19 September 2017
In the family it is said Gabe
"doesn't notice much--his head
is in the clouds." He
accepts this criticism as complimentary: "In the
clouds? Oh, thank you. I try."
are wise people who do not grieve
for the things
which they have not,
but rejoice for those which they have.
I am, fifty-eight, and I still
what I'm going
when I grow up.
People used to turn to spiritual directors for the answer
to life. Lately they've been turning to life
coaches. My money is on the monks who say that the
secret is to find God in the present moment. If you
do that, you'll discover the secret of life is no secret.
It's a baggy pair of overalls. Poems by Mary Oliver
and Billy Collins. Music by Louis Armstrong.
Chocolate by Godiva.
It's listening with both ears. Asking someone to
dance. Driving with the top down. Loving the
reflection in the mirror. Waiting up for your
parents. Giving everyone a chance. Not
counting strikes or foul balls. Not keeping
score. The cool side of the pillow.
The secret of life is knowing no one gets out of here
alive. Loving every minute. Carrying a
spare. Remembering to check your oil. Wearing
cotton. Knowing when to let go. Holding a
newborn. Laughing when you're happy. Crying
when you're sad. Getting out of the way.
Leaving notes in a lunch box. Daring to be
Having no regrets. Loving God regardless.
Making peace with dandelions.
friends who are computer literate. Charging less
than expected. Loving a child. Complimenting
your boss. Smiling at customers. Teaching
someone to spell. Making cookies from scratch.
Showing up with flowers. Reading the funny
pages. Skipping class. Starting with
dessert. Wearing red underwear. Burning the
good candles. Never growing up. Never growing
old. Country line dancing. A squeaky porch
swing. Saturday morning cartoons.
The secret of life is forgetting what you were mad
about. Toasting the newlyweds. Speaking up for
yourself. Praying for others. Playing peekaboo
with a baby. Flipping the mattress. Hiring a
maid. Wearing comfortable shoes. Knowing the
mail carrier's name. Letting traffic into your
lane. Singing Christmas carols in July. Taking
walks that go nowhere. Watching Gene Kelly and Fred
Thick chocolate milk shakes. Twelve-step
meetings. Decaf after 8 p.m. Trips to the
ocean. Merry-go-rounds. A swimsuit you can
bend over in. SPF 30 sunscreen. A warm of
gloves. Group therapy. Bubble baths by
candlelight. Flannel pajamas. A pack of 64
crayons. A song in your heart.
Obeying the speed limit. Returning what you
borrow. Pruning your apple trees. Leaving big
tips. Paying bills on time. Not getting bees
mad. Honoring your wedding vows. Performing
somersaults in the front yard. Thanking a
teacher. Getting on your knees to pray. Being
persistent. Ordering takeout. Letting your
employees leave early.
The secret of life is rolling down hills. Having
grass fights. Singing in the rain. Receiving
real letters written in cursive. Knowing where all
the birds' nests are. Leaving spiderwebs
alone. Asking stupid questions. Wishing on
falling stars. Never going to bed angry.
Asking for help.
Butterfly kisses. Winnie-the-Pooh. Campfire
songs. Open sunroofs. Rides in the
country. New socks. Tire swings.
Recess. A bowl of cereal before bed.
Fireworks. A good novel on the nightstand.
Drive-in movies. The Serenity Prayer. Someone
to confide in. A fat, juicy peach. Teddy bears
with one eye. . . .
The secret of life is no secret. It's sprinkled all
over your life. It's celebrating what already
is. Right here. Right now. All around
a collection of inspirational essays, Regina
shares lessons that will help people make a
difference in the world around them. The lessons
come from Regina's
life experience and from the lives of others,
especially those she has met in her 24 years as a
journalist. Each chapter is a lesson that can
stand alone, but together they form a handbook for
seeing the miracle of change everywhere.
people behind the words
and excerpts - Daily
Two - Year Three
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Attachment (an excerpt)
When you are attached to the way things are, it is
very difficult to put your faith in anything
else. You do not trust yourself to risk
experiencing anything other than what you already
know. You do not trust life to bring you the
results or rewards you desire. You do not trust
that you can and will handle whatever comes your
way. Without trust, there can be no faith.
Without faith, you will hold on to what you
know. In the process, you will not be making any
Attachment is another way of saying, "I don't
have faith in anything else! I know what this
is! I can handle this!" You want to
control your experiences and your responses. You
see, rather than fight with you for control, life will
send you into the pit of stagnation. This can be
Attachment reflects a lack of faith in your ability to
learn. Learning takes place three ways.
You learn by force. You learn by choice.
You learn by being forced to make a choice. When
you are attached to what you know or what you can
control, chances are you will be forced to make a
choice. You can choose to stay attached and be
stagnated in pain and confusion. Or you can let
go in faith that your next experience will be exactly
what you need, but did not know you needed.
Until today, you may have been holding on, attached to
the way things are. Just for today, open your
heart to the possibility that there is something great
waiting for you. Let go of anything or anyone
you are attached to, in faith that you will be
has been going on in your mind, your life, or
your heart can stop—right now, if that is
truly what you desire. However, you must be
willing to “do a new thing.” You must
spend a little time, each day, in devotion to
the truth about yourself and your life. You
must make a conscious approach to what you
think, what you feel, and what you do.
Devotion will clear up misconceptions that may
have obscured your vision until today!
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photo's from a spring
day at Lake Louise)
x 800 - 1440
two worlds: the world that
we can measure with line and rule,
and the world that we can feel
with our hearts and imagination.
We've lived near
Yellowstone National Park for several years now, which
means, of course, that we've made a lot of trips to
visit in the recent past. We tend to avoid the
place in the summer, but every once in a while we end up
having to drive through it in the more crowded
times. A couple of weeks ago we ended up having to
be there on Labor Day weekend, and it wasn't pleasant.
Mostly, the unpleasantness comes from people making
awful decisions. It's very crowded and congested,
but people still decide to stop in the middle of the
road just to look at an animal--no matter how much of a
dangerous situation they create with their
vehicle. You'll find roads entirely blocked off
because someone wants a snapshot of a bison or an elk,
and they're fine with stopping wherever they want, no
matter what the risk to others.
But this time through
I noticed something fascinating. As we were
driving westward through the Lamar Valley, we saw
hundreds of bison. They were everywhere.
And because there were so many of them, the people
watching them weren't creating any sort of dangerous
situations with their vehicles.
A few miles later, though, we came across a horrible
traffic situation--caused because people were parked
half-way into the road just to look at a single,
solitary bison that was sitting on the ground next
to the road. Cars trying to get by had to
squeeze through a narrow passage that was only
allowing one direction of traffic at a time.
It was truly ridiculous.
I understand people wanting to see wildlife.
It's a wonderful experience in a lot of ways.
But stopping that way causes a situation that's good
for no one, and very dangerous--both to people in
vehicles and animals all around. And it is
quite illegal to stop where there are no
pull-outs--the Park Service makes it very clear that
it's not legal to do so.
But what struck me
most on that day was the fact that these people were
creating such a dangerous situation over a single
bison when just a few miles down the road there were
hundreds more to be seen. "Keep
going," I wanted to tell them.
"There are many more ahead!"
And I started thinking about whether I do this in my
life. How often do I get so caught up in one
thing that I like that I don't even think that if I
were to leave it and move on with things, I might
find even more of that same thing up ahead?
How often do I spend my time looking at that single
bison because I'm scared that if I don't do so, I
won't see any bison at all?
And that does happen in the park--there are days
when there are no bison to be seen at all, no elk or
deer to be experienced. They're just
elsewhere. And that can be rather
disappointing. So if you do see one, you want
to make sure you get a good long look at it.
But we can get stuck in jobs that are unpleasant
because we don't trust that life has another job for
us somewhere up ahead. We can get stuck in
destructive relationships because we don't trust
that there's someone else for us somewhere in our
future. We can end up living in a place that
isn't good for us because we don't think there's a
better place available for us. We settle for
the place we live in and we pull over and park, not
realizing that if we're patient and we keep looking,
there will be something else out there.
We had the advantage
of driving from east to west through the park, so we
saw the very large herds first. The people
driving in the opposite direction saw the lone bison
first, and they overreacted, causing major traffic
problems and a very dangerous situation. If
there had been places to pull over safely and park,
there would have been no danger at all, but that
wasn't the case where they were. Sometimes,
it's better to deprive ourselves of a certain
opportunity because it's not good for us or for
other people. Sometimes we need to drive on
and not cause that traffic tie-up, and trust that
life will have something nice for us in the
future. And if it's not another bison, it may
be an elk or a fox or a deer--but it will be at a
place where it's safe to pull over and see them
without putting other people's lives or safety in
danger or disrupting traffic in general.
of the most important elements
of living life fully is
awareness-- awareness of our surroundings, of other people
and their motives and fears and desires, of the things that
affect us most in our lives, both positively and negatively.
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during the day, I consciously focus on some ordinary object and
allow myself a momentary "paying-attention." This
paying-attention gives meaning
to my life. I don't know who it was, but someone said that
paid to anything is a window into the universe. Pausing to think
even for a brief moment, is very important. It gives quality to
Most of us play it safe by putting our needs
aside when faced with the possibility of feeling guilty,
disappointing others, or facing conflict of some kind.
At home you may abdicate your need for support with the kids
to keep peace with the spouse, letting your resentment build
over time. At work you may allow a complaining
coworker to keep draining your energy to avoid
confrontation--and end up hating your job. Or you may
go right back to saying yes to family members who give you a
hard time to avoid their emotional rejection, only to feel
frustrated by the lack of quality time that you have for
yourself. We work hard to manage the perceptions of
others, ignoring our own needs, and in the end we surrender
the very thing that will allow us to live authentic,
meaningful lives--our power.
We have been trained to surrender our power
early in life. Each of us has been taught to live by
the rules imposed on us in both subtle and not so subtle
ways by generations of parental influences, societal
demands, religious expectations, and educational training.
Stand Up for Your Life
can approach the world's complexities, both its glories and its horrors,
with an attitude of humble curiosity, acknowledging that however deeply
have seen, you have only scratched the surface, you will find worlds
worlds, beauties you could not heretofore imagine, and your own mundane
preoccupations will shrink to proper size, not all that
important in the greater scheme of things.
Daniel C. Dennett
Breaking the Spell