Category: Choice

What Are You Going To Be When You Grow Up?

[Classic post from 4-14-16]

As I lazily got up this morning after sleeping until 6:30 am, I was reminded somehow about the idea of maturity. It’s a crazy thought first thing in the morning, I know. But, there it was.

I remember my mother asking me when I was going to grow up a few times when I would do something silly. I guess she thought that I should have progressed more by then. I also heard it from my wife during my first marriage a few times. I guess a few bouts of silliness is all it takes to question whether or not I’ve grown up yet, become more mature.

Mature. It’s interesting what images come to mind when I look at that word. I see a man who is serious looking, confident, controlled. The Bible even says that as a child, I did childish things, and as I grew up I let go of childish things. And, truth be known, I have let go of a lot of childish things. Not because I wanted to necessarily, but I’m way too big now to ride a tricycle (actually, I’ve been too big since I was five). Yes, there’s a lot of silly kid things that I no longer do.

And yet, there are some silly kid things that I still do. In fact, it makes me laugh at myself whenever I do them because I can recall the first time I did them and it was during my childhood, or as a teenager. No, I’m not going to tell you what they are. I cannot blow my cover completely. Let it suffice to say that I do them proudly and in all fun when I am alone only. People would look at me in crazy ways if I did any of them in public. Of course, all those on the other side that are interested in looking down at me can see and hear them, but I can’t seem to see them, so I imagine that I am alone and safe.

Here I am at 66 years of age, still immature in many ways. It’s amazing. And, it’s fun too. I mean, these things bring me joy, laughter, fun, and they have for well over 50 years now, and some even longer. So, if I’m not yet grown-up at 66, then what hope is there for me? Maybe 70 is when it happens, or 80. Hmmmm. I don’t think it happens then either. I think there are just some things we hang on to simply because they feel good, make us laugh, that we find funny, and yes, silly too. It’s okay.

I’m keeping mine, and frankly, I don’t give a damn about maturity anymore. I hope you’re proud and happy with your own private immature moments and actions. It’s our own little private world where we can do those silly things, laugh at ourselves and our own immaturity, and wonder to ourselves if we will ever grow up. Nah.

I Know That I Have No Plans To Grow Up Anytime Soon. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by laughing often and much. It’s a healing thing.

WasIsMaybe

Another choice of my gaining age and wisdom is that I tie my focus on now to a celebration of each moment I’m alive. I see. I hear. I smell. I taste. I feel. I experience. They say, ‘life is for the living,’ and how true that is to me now, and the living can only really be living when it is now. Looking back, or bringing the past into the present in my thoughts, or projecting my thoughts into the future is messing with the glory of now, the glory of life, of living.

So, in case you’re interested in joining me, I highly recommend letting the past go. It was. It was then. It is not now. In addition, I highly recommend giving no attention to the future. It might be. It’s a definite maybe, but it isn’t real yet because it isn’t now. The only reality is. Right. This. Moment. Now. This moment. Then this moment. Then this moment. Feel the fullness of it. Feel the love it in. Feel the freedom of it. Feel the joy of it. Feel the experience of it. Experience the experience of it. WasIsMaybe.!? Was. Is! Maybe? Hmm. I choose Is!

What Inspires You To More Life?

[Note: This was written at the beginning of 2017 and published in a magazine.]

Recently, a very dear friend of mine was diagnosed with so-called terminal cancer. We spent some quality time together one day in December, and I asked him what seemed like a crazy question. I said, “do you want to live?” He wanted to know why I asked this odd question; I said that it is okay to want to and not to want to, but that it makes such a huge difference. It’s this kind of question that we are often afraid to ask ourselves or others.

This question of wanting to live is one that I was asking myself recently as I was considering what may lie ahead in my life. I had let go of some important disciplines, growing in girth and weight, generally inactive, and more. Though I was writing my daily inspirations blog to inspire others, I was in want of some inspiration for myself.

Then, in late December, I read a new book by Bruce Springsteen titled, Born To Run. I listened to Bruce read his entire book as an audiobook (my favorite way to read these days), and I was amazed. What a life he lived and he is still living it fully. I did some research and found that he and I are both 67, but that there is no way that I could keep up with him in what he does physically, let alone as a musician. He is lean and trim and strong and can do a 4-hour non-stop show singing every song from memory, and then do it again a couple of days later. I saw some on YouTube, and I was blown away by his presence on stage. I was immediately inspired to change my life. I immediately decided that I wanted to LIVE!

This inspirational moment was almost a month ago, and I am more committed than ever to reclaim my life and provide even more value to others by being the best that I can be. It’s interesting how something comes along and inspires one to make a major change in their lives. Whether it is the Law of Attraction, and that I was attracting Bruce and his book into my life or what doesn’t even matter. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have learned more about Bruce, who I knew so little about, and have him inspire me to want to move forward. We all can positively affect each other in our lives.

Do you remember some of those major turning points in your life? You’re going along, bored maybe, uninspired for sure, and then something happens—a book, a song, a letter, a photo, a friend’s concern, or a thousand other things. And then, your life is different. You’ve been inspired to change something or many things that take you from neutral into high gear. I can remember many of these turning points over the years. This one with the book, Born To Run, was another. But, it was more than the book. If I had just read the book, I don’t think it would have had the impact as Bruce reading it. His passion, determination, mistakes, successes, pain, sorrow, and joy are in his voice because he is the one who lived it and wrote it. The book is pure poetry. He is an outstanding writer.

I don’t want to live Bruce’s life. I have my path, and yet our paths have crossed so that he can help me be more inspired on mine. He doesn’t even know how much he has helped me, and yet on some level, we are brothers.

Who inspires you? Are you open to being inspired? Do you want to live?

Expiration Dates

Whatever is in the back of the fridge is guaranteed to get old. All the new stuff goes in front, and pretty soon those important things that were in there are forgotten. I just pulled out something from the fridge this morning with an expiration date of three years ago. Hmm. What do you think? Is it good? They say that ‘your chewing gum loses flavor on the bedpost overnight,’ but three years? It’s outta here! So, I began going through the 15 salad dressing bottles with various amounts left inside, and end up chucking all but three. Outta here! Who knows what grows in the cold and dark!
Now, let’s look at this from a different perspective. The refrigerator is your brain and things are constantly in motion and yet there are things we hold on to that are way past their expiration date. We don’t give that much thought because of the constant motion, but who knows what grows in the cold and dark of the mind? Some of those things are no longer valid if they ever were, and some of those things are things we used to believe in but no longer believe that and yet, there they are in the back of the fridge. It’s time to let some of that old stuff go. Let it go. Get rid of it. It is no longer useful. It is taking up space and creating conflicts within.
Of course, the best way is to let go regularly. Keep those shelves fresh and helpful to our well-being. Maybe we can even learn to simply let things flow through without holding on to them. Seems like a peaceful idea!

We Are Complicit. I Am Complicit.

We are all complicit in whatever reality that we are experiencing whether inside our own thought-realm or outside our body in anything that we see, hear, or feel. Because we are complicit, we have the authority and responsibility in our dominion. As we are seeing, hearing and feeling that which is before us, we are involved in it to one degree or another, and we are at the same time in choice; albeit, the choice may seem to not be something purposely chosen. Yet choice it remains.

Defeating Terrorism

The only way to defeat terrorism is to not be terrified. They talk as if terrorism is a thing. It is not a thing. It is a fearful thought and a resultant negative feeling. The only way to defeat it is to not think of being terrified. In other words, let go of it. Stop thinking and talking about it. Stop pushing against it. Focus on something that causes a good feeling when you think of it. Terrorism will never be defeated by fighting against it. That will only make it more prevalent. And, getting rid of terrorism will never restore world peace. That is impossible. Pushing against anything is the opposite of peace. However, mutual respect is a really good place to begin a grand relationship. Nothing is ever all bad or all good. These are labels we choose to use. A terrorist is a human being who is living in fear, expressing fear, promoting fear, and as we are pushing against that fear, we are engaged in fear, and now we are both in fear.

Now, let us change the word terror to love. Terror equals love. Terrorism equals Loving. The terrorist equals the lover. As we see love, we become more loving, and as we love we become the lover or the one who loves. As we promote love, we fill the world with love. In love there is no fear.

Resources and Logistics

“It’s not a matter of resources, there are more than enough resources. It is more a matter of logistics.”

— Albert K. Strong

“If you give things away with this mythical idea it should have no cost, it will end up demonstrating that it had no value.” This is a quote by Dean Kamen, who is the inventor of the Segway, and many other inventions, and contrary to many who thought he was dead, he is still very much at it. In fact, he is driven to it. I learned so much about him and what he is doing now to try and eradicate disease from the planet by providing clean water from a movie about him on Netflix titled Slingshot. He had figured out how and built machines that can take any kind of water regardless of its present state and make it pure drinkable water.

His quote above is in reference to how many people think about philanthropy–that we should give and that it should not have a cost to the people it is given to, and that the company making these products should just donate them without cost. As I thought about that, since I pretty much agreed with the mainstream idea of helping others around the world, it occurred to me that it isn’t sustainable that way.  What is more sustainable all around the world is enterprise.

Indeed, if more so-called non-profit organizations were run as an enterprise, they would fare better and last longer in my opinion. This applies to churches as well. The idea of enterprise is open to wide interpretation. There are so many ways of doing a thing.

Dean learned soon enough after trying to get his water machine to the people who need it, that it isn’t about resources, it is about logistics, and that the logistics were the most challenging of hurdles to traverse. So, he partnered with a company that is in more countries than are registered in the United Nations–Coca-Cola. They are working together to create sustainable clean water and enterprise will drive it into the future.

Consider this idea in our daily lives. I suspect that we appreciate things more when they have a cost. It is so often the things that have been given to us that are not valued by us with rare exceptions of attached emotion. Even the things that have great cost in comparison also may have greater value. Or not. Value is not fixed; rather, it is a sliding scale. When I look at things I own, I remember what it cost and how I came by it.

But it isn’t the cost alone, is it? As I look around my multi-functional office environment, I see the relative value that is not based on cost. Some things I value greater because it somehow provides greater value to me, which is a way of saying that it means more to me because it is in alignment with me in some way, or it touches me in some important way.

Gifts are wonderful to give. And, perhaps the best gifts cannot be continually given without participation by the receiver. Besides, in my experience, whenever the giver and the receiver are in alignment, there is grand value in comparison to just giving. Yet that is most often a hit and miss affair.

I think it is better to accept responsibility in giving, in that we remove the altruistic idea that our gift is for the sole benefit of the receiver. By accepting responsibility as a giver, we realize that the giving aspect is far more for us than it is for the receiver. Though we would love to have the receiver appreciate the gift, it is really our giving that makes us feel better. At seasonal times such as Christmas, the giving aspect is in full swing, but though we think our focus is on the receiver, it is not. It is on our idea of giving.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with giving, I’m only accepting responsibility for my own thoughts, intent, and actions in doing so. I am giving this gift for me to them. My ego is attached to it as well. If it doesn’t thrill them, I am disappointed. That is not the gift that keeps on giving. As I let go of any benefit to me by focusing on the value to the recipient, I may experience where they are in their world enough to have the gift be of long-term benefit. All of this relates to that old story of giving them a fish or teaching them how to fish. The latter is infinitely more generous, and more importantly, it is sustainable because they are involved in the process of the value of the gift.

Vulnerable and Courageous

The older and hopefully wiser I get, the more I see a need for us to have more courage. More courage about ourselves, and more courage about how we can deal with others, get what we want, and have them get what they want too. We think we are so separate from one another, and yet inside, we are all walking wounded in some way. We all want to be treated with dignity and respect. We all want to give and receive love. We just are not very courageous sometimes.

It takes courage to speak our truth to one another in love so that they receive it in the best possible way. We need understanding. We all need respect and dignity. We all need love and care. And, we can all use more courage.

It is one of the most courageous acts to allow ourselves to express our vulnerability to another and equally important to appreciate and honor the vulnerability expressed by the other. This is Love with a capital ‘L’

Creating A Mood

Creating a mood is a fascinating thing to me. I'm sitting here writing at night with several taper candles around the room and soft-colored lights outside. It's magnificent. I have a hard time seeing my writing but that doesn't matter. I didn't want to stare at the computer screen as I so often do.

The light is yellow and soft. I love this self-created atmosphere. I love the mood and how this causes me to feel. I am relaxed, peaceful, enamored by the flickering light, and loving the soft multi-color lights in the carport that I just put up yesterday. It even has a remote control.

There's something about this kind of light that is magical. It exudes romance to me. I bought enough candles so that I can enjoy this often. I feel like I'm treating myself. It feels good.

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