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Are you kidding me?!

“This is a perfect day”, thought the fish.  Swimming around in the bowl, wondering if it should do laps or circles.  It could see Sally and her brother looking out the window as Mom was away for a bit.  So peaceful. 

Then the cat showed up.  “That’s not good”, thought the fish.

The first sign of trouble was how happy-go-lucky he appeared in that tall stupid crooked hat – so crooked hat it couldn’t even stand up straight!  “How improper for this perfectly good day.  The boy appears alarmed because Mom is gone and that cat is here.  That’s not good.  Oh, dear.  Shenanigans! Hey...my water is splashing too much!”  It only took minutes to go from peaceful to pandemonium.

“WAIT!  Are you kidding me!?  If that damn cat isn’t enough..now we have Thing 1 and Thing 2 creating an apocalyptic atmosphere in my home!”, freaked the fish.

Can you relate?  You arrive at work on a perfectly good day, doing your perfectly happy job, having your perfect latte in your perfect office, then the phone rings with someone on the other end who didn’t have their perfectly good coffee of choice yet.  Or the office drama queen walks into your office with meltdown of the moment.  Maybe your computer isn’t working and you have a deadline.  There is a host of “Are you kidding me?!” moments that span a day...if you let them.

I just read a great blog post, attributed to Buddha, that might help you if you are having a day/week/life that the fish did in Dr. Seuss’s “The Cat in the Hat” story:

Buddha was travelling in the company of several other people. One of the travelers began to test Buddha by responding to anything he had to say with disparaging, insulting, hurtful remarks.  Every day for next three days, the traveler verbally abused Buddha, calling him a fool, arrogantly ridiculing him in any way he could.  Finally, after three days of that ongoing behavior, the rude traveler could stand it no longer! He asked Buddha, "How can you continue to be so kind and loving when all I've done for the last three days is dishonor, offend and try to find ways to hurt you?  Each time I try to hurt you, you respond in a kind manner?  How can this be?!"  The Buddha responded with a question for his fellow traveler, "If someone offers you a gift, and you do not accept that gift, to whom does the gift belong?"

The next time your perfectly good day appears to be rattled by some outside influence, you now have another option other than, “Are you kidding me?!” with which to respond.  You can take the "gift"...or not.


The Heat is On!

Oh crap.  It’s the first day of NaBloPoMo.  I felt like I was off the hook because November is and has been NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  Considering I’ve been putting off the book(s) I allegedly have in me for enough Novembers, this one isn’t of any significance in that department.

For you author-wanna-be's out there out there:  Those of you who would like to birth a book fast, you better get on it, because today is DAY 1.  Ready – Fire – Aim!  I’m presuming you can find some sort of support at www.nanowrimo.org if you need to regurgitate a novel in 30 days.

That still leaves me with the NoBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) dilemma.  NoBloPoMo is called “Glorious Madness” on BlogHer.  "Madness" I understand.  "Glorious" - not so much.  Although I don’t blog on that site, it’s pretty significant peer pressure to have all this commentary out there and mine isn’t part of it.

Last month I told WOW (my writers group) that although I write a lot daily, I haven’t done a blog post in close to forever.  Connie, the genius editor who runs the group, asked what I thought my “block” was on blogging and what do I write about on my site(s).  I replied, “Whatever shows up in my head” to which she simply stared at me and said, “That’s scary.”   

I continued the conversation that I was tired of being “proper” in my personal commentary.  When I want to say “I don’t give a shit”, I would write “I don’t care that I don’t care”.  Not anymore, because I’ve got too many days of posting coming up with this NoBloPoMo pressure.

There you go.  Forewarned is forearmed.  I’m curious to see what kind of “scary” comes out on these pages over the next month, too.


The geniuses in the world continue to spoil us…

I was driving with my daughter past a major interchange in the Twin Cities which is only a few miles from our home. There are retaining walls going up, no less than eleven giant cranes spiked toward the sky, tons of cement and rebar holding up what will be new roads to make travel less congested for us.

I pondered, “How cool is it that we don’t need to know that stuff?! Somebody else figured it out!”

Most of us live a life surrounded by conveniences. We travel highways that someone else engineered and constructed to handle extreme temps, heavy weights, drainage issues. I have no clue how to dry a coffee bean (are they even dried?) or make the pottery mug I am sipping from right now. When I talk to my mom on the phone, it still amazes me that somehow it sounds “just like her” – only the sound of her voice is coming out of my cell phone, while she lives far from me.

Bouncing through life with our daily routines, concerns, responsibilities, it’s common to miss the magic and miracles around us that are seemingly just “there”, expected. The natural world cycles with growing, blooming, feeding, seeding, decay. Ants are in constant busyness building their domed castles. Bees, birds and breezes handle pollination. The maple tree isn’t bitching because it’s growing next to the pine and the elm who are stealing some of its sun. Or maybe it is. Nature as a whole seems to be doing just fine without much “people input”.

Yet, there is so much else beyond the natural world we expect as a “what is” because some artist, inventor, engineer, builder, healer, teacher saw a need and decided to do something about it. They stood for something to improve life for all of us. Cobblestone roads were better than dirt/mud, so someone had to figure that out to put a bunch of stones together in a path centuries ago to form roads. “People input” has been used to harness the knowledge and resources of nature for food, building products, heat, transportation, medicine.

If not for ongoing curiosity and genius ideas from many considered “crazy”, the ones who came up with solutions for the betterment of society, we wouldn’t have a global system to even define “time”, much less an alarm with a customized ring tone feature on our mobile devices.

Here’s how to recognize how spoiled you really are. The next time you are sitting in traffic, whining about rush hour, remember these few tidbits and see what that does for your disposition: You didn’t have to know how to build or operate the construction equipment that was necessary to build the road that you are crawling on. You didn’t have to write your drivers manual or car manual or know where to place the street signage so everyone plays the same game by the same rules and stays on the correct side of the road going same direction. Somebody somewhere figured out how to engineer and build the car/bus you are riding in, and figured out how to refine the gas and oil that makes its engine work. “People input” also generated the radio/CD player/iPod options for you to learn something or listen to music that you didn’t have to know to record. Oh, and the surround sound isn’t hampered by outside traffic noise, because you can keep your windows up to regulate the car temp with A/C or heat, all for your traffic-sitting pleasure.

No matter what your journey/destiny on any given day, be glad that you don’t need to know all that much. Some geniuses solved a bunch of your daily life for you long before you knew you needed them. With most of the heavy lifting already handled in your day, you can do the work you are called to do without the illusion of inconveniences. Those awaiting you at your destination will be glad you took some time to realize how spoiled you really are.




How do you act when you are your best self?

I waited until my birthday (today) to announce "brilliance inspires"!

It's a daily treat for you to play with in less than 2 minutes...and guide you to bringing forth your brilliance in a way you've not generated before.

The "system" is super easy...I've really done all the work for you.  After thousands of hours with clients over the years, I've simplified a formula for you to easily recognize your "best self", your brilliance, if you will, that is so radiant that you can't help but be dazzling.

Your only investment is to engage and have a couple of thoughts...which I will actually "prompt" for you!

It's "fall-off-a-stone-easy"...and could be life altering.  You never know what your brilliance will do once you tap into it, then let it shine!  Ooo...ahhh.

Watch for details next week.




...and then we are fragile.

It’s the season of courage.  Springtime.  Being a “beginner” is not only inevitable, it can be scary.  It’s easy to walk outside this time of the year and take in the birds chirping, the bright green of new foliage and the anticipation of browns and grays turning to vibrant colors.  Fresh starts and new beginnings envelop us.

As a witness, we could consider the explosion of new life to be to be easy, since it’s simply what nature does, right?  Sprouts are pushing with all their might through the safety of the soil, exposing themselves to sun, wind and rain so they can grow leaves and eventually sprout buds.  Baby birds are poking through the dark familiar surroundings of egg shells, to expose themselves to light so they can transform fuzz into feathers.  Transitions abound everywhere as nature is doing what does – ever expand.  Growth is happening with fragile beginnings everywhere you can see or imagine.  It appears to be a cakewalk, yet is it really?

I was talking to a friend the other day about how transitions are a natural part of life and, unlike children who love learning and curiosity and adventure, adults seem to fight being a beginner, or an explorer.  She said it’s because adults don’t like the “V” word (vulnerable).  I said it’s because they don’t understand the “F” word (fragile) as being a natural part of life.

What’s that saying…“Change is inevitable, Growth is optional”?   Sure, the new sprout, because it’s tender, could be eaten by whatever eats tender sprouts.  Predators stalk bird or turtle nests of eggs or newly hatched babies as the way nature works.  I won’t even touch on the horror stories of what happens to some fragile children in our world who aren’t given love, care and attention.

The lucky who made it to adulthood, however, have evidence that they have been vulnerable countless times, because natural life transitions are inevitable to attain maturity.  We go through many new phases in order to grow up.  The chicks found they could no longer survive in the egg, so they needed to break through the shell into the light so they could grow feathers and wings…and then they were fragile.  Soon enough, after squawking for their food and getting too big for their nests (think teenagers) it was time to leave the space that nurtured them so well, even though they weren’t experts on flying yet…and then they were fragile.

It’s at those new beginning times that something miraculous happens, there is a constant theme – we are taken care of.  Frail baby birds are kept warm under mama’s wings and have chewed up food dumped on their gaping beaks until they can “survive” well enough in the nest.  Once the nest is “no longer working for them”, even if it is familiar, they plop out and hop around.  Before being able to fly solo, the adult birds give flying lessons and watch out for danger.

Mother Nature continues to give us examples that it doesn’t matter how good we are at something, when we get too big for our current environments, it’s time to suck it up and be vulnerable, even though we will be “fragile” as a beginner in our new phase.  Our lesson is courage – to know that we will eventually “die” (emotionally, spiritually, financially, intellectually) if we don’t move on, because we no longer “fit”, even if we are damn efficient within our current experience.  Here’s the clue:  When being excellent at something shifts from being effective to uncomfortable, stagnant or suffocating…it’s time to move on. The longer we wait, the more pain and suffering we will endure.  Period.

The harsh reality then becomes:  If we don’t move on our own, something else will force the issue.   When it’s time to shift to our next “learning” for our souls’ growth, the logistics of change sometimes seem too much to bear.  Similar to a butterfly’s fight to escape its cocoon, the struggle doesn’t need to be pretty, it’s designed to be effective.  How upside down could find yourself after you got fired from your job (and lost your “identity” because your given “title” is no longer under your name on a business card)?  Remember walking into the giant high school on the first day of school as a terrified freshman?  You found your locker, the seniors didn’t kill you and your heart is still beating till this day.  How do you manage to live with “just you” after a divorce, your baby went to college or your lover and best friend of 65 years is no longer around to give you your daily “love tap” with his/her cane?  These times of turmoil are when our courage muscles really get tested, so eventually our new light can shine even brighter.

This spring when you experience the joy, beauty and bounty that new growth can bring, think of what’s next for your life experience.  Remember that when you “no longer fit” your current experience, it’s nothing but a clue that something wonderful awaits on the other side of your letting go and becoming a “beginner” again.  Knowing that “fragile” is ok, it doesn’t last forever, and your next blessing to the world is being born holds a certain magic.  Be inspired by your courage and your  brilliance.  We’re all waiting to experience it, too!