This Writer: Remembers – Once Upon a Time

I heard a story a long time ago and to the best of my memory it went something like this:
Once upon a time there was a young girl strolling along a mountain path when the weather suddenly changed and the snow and chilling winter winds blew forcing her to pull her jacket around her.  Walking through the storm forced her to put her head down as she struggled with each step.  Seeing a snake across the path she stopped.  The snake asked her to pick him up and give him safe harbor from the storm. ‘ I cannot do that,’ she said, ‘you will bite me and I will die.’
‘I won’t bite you,’ the snake replied, ‘ I just don’t want to die in the cold.’  After much persuading the girl picked up the poor snake and tucked him inside her coat.  Almost at once the snake bit the girl and as she lay dying she said, ‘You promised me you would not bite me.  You promised me I would be safe.’  The snake looked at her and said, ‘You knew what I was when you picked me up.’

Sometimes we know the truth but for whatever reason choose not to see it, or believe it, because we want it to be something else.  The he and she of it can change.
If there is a snake in your life are you willing to look at the truth, as painful as it can be?  We glorify truth, but the reality is that truth can be painful.  It can hurt to the core.  There is nothing easy about truth.   Sometimes we can live with what we want to believe but sometimes choosing to not see the truth can be dangerous.   Be safe my friends.  Be safe.

Run don’t walk.  It is better to face the truth and be safe.  Some of life’s snakes do not bite fatally at first.  Just nips of discomfort unsettling your mind and soul, confusing you and putting you in constant angst.

The moral of the story is clear but as one who has built in rose colored glasses it took a long time and a few snakes whose bites I survived before I was ready to deal with reality.  I rather suspect that a few unfortunate situations we get ourselves into, we in fact had a pretty good inkling would turn into the snake.

Do we hate the snake?  No, we just accept its character and nature.  You cannot hate it for its nature, we just have to be smart enough to part company ASAP and say NO.  Enough is enough is enough.

Souldipper, Regina and No Fear

Amy at http://souldipper.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/occupy-blogosphere-thursday-march-29-2012/#comment-8507 has a brilliant post today including an amazing use of egg shells that I would never have thought of.

She also talked about Regina Dugan and her TED talk on:

“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”

asks Regina Dugan.

Amy of course had a brilliant answer as will most of you and it was not until I was completing my comment to her that I realized Regina’s question was for me, unsettling.  When I first saw the presentation my heart thrilled to the potential of it all and then the strangest feeling settled over me.

Yup.  That feeling was fear.  It scares me to think I could do something, achieve something, without fear.  Yes Regina, the very thought is freeing.  Or it should be.  If I let go of my fear?

I’m thinking that before I can leap to fearlessness I am going to require some guidance on getting there.  Does anyone else understand the fear of fearlessness or am I just not grasping the whole idea?  Am I afraid of being fearless?  The answer has to be ‘yes’.

Logically I understand that those who excel have set aside any fear preventing success. Would I like to overcome fear.  I sure would.  It just all seems a little too scary.

Any and all advice is sincerely welcome.  There must be a way around this road block.

I can see overcoming fear of some tangible thing or at least trying to overcome it but my fears in some things are actually a security.  Or perhaps an excuse.

Measuring Success

Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom. – General George Patton.

I’ve been thinking about challenges lately, overcoming challenges, and what success is. What is a successful person? What is success? That got me wondering about how to measure success. There are a multitude of companies out there who make their success by talking about the measurement of success, and really that is all you can do – talk about it. They purport to motivate, help you define your own meaning of success, and as the presentations are paid for by the company you work for, usually to meet the company’s definition of success.

There are all kinds of tools out there to help you measure, to help you know that yes you are or are not successful. I’m thinking that the only way true way is not by measurement of any sort but by feeling. I’m thinking that success is immeasurable.

We, I, look at someone else and say, “That person is successful.” But when you speak to that person, he or she may not perceive being successful. Is success being satisfied with what you have rather than striving for something you do not have? Are we being deceived for the purpose of gain to believe that we must want, that we should strive?

I have always thought of Demi Moore as successful, someone whose work I admire (although I do acknowledge it is easy to confuse the actor with the character). She would say, I think, she is unsuccessful because her want is unsatisfied. How do we know that? She said, “What scares me is that I’m going to ultimately find out at the end of my life that I’m really not loveable.”

Even if you concede that success is something defined by each person the measurement of success is still feeling and not really measurable at all. Suppose your definition is money. Suppose you have eighty percent of the world’s money but are still not satisfied. It is not the acquisition of money, it is the feeling that it is enough.

Yup I’m thinking success is a feeling and no number of charts, written goals or affirmations can define success.
Feel it. Be it. Don’t measure it by someone else’s yard stick.

Joss Burnell That Crowing Crone Has Done It

My friend has created a wonderful book.  How do I know it is wonderful? Why because I assisted in my own little way so I have had a preview of what is to come.  Joss doesn’t have a ‘press this’ button so I have endevoured to copy and paste it her announcement of the coming work.  Some of us talk about doing….Joss does it!

Find her at crowingcrone.wordpress.com

Now for the attempted copy..

 

..I can hardly stand it!  The final editing of my book is done. The cover is ready and I’m just bursting with pride and excitement.  All that’s left is the hours of work to upload it to the self publishing software.  They make it sound so easy but it is time consuming for sure. But that’s okay.

 

A huge thank you to Chris King over at Bridges Burning for her wondrous editing work.  Chris was oh so patient, oh so gracious, and oh so paid attention to detail.  I am thrilled with the end product.

Also must thank my friend, photographer John T. Fowler for allowing me to use his image on the cover.  Isn’t it just beautiful?

And last, but definitely not least, thank you to my BFF Christine for reading the manuscript all in one go – she who hates to read at the computer!  Christine, your support and love, as you know, mean the world to me.

So, there it is folks.  I can’t wait to hold the first real copy in my hands.

Naps are for Smart People

Naps are for Smart People

Raw bundles of energy learning to assimilate into life give all in laughter, running and the work of the day which may include miles of trucks on knees, bionicals that soar to mighty heights and giggling with delight when this little piggy goes to market find restful recharging in the afternoon nap.

The simplicity of giving it your all should be a more obvious lesson to those of us who transitioned from toddler to adult.  How did we miss it?  At least for most of the grown up persuasion it seems daily toils are an effort and concentration seems to be on getting through it. We utter words, axioms, as though verbalizing acknowledges the wisdom but feel forbidden to actually do it full time.  Stop and smell the roses.  Love what you do.  

The back end of that last one is do what you love and is something I could never quite figure out.  For one thing not everyone could say what they love and so wander through live gritting their teeth doing something they think they do not love.

I probably could not have named one thing I loved to do in my youth.  Sure, I was a nurse to the core of me and loved it.  It was my calling.  But as a high schooler I worked every weekend and holiday and whether it was a laundry or grocery store or factory I loved it all.  For me I guess the pleasure was in the doing.

What if….we woke up tomorrow and decide to love everything we do?  Love that alarm and morning stretch, love that shower and first sip of coffee, love the action of getting dressed, love that drive or walk, love that work?  

There are all kinds of songs that say be glad for what we are given.  You know it may not change the world but I bet it will change us and who knows energy may abound.

Some have a dream and belief and will reach it but for most of us ordinary folk the true pleasure of life is all around us in the most mundane things.  And yes when we earn our rest at day’s end it will be one of regeneration although I believe the whole world could use the benefits of an afternoon nap. After all some of the most brilliant people in the world grabbed a little midday shut eye, probably because in their waking hours they  gave it their all.

Do You Ask Why?

Do You Ask Why?

Susan  posted on ‘Why’ today and when I first began reading it my mind was just rousing after a short nap (Yes when G2 has his quiet time so do I, he because of youth, I because of non youth) and at first her wisdom seemed simplistic,  then the magnitude of what she was saying hit.

It was an ‘of course’ eureka kind of moment.  As an adult the initial thought was…the story of my life.  How many times throughout my career and life had I experienced misadventures instead of adventures because I had failed to ask that very question?  I  immediately thought of the countless times a day that sleeping little boy in the next room asks the same question and we all chuckle at the innocence and repetitiveness, perhaps giving a light hearted or limited response never taking it too seriously.

Then I considered G2 who at eight might ask the question but first considers possibilities and puts forth options of either or.  There is such an amazing difference between the minds of eight and three but both are trying to learn, to make sense of their world with that very question.

I conclude that the worst thing we can ever do is to stop asking.  My world has changed physically somewhat but more importantly there now exists an astronomical change in perspective.  If I had read Susan’s post a couple of months ago I doubt it would have had the impact of today for now I see the world around us from a myriad of angles.

I also conclude the worst thing we can ever do is not to seek the answers to the question when we hear it and to help others around us in their quest.

Do you ask why?
You can find Susan at susanthecoach.wordpress.com

Where is Spatial Visualization When You Need It?


Where is Spatial Visualization When You Need It?

Thinking in pictures. Conceptualizing. Imagination with application. Good taste.  Classic lines. Feng Shui.  Positive Energy flow.

Heck, I am throwing ideas/things out there like partially cooked spaghetti against a wall, hoping something sticks.

Genes genes the musical fruit, the more you eat the more you …oops that’s beans not genes.  In my search for perfection or even comfortable mediocrity  I am forced to accept the gifts I have naught, as in ‘missed the train on that one’.

I am presented with a lovely living, creative, work  space in my son and DIL’s home and I am bereft, befuddled, beyond the ability to organize.  You see, I have no talent.  None.  In fact my good taste gene is so deficient I do not even have the skill to copy another.

Now maybe you can help.  Please visualize.  The room is rectangular and while actually measuring would be rather mundane I can describe it as a nice chip shot length, say 9 yards by a comfortable putt of 5 yards.

I have ‘things’ to place in the room and no idea where to begin because the flow of energy through the current design is nothing more than the bump and grind of error.

By days end there will be some sense of order, of comfort and no doubt a good degree of exhaustion, because thinking in areas where you were never meant to be is taxing on a soul who was I am sure destined to have all and sundry ready to do her bidding.  Reality bites.  Truly.

Sunday Morning Epiphany

Sunday Morning Epiphany

I have been thinking about contentment and wondering where the spice of life jumped off my mind rack.

It’s funny that it would be on my mind and that thinking about it would be such a challenge and it is.  The very thought today is niggling and wriggling and just out of grasp of making sense.  And then the clouds of confusion parted as I read my blogs of wisdom and mirth and more wisdom.

BOOM! Right in front of my eyes Susan at susanthecoach.wordpress.com writes:
“So often I hear people talking about being content as if that’s a good thing.”

Whaaat?  It may not be a good thing?  In fifteen words she once again rocked my world.  You see at this juncture in my life I thought the goal was contentment.  Immediately I scolded myself for stupidity, for short sightedness, for allowing a fall into the abyss of paths lost.

I know better than that but somehow I lost sight of the fact that contentment like happiness cannot ever be the goal.  It is the product of our work of our actions.  It is a reward.  We must do we must not just be.

Well Susan, that changes everything in my life.  Everything.  So now I am off to do, to achieve, to live, to accomplish.

And may all of you do wonderful things today also!

I For An Eye and No Mayo

I For an Eye and no Mayo

It’s 9:56 am and feels way too early which may sound strange since I have been waking at 6ish each morning and dashing off to the track full of vim and vigor, a brain brighter than the newest star or the last burst of a dying one.

Like a newborn babe struggling to get the feel, the flow of life, my days and nights are off.  Night before last my mind would not rest until I blogged so it was post midnight by the time I finished which still would have been okay but in opening the doors to the barn to let a few horses out I accidentally welcomed a fresh herd of ideas that kept me up til early light.  I slept until nine and actually woke refreshed and had a very comfortable feeling day.

Now my expectation was that I would self correct last night and would have had vile, delicious temptation not reared it’s ugly head.

My name is Chris King and I have an addiction.  Reading, reading reading.
I have become strong enough that I can actually put down a good book for bit and have learned that bedtime routine reading should be interesting but not gripping, unless it is something I can complete in a short time.  Short stories work well for this. Currently my pre sleep angel is Stephen Hawking.  Read a bit, snuggle down and dream of space, time, universes and the fact that most of this science is supposition, but oh so intriguing in a Disney Fantasy Land sort of way.

But my daytime fare, Clive Cussler/Justin Scott came to mind briefly as I was about to roll over the ledge of consciousness to restful, restorative slumbers, and I congratulated myself on my strength in resisting an all nighter with ‘The Spy’.

I tell you I felt like a Stepford Wife (the movie version with Nicole Kidman,which I love).  Somewhere in an alternate universe Christopher Walken was throwing a switch triggering my electrical system into action independent of my sanity.  I found myself, entirely against my will I assure you, pulling back from the precipice of comfortable slumber and getting up, walking to another room to get my fix.

Oh and the Title of this?  Well I slept in till 8:30 forgetting I was taking my sister to the Eye Doc so did not get any time for brekkie.  Right next door to the office is a Wendy’s.  Unlike every other fast food who provides breakfast fare, this establishment does not. Oh and they have no mayo for the sandwich…it was still good in a lunchy sort of way.

So here I sit with a spicy chicken burger and coffee while sis gets her eyes checked and really all I want to do is get back to my book.  Maybe for lunch I will have breakfast.

Forecast: Tired today so all systems should self correct tonight due to a 90% chance of exhaustion?

Becoming Pure of Heart

Becoming Pure of Heart

The search has been on this last while for information, inspiration to give definition to my existence.  We are all defined in some way by some measure, a definition we create and live with, but my search has not been so much to seek definition as much as refine that definition.  Perhaps redo that definition, and yes I believe it can be done.  However I have discovered it is a little more difficult that initially thought.

It is not that I do not like who I am, I like me very much, but I want to be more, the best that I can be.  Be the best you can be, a phrase we are all familiar with. When I first became comfortable in my own skin a few years ago realizing I like me I thought, mission accomplished!  One never knows how long we get to live in this life especially for those of us in the last third of our life as Shirley McLaine calls this aged, aging period in her book, ‘I’m Over All That.” And the thought occurred that regardless how much time I have on the third planet from the sun I want to make the best of it.

Yes I want to stay funny, silly, curious, compassionate, gentle, charismatic, but I want to be so much more.  It wasn’t enough to determine what changes I wanted to make or add, or at least it didn’t turn out to be that easy, because then followed the grueling work of first assessing where I was in right now.  In painting a picture of how I wanted to see myself I had to face up to some truths that I am much better at ignoring.  Now don’t get me wrong, denial is more than a river in Egypt.  It is a very successful tool in surviving life at times, but can so easily become a habit to slide into like a knife in a sheath, firmly wrapped and held.  Such a comfortable place to be. 

My sister has teased me for years about living in Chrissyville, which is such a lovely optimistic positive place, and we giggle about this wonderful land of joy. Chrissyville needs a do over or at least a more solid base.

I can now see the person I want to be and it is thrilling but UGH it means changing some habits and habits are difficult to change by their very nature.

I am defining this growth as Becoming Pure of Heart which may not be an entirely accurate depiction though it is somewhere to start.

This is not about changing or becoming something ‘other’, it is a journey to ‘better’.  I guess when I retired I thought I was done with growing in a way.  You know, settled, as mature as it gets, and then oops there comes a feeling that we never stop growing, that there is more to do, more to be.

But where do you start?  It seems easy enough to make a list of bad habits to break as a beginning.  Do I tackle the list one by one, which will require some sorely needed patience (another growth factor)?  

To choose not to evolve within the chrysalis we call life is counter productive to the universe as a whole.  Everything evolves one way or another or dies.

What works for you?  All advice or comments are certainly welcome as I have found a wealth of knowledge and wisdom exists in our blogging world.

Hope

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