I AM THANKFUL…… Think about making thankfulness part of your authentic self; if it isn’t already

It’s the day after Thanksgiving, but as i explained to those who asked; thankfulness is not just an event i celebrate one day a year. I live in a constant state of appreciation; childlike some have said.  That’s how i experience everything.

thank you w heartA loving friend who knows me well emailed me the following because it fits. I thank her for inspiring me to reflect on my thankfulness.

Think about making thankfulness part of your authentic self; if it isn’t already.

Wouldn’t you feel great having a thanksgiving day every day, minus the overeating of course, but with huge helpings of nurturing love?

I am thankful:
for the wife
who says it’s hot dogs tonight,
because she is home with me,
and not out somewhere else.

For the husband
who is on the sofa being a couch potato,
because he is home with me
and not out at the bars.

For the teenager
who is complaining about doing dishes
because it means she is at home,
not on the streets.

For the taxes i pay
because it means i am employed.

For the mess to clean after a party
because it means i have been surrounded by friends.

For the clothes that fit a little too snug
because it means i have enough to eat.

For my shadow that watches me work
because it means i am out in the sunshine

for a lawn that needs mowing,
windows that need cleaning,
and gutters that need fixing
because it means i have a home.

For all the complaining
i hear about the government
because it means we have freedom of speech.

For the parking spot
i find at the far end of the parking lot
because it means i am capable of walking and i have been blessed with
transportation.

For my huge heating bill
because it means i am warm.

For the lady behind me in church who sings off key
because it means i can hear.

For the pile of laundry and ironing
because it means i have clothes to wear.

For weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day
because it means i have been capable of working hard.

For the alarm that goes off
in the early morning hours
because it means i am alive.

And finally, for too much
e-mail
because
it means i have friends who are thinking of me.

Happiness living with love grace gratitudeLive well, laugh often, & love with all of your heart!  Happy thanksgiving.

Thankfulness expressed is gratitude shared & love declared. “It’s too late when we die.”

Mike + The Mechanics told us how to cherish “The Living Years.”

https://lyricsjonk.com/mike-the-mechanics-the-living-years.html

So if you cherish your loved ones, celebrate Thanksgiving by telling them how thankful you feel for having them in your life.

“It’s too late when we die.”

Thankful be - cute turkeys

Anger: Do you express your anger, or repress it?

“Life is imperfect.” “But it is not so imperfect that we cannot enjoy it.”  “Works for me,” i said. “And what about the anger, what are you going to do with that?”

Some things anger us, frustrate us, piss us off, make us crazy, so what do we do with it.?

“I’m not going to do anything with it,” she replied. “It is enough to know that i’m angry, and know why,, and not lie to myself about it.”

“You mean it’s not repression if I keep my feelings to myself?”

“No” she said. “It’s repression if I pretend to myself that I don’t have those feelings.”

“Anger as soon is fed, is dead. ‘Tis starving makes it fat.” -Emily Dickenson 

anger mountain

This is what an anger cycle looks like. Think about your own escalations to remember what it feels like.

Knowing the signals enables us to manage our anger so it doesn’t come back and hit us upside the head.

The earlier you harness your anger, the sooner you will be able to reflect on what’s really making you angry, from inside yourself.

Holding on to anger, resentment, and hurt only gives you tense muscles, a headache, and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth.

  • Forgiveness gives you back the laughter and lightness in your life.
  • Once you’ve reached that point, away from the flame, you can then approach the triggering issue with rationality and cognition.
  • Then, by searching for mutual understanding and applying the doctrine of acceptance, you will resolve and be able to move on.

Anger not without a reason Ben FranklinYes. . . Anger Does Have A Purpose! Anger is neither good nor bad (like conflict), it just is! The consequences of un-managed or un-resolved anger however, may have a price in terms of your stress and your ultimate wellbeing (again like conflict).  And anger will certainly affect your relationships when aimed at a ’targeted’ person.

ANGER:      WHAT IS IT… AND WHAT DOES IT DO?

THE WHAT:  Anger is a physiological, psychological or emotional response to an external or internal stimulus which one perceives (and learns to label) as threatening, frightening, embarrassing, hurtful, frustrating or irritating!

 THE WHY: Survival, Culture, Communication, Motivation, Psychological protection

  • Anger blocks fear; a child returns home late; the angry parent blocks fear through an angry response. Emotions blocked by anger may include sadness, guilt, shame, and feelings of failure or unworthiness.    
  • Anger may cover-up those feelings of frustration when one perceives that needs and interests are unachievable.
  • Anger may be a response-tool to a perceived threat when one feels attacked or controlled. Conversely, anger may also be a control-tool to control or frighten others.

anger management strategies

 

Anger always has a reason.

But is the reason important enough for you to become and remain angry.

Is the price you pay worth it?

Does the anger add value to YOUR life?

“Poverty is the mother of crime.” – Marcus Aurelius

My ebike was stolen this past spring, and when people asked about and commiserated with my loss, almost all blamed the poor, the homeless, and the diverse ‘strangers’ now living in this small town.

marcus aureliusBut Marcus Aurelius had it right.       Poverty IS the mother of crime.

And as one social scientist whose name i can’t remember wrote  “History has proven clearly that all countries with poor economies, political instability, and corruption have the highest crime rates.”

No surprizes here, but those who are not suffering such disabilities most often don’t want to consider real solutions.

poor & rich -shoes“Many speak the truth when they say that they despise riches. But they mean (that they despise) the riches possessed by other men.” 

– Charles Caleb Colton

 

So why can’t humans eliminate the abject poverty and homelessness that has plagued humankind for millennia?

Why have full equality and universal equity eluded societies since humans began reorganizing into what we like to call civilized societies?

equality - equity

Is it a lack of commitment by enough people, or is it because the few have managed to wrest control from the many, again? Or both and more?

When people talk about a societal reboot, they also suggest that we now have opportunities to change what was because of or as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whether we respond to those opportunities or not will depend on how many commit to societal change and changing society for the good of ALL! 

Whether the human race has the will to do so, only history will tell. Think about this next time you hear complaints about crime, and who you blame; who you perceive to be the perpetrators.

Smugger - woman - purseo will crime go down or up?

That will depend on where you live, and whether those who control your society live up to the contract every non-totalitarian government has with its constituents, their stakeholders. !

Social Justice word cloud, law concept background
Social Justice word cloud, law concept background

Avoiding difficult conversations, subjects, and people….

Douglas had difficulty having functional relationships, except with totally accommodating people.

discomfort - understanding

 

Whenever a subject came up about which he was passionate, if he perceived that the other was disagreeing with him, he instantly became uncomfortable, moving quickly  into fight or flight mode; most often he chose ‘fight.’

discomfort-as-burden-weightt-steel-ballGenerally, when someone wants something to go away, it’s because s/he perceives that it will cause him/her discomfort if it doesn’t.

The causes of such feelings of discomfort will be specific to each person; but fear of losing something is always just below the discomfort itself. It could be fear of losing an argument, a fear of losing status, fear of losing self-image, or among many other options, a fear of losing the relationship itself.

So avoiding becomes THE band-aid in the absence of any perceived options for healing and growth. discomfort = growth

Managing Your Stress: It’s a process, not an event, and the genius will be in the details.

A young lady confidently walked around the room while explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, ‘half empty or half full?’…

SHE FOOLED THEM ALL …. “How heavy is this glass of water?” she inquired with a smile.

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied , “The absolute weight doesn’t matter.
It depends on how long I hold it.

stress-woman carrying“IF i hold it for a minute, no problem.

IF i hold it for an hour, my arm will ache!

IF i hold it for a day, call an ambulance, because i’ll need it.

The longer I hold the stress, the heavier it will be for me.

If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on.”

“As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden – holding stress longer and better each time practised.

So , as early in the evening as you can, PUT ALL YOUR BURDENS DOWN.

Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night… PICK THEM UP TOMORROW.

1: Accept the fact that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue!

2: Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

3: Always read things that will make you feel good.

4: Drive carefully… It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker..

5: If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague

6: If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

7: It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

8: Never buy a car you can’t push. LOL

9: Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won’t have a leg to stand on.

friends_crazy0415  10: Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.

11: Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

12: The second mouse gets the cheese.

13: When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.

14: Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

16:  Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.

17:  We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colours, but they all have to live in the same box (IN OUR WORLD).

18: A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.  

life like leaves

This article was inspired by a loving friend who sent me the story of how stress can drag us down if we hold on to it.

ANXIETY & STRESS

Stress concept.
stressed – anxious –  worried

Are they the same?  Stress and anxiety are often used interchangeably, and there is overlap between stress and anxiety. Stress is related to the same ‘fight, flight, or freeze’ response as anxiety, and the physical sensations of anxiety and stress may be very similar.

The cause of stress and anxiety are usually different, however. Stress focuses on mainly external pressures on us that we’re finding hard to cope with. When we are stressed, we usually know what we’re stressed about, and the symptoms of stress typically disappear after the stressful situation is over. To learn more about the relationship between stress & anxiety, go to:  https://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/q-and-a/whats-the-difference-between-anxiety-and-stress

Visit  https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322510  if you’re interested in more about the symptoms and consequences of anxiety and stress. The article outlines the most common physical symptoms and side effects of anxiety. While many people know about the effects of anxiety on mental health, fewer people are aware of the physical side effects, which can include digestive issues and an increased risk of infection. Anxiety can also change the function of the cardiovascular, urinary, and respiratory systems.

But on a day to day basis, even with all the necessary skills at our disposal, we always need to remember that our greatest resource are those people who love and support us.

Life, Hungry for

Do What You Can, BUT Don’t Blame Yourself For What You Can’t Do!

“I’ve always admired how you do everything you can, but never blame yourself for what you can’t do” a loving friend said to me one day. 

Yes, i grieve  when i can’t accomplish what i set out to do. But i have to let the failure go, then i need to reflect about what i have to learn from the experience. I’m too much in my head some say, but that’s just one of the things i have to do; so i do what i can, without blaming myself what i can’t do.

“The how and why of self-blame and self-criticism: The adult habit of self-blame is often an internalization of childhood experience. This is especially true if you grew up in a household that put a high premium on everything going right and looking blame 2-fingers pointingperfect, and if a parent, or even both parents, needed someone to be the scapegoat when things didn’t.” Continue reading Do What You Can, BUT Don’t Blame Yourself For What You Can’t Do!

Letting go anything, requires that we become vulnerable. It’s fear which stops us from moving forward, or even exploring what it is that frightens us!

fear of the unkwn - lge_Teal SwanLetting go means we will first have to manage the fear which makes us procrastinate, or even to discard our dreams. Some even go back down the unhappy path they’ve been following. 

If we want to change our persona, our behaviour, our lives, our relationships, our jobs, or our living environment, most of us have to let go what was, before we can move towards our goal. And most people resist changes, and resistance to anything means the possibility of less than happy outcomes is first and foremost in our minds.

Change is scary to most people to a greater or lesser extent is what i’ve seen and experienced. Such fears can and often do generate anger, anxiety, generating inner conflicts, and even depression.

So why do we feel anxious and angry?

https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/anxiety-and-anger#connection

“In the rich and varied panoply of human emotions, two feelings are closely linked to each other — and to survival.”

“Anxiety is the worry or fear you feel in response to a perceived threat. Anger is also a threat response, but it’s coupled with a strong sense of annoyance.”

“Researchers think these two emotions may play an important role in our ability to sense and react to danger.”

anger-and-anxiety

But are there other ties between anger and anxiety?  This article may increase your understanding of these 2 human motivators.

  https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/anxiety-and-anger#connection

Many interpersonal conflicts require resolutions to inner (with ourselves) or outer (with others) conflicts; and that might (and most often does) mean modifying our behaviour, and our beliefs about ourselves. 

One such person, a grandmother in her 70s, was in bitter conflict with her adult daughter, also a mother. And as the mediation process evolved, the grandmother decided that she wasn’t able or interested in becoming the reflective, curious person her daughter wanted her to become. She didn’t want to know the “whys” behind the acrimonious behaviour, the anxieties, or the anger which had motivated them to build an almost “insurmountable wall between them 

barriers obstacles - strength comes fromovercomingShe didn’t want to explore “triggers” or motivations. It was all “psychobabble” anyway. “Why couldn’t they just get along, she asked?” 

But when her daughter emotionally shared that “she just wanted and needed to be with her mother like she would be with a friend” Her mother understood what was being asked of her, probably for the first time.

The older mother still didn’t want ‘peel any onions” to discover what was below the frustration and anger both regularly experienced, but she did modify her behaviour so that they could co-exist as friends with boundaries. And breaks from each other.

She didn’t need the “whys,” she just needed the “whats.”

 Anger and anxiety are always motivated by fears; fears about consequences which are scary.  How scary is always up to you. Remember, being afraid of the unknown may be a counter-productive use of your imagination.

So however you do it, you will have to manage the fears if you want to let go what was, and move forward towards your new reality. And if you want to let go the fear, most of us need to know what those fear and consequences include. 

 

transitions personal-bridges

 

So yes, many like me need to peel our inner onions, with tears being part of the process. William Bridges calls this process “grieving what we’re letting go” in his book Transitions.

 

barriers obstacles - be grateful - learning

 

For me, it’s been a rewarding mission for over 40 years on a beautiful, eclectic, sometimes challenging, but always gratifying and satisfying path.

Sometimes we all need a tree!

Sometimes, “We all need a Tree!”

Sent to me by a loving friend. 
interdependenceI hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he had just finished a rough first day on the job: a flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric drill quit and his ancient one ton truck refused to start.
 
While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands.
 
When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation. His face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.
Afterwards he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.
 
‘Oh, that’s my trouble tree,’ he replied ‘I know I can’t help
having troubles on the job, but one thing’s for sure, those troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and the children.. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home.
 
Then in the morning I pick them up again.’ ‘Funny thing is,’ he smiled,’ when I come out in the morning to pick ’em up, there aren’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.’
 
Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

tree and houseWe all Need a Tree!

 
Wishing you a wonderful day!

Don’t be like a “dull knife” if you want to have meaningful relationships, discussions, or if you just want to impress others.

loud mouth in tie“You’re like a dull knife, just ain’t cuttin’, just talkin’ loud and saying nothing.” 

This observation is attributed to singer James Brown, which tells us what he thought of those who loudly proclaimed their ignorance to one and all.

children_the way we talkSince the beginning of time, humans have used the power of words, voice, body-language, their perceived intellectual supremacy, and physical violence to overpower others to try and satisfy their needs. Bullying is a human disability, and it’s often taught to their children.

  Sadly, those who know the least and those who consciously or unconsciously believe that they’re not very smart, often talk the loudest; they also argue their positions the most aggressively. The internet is plagued by many, and for the first time in history, we can see how many “dull knives” there really are, and not just the ones around us. 

Elevator volume control.
Elevator volume control.

 

  

Don’t you sometimes wish you had a remote to turn down their volume?

 

 

Most of us grew up with such people at home, at school, or at work. At times, i was one of those loud-mouths, until, way back in my 20s, a loving friend and a caring boss pointed out to me that i was shooting myself in the foot if i wanted to have meaningful debates and discussions. 

From that point on, if i didn’t know something, i just STFU! Then i went out and learned what i needed to know about myself, and my behaviour.

The first step is always realizing and accepting that we don’t know everything we think we know. 

And the learning never stops, at least for me.

I also often emotional intelligence - intersection of heart and headhope that those i see yelling in person and on the net access and apply some emotional intelligence, look in a mirror, listen to themselves, then modify their behaviour.

It will make their lives so much easier. emotional intelligence - leadership

So why do people bully others instead of questioning how we can more effectively communicate with them?

bullying at work“The sad truth may be that for some people, there are significant social and personal benefits to bullying.”

https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/brick-brick/201405/knowing-why-bullies-bully-is-key-stopping-the-trend

“Almost everyone has been bullied at one time or another, and we often take solace in the assumption that living well is the best revenge. We will have happy and fulfilling lives, whereas bullies are trying to compensate for their own low self-esteem and will lead miserable lives.” 

So here are five components of Emotional Intelligence, which apply everywhere in life where we have relationships and have to make decisions.

emotional intelligence 5 components

Why do people hurt those they say they love, including their fur babies?

The Featured Image is a stock photo, and not situational. 

Approaching the lovely park across the street from my apartment on this gorgeous spring-like sunny day, i was stunned as i watched a beautiful young Dalmation being locked into a pristine red car.

In my head i heard ‘but it’s only for the drive home, so she’ll be ok’.

baby in-locked-car-trunk

 

Would a mother ever lock her baby in the trunk of her car, on purpose?

 

I’d even bet that the Dalmation fur-baby’s mother(?) loved her 4-legged family member no less than she would a child. But she and her two friends looked like they didn’t have a care in the world as they got in the car with a fur-baby in the trunk,  and drove away. I wondered heart-brokenly what that poor Dalmation was experiencing in that cold, dark, cramped space?

I was shocked and upset to watch such probably-unconscious yet ignorant cruelty!

“We only hurt the ones we love” is inaccurate; we do hurt the ones we love, but not only. Many people say they love others, but does loving mean ‘not hurting regardless of other considerations’?

So when we see we’ve caused pain, stress, or sadness, are there alternative behaviours we might adopt which would more accurately reflect our loving? 

Or are we even empathizing with those we say we love? 

Are we always ‘walking our talk?

How do our “loved ones” experience our loving them?

love- its what you do not what you say

“Just as a snake sheds it’s skin, we must shed our past.”

snake skin discarded

“Just as a snake sheds it’s skin, we must shed our past.

 

 

“This is the secret to Mushin, living life in the moment with your mind an empty cup so it can be filled with new constructive and functional material. If it doesn’t add value to your life, why keep it.

To remain relatively calm and controlled in the heat of conflict, a disputant must “Sit relatively comfortably in the discomfort!”

When helping people resolve emotionally-charged interpersonal conflicts, i see that the longer disputants’ differences and a disputant’s experiences remain unresolved, the more their history affects them. Sometimes to the point that their experiences are traumatizing

As we know, carrying unresolved issues like those traumatizing experiences with you everywhere you go will be like carrying mountains on your back as you follow  your paths. They will slow you down, or even stop you dead in your tracks.

Mount Fuji

 

“Mountains exist for you to climb, not for you to carry.” 

 

Carrying around ‘mountain-like’ obstacles like past traumas both great and small will do nothing to resolve your inner conflicts, or those external conflicts with those involved in your trauma. They will certainly do nothing to ease your mind. So the choice is yours:

      • live in misery consciously, unconsciously, and subconsciously, or
      • manage and resolve your historical, traumatizing experiences yourself, so you can put them behind you where they belong, or
      • find the help you need to learn from your history so you can move on to the life of your dreams.Self development - letting go - courageous

“Remember the past to learn from it, but live for the present, because even the present will be the past some day.”

Zen aphorisms sourced from books authored by James Patterson  

 

 

“Life is not about finding our limitations, it’s about finding our infinity.” – Herbie Hancock.

The human race is again challenged by barriers and limitations, including illness and death. That is our common reality; some riot, some act out their deepest pathologies, but the majority use their built-in abilities to adjust, survive, and thrive.

chaos managing - white water

Being human really means using our intrinsic abilities to go with the flow regardless of what happens to us.

When you look back at your life, what do you want to think, feel, and believe. Because most of you will be there one day.

Each one of us is challenged as we journey through life, successfully or not. It’s our ability to manage and to overcome the obstacles we encounter along the way which will decide how we view our lives retrospectively. Think about this.

barriers - overcoming

What do you want to think or feel when you look back at these challenging days?

I am grateful for reaching the first of my adult life’s barriers at 20. It was my JR Comachoice fed by a  perception that i was indestructible. Without going into the gory details, it took me about 3 years to recover physically, emotionally, and psychologically to a point where i functioned as i wanted. But i refused to die (the doctors said), also refusing to accept any prognosis except a full recovery.

barriers obstacles - be grateful - learningI am very grateful, but some people who know me  still don’t believe me when i say that the long struggle was the greatest gift i ever received.

The truth is that rebuilding my body and self actualizing (partial amnesia erased much of who i had been) enabled me to live the life of my dreams for the next 50+ years. 

I learned early that if i persisted mindfully, no challenge was insurmountable. In time i also learned that I didn’t need to travel through life overcoming barriers unaided. I learned that asking for help was not a sign of weakness, but a strategic necessity which just made life easier. The gift was that many of those trusted allies and mentors became lifelong friends.

The bottom line is that the pandemic, like so many other challenges, can be a gift, or a torpedo. The choice is ours.

barriers obstacles - strength comes fromovercoming

An Australian definition of a Canadian – in case anyone asks you who a Canadian is.

Posted by Daniel Eliadis on Facebook

Once in a while someone does a nice job of describing a Canadian, this time it was an Australian dentist.

You probably missed it in the local news, but there was a report that someone in Pakistan had advertised in a newspaper an offer of a reward to anyone who killed a Canadian – any Canadian. An Australian dentist wrote the following editorial to help define what a Canadian is, so they would know one when they found one.

canada culturally diverse

A Canadian can be English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. A Canadian can be Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, Arab, Pakistani or Afghan. A Canadian may also be a Cree, Metis, Mohawk, Blackfoot, Sioux, or one of the many other tribes known as native Canadians.

A Canadian’s religious beliefs range from Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu or none. In fact, there are more Muslims in Canada than in Afghanistan. The key difference is that in Canada they are free to worship as each of them chooses. Whether they have a religion or no religion, each Canadian ultimately answers only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.

A Canadian lives in one of the most prosperous lands in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which recognize the right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.

But they also welcome the least – the oppressed, the outcast and the rejected.

A Canadian is generous and Canadians have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return.

Canadians welcome the best of everything, the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best services and the best minds.

These are the people who built Canada.

You can try to kill a Canadian if you must as other blood-thirsty tyrants in the world have tried but in doing so you could just be killing a relative or a neighbour.

This is because Canadians are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, can be a Canadian.

Please keep this going! Pass this around the World. Then pass it around again. It says it all, for all of us.

‘Keep your stick on the ice’

Some call it luck, some call it fate, coincidence, or synchronicity. Our realities are always affected by what we see and learn.

Coincidence: A concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection. eg; they met by coincidence

synchronicity

Synchronicity: The simultaneous occurrence of events which appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.“such synchronicity is quite staggering”

Luck is the residue of design” (Branch Rickey) Since we make our beds, then have to sleep in them, comfortable or not, reality will be what we make of it and take from it. 

50 years ago, almost dying changed me forever. One minute i was playing at what i loved, the next i woke up in a hospital bed not knowing where i was while machines and feeder tubes kept me alive. 6 weeks had disappeared except in the deep recesses of my psyche.

The experience changed me in ways which i only noticed and acknowledged as years flowed by.

supremes

Most of my life, others have observed how fortunate i have been. I agree. But i haven’t won any lotteries and the only prize i’ve ever won was 2 tickets to a Diana Ross & Supremes  concert in Montreal back in the 60s.

Nevertheless, the ah-ha moment landed on me when i realized that the angel on my shoulder needed my help to make her magic.

So synchronicity, with my help, has enabled me to live a wonderful and exciting life by inviting people and situations to my path so i could learn. 

Now in my 70s, and as recently as this year in the middle of a pandemic, she’s done it again!

coincidence - messenger - Winspear

During these difficult times when so many are suffering physically, emotionally, and psychologically, we have options. We can’t stop change, but most of us can control how we respond to challenging changes. And we never have to do it alone.

As i’ve experienced and seen, the challenges presented me and many others with opportunities.

We could embrace changes which make our lives and our societies more satisfying and pleasurable, or not.

Learning_When student-is-ready-the-teacher-will-appear.

It’s all up to us; and that’s no coincidence.

 

coincidence we're shaped by

Most times, it just gets down to common sense.

farmer with gun-Most times, it just gets down to common sense.

Words of wisdom from an old farmer.

Picture and text courtesy of Malcolm Roy Olson

Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.

Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.

Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.

A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.

Words that soak into your ears are whispered… not yelled.

Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.

Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.

Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.

It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.

You cannot unsay a cruel word.

Every path has a few puddles.

When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.

The best sermons are lived, not preached.

Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.

Don’t judge folks by their relatives.

Learning_When student-is-ready-the-teacher-will-appear.

 

Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

 

 

Live a good, honorable life… Then when you get older & think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.

Don ‘t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t bothering you none.

Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a Rain dance.

If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.

Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.

The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’.

Always drink upstream from the herd.

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.

Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.

If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.

Most times, it just gets down to common sense.

ignorance_Learning by pissing on fence_rogers

 

“Wanting to understand something that is not possible to be rationally understood, can be incessantly frustrating.”

“Wanting to understand something that is not possible to be rationally understood, can be incessantly frustrating” she said to me with a stressed but accepting look on her face. She went on to say, as if accepting her inevitable fate…

 To be free of that persistent feeling when i die is, in some kinda way, something to look forward to. Until then, the world could certainly use more confused minds like yours, wheels spinning, still trying to understand. Far better more of those than those who are happy to con themselves into thinking they have it all figured out.”

So how do people react or respond when they don’t understand something of more than less importance. Some carry on regardless of the shock they might earn….

ignorance_Learning by pissing on fence_rogers

The epiphany i had about never being able to figure out ‘life’ and ‘living’, or ever to control life, only came after having several near death experiences.

The answer was that there was no answer, and that i didn’t need one.

The irony of living was that i controlled only myself, and not even that at times. So i began to pictured living life as being somewhere between a twig in a swift flowing stream and an albatross flying with and against the wind. Albatross _NOAAGreyHeaded

So whenever something confused me, i eventually learned that there was information i didn’t yet have, or had not yet seen. So all i had to do was try and understand what i could, and put aside what i couldn’t understand; in newspapers it used be called “spiking” an article for use at some future time; or not.

Buddha said that when the student is ready the teacher will appear. In my life i have had many such epiphanies from human and situational teachers.

So for the 55+ years since that first significant teacher showed up unexpectedly, acceptance and appreciation of what is has worked for me, and funnily enough, it still does, beautifully.

bike - view over handlebars

 

One senior’s ode to coronavirus isolation …. an uplifting poem to lighten the load!

Life is what we make of it, even when in coronavirus isolation.

 Sent to me by a loving friend.

coronavirus - no more snacks

the covid is raging
my life is a mess
i live in pajamas
and don’t have to dress

i’m in isolation
just staying at home and
would give my last dollar to be free to roam

 

i’m seriously at risk
(or that’s what they say)
telling me to stay in
and not go out each day

in my head i’m so young
though my licence reveals
i’m a 70-plus senior
(but that’s not how it feels!)

when i run out of food
and deliveries are late
i have to buy groceries
between 7 and 8

coronavirus - seniors hours shopping

so early in the morning
i head out to restock
and discover a line up
that winds ’round the block

 

social distancing seniors
all 6 feet apart
make me wonder just when
i became an old fart

my meals are repetitive
(a lot like my gas!)
and i’m tired of discussing
why trump is an ass

my latest new outfit
is gloves and a mask
and i’m starting to wonder
if i’m up to this task

i wash all my groceries
all fruit, meat and veg…….
will this additional precaution
tip me over the edge?

my beautiful blonde hair
has wide roots of grey
no hairdressers around
to help wash them away

i’ve been talking to myself
now i’m answering back
is it monday or friday
i’ve really lost track

i’ve stopped doing housework
it’s weeks since i’ve dusted
and i know without visitors
i’ll never get busted

i facetime my friends
or we group chat on zoom
and try to pretend
we’re all in the same room

thank god liquor stores
are considered ‘essential’
without daily drinks
this would drive us all mental

every once in a while
it is good to reflect
on what this all means
and what we can expect

i’s a time to be grateful*
for all that we’ve got
like a warm house and food
that others have not

friends_crazy0415the bottom line here
by the time this all ends
is that we’ll get through it
with our family and friends

so even if your partner
is a bit of a grump
you can really be grateful
you’re not married to trump!

Stay safe. Play safe. Be well!

seniors laughing-jumping on bed