Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What Blocks Me

ImageSometimes inspiration comes from unexpected sources. Recently I came across these thoughts by producer Chuck Lorre:

The things I have spent my life depending on are undependable. Because they are things. And things are, by their very nature, subject to change. This applies to people as well.  People change. People leave. Inevitably we all leave. The world, therefore, is essentially an unstable, uncertain environment. 
That's why I choose to believe in, and depend on, an unchanging , eternal, omnipresent non-thing. . . I try to experience it.
Easy to do do looking out at the ocean. Hard to do looking up at the ocean. Easy to do when you look  at a baby. Hard to do if the baby is next to you on a long plane flight. Easy to do when yo look at a pretty girl. Hard to do if were were once married to her. 
Clearly what blocks me from transcendence is judgment. If I were able to suspend having an opinion on drowning, other peoples' baby's vomit, and alimony, if I could simply see these things as they are  - actions devoid of meaning until I give them meaning - I could experience some semblance of union with the infinite sublime. . .  
Chuck Lorre Productions, #482 (vanity card)

"Judge not. . . lest ye be judged" is a warning common to literature and religious teaching throughout the ages. Perhaps I am particularly afflicted by it; it's a regular and big battle in my quest to become a kinder, gentler version of myself.  In fact, as Lorre so gracefully said, judgment is what blocks me from "union with the infinite sublime." 

What helps, when I can remember to do it, is to notice the judgmental thoughts and autopsy them as they come across. It helps to make a conscious effort to look more deeply at the person or situation I'm judging. It helps to refuse to gossip. It helps to remember it's not all up to me. It helps to remember to "worry about myself; judgment is God's realm. It helps, often, to simply take a deep breath.

In judgement, compassion, humor, and rational thought all go by the wayside. I am not able to be my best self. I am not able to provide clear and unbiased support, to laugh at my own weakness, or to make a perspicacious plan in an emergency.

I endeavor to live my life faithfully and with gratitude. I hunger for that treasured "union with the infinite sublime." Being present with what is delivers it.

Friday, January 2, 2015

More is More, Less is More and More is Better! Happy New Years!

It's a new year  I am celebrating one more beautiful year on this planet and 20 beautiful years with my dear hubby. I love the new year and the new start.  After several years of Six-Word Resolutions to plan my leap into the new year, this year I decided to begin with images that evoke me. I started with Pinterest.

I took some time to reflect on what has inspired me this year: beautiful, healthy food, time with my family, some really good reading, putting away my computer and getting back into knitting, a friend returning from her year away, starting work at a school . . . the list is a long one. Then I selected the images that inspire me to fly high in 2015.  (Here is my visual board.)

After sitting on these for a couple of days, I am happy with my final list, loosely divided into six categories:

Take time each day to meditate, reflect, process, choose and -- the biggy --be grateful.
Shore up my support system.
Remember, quality is more important than quantity.

Eat healthy to live happy. Listen to my body.
Add steps and exercise; push my potential.
Reach my goal weight, 1 pound at a time.
Remember, to consider both quality and quantity.

Keep a jar full of happy memories to review on December 31.
Spend more time with those who matter most (and the converse: consider carefully time commitments)
Write letters - 1 per week
Remember, more is more!

Possessions and Finances
Live in a way that is congruent with our values. Buy into loving them more and buying them less.
The above includes fast food.  Schedule a fast food fast and Foods stamps budget - planned abstinence.
Remember, less is more (fulfilling).

Consider certification; reach a decision by fall.
Continuing education on autism.
Remember, work smarter, not harder.


Knit more!
Read good books - at least 12
Go camping 5 times this year.
Play games with the family weekly (or better, more often)
Remember, more is better!

Live my faith: Serve at church and in the community; nourish a generous spirit.
Create a plan to pass on leadership in the hospitality ministry.
Remember to do less, but better.

I find making resolutions really helps me keep my focus on what matters to me.  I write them on pretty paper and post them on my fridge and look at them quite regularly. I fall out of step with them at times but then step back in again in due course. If I did not make resolutions, I would be less purposeful in creating the life I love to live!

I'd love to hear what you are resolving this year, and how you are going about it!