Category: Responsibility

Spread Some Joy Today > Responsibility

Loving Things In Our Own Special Way

“I still get wildly enthusiastic
about little things. . .
I play with leaves.
I skip down the street
and run against the wind.”
 
— Leo Buscaglia
 
 
 
 
 
[Classic post from 11-30-11]
 
I love this time of year. It’s just a bit chilly, highs in the low 60’s, lows around 40, a touch of fog in the morning, sun in the afternoon. Leaves are taking their sweet time turning colors other than green, then falling gently to the ground, and right about now they are coming down in the thousands as you can see by the sidewalk in the photo.
 
I took Charlie the little black dog out for a walk and he’s not nearly as fond of this time of year as me. I had to take a photo of some of the huge leaves that are as big as he is, and he is afraid of them when the wind moves them around, especially when the wind moves them toward him. If it is calm, he’s brave enough though, yet he would rather walk around them than over them whenever that option is available.
 
I read a Leo Buscaglia book way back in the 1970s about him having a class over at his house and his neighbor coming over to complain about the leaves on his lawn. So the lover that he is, invited guests to help rake the leaves into bags and he brought them into the house and spread them all over the living room floor. Everyone was happy then.
 
I’ve always remembered that story, although I cannot remember which book, nor can I find it. So, out and about a day or two ago, I took some shots on my camera phone of some of these leaves all over the walkway. I wanted to sweep them up and put them all over the living room floor at my house. Of course, that would never work unless I lived alone.
 
Yet, I love leaves. I love seeing them all over the patio and driveway and have no interest in blowing them away or raking them up. In fact, I am done with the lawn mowing and now all the leaves that are there will remain until spring. It’s winter food for the nightcrawlers and I love watching them gather them into piles and feast on them while I sleep.
 
Other people prefer clean walkways, clean patios and all that. I’m happy for them that they like those things, but I just don’t share that feeling. The leaves add character, color, and a comfortable, relaxing view, even enhancing the concrete as far as I’m concerned.
 
So, I thank Leo every year about now for sharing that wonderful and enduring story. Thanks, Leo! I love you!
 
 
We All Love Things In Our Own Special Way
 
Spread Some Joy Today–How are you doing on your love list? Remember? Write, ‘I love. . .’ at the top of the page and then write as many things as you can, then add a few each day or each week. It’s fun and expands your joy rather easily.

It Is Impossible To Fail At Life

“One of the best things
that I have learned about life
is that it is impossible to fail at it.
Whatever life we are living,
that is a successful living.”

— Terry Minion

Some live to be over 100, but not many in comparison. Some live very short lives in comparison, and most of us are somewhere in between. It doesn't matter. It's all living. Heredity, schlemedity, malady, melody, 220 or 221–whatever. What it is, it is. What it can be, it will be, as the choice to change in any direction is available to us all.

We get to feel good or not by our own design. We get to wallow in mud or ski barefoot across the glassy lake. We can give and we receive. We can share and we can hide. We can speak and we can listen. We can think and we can write. We can delight and we can scowl. We can hold grudges, and we can release resistance. We can accept responsibility or we can lay it elsewhere.

Whether we accept our choices and our own design, or whether we say that it is all happening to us from the outside without our permission, it is what it is. It is living. It is life. Whether we believe that we can change it at will, or remain a victim with no hope of parole, it is what it is, and it is living. It is life. It is our life. And, it is a successful life. We cannot fail. Even in death, we cannot fail. Is this all there is? We can believe this is or there is more. Either way, it is what it is. We can have one dimension or many dimensions. We can have one side or many sides. We can await a life in Heaven, or Heaven can live every day in us. And, it is all, and in all, successful.

Life is. I am. We are. It is what it is. We are powerful creators! 

The Silliest Two-Word Phrase I Know

“Wars begin where you will
but they do not end where you please.” 

— Machiavelli

The phrase “war crimes” is a silly phrase and a completely crazy idea. There is no such thing to me as war crimes. War IS the crime.

Spread Some Joy Today. Make love your compass.

Driving Using The Rearview Mirror?

“Comparison need not be competition.” 
 
— Albert K. Strong 
 

[Classic post from 6-22-16]

If you were a painter and you created a painting that you were happy with, do you think that Rembrandt could improve it? If you were a songwriter and you created and recorded a song you were pleased with, do you think that Paul McCartney could improve it?

It doesn’t matter unless you make it so.

I was wandering around my office/library/entertainment room/music room this morning thinking of ideas to write about. I was looking at a series of music cassette racks that have been mounted on my wall since about 1988. Quite a number of the 150+ cassettes there were songs that I wrote and recorded. Many of them are not so good, but at the time I created them they were great.

When I began writing and recording songs in late 1983, even the very first recordings were so moving to me that I listened to them over and over again. I was inspired to try different things, to write better, to record better, to play instruments better. One of my coworkers encouraged me at every listen, and I couldn’t wait to play him the latest improvements.

Of course, fast forward to 2016, 30+ years later, and I can easily see how these early recordings were not very good and could easily be improved, but that can happen at any stage for anyone. In 1984-5, I hired musicians to play on an album I recorded. Talk about improvement! Wow. What a difference skill makes! Yet, all of these musicians could have been improved by someone more skilled and with more experience. But, it just doesn’t matter in the end. Whatever it is, it is. Whatever it was, it was. Whatever will be, will be.

Whether it is looking at my early writing, songwriting, recording, teaching skills, learning–whatever I have done or will do can be improved. But should that idea negate the accomplishments that went before? It doesn’t need to. The only time that it matters is when we are thinking competitively. Who’s better than whom? Which team won? Which of my children is the smartest? Looking at the opinions of others as judgment criteria for our own creations is opening the floodgate of criticism. Best to keep that gate closed as much as possible.

Do you suppose Rembrandt had an early period where his work was not so good? Or Leonardo Da Vinci? Paul McCartney? Well, yes and no. And both of those decisions belong to the creator, not the critic.

Being open to improvement and accepting help or suggestion is great and can be really encouraging and inspiring, but letting someone else be a critic is not. Stand as tall in your kindergarten days as your post-graduate Ph.D. travels.

It’s All Good. Let It Be. The Journey Is Ahead. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by loving what you’ve accomplished and finding joy in all that you do by not comparing yourself to another.

The Values Of Doing A Thing

“Nothing stops 
 without something else beginning.” 
 
— Alan Cohen 
 

Audio version

[Classic post from 7-11-15]

Somewhere along our travels, most of us have picked up expectations of how things should work. For example, how long should a marriage last? Until death do you part, right? Well, for sure for some and surely not for others. A better answer to the question might be until we choose otherwise.

Once I start my business, how long should it stay in business? Forever? Answer: Until is doesn't any longer. I grew up thinking Macy's was a forever store, then they went out of business. Well, let's say it is still there but it ain't the same.

I opened a musical instrument store and had it for a year and a half. Does that mean it failed? That could certainly be an assumption, but that would not be the truth. It didn't fail. I no longer had the desire for it. I had a desire for something different. So, I stopped one and started another. As far as I was and am concerned, it was a huge success. If nothing else, it was a grand educational experience which is useful in my life and that of others 35 years after the fact.

We have all manner of expectations that have been handed down to us, but you know, the only thing that really matters is our own experience and how we choose to view that experience. So, what might be some of the values of a short-lived enterprise or relationship?

  • Creation. We take nothing more (which is really everything) than an idea and then take that thought and breathe life into it (it was already alive there) and cause it to be created in our reality. In other words, it went from the non-physical into the physical.
  • Co-Creation. We did it with others. It was not a single person's creation, but all who participated helped shape the outcome.
  • The economy moved. Money changed hands. Funds were raised, expended.
  • Education. We learned. There is much to learn every single day.
  • Change. We changed. Others changed. Nothing is static.
  • Difference. We made a difference. What we did mattered. What kind of difference may not be measurable from our own perspective. We cannot do anything and not make a difference.
  • Improvement. We made some improvements. However small or large they may be, improvements are a given.
  • Benefit. We provided a benefit, or many benefits to the community, to others, to the world.
  • Friends. We find new friends. Maybe even lifetime friends.
  • Passion. Beginnings are so often about passion.
  • Love. We get to share our love. We get to expand and enrich our own love. 

This is just a shortlist, and this process of thinking about things in this way is very helpful. Everything we do is a choice. We choose here, choose that, choose an idea, choose participants, convince others, promote our ideas, all choices. We choose to begin, to continue for a time, and then we choose to let go. If it continues to float on its own for a time, so be it, and if it doesn't, it is done for now, and on to another choice.

The most important choice we have is how we want to feel about our experiences. It is as easy to feel joy in having done something as it is to feel sad that it is no longer. Time is such a poor concept on the judgment of our experiences, and time is only an idea. Our living is always this moment, this moment, this moment. How we choose to feel is this moment, this moment, this moment.

I have found from a lifetime of study that to find ways to appreciate, love, and celebrate enhances our experience immeasurably. We all get to choose that or choose otherwise.

“In A Gentle Way, You Can Shake The World.” — Mahatma Gandhi 

Spread Some Joy Today–by making it your choice to do so.

Joyful Participation And Acceptance

“Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world.
We cannot cure the world of sorrows,
but we can choose to live in joy.”

 — Joseph Campbell

[Classic post from 6-21-13]

I would not have understood this quote just a few short years ago, maybe not even two years ago, but I embrace it today.

I have come to believe that we are all perfect creators and that we create our lives, often by default, or without clear intention. To think that someone would create disease instead of ease is hard to understand sometimes, yet I am convinced it is done nonetheless. We don’t like to imagine that we create many things, preferring to think them created upon us by bad luck, wrong place, genetics, accidental acts, crime, germs, and such. Though we often take credit for creating the positive attributes and circumstances, we abhor the idea of creating the other.

Once I walked through this door of acceptance, I can no longer see what I used to see. I think that the thing that has set me free more than anything else is accepting that I am a creator and accepting whatever it is that I have created without pushing it off on others. Certainly, I have co-creators at work with me, but accepting all of it is incredibly empowering.

Now, I might ask myself why in the world I created that scenario or situation. I might wonder at it, but I will accept it as my creation. I often create on purpose, and sometimes without intention, but I am always creating my own world. What is most empowering about this is the lack of blame. Blame has no more purpose. It used to be my favorite tool and explanation. It was always some kind of justification and always intended to exonerate me from responsibility.

Now I accept the responsibility for my thinking, actions, decisions, including those made without paying attention, along with the results in circumstance and manifestation. This allows me to find joy in living my life, laughing at the interesting choices I’ve made from time to time, and find joy with others in the same way.

Participate Joyfully In All Creation.

Spread Some Joy Today–Allow others to choose to be or do as they will, loving them as creators, and joyful in all they are while accepting yourself in the same exact way.

How Can There Be Anything Else But Love?

“When you understand now, today, that you are comprised of energy, and the man next to you, and the man next to you, and the man next to you are all comprised of the Creator in frequency, how can there be anything else but love? How can there be anything else but goodness manifested?”

— Paul Selig
The Book of Love and Creation

The Gift Of Life – Part 2

There once was a moment when time ceased, when all the heavens rejoiced. This was a moment beyond all moments, a moment that had never existed before in this time and space, a moment exalted by the celestial bodies, a moment so auspicious that the world would never be the same again. A chord on the harp of life had been stroked, and the thrill was felt throughout Creation.

New life is born. Rejoice! A heavenly choir sings in exaltation for the infant seed of life. Hope, faith, and joy herald your birth. Hope is for the blossoming of the seed, faith is for the beauty of its love and joy is for the eternal song of life. There is rapture in the heavens.

Tiny and helpless though you are, you hold within your being the most powerful force of the universe. You breathe the breath of God! Your essence is the spark of life. The light of the universal God flows and illuminates you. You are of greatest value, the most precious gift of God. Your power is the energy of Creation. With this power, you will move mountains, build dreams, and touch stars.

You are given the divine Gift of Life, but for this gift to be realized and to have meaning, you must accept it. This gift, the essence of life, is a sacred trust from the Lord God. Humility and reverence come when you accept the gift as a covenant of love from the Giver, and you glorify the Giver by the full expression of the gift.

— Donna F. Fletcher
Reflections of the Heart

[Note: The bold italic of the last line is mine. I think that this is such a powerful and insightful thought and I absolutely love how it is crafted. We have no need to glorify God so to speak, but we glorify God as we are the expression of the Gift of Life.]

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