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Click image to enlarge…

I have a morning routine that I like to follow. After taking care of my biological needs, I feed my kitties and go to the office under the stairs in our hundred year old farmhouse and listen to a Tara Brach meditation while I consume content from all my favorite sources via feedly and enjoy a cup of coffee…

This morning, things were feeling a little close — close as in the lesser known definition of ‘hot, humid, air not moving’ because there’s no circulation in that little room under the stairs. It was spreading into my thinking and I was becoming irritable, so, I moved out to the deck and set up shop with my humble chromebook. As I write, I’m now watching the sunrise as it rises over our fields. A gentle breeze is blowing at my back and my favorite kitty [who can not join me in the house due to my wife's allergies] is sitting like a muse by my side…

So simple! Sit and stew in a small place or move into one with more possibilities. The distance in our home is not more than 20 feet but sometimes a small move can have big consequences for the good…



Developing A Talent for Living…

Peaceful Warrior

Peaceful Warrior (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few weeks ago, I came across the movie ‘Peaceful Warrior‘ via streaming Netflix through one of those ‘list posts’ something like the top 20 inspirational movie speeches of all time. All the standards were there; Braveheart, Rocky, etc. but in the list I also found this clip:

I became interested in Dan Millman‘s story and writing and this morning I found this on FinerMinds:

“Life comes at us in waves of change. We cannot predict or control those waves, but we can become better surfers.” – Dan Millman

How can we as humans develop a talent for living?

In life, we all have moments of perfection. For example, the day you embarked on the sojourn of a lifetime. The moment you realized you found true love. The birth of your child. Or the moment you finally realized your self-worth is more important than anyone else’s opinion of you.

But with these delicious moments comes many more moments in life that are sent to test us. Whether they come in the form of everyday routine, or more significant life events that irrecoverably change us – we must learn how to strengthen our minds, body and soul so we don’t continuously get caught in the undercurrent of these challenging times.

In this wonderful TED Talk, best-selling author Dan Millman (he’s the guy who wrote Way of the Peaceful Warrior) explains how.

Source: A Talent for Living: How to Surf the Waves of Change and Become a Peaceful Warrior

Watch Dan Millman’s TEDx talk below and then if you’re interested, watch Peaceful Warrior via Netflix or Amazon Instant…

Be Yourself: No More, No Less

Be Yourself: No More, No Less
Michael Woolson writes:

Be yourself. It’s a statement that people often dismiss as something doting mothers say, but it is actually a very poignant piece of advice.

For instance, have you ever seen a guy who’s trying to be more than what he is? He’s fifty-five, driving a sports car, wearing designer clothing that someone half his age would wear, trying to pick up twenty year olds, and showing off his face lift or hair plugs. It’s like he’s saying, “I’m not old, bald, or okay-looking. I’m a hot, rich, thick-haired, young stallion.” The truth is that he’s not fooling anyone. Wouldn’t your opinion of him be more favorable if he accepted his real age and appearance? This is an extreme example, but almost everyone does it on some level. If you’re an okay-looking person, be an okay-looking person. I know, how dare I say something like that. But the truth is that we are only beautiful when we stand firmly in what we truly are. Continue reading


Letting Go

Melody Beattie writes:

Stop trying so hard to control things. It is not our job to control people, outcomes, circumstances, life. Maybe in the past we couldn’t trust and let things happen. But we can now. The way life is unfolding is good. Let it unfold.

Stop trying so hard to do better, be better, be more. Who we are and the way we do things is good enough for today.

Who we were and the way we did things yesterday was good enough for that day.

Ease up on ourselves. Let go. Stop trying so hard.

Today, I will let go. I will stop trying to control everything. I will stop trying to make myself be and do better, and I will let myself be.

via November 19: Letting Go.



This note…

…is all I have left from the woman who, for the most part, raised me in my earliest years:

The backstory? My birth father abandoned my mother and me before I left the womb. My grandmother [who we called 'Ma moo' because some cousin that went before me couldn't say Grandma]  and my maternal relatives rushed in to fill the gap. My mother worked as an administrative assistant to support my grandmother and me in my earlier years. This note was written around the time I was 3 or 4 when my mom met and married my dad and we moved out to start a life of our own. Today, on the 34th anniversary of her death with tears in my eyes I remember this remarkable woman and the sacrifices she made for me…

It was only last year on this day I learned that when she was married to my alcoholic grandfather there was a time when she left him and put her 4 children up for adoption to protect them from the horrible abuses at home — abuses so bad that my uncles later enlisted in WWII preferring to fight the Japanese and Germans to living with their own father. My grandmother, however, reconsidered out of a deep and abiding love for her children and went back to my grandfather despite the verbal and physical abuse. The number 4 is significant because my mother is the 5th child in the family and she was conceived after my grandmother put the family back together. In a very real way, I would not be here if not for her courage in the face of overwhelming adversity…

Today and every day I thank God for the gift of this courageous woman in my life. There are so many happy memories of early life with her — to this day when I feel happy, I sometimes crave a Cherry Coke. Why? When I was a good boy she took me to the soda fountain and rewarded me with one. This note — 50 years old this year — hangs in my home office and is a constant reminder of her loving presence in my life then, now and always!


Don’t Should on Yourself

Is expectation keeping you from living your most authentic life?

Our upbringing, the media, our friends, and our selves are all constantly pressuring us for more, better, or different.

“By now, I should ________.”

Many of my patients finish that sentence with:

  • be married
  • have more money
  • have children
  • be happy
  • have better work
  • be having fun
  • be on vacation
  • be retired
  • own a home
  • have no debt
  • feel better

It’s one thing to recognize something as uncomfortable or as going against your desires. It’s an entirely different thing to witness this “bad” thing and then, on top of it, judge yourself for the existence of this “imperfection.” Now, this one weight upon your mind has become two. And this can snowball if you consciously know that you’re judging yourself, and then—you guessed it—you start to judge yourself for judging yourself. Since we’re all striving to feel comfortable in life, why create all this undue pressure?” Get more here: Don’t Should on Yourself « Positively Positive.

Ancient grilled cheese secrets

Molly Snyder writes:

I’m far from being a gourmet cook, but I do enjoy preparing food and experimenting in the kitchen. Over the years, I’ve made hundreds of grilled cheese sandwiches and, since it’s the last day of Dairy Month, I’m sharing the few simple rules I follow that produce a perfect grilled cheese sandwich every time.

    1. Figure out which pan works the best for grilled cheese and never, ever use another one. Re-buy the same pan if need be. I have made the mistake of using another pan because my grilled cheese sandwich pan was dirty, and it throws everything off. Don’t mess with success, people.
    2. Butter the bread generously. This is no time to cut calories. Promise yourself you’ll eat a salad for dinner and get slathering. The bread slices must be entirely covered in butter to make this thing really work.
    3. Make sure the pan is medium-hot enough. Don’t throw the sammy on the griddle too fast or else it won’t turn out like the sandwich that dreams are made of. And if it’s too hot, it will burn the bread without melting the queso. It’s zen and the art of grilled cheese time – something only you and your stove top can figure out together. Also, put a lid on the pan to trap the heat and melt the cheese all the way through.
    4. Use sliced or shredded cheese. If you have a block of cheese, don’t cut into chunks, rather shred it before putting it between the slices of bread. It will melt better that way. Slices work well, too. But don’t buy those plastic-wrapped ” cheese” slices if you can help it. They melt well but they’re kinda gross.” via Molly Snyder ‘s Blogs: Ancient grilled cheese secrets.