Keep In Touch

November 30, 2010

Keep In Touch

Keep In Touch

Greetings, fellow trudgers on “the road of Happy Destiny”…

This morning I woke up late. As I scrambled out the door, I noticed a beautiful sunrise, but decided there was no time for prayer and meditation — I’d do that “later.” I got on the road, and as I waited at a red light it struck me…

I have four phones and a cellphone.* I check emails, voicemails, texts, and chats. I write letters and send cards. I’ve used Palms, Blackberrys, Androids, iPhones, iPads, tablets, cell phones and smartphones. I have Macs, MacBooks, iMacs, netbooks and PCs. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. I use wikis, webinars, and the world wide web. I send PDFs. My calendar has “events” and the events have alarms, ticklers and pop-ups: my reminders have reminders. I check Google Calendar to tell me where I’m supposed to be, Outlook to tell me what I’m supposed to do, Explorer to tell me where I was, FourSquare to tell me where I am and a Garmin nav-device to tell me where I’m going.

But I don’t have time to sit still. If I’m resisting prayer and meditation, perhaps time isn’t my issue.

Just for today, whatever my issues might be, I’ll ask for the willingness to “Keep In Touch,” and make the real connection. At times it might feel uncomfortable, challenging, tenuous, inconvenient, suspicious, unfamiliar, frustrating and even unsavory. Perhaps it just feels like “a waste of time.” But I’ve heard that if I take these actions — in spite of my own best thinking — it will bring me into conscious contact with a power greater than myself: the power to change and live life on life’s terms. And that, I’ve found, is when great things will come to pass.

Happy trails!

*PS  Staying connected: There are approximately 6,000,000,000 landline and mobile telephone subscribers worldwide, which is only slightly exceeded by the approximately 6,900,000,000 men, women and children currently populating the planet.

Survival Guide

November 24, 2010

Survival Guide

Survival Guide

Greetings, fellow trudgers on “the road of Happy Destiny”…

thanks |θa ng ks| |θøŋks| plural noun
• an expression of gratitude: festivals were held to give thanks for the harvest |
• a feeling of gratitude: they expressed their thanks and wished her well.
|θa ng k|verb [trans.]
• to express gratitude by saying “Thank you”: Robert gave thanks for the meal and left.

giving |giv’·ing| adjective
• to turn over control to someone without cost or exchange; to make a gift of
• to relay | pass along
• to have the tendency to give: Mary was a loving and giving person.

I’ve heard it said that recovery is a three-part process: Thanksgiving*, Christmas and New Year’s.

In order to navigate these minefields I need a “Survival Guide to the Holidays.” My Survival Guide starts with lists. Not the lists of Resentments I have carefully squirrelled away, nor the lists of Grievances I want resolved (or aired!), nor the list of “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” against which I plan to take up arms.

I was reminded by a friend today that holiday sanity starts with observing the name: “thanks-giving.” If I can make a list of Things to Give Thanks For (“gratitudes”), even grudgingly, I feel resentments (real or imagined) start to melt away.

When I list Things I Freely Forgive (whether I mean it or not isn’t critical) I feel my grievances lifting, and I remember the feeling of serenity.

When I list Things I Can Do to Be of Service (including acts that will not be found out), it’s in this giving that I experience the frightened, self-centered person inside of me diminish — as they say, “self-seeking will slip away.”

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! If things get rough, try Robert’s technique above (the final example for the word “thanks”).

Happy trails!

* PS Thanksgiving trivia – although primarily a North American holiday, there are countless other harvest festivals. Here are just a few of them…  Lughnasadh – Ireland [Celtic]; Dozynki (Poland); Guldize (Cornwall UK); Emtedank (Germany); Dongmaeng (Korea); Crop Over (Barbados); Pongal (India); Solung (Himalayas); Ikore (Nigeria); Khuado Pawi (Burma); Mehregan (Iran); Eid Al-Adha (Muslim); Niiname-sai (Japan).

 

Drop the Rock

November 14, 2010

Drop the Rock

Drop the Rock

Greetings, fellow trudgers on “the road of Happy Destiny”…

A snap quiz for today…

Question: What’s the best way to walk with a large rock? *

Life is rarely described as easy, but at times, if some of us were judged solely by our behaviors, one could conclude that we prefer a hell that’s familiar to a heaven we’d have to get used to.

Today’s quiz reminds me to ask: What’s my rock made of? What am I getting out of carrying it? Would life be better without it? Do I need help putting it down (letting go)? How do I ask for help? When the help is offered—do I accept it?

“Boy, you’re gonna carry that weight, carry that weight a long time.” — The Beatles

Happy trails!

* PS: Answer: Drop the rock.

 

The Serenity Flowchart

November 5, 2010

The Serenity Flowchart

The Serenity Flowchart

Greetings, fellow trudgers on “the road of Happy Destiny”…

Most everyone has heard of The Serenity Prayer.* It’s used to help calm ourselves down before we go and do something incredibly stupid. Everyone seems to agree it works well.

Once in awhile, however, it doesn’t seem to fit. Sometimes I’m not in a prayerful mood. Maybe my left brain has kicked in with an attack of “S.O.O.T.” (Sudden-Onset Over-Thinking). I may have an unpleasant flareup from the pain and unsightly itch of Agnosticism… or perhaps I’m just having one of those “My-Will- Be-Done” days.

When I’ve amazed myself struggling to change the things I can’t, or wallowed in the misery of not changing the things I can, looking back I see that nine times out of ten before I started I faced a much bigger problem: I couldn’t tell the difference.

From that point of view, one could make the case that the Serenity Prayer is backwards. After all, courage is absolutely fabulous, and I’m a big cheerleader for serenity, but don’t we have to have wisdom first?

That’s why I created the Serenity Flowchart. Using this, I eliminate those pesky “false starts,” getting all worked up over a pointless struggle, or those embarrassing bouts when I watch everything crumbling around me and do nothing. Now I ask for wisdom right off the bat, and I know without wasting time or energy whether to get busy, or to just lean back and chill!

Happy Trails!

*P.S. The Serenity Prayer (in its best-known form) reads: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; And wisdom to know the difference.” As serenity goes, it has a significantly better track record than the Serenity Flowchart above.