable jogging and running about the neighborhood dressed in trendy shorts and bright-colored shoes.

Community is Just Another Word for Us

English: Broadway show billboards at the corne...

There are always those that move to a particular city just for the atmosphere. I think of San Francisco or New York. Here in my hometown most of us are here because we were born here or got a job here. Our little place has it’s charm. I could talk it up. Maybe show you the side of the town that has a view or has the latest developments.

There’s the downtown area. Older buildings, renovated loft apartments, well-kept trails along the river. Our place has a low-cost of living compared to most of the United States. There’s not much in the way of a night life. Clubs are small and few. Mostly bars with upgraded flooring to make it danceable. If you’re looking for va-voom and panache, this is not your town. It is a friendly place to raise a family. Churches, schools, shopping. All the normal things.

If someone wants to persuade you they can try. They can show you what they think you’d like to see. Flash some images across your mind. Dazzle you with illusions. I remember looking for housing developments when my children were young. The realtors poured you coffee while they talked about the community play area. Give the kids some popcorn or cookies and show you around the model house that they built in just 2 weeks and decorated in the latest colors and styles.

English: A rainbow flag affixed to a lightpole...

But nothing is like what they present. After you move to a place, you become the community. Your routine and your life habits follow you like a lost puppy. All the personal quirks you have, like not taking out the garbage or unloading the dishwasher, they are still there. Your fill new house with all your clutter. It came with you. And this town you moved into shows it’s true face and that’s okay. Now you are truly a part of this community and you get to know its real charms. You may fall in love with something other than the play area for the children, like the ice cream truck that comes by on Sunday afternoons. It could be that the next door neighbors have the same interest that you do. Or the view across the valley as you drive out of the neighborhood. You can’t predict these things. Life has a way of happening that you can’t plan. You move to a place for the weather, but it’s the people you enjoy the most. If you think you can plan for what type of husband you want or what type of city you should live, I wish you the best. Life is full of unexpected delights. I have a saying,

The things I am afraid of never happen. And the scary things that happen I never expected.

When we get to the daily task of living, if we want a peaceful world, one filled with love and encouragement, we must act peaceful. We teach our children to settle disputes peacefully. We are the good neighbors and citizens. We are the community.

Running a day in my shoes

I went running yesterday. It looks so easy when you see someone else doing it. Let’s just say I thought I was dying there for several minutes. I was only active for 30 minutes but the after-effects were felt for a couple of hours. It’s crazy because running, like other activities, seems so harmless and painless, until you’re running in your own shoes.

Reality check. I can give advice. Dish it out cold and with a full set of instructions. Because I know. Like saving money. At the end of the month I have big plans. I’m NOT going to spend money so freely the next month. I’m going to budget and put more into savings! That’s right about the time I get the clever idea that I will wash my car and my kitchen will stay clean. Yep, I have grandiose plans.

While I was going up the hill, I kept thinking, this is what it’s like when reality hits the road. It’s a good thing. It helps me to filter through my whims. I can decide what it is that I really want, not just the fun ideas from Pinterest or the things the commercials tell me I want. Reality checks help me see through the romanticized life.

A perfect marriage is one of those things. I knew of a couple which from all appearances were wonderful together. Both entrepreneurs and similar lifestyles. They traveled worldwide together. It all seemed so beautifully romantic and perfect. But it wasn’t  They are now going their separate ways. If you are working on a marriage and both parties are cooperative you can come to a workable solution. You live and alter your expectations continually until you have a realistic livable life.

Life feels different when you’re stepping out to do your version. No matter how many books and videos you’ve seen it never feels like you think it should. You may know how you want it to look. As you walk out your front door, when you are out there alone, you can feel naked and vulnerable. It seems everyone is looking at you and judging you. All of your doubts are exposed and your ineptness is showing. But it’s not. Truly other people rarely notice your flaws in the way that you do. Mostly we rarely notice anyone but ourselves. When we do see them, we see them as “that other person” and we get back to our own life. 

There’s a reality check in actually doing an activity. So as I was walking up the hill struggling to get my breath, cars passed and kept on driving. I continued on in my introspective way, knowing what it feels like to begin running. To begin a process and work it through. No one was critiquing my stance or pace. I was simply someone walking up a steep hill. I do enjoy the running, just not the wheezing and the hills. I will look for some alternate running places and maybe invest in some better shoes. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=reality%20check

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Change It Up!

So you’re tired of telling yourself that you never win anything. That you’re always the last to know anything. The loser. Stupid. Have to get everything the hard way. If you get any extra money, something breaks. Or any other hysterically depressing life script. It’s not a laughing matter at all. Things can change for you. If you want them to.

What are you jealous of? This is a great navigation tool. We get jealous, irritated and mean if someone gets an opportunity that we have wanted.

Someone’s bragging about their perfect marriage? An opportunity to go back to school? A moment in the limelight? Yep, we all know the feeling. I get really irritated when I hear that some celebrity has published a book. And it’s a children’s book. I pull out my collapsible podium and go at them. How dare they? What qualifies them to write anything? They are a celebrity, they didn’t need introduced to anyone. No technique or craft skills. That’s not fair! Probably never read a book themselves. Yeah, I hope you like the ugly side of me in a jealous fit. Like it or not, we all take a trip down that road. Your sister, your sister-in-law or just an acquaintance has a baby and their baby is absolutely adorable. Cough, cough, gag.

Tell your new story

I know that we can’t control what happens in other people’s lives. We do have some ability to work with own life and outlook. If the story of a friend’s vacation makes you want to punch her, take a hint. Ding ding ding. Are you wanting a vacation? Do you feel you deserve one? Or do you feel you’ve worked harder than her and didn’t take one? Investigate your envy. Develop a method of investigating your irritations instead of ignoring them. The “Not Fair” flashing alert sign comes on for me at times. And now with the anger comes the question, “what am I missing in this?” Am I wanting what they have? Or the ability to have a choice?

Old depressing life script: I have to work hard to get anywhere. I would get extremely upset when I notice someone get a promotion or the limelight when I felt they didn’t work hard enough for it. She only got the job because her family were friends with the boss. And I can roll around in the pain and anger or I can get up and live my life.  So I chose to live my life. I decided to change my story.

New life script: I live my life, my path. Sometimes I work hard and sometimes helpful people give me hand up.

Old: I need to catch up. I need to go faster or I will get left behind.

New: I am going at my speed. Life has different speeds. This is not a timed race and there’s no finish line.

Find proof in your memories of your new story. You’ve done the hardest part. You’ve identified what makes you jealous. You’ve turned it into a new story, the story you want to develop inside of you. Now let’s give it some life. Find a memory that supports your new story. For example, my new story, sometimes I work hard and sometimes helpful people give me a hand up. Well I’ve been given opportunities that others didn’t get because they knew I would do the job. They saw my hard work. I earned the opportunity, you might say, by being a steadfast person. I know the people. I know in life, because I put one foot in front of the other even on days that I felt like sitting at home. This does not mean that I’m always perfect or deserving. I am certainly not wanting to gloat because, I am extremely thankful for all the help and votes of confidence. I am thankful for the pilgrim who founded my country with a document stating our rights to freedom. I am thankful for pioneers who braved harsh climates and loss and death. It gives me courage to keep trying even when the future looks bleak. I am thankful for women who demanded equal rights.

I am thankful for every challenging and difficult woman or man who refused to sit down and shut up when their rights were challenged.

This is what I am talking about. I am blessed. I am blessed with choices and opportunities. My parents gave me a solid foundation of love and helped me grow. the list goes on. I am building on a foundation laid by generations of people before me. Champions. I live my life, my path. Sometimes I work hard and sometimes helpful people give me hand up.

Energy flows to where your attention goes. If you are driving in the fog and it’s difficult to see, maybe all you can see is the car in front of you. That’s your focus, your guide. Otherwise you may drift off the road. Your life-script is your guidance. When the times are tough you have to remember that this doesn’t last forever. That a new day will come. When someone else gets the job you wanted, you have to remember that you are just as blessed. Maybe they did get it because their boss favors them. But tomorrow is a new day. That boss may not last another week, you don’t know. I’ve seen it happen. That sure thing can fall through and what do they have to fall back on? What do you have to fall back on? You have your life story.

Find your jealous flashing lights. Turn the story around. Build the story with examples you highlight from your memories. Keep doing this all of your life. I guarantee you will not regret it. When you are in your olden years you can say, I lived my life and I am blessed.

Where the Wild Blooms Begin

English: Tree in winter. Part of a sequence of...

Childhood gave me a gift more valuable than I ever realized. Growing up in my childhood religion, people joined the church, “got saved” and many around saw their outward changes and cheered.

They saw old habits drop and lives healed. We talked about the life-giving flow of the Spirit. It was exciting.

Soon people forgot about the flow of the spirit. Many became fixated on the changes. The bad words not said or the clothing the converts wore.

Sunday morning came, and we preached about the clothing and the drinking, forgetting about the life force that caused the changes.

Lies, Illusion, Truth

I am thankful for the gift, sight. I crave truth. I’m meaning the ability to see past illusions. In a book I read, Sorgitzak: Old Forest Craft, Veronica Cummer called it Sooth, after the old Forest tradition. Seeing through illusions in practical life has been important.

When a person says something with their words, but their actions are speaking the opposite, know the truth. It’s easy to change your clothes to impress another.

It’s easy to pretend to be kind and gentle. We’ve all seen people that lie with actions and words, but something leaves you uneasy. Underneath, the lie, the discord, is screaming.

Behind the Picture Screen

A picture formed in my mind as I was reading this book. For me, it clarified what I’ve seen but didn’t always understand. Hopefully, I can describe so others can understand.

I remember the Viewfinders I played with as a child. I’d insert the round plastic disk, pull the handle and a new image was there. I could play for hours.

Take the Viewfinder image and underlay another big whole picture. I call this picture underneath “Truth” and it doesn’t turn. Pretend the picture underneath is a picture of life and love. Maybe even a tree of life. It’s unchanging.

Each pull of the Viewfinder’s handle brings a new picture on top of the tree. A cross appears. A statue of Mary. A man is sitting cross-legged in quietness. The tree remains underneath. It continues the seasons of its life.

Springtime blooming, summer brings full green vitality, autumn colors, and winter with its bare bones. Turn the handle, change the religious face, and you can choose where to look.

What do you see? Do you see the statue of Mary with the colors of Autumn and worry that your religion is dying? Or do you see the tree with its season turning and know true religion with its love and life never ends.

Life expresses itself

When a person came to our church and become saved, they flipped a switch to allow life to flow into them. They felt the vitality flow into them and wanted to adapt to the contemporary expression of religion.

I watched a documentary called Fat, Sick and, Nearly Dead. Two men changed their physical lives, and you saw their charisma return, and their will to live restored. These were two sick men.

800px-klimt_tree_of_life_1909It was the most inspirational film I’ve seen in a while, and there was no praying involved. No chanting, no symbolism, no bowing. I was in awe because there in front of me was lifeforce in action. Sooth. Truth. The tree of life is under the pictures flashing in front of our societies’ Viewfinder.

The truth is there, and once you see it, you will hardly notice anything else.

It’s almost spring here in Oklahoma. The squirrels are active and the birds are noisy. The Dogwood trees have put out their blossoms. And of course, the people are sneezing. The chatter of spring has arrived. I love this time of the year. Beginnings are fun. The thunderstorms and the smell of Petrichor.

Like a New Pair of Glasses

I recently got new glasses. I’ve worn contacts for years, but my eyes itched from allergies, so I decided to update my glasses. As I was driving down a familiar ramp, onto a familiar street, it occurred to me to pay closer attention. Even though the road is familiar and the narrow ramp hasn’t changed, my eyesight had. The ramp sidewall looked closer and if I wasn’t paying attention, I could easily scrape my car on the side. 

If your life has changed

Imagine what it would be like if you made a major change in your lifestyle. I’m not referring to the color of your hair or even in the car you drive. Something more along the lines of a sex change or becoming suddenly rich or suddenly poor. How long would it take to adjust? It seems that becoming suddenly rich would be easy. Take off the brakes and let it rip! Right? It’s not always that easy, even though we’d like to try it. Take something as simple as a new car or borrowing a car of a friends. You’ve never driven this vehicle before. It’s hood is a lot longer. The car is a bit wider. It will make parking it in the normal spot at work or the grocery store more difficult. Maybe you’ll park it farther out in the parking lot. Which will mean walking more to get inside. You should probably leave for work 5 or 10 minutes earlier or else you might be late. If you have to park far away, your feet will hurt.

Dramatic changes, even good ones, can upset your balance. Imagine wearing tight shoes. It hurts to walk and we want to stop. So if your walk and your stamina changes by such a little thing as tight shoes, imagine what it would be like to dramatically change your life, such as a sex change. I realize that there’s probably no one reading this blog that’s thinking of changing their life that much, but if something that big happened to you, how long could you handle it before you would want to revert to your comfortable self?

Maybe the change is something you wanted. Or you had no choice at all as in losing a spouse to cancer. There’s no going back. The shoes that are too tight and that change your walk can come off at the end of the day. Being a widow or widower can’t.

So why am I mentioning this? Because changing your life even for your own health, is difficult. Like too tight shoes, you can easily toss most things to the wind. Why bother? It’s not worth this much effort. The meals the doctor want me to eat cost too much, or they take a long time to prepare. It’s easier to stop at a fast food place for a dollar burger. Am I right?

If we want to upgrade our life, we need to learn how to adapt. If we’re forced by fate to accept a new life, give ourselves some time to adapt. No new thing is comfortable. Discomfort is okay. Learn this new person. Because just like with a new pair of glasses or driving a different car, we have to become familiar with all the newness.

Be kind and forgiving. Sit down. Rest. Then get back up and start again. If you splurged on an extra cookie or two, don’t punish yourself. For the next meal carry on as usual. No punishing by making yourself skip the next dessert.

Most often we sabotage ourselves. People that divorce will remarry quickly and end up with the same situation as before. They didn’t allow themselves to readjust. Discomfort overwhelmed them and they wanted to fix their pain. If they could have given themselves more time to heal and process their emotions, instead of slapping on a quick bandage fix, they could have become a much stronger person. We cheat ourselves and sell ourselves short. We don’t think we are strong enough to make it through the emptiness. The dark cave scares all of us. It’s what we do when we are the most afraid that matters. Can we keep on walking through or do we panic and start slashing our imaginary demons?

Growth can only happen if we let ourselves be uncomfortable. Let ourselves feel the anxiety of a new situation. We avoid anxiety. I do at least, but I also know that if I let myself go through an unfamiliar situation I can transform it into a familiar situation. This new thing becomes an old familiar road once again and I have expanded my territory. Most people, as they get older, cling more and more to the familiar. We retire to a smaller home. Maybe sell all but one car. You have fewer friends since you’re not working. The ever-expanding life you once had is now shrinking. It just happens. Taking on challenges is what the young ones do. There’s not anything forcing us to dare or to try anymore, so we don’t.

I don’t want to become rigid as I grow older. I want to continue taking challenges. Since there’s no one around to force me to try new things, I must continually expose myself to new ideas. I want to keep growing. To not become stale. This will need self-discipline and steadiness on my part to stay with the unfamiliar until it becomes familiar to me.

Aha! Another level beaten! Where’s my prize?