My TV Myself

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Nestled comfortably in my cozy Lazygirl I stare at a blank TV screen, blacker than the highway to hell.  That’s an assumption, of course, since to the best of my knowledge, I have never actually traveled down the road to hell, though sometimes I wonder if I might not be headed in that direction.  Come to think of it, maybe I’m a current resident there now, but too dense to see it.  Hmmm . . .

In the midst of my reverie it dawns on me that quite possibly, I might just be sitting here staring at a picture of the workings of my mind.  Uh oh.  Blank.

With the touch of a button I have the power to bring it alive.  It is a world unto itself, rife with stories, news, fantasy, sports, profundity, stupidity, truth and fiction.  It is a magnificent bearer of both beauty and horror, and of love and hatred.

Within and behind that blank screen lies an entire world that is not real.  It entertains me and offers escape, distraction, and welcome relief from the gnawing fear of what is to become of us and of the world that we once knew and loved, a world that seems to deteriorate in bits and pieces day by day.  It magnifies that fear by spewing ugliness into our world with news and fake news or whatever else there is to tempt us into believing that our world has gone round the bend into raging, complete and utter, full-blown insanity.  Nuttydom, I call it.

Here is my mind mirrored back to me in sound bytes.  Here is my mind giving me the rich opportunity to decide what to watch – or not – the perfect mirror of the meanderings of my mind.

I stare for awhile at that blank screen in my head and realize that it’s up to me to decide.  I decide what I do with my mind.  I decide which channel I tune into, and I have the power to change what I wish to see in my mind’s eye at any given moment.  I can tune into what brings me a greater sense of peace and calm, and joy and happiness, or I can choose anxiety, anger, frustration, or powerlessness in the face of a world governed by leaders who put their personal interests ahead of those they supposedly serve.

But beware!  A choice for love isn’t easy.  It requires diligence, vigilance, determination, intention, and perseverance–just a few minor little attitude adjustments.  Without those, a love-chooser easily becomes prey to the tricky uncanny antics of an ego intent upon surviving it own annihilation in the face of love.  Wth any luck, perhaps the planet and its inhabitants will survive annihilation as well.

Maybe one day I’ll write about those crafty little ego antics, but for today, I’m going say goodbye to the blank screen and hello to the light.  Today, I focus on choosing love.

 

 

Where’s the Easy Button?

legs-window-car-dirt-road-51397.jpegWhen I was a kid my family used to accuse me of getting up earlier so that I could loaf longer. Back then I was insulted by their accusations, but now I see that they were dead right. If you want to get something done quickly and efficiently, ask a lazy person because they’ll always find a way to finish the job in a hurry so they can default back to lazy mode and loaf longer.

I was born the youngest in a family with three girls, one who claimed me as her very own personal adorable little baby doll. There was nothing that I was required to do for myself because she anticipated my every need and met each one before it appeared, haircuts included. I picked the perfect environment to nurture my lackawannado nature. My loving sister-mother exacerbated my slothful ways by playing right into my lazy little hands. Bless her heart.

I’m never overwhelmingly thrilled about staring at myself and my shortcomings eyeball to eyeball, but sometimes they just pop up out of nowhere and knock me off center by making me realize that I still have a lot of work to do on myself.   Rats. I want to get it over with fast so I can get out of here, whip through the pearly gates, find myself a comfy lazygirl where I can plop down, put the feet up, relax, push a few buttons, and have the world at my beck and call to fulfill my every need.

The lazy in me always wants it all to be easy.   I have probably been a queen in a past lifetime or two, living a peel-me-a-grape sort of existence, surrounded by servants and handmaidens scurrying around me like bees in a hive providing for my every need while I sat popping peeled grapes and bon bons into my greedy mouth.

Wouldn’t it be a fabulous life if we didn’t have to struggle? Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to work ourselves stupid just to get by? Shouldn’t it all be easy? And fun? Now that would make life really worth living. But alas, such is not always the case.

Take blogging for example. Sometimes I sit down and just start writing and in the space of an hour or less a beginning, middle, and end have emerged onto paper and I can call myself finished. On other days it’s a real struggle with writing, rewriting, guessing, second-guessing, and—well you get the idea.

Yesterday was a slogging blogging sort of a day. No matter how many attempts I made to get it right, it always seemed to come out wrong.   I ended the day with yet another unfinished blog, frustrated and exhausted from the effort of trying to write through a weary mind and blurry eyes. I learned long ago that if I find obstacles hurled on my path every other step of the way that I’m going in the wrong direction. The harder I try to get where I want to go, the more mired in quicksand I become until finally I sink into an abyss of failure and quit fighting the good fight.  Going against gravity sends me reeling backwards every time. When will I learn to listen?

My friends refuse to believe me when they hear me call myself lazy. They point out my organizational skills and neat freak ways and tell me that there is no way that I am lazy. Well—maybe they are right. On the other hand, their perspective is vastly different from mine. They see only the outside, while I am on the inside looking out.

Perhaps after a lifetime of procrastination and claiming that I do my best work under pressure, I’ve come to my senses and realize that it’s easier to do it now rather than later, and that if I continue to stumble over obstacles strewn across the path to my end game,, something is amiss. If I don’t slide gracefully into my destination I am on the wrong path.

What is classroom earth but an opportunity to give us free will to decide what we want, set out upon a journey toward our dreams, choose our path, watch our step, and make in-flight corrections when necessary?

Yep. I want it to be easy. If it isn’t, something is amiss. It behooves me to figure out what that is and fix it while I still have the chance. I’m on a mission to earn my right to that comfy lazygirl in the sky.  Oh but wait—I’ll probably be so busy doing whatever it is that folks do in up there that I won’t have time to sit down and enjoy it. Well, perhaps the joy is in the doing.  Or the journey.  Or maybe both.  If the bottom line of doing is joy, then I’ll take whatever I can get!

Hallelujah!  This blog showed up with a beginning and an end with a middle somewhere in between.  And it all happened before my second cup of coffee. I think I’ll quit while I’m ahead.  At least for today.

May all of your doings be filled with joy this day.

 

 

Potties, Plaques, and Plagiarism

 This morning the universe very kindly presented me with inspiration courtesy of plagiarism and bathroom wisdom. It makes me wonder what, if anything, these two subjects might have in common but who knows—there may be a lesson lurking in here somewhere and with any luck I’ll find it.   A day without a lesson is a day without sustenance. Food. Coffee. Sunshine. That sort of thing. Wine. But those days are over. Who knows—maybe it’s about the seat that’s up. All I know is that I didn’t do it.

The first bit of inspiration came from a blogger who wrote about her concern over the plagiarizing of blogs.   I’m too new at this point to even think of worrying or caring about that yet, so I won’t.

The second was an email from my friend Ginny Daly who sent me a copy of a lovely meditation by Richard Rohr.

“ I noticed today’s meditation has a similar version of my “like likes like.” And to think here I thought I’d made that up years ago as it applies to an advertising concept I was teaching at the time.  How silly of me!”                                                            

It reminded me of a similar experience of my own.

I thought I made up a couple of things too, like “rom com” and “mani pedi”. Okay, I admit that mani pedi might have been around before I thought of it, but who knows? But rom com? When I first spoke those words to a very hip and knowing friend, her response was, “What’s a rom com?” Romantic comedy, silly. What else? Whether or not I actually made those abbreviations up in my head, or whether I plucked them right out of the universal pool of clever tidbits to be snatched is a question that will never be answered.

When I worked in a law firm with five floors each with a restroom, and each restroom with four stalls, I’d often find myself in desperate need of a bathroom while on the fly. I’d make a frantic dash into the nearest one of twenty stalls in such a hurry that sometimes I didn’t take the time to check out the condition of the seat.

I quickly learned that there are two sorts of women in the world—the sitters and the squatters. I’m a sitter. It’s those squatters that get me every time because their total lack of bathroom decorum manifests in a soaking wet seat as a gift for the next poor sucker with a frantic need for blessed relief. No wonder the squatters squat. They don’t want to become the victim of the last squatter’s gift. Heaven forbid.

Please don’t get me wrong, squatters. I’m sure that that there are the sweeties among you who clean up after yourselves in consideration of the person who follows you

But for those who don’t, I have a few words for you. Be considerate. Clean up after yourself. If not, be prepared to be faced with the possibility of some sort of nasty karma that may rise up and bite you in the butt.

By the way—apologies to those among you who are old-school ladies who think that butt is a dirty word—or at least an unladylike one. But it’s only an informal abbreviation of a legitimate word, right? Forrest Gump said it after all—except when he said it, it came out butt-tocks. Rom com. Mani pedi. Butt—not a big whoop, right?

Well so anyway, why don’t I wipe the seat, you may wonder? Duh. I don’t have time. I’m too busy trying not to wet my own self! When I have time, of course I check. When not, oh well . . .

In a fit of fury after one such encounter with a soggy seat, I stormed back to my office and flying fingers typed the words that fell out of my head.

If you sprinkle when you tinkle,

Please be a sweetie and wipe the seatie.

Okay, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I I made that one up. I taped a copy to the inside of the door in every restroom—all twenty stalls.

Twenty years later, I sat myself down on a seatie in someone’s home and—voila—I found myself staring eyeball to wall at one of those wood-carved plaques—you know—the kind you would find in a road-side souvenir shop that advertises the name of the town on everything that isn’t nailed down? There it was. A jagged-edged dark brown wooden plaque hanging on the wall in right front of me with the exact words I had written so long ago. Probably plucked right off of a shelf in some gift shop in God Only Knows What Town, USA.

Imagine my surprise ten years later when I wandered into the restroom of an elegant consignment shop and discovered a variation of the original hanging in all its glory before my very eyes. Yep—there it again—framed, hand-lettered, décor matched, and misquoted. It makes me wonder how many other versions and variations there may be somewhere out there in the world hanging around making money without meCome on! I mean, if you must plagiarize the plagiarizer, the least you can do is get it right, right? On the other hand, perhaps it was an intentional act on the part of the perpetrator designed to appear as if it might be an original thought. Hmmm . . .

Well now, as you might imagine, the discovery of these unexpected sightings conjured up some interesting and somewhat disturbing mind meanderings. Darn! Someone stole my stuff and claimed it as her own (it has to be a her, right?) Darn! Someone is cashing in on my creativity. Darn! Why didn’t I think of that? Darn! How dare she? Darn! I’d like to have a word with the sneaky little shedevil—if only I knew who she was. Darn! I wonder how much money she made that I didn’t?

Let that be a lesson to me.

Wait. What’s the lesson?

I don’t know, but I’m sure that there must be one in there somewhere. There always is. Maybe it has to do with not getting too attached to what I think is mine. Letting go. Finding humor. Forgiveness—not just for the perpetrator, but for myself for whatever I think I did or didn’t do that I should or shouldn’t have. I think I’ll just think about for a while and maybe I’ll get it figured out before I croak. On the other hand, maybe by then, it won’t even matter.

Hmm. That last thought makes me wonder. What does really matter?

Stay tuned.

Gone Fishin’

IMG_1592When I finally learned the meaning of the word blog, (the net really has some weird lingo, right) I remember that some rather unflattering thoughts about the whole concept invaded my head. Hmm. I think that some folks might call that judgment. Whatever. Anyway, tending to be the sort who shies away from the opinions of others, I wondered what could possibly intrigue me enough to make me want to sit down long enough to read the ramblings of a stranger. And now here I am, a stranger—and getting stranger every day—writing my own opinions about whatever zany idea comes to mind, mostly comprised of the ramblings and opinions within my own head.

So I say to myself, “Self,” I say, “Why have you devolved into doing the very thing that turned you off so many years ago?” Why? Well that could be the subject of an entire book that may or may not ever be written. Well maybe someday, but certainly not today . . .

Meanwhile, I’ve been fishing around the WordPress website and reeling in a lot of insight thanks to some of you bloggers out there who make otherwise boring old mundane everyday stuff sound so fascinating and scintillating that I can’t stop reading. How do you do that?   The least I can do is say thank you for inspiring me to get busy and try to figure out how to make my own boring mundane stuff, like doing the laundry or cleaning out a junk drawer sound so appealing that it lures in even the wariest of readers.

Reading stuff from other bloggers almost makes me feel like a voyeur, peeping in on the private thoughts of similar minds. It makes me think that maybe I’m not the only crazy one out here in the world, all alone and trying to make sense of what is.

Those private thoughts are a vein of gold that offer insight into the heart and soul of the one willing to share. But for some reason—mostly fear, I suspect—most of us are unwilling to tell on ourselves because it can feel unsafe and it’s really scary to be vulnerable which makes it tempting to take the safe route and hide out behind plastic smiles.

Here’s one of the most valuable lessons that I ever learned about vulnerability. The more willing and able I am to tell the truth about my deepest, darkest feelings to a trusted listener—someone who will not judge me for whatever heinous crime that I have committed, or for the way I feel—the more there is of me to love. And the more someone shares with me, the closer I feel to that person because I realize that we’re all struggling with the same human stuff and it helps me understand that we’re all trying to keep ourselves from drowning in the same fishing hole. That makes us all lovable—at least on some level—if we sink the lure deep enough to reel in the treasure.

Well schazzam—I just went from zero-to sixty-in five seconds, from humor over the mundane to the infinite depth of a soul. I guess life’s like that sometimes. One minute I’m wallowing around whining about how hard it is to get a grip, and the next I am laughing at the antics of the great cosmic clown who thinks its very funny to confront me with a wasp wandering around in my purse in a car barreling along at sixty mph, or finding chewing gum stuck to the side of my shoe. Hello? The side of my shoe? What—was I walking around on my ankles?

So I’m going to tell you the truth. Well, I’d really like to tell the truth, but to be perfectly honest. I’m not really sure what the truth is. But you know what? My game plan is to figure it out and start learning the lessons that I flunked along the way before it’s too late. Straighten up and die right.

One of the first things that I’m going to work on is finishing what I start. I have a myriad of incomplete stuff that I’ve written, just hanging around waiting for an ending. My life in a nutshell.

And it would be a little embarrassing to fess up to all the other loose ends dangling around in my life, so I won’t, at least for now. Maybe later, when I feel safe enough. Making a commitment to doing a blog on a regular basis is a step along the way.  Allowing success to creep in—even better. That would check a couple of things off of my bucket list—perseverance, procrastination, completing the incomplete, not giving up in a fit of “I can’t,” drop the fear of success. Oops. That sounds like a lot more than just a couple of things, doesn’t it?

Meanwhile, ho boy, I’ve got a lot of work to do. Maybe I’ll just take a little minute and go fishing.   Well maybe not. I must confess that I have gone fishing only once in my life, and that was the day when my fish hook got caught in my cousin’s eyelid. Therein ended the fishing venture forever after. So that’ the truth—albeit a tiny part of it. Stay tuned.   And that said, we have reached the end of the fake fishing blog.

Hey wait a minute! Did I just finish something?

So it would seem.

Yeah, but will anyone read it?

Why? Does it matter?

Oops. Something else to figure out before it’s too late!

Here’s a little PS that just popped into my head.   The instant that I push the publish button and post a blog, I’m riding on a high that lasts for two or three days. Then slowly, when the high begins to fade away into the ethers, something nags at me until I get around to doing the next one. Huh. Have I just acquired another addiction? Well, whatever. I’ll think about that tomorrow.

Oh, and a final PS.  The picture that you see is one that I took myself.  AND, I might add, I am very proud of myself for figuring out how to get it from my personal photo library onto the top of this page.  For me that’s a huge deal–even bigger than writing a blog.  Now that’s something worth celebrating!

 

 

 

The Pink Panther

Whew. Thank goodness it was only a dream, but unlike others that fade off into the far distant recesses of the mind never to be heard from again, this one is indelibly etched in my head. The last thing I remember before waking was having the thought, “Oh my God! I hope this is only a dream!”

The details are fuzzy except for the intense feeling of being utterly captivated by the presence of an adorable, lovable, tiny little pink cat that showed its affection by way of a fuzzy pink body weaving and curling itself around my leg. Whoever heard of a pink cat—one that did the occasional morph into blue or white? Hmm. Chameleon cat. I should have known then and there that something was a little off. Beware of the bizarre.

Like a kid with her nose plastered against the glass of a pet store window, I simply had to take that precious, cuddly, creature home with me. With its delicate petite little body, I concluded that she must be a girl. No matter. I’ll just assume that she’s a she, and that her name is Pinky.

Once home, I watched in horror as Pinky quickly morphed from her sweet little critter into a vicious, terrifying predator with me in sight as her target. The first hint of trouble was when she lunged at me and tore the bow off my black strappy dress-up sandals while they were still on my feet. The next was when she sank her teeth into my derriere and refused to let go. Maybe she was jealous of my sexy sandals. Who knows? Why was I wearing dressy sexy shoes in my casual dream world, anyway, but hey—it’s a only dream, right?

Worse than the teeth sunk into my flesh was the underlying awareness that I had abandoned my dear sweet, gentle, loyal, loving, trustworthy, safe, obedient dog Charlie in favor of the sneaky, vicious, con-artist pink panther terrorist that had pulled a nasty bait-and-switch con job on me. What kind of awful person would ever do such a dreadful thing to a dearly beloved pet? I was heartbroken and horrified. Try as I might, I just couldn’t seem to find a way to unlock the jaws of the panther or get Charlie back. Somewhere between trying to clean up the blood from my nasty wound and regretting my actions about Charlie, I woke up to the realization that it was only a dream, thank goodness, and I breathed a great sigh of blessed relief to see Charlie lying peacefully next to me in his bed. It gives a whole new meaning to “Sorry, Charlie!”

Well okay then. That was yesterday and today is today and since then I’ve been wondering what in the world ever brought such a nightmare upon me. Was this a concoction courtesy of the great cosmic clown to provide me with writing material chock full of grist for the mill? Did the clown hold a mirror up to my face to show me aspects of myself that I’d prefer to keep hidden away? If so, good grief, I certainly got a face full of NOthat can’t be me! Is there a vicious ego named Pinky lurking somewhere in the deepest recesses of my being awaiting the first moment of weakness as an opportunity to lunge forth and attack?

Oh but wait—what about Charlie, the gentle, trustworthy loving companion, adorable in spite of his quirky little ways? Charlie, the abandoned? Charlie, the loyal friend of many years from whom I walked away lured by the seduction of a temptress with a cunning plan to con me into selling my soul to the devil?

Oh but wait another minute—where there’s a Pinky there is also a Charlie. Pinky the devil, Charlie the angel, both coexisting within the deep recesses of my soul. I get to choose. I can be a Pinky, or I can be a Charlie. Or I can bounce back and forth from one to the other like a ping pong ball moving at warp speed. I get to decide which one I wish to live with, which one I will take home and make my own. Sometimes I am a slow learner, but this one was pretty easy to figure out. The answer is obvious.

So here’s the thing, Pinky. I’ve got your number. I know who you are. Your name is ego and your game is fear. You think you can con me into believing that you’re my best friend, but in reality, you are my worst enemy. Oh, I might believe you for a minute or so, but eventually, I’ll wise up and figure you out. You’re very good at your act, but I’m not buying it. You should be on the stage—the first stage out of town. If it ever comes down to a battle for my soul, a battle between love and fear, trust me, Charlie and I will win because we fight on the side of love, and because we know that fear is only something that we make up in the nightmare of our minds. Love trumps fear and love always wins in the end.

One other thing occurred to me as I pondered my way through the day. Perhaps at the moment when I take my final breath and close my eyes for the last time, I will wake up on the other side, look back and realize that it was all only a dream. Or a nightmare, depending upon which side I have chosen to live. My days may be numbered, but the good news is—I can still make what’s left of them count on the side of good.

C’mon Charlie, you sweet precious little thing, you. Let’s go out together hand in paw and have ourselves a nice, peaceful little walk.  I won’t leave you again, I promise.  Ever.

Oops – There’s a Hole in My Head

pexels-photo-262488.jpeg I ask for creative inspiration and my front tooth falls out. Ha ha, very funny oh Great Cosmic Clown.

Lest you think me totally irreverent here, let me just say that I have a profound love and respect for the grand mysterious workings of the Universe and the power that lies behind it, whatever It is called. I also have a great appreciation of the gargantuan sense of humor inherent within it. Would that all of life’s tricky little life lessons were given with the ingredient of such wonderful humor. Perhaps they are, if one seeks to find it.

My six companions and I seek and find a Thai restaurant across the street from a theater on the upper west side in New York City.   We are on a two-hour dinner break from a riveting woo-woo workshop by Tom Kenyon. Those interested in checking out the woo-woo can go to tomkenyon.com. Yes, I’m finally willing to own up publically to my woo-woo leanings. It’s all a part of my recent decision to be authentic and true to myself—a risky move involving extreme vulnerability and definitely not for the faint of heart. If you haven’t tried it, and if you can muster up the courage, I highly recommend it.

Three of my dinner companions are eating with gusto, enjoying each morsel with that oooh-uahhh glazed-eyed look that overtakes one while in a fit of a divine dining delirium. Unbeknownst to the glazed-eye set, the rest of us are trying to choke down what might possibly qualify as the worst meal of our lives. But no matter – we aren’t really that hungry anyway after our tasty but frenetic lunch at a deli where we are rendered half deaf courtesy of fellow diners intent upon outshouting one another, and sound bouncing back and forth from a bare floor to a ceiling that suffers a serious lack of acoustic tiles.

Waiters whiz by our table at break-neck speed taking and delivering orders, while beleaguered busboys swoop away dishes from tables and send them crashing into huge plastic tubs just behind our booth. We are so intimidated by the pace of it all that we are reluctant to ask for the things that one would hope for in a deli, like straws, lemon, and mayo. Oy. Ulcer Gulch Deli.

Meanwhile, back at the dinner table, I bite into a soft summer roll dipped in peanut sauce and encounter something that clearly is not on the ingredient list. I discreetly sift through the ingredients that actually belong there, and while no one is looking, pick the unidentified object out of my mouth, and place it on my plate. It wasn’t very long before I discover that said mystery object is the fallen tooth responsible for a new gaping hole between two front teeth. I am now compelled to not to smile and talk simultaneously. Rats. I should have ordered soup.

Dinner ends and we return ourselves to the care and keeping woo-woo Tom who describes for us the upcoming meditation that will focus on clearing out the obstacles that prevent us from self love—obstacles of all manner and size, and sometimes brought on by seemingly insignificant things, such as a bad hair day, a pimple on a nose, or . . .

At this point it is all I can do not to jump out of my seat and shout, “Or a gaping hole in the middle of your smile!” but I manage to restrain myself.

It’s a very interesting exercise to rate oneself on a vanity scale from one to ten. A bad hair day might put me at about a six or seven depending upon the degree of badness. A nose pimple (I don’t even like that word) could be a four. But a toothless grin? That could well rate a minus something.   I’m mildly embarrassed to confess that the toothless experience explodes my awareness into the realization that appearance means more to me that I’d like to admit.   Bad hair days, pimples, and a toothless grin make mighty good grist for the self-image mill. Happily, I find comfort in knowing that I’m not alone in this one. What a great opportunity to get a good up-close-and-personal bird’s eye view of vanity and the role it plays in my life. Did I mention that I’m also working on willingness to allow myself to be vulnerable? What? Confess my shortcomings in public and own up to my own vanity? Horrors!

Day is done, and Amtrak whips us southward through the black of night toward home. A 2:30 a.m. arrival time seems forever away. I fidget in my seat in search of a wee modicum of comfort and try to settle in to review the experience du jour.   I find myself rehearsing my response to friends who will surely ask me about the day.   “Well,” I’ll say, “the weather was cold, windy, and miserable and mealtimes waffled between bad and worse.  One traveling companion suffered from an ailing shoulder, another was barely able to walk due to extremely painful knees and back, and I lost a front tooth and my dignity, all in one innocent little bite.” Well, so other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play? It was amazing. My years of travel in the wonderful world of woo-woo made it all worthwhile and bearable, and allowed good humor and acceptance of what-is to make it a deliciously savory experience.

Joy of joy, my dentist responds to my frantic texts for a fix-it plan before I reach Wilmington. As I drive to my appointment the next day, my mind unleashes a flood of appreciation and I feel suddenly overwhelmed with gratitude for the extra hole in the head, along with its attending vanity crush. It reminds me about how grateful I am that my teeth have remained faithful and in tact in spite of decades of wear and tear. I am grateful for my dentist, God bless him, who was willing and able to make time on his Sunday during a beautiful Memorial Day weekend to do damage repair and plug up the hole where a tooth should be. While I was at it, I gave thanks for my trusty and reliable little Honda and the gas in its tank, and the money to pay for damage repair, and for everything else in my world that came to mind as I wheeled my way around a traffic-jam free beltway. I gave thanks for that too. I just love the random bouts of unexplained joy brought about by an abundance of gratitude! Come to think of it, at moments like these, I love just about everything.

When I told Dr. Fixit of these newly minted insights, he said simply, “You made lemonade.”

I did. I made lemonade. The ingredients are a sweet, delicious blend of authenticity, vulnerability, and gratitude with a pinch humor mixed in for a bit of comic relief.

And speaking of sweet, in closing, I’d like to offer a special thanks to the Great Cosmic Clown for answering my request for inspiration in such a creative, humorous, and holy way (yes, pun intended). It’s so easy to love the lovable. The trick is to love it all—the good, the bad, the ugly—the bad hair days, the pimples, the holes in places where holes are not meant to be, and most especially, the self—and all those other selves out there in the world that some days seem so utterly unlovable. Right now, this minute, I love it all.  Right now, this minute is all I have. I’d better get busy then and make the most of it while I’m still a grateful guest of our beautiful planet earth, courtesy of the grand cosmic plan.

It’s About Time

AC1C6000-D68D-486D-BFFD-1C8712309839.jpegLord have mercy me I’m doing my very first blog and putting it out there for all the world to see. I haven’t a clue about what I’m doing and I’m scaring myself stupid, but what the heck. What’s the worst thing that can happen? I think the game plan is to quit agonizing over whether it’s perfect, and just dive in and do it. It feels like something akin to stepping out of an airplane at 10,000 feet. I can do it, but that first step is a gonna be a whipdoozie.

When I was 29, a palm reader told me that I should write. “Write what?” I asked? “Anything,” she said. Huh. Never thought of myself as a writer. Okay, fine, so I’ll write. Write what, I asked myself. Children’s books seem like a good place to start. Easy peazy, right? Well, maybe not so much . . .

So I focused my energies on acquiring the necessary accoutrements that would make a great writer out of me. Desktop computers were not yet a gleam in the eye of Bill Gates, so I had to bite the bullet and settle for a Selectric typewriter. It was way better than candlelight and an inkwell, I suppose and at least the keys didn’t get stuck together, but still . . ..

Set-up mission accomplished, I was ready.  I parked myself back in my little blue meditation chair and awaited the inspiration that was surely in there somewhere. Yeah, but where? My trusty typewriter was growing cobwebs while I played the waiting game.  Many months—or maybe even a year or so—passed by, and then one day I heard a compelling voice in my head command, “Get up, go sit down at your desk and write.” Bossy voice!

Again there was that pesky question, and again I asked myself, “Write what?” I dallied in my cozy little corner in a state of major resistance for a while, until finally against my will, something propelled me up and out of my comfort zone, hurled me into to my office, and plopped me down at my desk in front of my typewriter. Oh no—now what?

The voice again. “Put your fingers on the keys and just start typing.”

Type what?

Anything. The alphabet. It doesn’t matter. Just start typing.

So I started typing and I haven’t stopped since. Decades later after reams of typewritten pages, newsletters, a book and more journals that I can count, the voice returns and nags yet again. This time it is with a one-word command:  BLOG.

WHAT? NO! I don’t want to!

Why not?

Because it’s a lot like work. I don’t have a clue about how to start a blog. What if nobody reads it? Worse, what if somebody I know reads it and doesn’t like it? What if I sound like a raving lunatic in need of a one-way ticket to the nearest funny farm? Furthermore, who’d want to read anything that I wrote? What’s the point? What makes me think that I have something to say that is any different or better than what anyone else wiser and cleverer has already written?

What’s different you ask? What’s different is that this is your story and it is unique. Everyone has a story, but you are the only voice that can tell yours. Every story matters. Every story is different. Every life holds value and offers gifts to those willing to hear, willing to listen. Every story is of great benefit to at least one someone else. If your story finds its way into the hands or heart of just that one, if it benefits just one life, will have been worth the effort?

Your job is to use your voice and not concern yourself with the opinions of others. The only outcome that matters is the completion of the work that you came here to do. Do you wish to reaffirm your commitment to your spiritual path and purpose? If so, it is time to take that first step, jump out of the plane, and free fall joyfully through your fears with faith enough to know that you are safe and supported even though appearances would have you believe that you are surely headed toward a crash landing.

Okay fine. I get it. It’s about time to quit wasting time and get on with it. After all, I’m not 29 anymore.  And I’m not getting any younger, either. It’s definitely about time.  Bossy voice.

Deep breath in — Geronimooooooo . . . YIKES!   Wheeee . . .

You’re welcome.