Sunday, January 31, 2010

Well when it rains it pours!


    I am humbled! I am so appreciative that people are finding my words inspiring, interesting, and at the very least worth reading. I was given the BEST BLOG AWARD by my friend Dr. T.L. Sanderfer from Marking the Path! Thank you kind sir! I am honored!

    As with these awards, and rightfully so is the protocol of not only receiving the "nod" from your fellow bloggers, but we must also find others to bestow it upon. I admit, I have my favorites and will try to spread the love around so I do not appear to "favoritey". Plus I think it is nice to offer it to someone new and/or unsuspecting.

Below are my choices of blogs to pass the baton onto" Please check out their work. Aside from the given of the writing, creating, developing, and crafting your site in and of itself is a task, not to mention the presentation, marketing of oneself, and idea developement. All to me are winners in some way! Thanks to all who pave the way!

These are not in any order!

Eco Yogini - An ecoholics guide to living yoga! "nuff said! Real good, feel good stuff!

The Evolving Spirit - Sometimes you gotta give a girl the nod twice!

Belly Up to this moment - A fellow writer from Writers Rising I have come to enjoy!

Chronicles of Sharnia - Fun wit, fun words - Give her a look see!

Waves upon the shore - Refreshing, like your first sip of tea or coffee

Journey to Joy - More refreshing reads - just simply nice!

Writers Rising - A great collaboration of writers who aim to uplift and inspire

The Colors Magazine - Another blogger doing their part to improve the blogging world!

The Authentic Blogger - I am a sucker for people who create community in the community

A Clever Whatever - I like that I never know what I am going to get

Now - when this was bestowed upon me, there was no "10 things" list, so I guess your homework is shortened tonight people!

As I always say, I know some people are not into "awards". Some may not respond, or are lucky, yet unlucky to have a couple awaiting the tasks and duties to get them done as well. Either way, whether you respond, fill out the obligations, or let it know, I think you deserve it none-the-less!

Keep on blogging!

Friday, January 29, 2010

I see you


     Yes I was one of the millions. I saw Avatar; twice, in glorious IMAX 3D! It was a stunning, and brilliant movie! Now I will spare mentioning much more on the movie itself here. Recently I have written a review for Movie Planet, and invite you to look there should the movie review be of interest to you. That is not where this bus is going today.

     This morning as I was sleepily trying to find something on TV to gently cradle my attention while I injected coffee into my system, my attention was briefly snagged by the beautiful blue creatures featured in Avatar. Why? I don’t know as it is now borderline overkill even with my applause for the film, and the definite fact that it will adorn my DVD shelf someday. What I think caught my focus was the ethereal and soothing sounds emanating from singer Leona Lewis as she sang, "I See You". It is a nice song, and I went to YouTube to find many available renditions of the video I saw this morning. By the end of this post, you may be so inspired to watch it. For those who have not seen the movie, this will have little relevance, so this is where the bus now leaves.

     In the movie, the planet Pandora is the setting for a group of sentient natives called the Na'Vi who are to say the least, very in-tune with their planet and one another. They have this indescribable connection with all things. Part of the movie is based upon this special connection as the beauty of their people is their deep and profound recognition of how one and all are spiritually and ecologically connected. It is a brilliant symbiotic relationship I envy.

     In recognizing and acknowledging this in one another, they use a salutation, an affirmation mind you--- "I See You!" Embrace this!

     This salutation emulates the premise of many of our earthly cultures and the wisdom many of us humans aspire to connect to. It parallels the meaning of Namaste': “The light (God, Source, Spirit, etc.) in me, recognizes the light (God, Source, Spirit, etc.) in you. “ (There is some flexibility to that definition.) Also as in the Mayan greeting of In Lak'ech ala K'in, meaning: “I am you, you are me.” We again see another parallel from yet another culture.

     What I believe the sages of Earth, the wisdom of the universe, and the Na’Vi are trying to express and admire is the intrinsic interconnectivity in all of us. What separates us--- poisons us, and eventually causes our demise. This mantra addresses the need for insight; an insight that assists us in foiling some of the six components of our personal degradation from the EGO.

I am what I have.

I am what I do.

I am what other people think of me.

I am separate from what I want.

I am separate from others.

I am separate from God.

     I think once we see the brilliance and beauty of how truly connected we are, a shift will occur. It has in me. Deep down our makeup, nature, and biological needs are the same. It is when we see others differently, or differently from us is when the venom starts to take effect. Often we are unaware of the toxicity coursing through us. We pass it on to our kids and our environment in a contagious effort to ostracize that which we fear or do not understand. We separate.

     I find that true seeing is least done with the eyes. It is the seeing I do in my core being that allows me to connect inward as well as outward. We can see with all of our senses. One of the many definitions of the word “sense” is “an appreciation or understanding.”

     What I find helps me when I feel confronted, misunderstood, different, disconnected, is I try to see things from a collective view. I am part of a greater whole. The circumstances that affect me were perhaps not aimed at me, but maybe my path put me temporarily in the way. If I see that I am a “cell in a collective body”,” a note in a song”, I will see my part with more depth and importance. We must connect for life to be strong. We must harmonize to create the symphony.

     I still work on my “blindness” to some things, but now I look for the light switch. I work on seeking the sometimes less-than-visible connections in one another rather than address how “different” others may appear and how wide that gap is. If it takes scantily clad blue humanoids to help you get the message, please do so. You won’t be disappointed in the visual presentation. We are so very connected and I see that.

     It is nice to see you all! Namaste’! In Lak’ech ala K’in! Thanks for hopping on the bus!

NOTE!
This post is also available on Writers Rising -  a conscious collaboration of bloggers with a conscience!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Thanks again for the kudos!

     For those readers who are not bloggers or writers, I will explain all this. I have recently encountered the fun practice of being tagged or awarded, and it  is not only nice to receive, but more so to give. These are little gestures of appreciation we extend to one another for blogs that catch our attention and our hearts. I believe that often the sentiment, as well as the protocol of "telling something about yourself" is similar, but this way we can once again give another "atta-boy" or "atta-girl" to a blogging pal. They are sometimes that "message in a bottle" that someone is reading, cares, and maybe was saved but something we wrote. They may seem trivial to some, but I always respond, pass them along to others as I just find it correct and in good karmic practice. They also may someday may adorn the side bar of my blog like a sports bar, yet each one means something to me.Thank you for giving me the nod, and to the rest of you --- Atta-boy and atta girl!

Onward...
     Wow! I never thought it would be this hard to think of ten things about myself that few or no people know about me. I will try to dig something up that will not waste a few minutes of your life you will never get back. I wish I had something to share worthy of Post Secret. However once I shared them with the world, I fear the secret would haunt me, so I have to come up with friendly little secrets or LKF’s (Little Known Facts). I will do my best.


This was bestowed upon me by my friend from http://livemorenow.wordpress.com/ Live Life Now!

Ten Things You May Not Know About Me:
1. I write to confront my own hypocrisy. The things I would tell a friend or a stranger out of compassion, I need to continually remind myself of. When I write, I place the words before me, and hopefully ingest it again to make it stick.

2. I wish I was a full time professional writer so I could share more, more often.

3. That being said is I admit I have fallen out of love with my career. (Hairstylist) My love is just now an old friend. I love helping people though - love it! The sad thing is I own my own business, and at one point was rather known and successful. What I realize though, was that I was doing it for all the wrong reasons. I wish I could switch what is now my hobby for my career and vice versa.

4. If I could have a super power it would be the ability to heal.

5. I wish I were very rich…so I could be a philanthropist and give most of it away.

6. I like candles, lots of candles. Call me weird.

7. I could live on Family Guy, History Channel, and Food Network as my only TV stations.

8. I also wish I were a chef, but it would have to be in my own bistro. I would love to adjust the menu daily and invite people to cook with me. I will cook for anyone who wants to eat. If I were a philanthropist I would feed the hungry too.

9. I love video games. I love it that I can play with my son now. He is six and can kick my butt sometimes. My family thinks I am being neglectful as a father when we play things over his years, but he is good, real good! Maybe it is because I never had those bonding moments with my father as to why I overlook that.

10. I am clean and sober. I am extremely thankful for the past. It led me to where I am. I love to share the message of hope I have learned over time. Maybe my super power would be to heal addicts and alcoholics. Sad thing is though; it is the bottom you must hit to bounce back to where you need to be.



Now the next part is to pick seven blogs to pass on the award/tag/nod to. I have many favorites. I read many as well. I was fortunate to receive one not too long ago and do not want to be “that guy” who will give you homework. Since it requires 10 things about you, and then to pass it on, I sought out a few others I have been looking at; sharing the love so-to-speak. Please give them a look! They all have something fun or warm going on. As always, if you do not “do” awards, or fill out the requirements ---that is okay. Still nice to get the wink and a nod!

http://www.theauthenticblogger.blogspot.com/ - celebrating the blogger in a community forum

http://healingmorning.blogspot.com/  - another friend who likes to look at stuff-n-things in a unique way. (I know you and Marty just got another nod, so no offense if you let this ride! I still wanted to extend it to you!)

http://quixoticlfe.blogspot.com/ - a new friend who appears to be a “sister from another mister”. I like her style!

http://mccaffery33.blogspot.com/ - Spiritual, visual, just a nice read!

http://annellealtman.blogspot.com/- Making not only the blogosphere, but bloggers a healthy bit better

http://latonyarichardson.blogspot.com/- As a forty-something myself– I like her musings on life!

http://aloneinholyland.blogspot.com/ - Sometimes people are on the same planet, different worlds. Sometimes we’re in different parts of the world, experiencing the same planet. Cool blog!

Love and type to all!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Love 'em like they are gone



     I had already rallied the troops from their slumber, let the dog out and got her some water, made coffee, set out my son’s clothes for the day, picked up a few things, flipped a few light switches, and turned on the TV for a few minutes of sipping coffee. This is my usual morning routine, all which occurs shortly before 7:00A.M. After a few minutes of a caffeine injection, and a shower, I will then start my drill sergeant regimen of getting the kids to complete their tasks, make sure my wife is alive (she sleeps soundly), and then make my kids lunches for the day, and get “pre-dressed” to take the kids to school and walk my son to class, then return home to do banking and email, enjoy more coffee, then get dressed for work. Whew!

     These tasks are usually met with my grunts and grumbles with a “time to make the donuts” type of sleepy demeanor. I will often whine like I am shouldering a tougher burden than I am, but it is just my role in the household, so I carry on. This morning I was making the kids lunches, and with my usual mindset that I must make the lunches with “love”, as for some reason, I feel they know it, and it has to be more nourishing than just tossing stuff in baggies, and then cramming them into their lunch boxes. Pre-coffee, this takes effort, but is always accomplished.

     As I turned the corner on my way to once again bark up the steps that “we were going to be late”, (my usual wake up cheer), my attention was averted to my TV as the Today Show had as a guest a young woman who was sobbing, and I was captivated momentarily, as intuitively I was told to stop and listen if only for a minute. I heard, (not verbatim, but I am giving you the message) “It is the greatest pain you could ever feel, and I would not wish it on my worst enemy. When you are tripping over the bicycles, or picking up the clothes, and dealing with the daily frustrations, it is so worth it as it could be taken from you at any moment.” She continued with more, further driving this point into me like a railroad worker driving spikes with a hammer.

     The woman was Diena Thompson, mother of Summer Thompson describing the loss of her daughter, who was abducted a few months ago and was found in a landfill as her final resting place. Her pain came through my screen. I was “tripping over bicycles” this morning. I was “picking up the clothes” and coping with the “daily frustrations”. She reached through the screen at me, grabbed me by the lapels, cocked her hand back and slapped me into awakening to the fact that they are still here, and to be thankful for that. Some are not as lucky; funny how our morning shifted. Okay God, you have my attention!

     This started a cascade of pondering how maybe I should evaluate many things in my life as if they may be or become “gone”. How would I feel if some of the things I take for granted were suddenly taken from me, or simply absent without a trace? Would I cherish them differently now?

     Aside from the above message; lately we have been delivered many “attention getters”. I do not need to share in detail what Haiti is dealing with after the earthquake. One minute a normal Tuesday walking the streets of a sunny community; the next minute rubble and thousands dead and missing. What was a poor country to begin with, now is simply praying for drinking water, food,  and pain relief. They need help and hope to simply survive. I saw too this morning, images of houses buried in mud in California. I bet a week or so ago, they did not think sandbags would be part of their landscaping.

     I am thankful now, as I am reminded to take yet another inventory that I can often dismiss with the other tasks I grumble through. I am warm, with a solid roof, beautiful people in my life, and all the amenities I need for the moment. I am thankful for right now. I love the statement of, “It is not having what you want, but wanting what you have”, and I appreciate today’s reminder. I have it pretty good God, and thanks for a wakeup call better than the Starbucks I am drinking.

Note:

I am including the link to the National Sex Offender Registry, as a father of two small children and a beautiful wife; it is nice to know who is living in the neighborhood that may be a threat. If you have people in your home, you wish to protect, check this out! (Sorry I do not know of others similar for my non-US friends)

http://www.familywatchdog.us/

There is also a link at the top of my page for Haiti relief, but here is one of the many who can help. This is for the Red Cross.

http://www.redcross.org/

     Finally, when discussing being powerless, or not having enough assets to share with others in times of disaster, I thought of this. We can always start by being thankful and grateful for what we have. We can also simply take a moment to say a prayer, and keep our eyes open for even the subtlest of opportunities to be able to open our hearts if not our wallets. That releases good energy, and we can all benefit from that!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Nice to know it's not just me! (Award Time)

 It is ironic that just today I was working with a client in my business and we happened to stumble across my writing passion as one of the many topics of our pleasant banter. In only working with her this second time (I am a hairstylist/salon owner), I found that she too had a flair for the spiritual in her. Recently I have noticed how the clients I have been working with have really shifted to being those of like minds. I really enjoy it.

I recently printed out business cards with my photo, blog name, and link on them since I have recently had people ask about my writing, as many know I have written a book of the eponymous name "Artisan of the Human Spirit". My blogging keeps me in practice, and gives me connection to others and I can see if what I write is accepted well or not. Upon handing her a card, she asked how I liked blogging. I mentiond what I loved is I have found many new friends, and many who I feel "connected to" even if only speaking briefly over a few posts. I don't feel alone.

"In a world of insane people, the sole, sane person seems insane!"

Today I came home to a nice message from a new found friend - Aine Butler Smith of http://theevolvingspirit.blogspot.com/ who has posted kind words on my blog and today bestowed upon me the award you will find below; "Happy 101".

I am honored for being recognized for sharing my passion, and that it is received by like minded bloggers and friends. I am to list ten things that make me happy, and to share the award with ten blogs I like.
To note, I noticed a couple, like Aine's and Katherine Jenkins' has it, so kudos to you both, and I would be sending it your way if you did not already have it. On with the show!



My happy list:

1. My family, all of them, my wife, kids, parents, relatives, etc. I am blessed with a rich and blesed resource of loved ones. All mean the world to me.

2. Awareness/Spirituality - I am happy to have the ability to see what I truly have and am surrounded by. I feel connected, in tune, as one.

3. Cooking. I love to cook, not only for the art, but the loving gesture of offering communion with friends and loved ones through the gift and art of sustenance.

4. Writing. I can connect with people over time and miles that is not concievable in physical form. It has brought me to new worlds and places as well as finding the other world available in myself.

5. Reading. I can surf upon the words written by others. (See Writing)

6. Experiencing the outdoors. From a walk around the neighborhood, to mountains, to oceans, nature is the ultimate connection we can make.

7. Music - Life needs a soundtrack...

8. Yoga/Reiki/QiGong - I like physical connection to the spiritual me, and also sharing a healing touch

9. Helping others - Nothing lifts me like lifting others

10. Laughing, lots of laughing


Ten Blogs I like:
1. - http://acleverwhatever.blogspot.com/  clever blog about whatever - truly ~ Tirzah Laughs - so do I

2. http://coffeewithmarty.blogspot.com/- Nice guy with a great blog - Kudos Marty!

3. http://michaelinhiskitchen.blogspot.com/ - I love cooking! Mike does it right - Check him out!

4.  http://netherregionoftheearthii.blogspot.com/ - A little nonsense never hurt anyone - Enjoy!

5.  http://www.ovahcoffee.com/ - another coffee titled blog ;) - Nice site you will like it!

6.  http://www.beamingbalance.com/ - Well written and always inspiring!

7.  http://www.thecolorsmagazine.com/ - A new found fave, stop by for some inspiration!

8. http://www.upliftantidote.co.uk/wordpress/ - Jacqui has a good blog and a good heart!

9.  http://plentymorefishoutofwater.blogspot.com/  - I just enjoy reading his adventures

10.  http://yogasavy.blogspot.com/  - I like Yoga, and I enjoy the message here! Nice read

(This list is not in any certain order)
I know some do not "do" awards, if not I apologize. Just know I still wanted to give you the nod!
Namaste' friends, God bless, and keep on doing what you do!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

How the heck did I get here?


I must have taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque. Whose life is this anyway? God has a sense of humor! Where did I go wrong? I just want to know, “How the heck did I get here?”


As I reflect back, I know I was unrealistic. I know that my ego was writing out the wish list of what I was to become. I also know that the “lifestyle fairy” does not come and tap us on the head with her sparkly wand bestowing us with abundance, eternal youth and physical prowess, and lots of toys just because we wish for them, or that we are simply “good people”. These things, if fortunate to enter our lives, take work, a little luck, and patience. Maybe a large cardboard check from Publisher’s Clearing House wouldn’t hurt either.

The reality is we have free will with no reset button. We age and sometimes not gracefully. Our six pack abs from our twenties can look like fifty pounds of chewed gum by our forties. The long Bon Jovi hair from our youth can dwindle to resemble that of arm hair. The Camaro and Z Cavarici’s end up being a minivan and mom jeans. We can go from being track stars, to where the only time we run now is when we hold down the “X” button on the controller, or dash to get to the baby before he topples down the steps. It’s okay.

Where I am now is a culmination of many, many events that come together in this jam session called “my life”. The momentum of events, choices, locations, serendipity, and random cosmic events all come together like a man spinning plates in a vaudeville act. As we try to keep balance of all the events we can possibly control in our lives, eventually one of the plates may wobble and topple and if our attention is diverted. It falls, therefore changing the balance and dynamic. Life then takes on a whole new turn.

Right now is a result of all events, both good and bad, that create a perfect recipe of my existence. I have some great stories as a result. I have encountered challenges as many have. I have battled everything from addiction, estrangement, financial distress, pain, personal drama, business challenges, fear, and they all brought me to where I am now.

I have a beautiful wife and two kids, and my parents and in-laws are all alive and healthy. I have a business with great staff and clients. I have travelled and have seen many things. I have written a book. Currently I have a house, clothes, and food in the fridge. Life is alright. These too brought me to where I am.

If God were to allow me to perhaps eliminate some of the undesirable events in my life, I do not know what I would eliminate. One would think, “the bad stuff”, but those too made me stronger, grateful, and resilient. Not only that, since life’s events are so intertwined and we do not know where they either began or will end, my event elimination could be catastrophic.

Perhaps my choice to eliminate one thing may take me on a path to where I never met my wife. Therefore, I would have no kids or at least not the ones I so dearly love now. Would I still be alive? Would I be homeless or rich? I cannot afford the gamble, nor is “what-iffing” productive.

I found there are a few keys to dealing with life’s little stand-up routine.

Acceptance: We do not have to always like something, but we do indeed have to accept it. We have three choices here. Work on it, forget about it, or accept it. For example, if my weight is an issue: I can work out, find someone who likes fluffier people, or remove my mirrors and install dimmer switches. Complaining only adds to the problem and will probably raise my blood pressure to boot. Acceptance just acknowledges the truth of something and peels off my personal labels.

Forgiveness: Forgiveness of ourselves and others does not mean there is no accountability. Forgiveness most often deals with past issues. The past is gone, yet the accountability is where the lessons are learned. We can also forgive, yet love someone from a distance if their presence is painful. Most importantly though, when we forgive, we let go of the retribution and attachment to yesterday which slows us down from soaring through right now.

Control: If we wonder how we got here in respect to the fact we “lost control”, we must accept we never entirely had it. We can control our responses, we can work on our actions, but we are still at the mercy of everything from others, to the weather, and many events happening around us like a giant game of Plinko that will continually nudge us and knock us around. The best thing here is to refer back to acceptance.

Expectations: Our expectations must remain realistic and in proportion to the effort we put in them, and to whom we are holding their manifestation accountable. I have found it best to place expectations on others as I would be comfortable them being placed on me. I will fail at times, so will others. Try not to get too disappointed.

Faith: This is simply belief without seeing. Where you put your faith is personal. Faith though, is having a positive outlook that things will be as they should be, and that they will be eventually alright, and we are in good hands. It is the storms that show us where our leaks are, but it is also the storms that bring the rainbows. Since the future is a picture we paint in our minds; try to pick the brighter colors.

How the heck did I get here? I got here by a beautifully orchestrated mix of success and failure, gain and loss, and lots of patience and love. At least I took the scenic route. Even though I am growing too tall for my hair, and when I turned forty my stomach looked up at my chest and said, "You can let go now", I am fine with it all. Life does not come with a GPS and all I can do is try to stay between the ditches as I move along.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Two for the Price of One


        I reflect today upon a life changing event; the birth of my son. His birth to me, as perhaps many a father, was one of excitement as I had “my boy”, and was now able to pass on the wisdom I gained through skinned knees, broken hearts, and life’s sucker punches. With enough training, and this wisdom, as well as lessons in courage, strength, and honor, I may be able to make this boy a man. My son is six today and I started planning his ascension through life long before his arrival.


        I fantasized him as becoming a cross of G.I. Joe, all the Marvel Super Heroes combined, a Heisman trophy winning athlete, and wise as Einstein, smooth as the leading men of Hollywood, and humble at heart. I had my work cut out for me. All these qualities to make the perfect son, one I and others would revere and be proud of. Who was this tall order for; me, or him? Having not even given him a chance to become, to create an identity of his own to embellish, to embrace his “self”; who was I, even as a father to place this burden upon either of us?

        His birthday was mine as well.

       I realized upon his arrival and the many days since, that too much time can be spent on becoming as opposed to being. My son has taught me many times in his short life some of the greatest lessons; lessons of presence, honesty, letting go, releasing emotion, and expressing it as well. I was born into a new way of thinking the day my son arrived. My life was mine, his is his, and we walk this road together. I can best coax out of him what I wish to see in him, through my example.

        Not only am I able to teach him in a “do as I say and not as I do” method, but it is that approach that I too get a chance to take a personal inventory of where I need restoration. It is the confused eyes cast up at me when I do not practice what I preach that allow me to realign, and also practice the art of making amends, humility, and accountability. Patience also comes to mind frequently. Indirectly he teaches me a great deal.

        I see now that I could care less about what “activities” my son participates in. What a man does is not who he is. Should he choose sports, great! Should he choose art, fabulous! Should he become academic, I am still proud. I will support any noble endeavor he wishes to steep himself in. Love does not need to be justified with excellence achieved in an activity. He has mine regardless and he should never feel he must achieve certain benchmarks to “deserve” it.

        What my focus must be as father is the principles a man must fill himself with to become prosperous and successful in life’s journey. I will leave the sports up to coaches, but reinforce camaraderie, teamwork, and goal setting. (I can still toss the ball in the backyard though.) In finding companionship and love, I will try to instill in him the things that make us worthy of another’s affections such as respect, compassion, and honesty. In business and work, I will share with him the weight of integrity, honor, and character. In sharing this with him, I too have to pay attention; I go back to school with him.

        I look to my son not as a second chance. I see him not as my student per se. I see him as an individual I can teach a lot to as much as learn from. I have learned a lot about life from living through the perspective and wonder of a child. He will mirror back that which he sees in the men in his life. I can pass on what was taught to me by my fathers. I can also fill in the gaps.

        Every birthday my son has, I get one too. I can celebrate who I became as a result of his arrival, and in turn, I think that awakening makes me a better father. Fathering a son is give and take. He learns how to be a man by the men that love him and how they show that love. As a father I get the gift of another chance of not making my son what I wish I was, but to experience the joys of youth all over again, just with better technology.

        Happy birthday to my son, my raison d’ĂȘtre, and in the back of my mind, I celebrate my second "birthday" as well.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Am I Being Selfish?



        When is selfishness wrong? Being a parent, I am constantly trying to dispel selfishness in my children. Being a business owner, I am constantly challenged with selfishness on many fronts; vendors, the public, internally. The word stings, and is often used to hurt when slung at someone to call attention to their negative behavior: “You’re being selfish!” We frequently hear this when someone has fallen short of another’s expectations.


        I looked up the definition.

Self*ish – adj.

1. Concerned chiefly or only with oneself. (I understood this)

2. Arising from, characterized by, or showing selfishness (Still okay with this)

3. Chiefly concerned with one’s own interest, advantage, etc. Especially to the exclusion of the interests of others. (There it was!)

        I find it is a paradox as we often have to remain focused and concerned on ourselves; our health, our finances, our faith; basically to “manage our affairs”. We must “have” to be able to serve and give to any degree. Our focus must remain primarily on personal interests and that which sustains us. If we lack in the above, we suffer and then often become more self concerned, more “selfish”.

        What I find is the tipping point of trying to survive, remain personally sustainable, meeting simple needs to be able to support, lead, give, or simply become part of a greater whole, is the second part of the third definition, “to the exclusion of others.”

        It is the “intention” behind the behavior that can poison the action. If I try to accumulate wealth with the intention of being philanthropic, I find it less polluting than if one were to amass wealth to have more than those that surround him or her. If what I try to acquire is to leverage the opinion of me in the eyes of others, to have where others do not, to separate me from the status of those I come in contact with, I see selfishness emerge.

        Being rewarded for noble efforts is not selfish. Also many are lucky to come in contact with careers or situations that serendipitously provide them with abundance. Trying to hold on to the things that are bestowed upon us is not criminal. I find it is when opportunity arises to help others in thought, word, or deed, and malicious disregard for the same environment or people who aided the ascension can be labeled selfish.

        The challenge lies in our seeing something or someone as “selfish”, when it confronts the fact that perhaps we fell short of obtaining our own potential. Is someone selfish because they aggressively went after their goals? Focusing on one’s path is not selfish. A perspective of not realizing others are part of the same path whether directly involved or bystanders can be troublesome. When we feel that we are alone in our achievements is where I feel that, whether through ignorance or direct intent, is steering toward the isolation of selfishness.

        We do need to concern ourselves with ourselves from time to time; our health, our frugality, faith, and relationships. I see too that upon closer examination, these are all exponentially boosted through the assistance or knowledge of others; so even our selfish endeavors are best recognized through the connection and service of others. However, when we go beyond basic survival and sustainability into greed and gain, we disregard the long term outcome and encounter eventual separation of that which we may seek. The way you treat people on the way up is how they treat you on the way back down. I have found I gain the most through gestures of generosity.

        I will still try to “take care of number one”. I will still try to focus on things that benefit me, but I will also try to remain aware of the things that make me a better father, husband, employer, neighbor, and human being. My intention will be what sustains me. Shall I ever forget this, and shift to feeling that I am doing everything by myself, or for myself, I will most likely get what I asked for and fear most. I will be alone with a stack of worthless objects and no one to show off to.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sadness - It Does a Body Good

        I have found that I try to support the weight of the world upon my shoulders. However that may not be good if my footing is not on solid emotional ground. Quicksand perhaps? Therefore my strengths evolve into struggle and strife. I find if I bear the load of others, even if they did not ask me to carry it, I can stack the burden so high that I cannot see where I am supposed to be going.


        Is sadness healthy? I think it can be as if one seeks balance; the pendulum must swing. It must return. To me it just shows where attention to happiness may be in a deficit. Since personal states are often our choice based upon our opinions, I must disregard the opinions of others from time to time; perhaps occasionally I must pay attention to my own. Awareness of this; that’s where the health lies.

        I find hypocrisy in professing to not have emotional dips in the road. As things seem to fall to the ground, it is then that they are exposed and placed before us. That is when the inventory of their value to us can be taken. Do we keep this troubling object or choose to let it go? We can “clean out our closet” and make room for the important stuff.

        As often sadness seeks us most in our solitude, it is then we find an audience of ourselves, shared only with the spiritual force in us and around us. We often disregard our faith like a jacket we wrap ourselves in when it gets too cold, and toss aside when the weather stabilizes. A jacket that is good to always have on hand.

        It is the challenges we face that tempers our soul. These obstacles are what forge our beings to come back stronger as testimony to our resolve. If we fall, we can bounce, and if we bounced once, we can bounce again!

        Peril is often an interpretation of a fearful predicament in which we hold on to the part of us where we feel unsure of ourselves. It is where we choose to not call on our faith. We do not surrender to what is and address the truth, but choose to call out to our inadequacies based on our judgment of our past performance. Every hurdle is a new chance to jump.

        Tears of anger and pain are the shower that washes away the frustration as we try to wonder why God wants to punish us. Although, God does not send the water to watch us drown, he does it to see how well we swim. Are we tested? Most assuredly. Are we hated? I think not! Does God seem to have a sense of humor? It shows in his work.

        I find to be able to celebrate happiness; I must experience the absence of it at times. This separation is often at my hand, but there to remind me that it is my job as restorer. The space I have between where I wish to be, and where I am is slowed only by the weight of the issue I place upon it. Darkness and sorrow I find are painted by my own brushstrokes. I must choose brighter colors from my palette to shift the image from dark to light.

        Sadness can be cleansing, and not consuming. It reminds me of what is worth working for. This separation from what I want, or how I perceive things should be is simply a reminder that I am not in control, and I should limit my expectations. As I find myself at times at the bottom of what I perceive to be the deepest valley, I realize through a simple shift in perspective, I can find myself looking at the beginning of a mountainous ascent!

Related Posts by: Hope Despite Depression ~ Grateful for Depression?