Simple Inquiry

Louie Armstrong could be warbling as I write… He knows the power of love and need for connection its overtly noticeable in his tunes.  His words comfort us with melodious fuzzies, all warm and enveloping…inviting us to think of full green trees and fluffy white clouds.

My friends, the close ones, know socializing is challenging for me, no I’m bad at it really… like the opening night of Taboo bad. Unless I am playing a role or performing a duty… I blame the influx of social media, it seems acceptable to take the fall for my quirks as we ignore the fact I was a child of the 80’s. These days everyone else hides behind their phone allowing me to walk quietly through life with need for very little verbal communication.

God creates out of nothing. Wonderful you say. Yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful: he makes saints out of sinners. -Kierkegaard

The Great High Priest who’s name is Love requires more of me, created me for more in such a way He my innate existence calls for community and relationships. Now there’s the very challenge… Introvert with a community need ticking away inside. Where’s the manual? Where’s the toolkit that should be required as each person comes off the conveyer belt and enters life! Well I guess that’s the Big Book… The Word of God… The Bible. Albeit some of it reads a bit like the pages we used to use decoder rings from the mornings cereal box to reveal the answer… None the less it’s available to me, to us.

For those of us who do not have life figured out let me encourage you to keep pushing forward. I think there are times moving forward may even look like a slight shuffle of the feet moving st snail pace but I believe that’s okay. Though we are running a race to the finish to gain out great reward as we have all read… I think people have taken it a little too literal maybe. I’m no theologian but I don’t think Paul meant for us to live life at break neck speed. If we do not pace ourselves we will burn out and collapse. Then that’s a huge snowball effect of self deprecation for our delay and perceived failure. I think taking in the flowers and the clouds and the other things Mr. Armstrong described, in his lovely tune, can help us kee a pace of peace rather than living in high stress and teetering on the edge of the canyon where you may or may not fall and then may or may not survive the aftermath. We need to circle the wagons in our community and begin helping those falling and getting banged up in life’s trials. Like holding on to one another. There’s beauty I seeing things through with others. Loving someone else is no small thing it’s the whole thing. It takes some time to be able to love someone just as they are knowing they have greater potential and not trying to shove them off the cliff before they are ready to fly. We as a western collective of people are at our height of offense with every breath and turn someone is offended by something new. If we go looking for offenses we will find it but if we go looking for love we will find that too.

It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself. ~E. Roosevelt

 SO… I am willing are you?

If you find you are led to invest in a great work beyond yourself here is one opportunity… when opportunity comes knocking they say… don’t miss out on making change and enriching lives!

Believe me I’ve tried everything…

I currently find myself a little stumped. There is a hole in my life and I need to fill it… soon.  I know the whole world is out there and waiting but that is so ambigious and undefined.  A world changer doesnt quit,tumblr_m5kadkwxzn1qc6vgqo1_1280.jpg never stops, and is not easily swayed from the course.  I may not live to be a world changer but I want to know what its like to see so much change that I forget the state of the decline of our kindness in humanity.

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” – Henry David Thoreau 

I am currently in a place all readied for growth! A challenge… and an opportunity… Which of course, the “negative Nancy” that I am, originally looked at my situation and lack of change as something more like a punishment. I have to admit, recent developments in my personal life and career life have really brought a few sucker punches to my ego.  Talk about a lowering of self-esteem… and I think I can say for all women every where none of us generally can afford to lose an ounce of that! So what now?  What does a gal do when the target she has been aiming for is far from the current positioning?  To make the answer short, I have no clue! If only Kierkegaard werent so right in saying…  “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”  

There is something in my life missing… to create more centeredness or something calming.  I can say this “something” is proving to be a bit ellusive.  I am no quiter of course so I will conclude my pity-party shortly and gather my things and push forward.  I just continually remind myself of another one of Kierkegaards incredible nuggets of wisdom that goes a little something like…. “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”  That’s a doozy for sure but wise and on the nose, no less. I think it’s something akin to excellent self-preservational skills.  

Facing the facts of what I am and where I am must be the first step to being what and where I most desire to be…?  One thing I will share I have become fond of in this search is reading new things… introducing “new” anything to my life.  Exploring the unfamiliar and not being afraid to step out into the darkness because face it right now I feel like i have a blindfold on and am scrambling around this room called life looking for the lightswitch or doorknob.

 You can believe me when I say, I have tried everything but that is only regarding everything I know.  There is a whole world out there filled with things I dont know and havent tried so maybe today I will find something new. So on that note I must bid you adieu leaving you with one final thought on this game called life…

‘Come, Watson, come!’ he cried. ‘The game is afoot. Not a word! Into your clothes and come!’    –Holmes   -The Adventure of the The Abbey Grange

Drifting?

5ea7fdb6122ed2b9009ac6facc59451b.jpgTherefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. ” (Hebrews 2:1) 

The effects of the unheralded epidemic of social isolation…  I am growing to believe our culture that idealizes busyness and self-reliance.
A remarkable fact surfaced from the 2000 U.S. Census: more people were living alone during this census intake than previously in our country’s history: apparently approximately 25 percent of households consist of only one person. 

Purpose is the great divider that separates those who are simply living, from those who are truly alive.” -A. Rogers

I am continually incountering the need to belong and the need for independence among my clients and, in my opinion, my peers. Are we driven by the pressure to seek refuge from lives that are too busy by using isolation as a means to cope? Isolation in itself is not bad of course, however, too much of a good thing is, as we all have found in one form or another, not a good thing.  

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” -Henry David Thoreau 

4437a6acea76330524e2766b6730b8c8.jpgDispite our, often unintentional, isolation of self we cannot deny instinct for relationships and connectivity to community.  I believe people are increasingly retreating behind their personal electronics.  Can I just say, I believe our community continually participates in risky behavior patterns that lead us away from connectivity.  Such as: ear buds, smart phones, wifi… what else? I must suggest isolation is not a personal issue but a societal one.  I suppose it is all well and good to point out the issue I believe is only growing but what is the answer?  I dont know.  I have some ideas that could help…

  • Obviously pull our noses out of our phones in order to make eye contact
  • Possibly pull the ear buds out of our ears so we have the ability to listen well
  • Follow through with the “Let’s do lunch” line, not just use it as a cliche’
  • Potentially renew your faith… this provides opportunity to broaden your pool
  • Turn your workplace into a community by introducing commonalities
  • Get to know your elders and those around you with more wisdom than you
  • Consider creating new traditions and involving those you love

There is a difference between loneliness and isolation.  Loneliness can occur in a room fuilled with people and isolation is self pulled away from others…all alone.  To address lonliness I would like to explore Ravi Zacharias’ thoughts on the subject…  Ravi explains it all…

7-ways-to-demonstrate-expertise-and-build-trust-with-sales-prospects.jpgWe all face this issue at one time or another… and for some maybe often. I would love to hear your thoughts as this state is not going away anytime soon.  We must be intentional in fighting against drifting. We must be intentional in reconnecting and not allowing our feelings to dictate our action or maybe re-actions.  Reactions create regret.  No one desires regret so lets avoid reaction by making solid choices and having confidence in our actions post thoght process.

I would love your feedback and to learn more about YOUR experience with drifting, isolation, or loneliness and how you have overcome or maybe are still in the midst of the struggle with such a state.

Investing… Once you label you negate.

13600173_10157190054810650_5186308097961343737_n.jpgWhat is the importance of investing in others?  Each of us has something special about ourselves to offer the world and those we encounter.  Do we realize what those around us have to offer?  For instance…

I know I was writing stories when I was five.  I don’t know what I did before that.  Just loafed I suppose.
         -PG Wodehouse

I like the idea of human capital! Defined as…  a term popularized by one Gary Becker as…
an economist from the University of Chicago, and Jacob Mincer that refers to the stock of knowledge, habits, social and personality attributes, including creativity, embodied in the ability to perform labor so as to produce economic value.”  

What are you doing when you people-commit-for-their-reasons-not-yours.jpgare at your best?

In my opinion…
this is a good question to begin your personal self-exploration yet it can be flipped on it side to address other peoples qualities to celebrate and invest in as a valuable commitment.  This thought is deceptively simple yet incredibly powerful.  What good can come from investing in and celebrating others?  How do you discover new things about yourself and your own personal qualities?  Can that approach be applied to those you encounter in your social circle or immediate contact in the world?

“You understand Teacher, don’t you, that when you have a mother who’s an angel and a father who is a cannibal king, and when you have sailed on the ocean all your whole life, then you don’t know just how to behave in school with all the apples and ibexes.”
― Astrid LindgrenPippi Longstocking

compete-respect-attention.jpgWhat are practical things that can be applied in this adventure of investing in someone and rerouting all the attention we spend on ourselves for the benefit of bettering another and facilitating if not creating opportunity for growth for everyone involved? My first thoughts…

  • Leave feedback for was you have found helpful on my blog so we can all learn something new!
  • take an opportunity daily to learn something new not only about yourself but about someone else.
  • Reach out not only to the one you are investing in but look to the one investing in or has invested in you as a special individual worth someone else time and effort. 
  • Brainstorm after truly listening… then you may find the/a way to create, connect, and grow!

Do any one of these things or something you have in your own mind that I wish you would share with us in the comment section. Doing even one of these things on a daily basis will not only create a new healthy habit but begin a ripple of change that will flow much farther than you or I can imagine. We cannot twist anyones arm enough to create authentic desire to love, validate, affirm or invest in another human but we CAN set an example that could provoke such change. Is it worth your exertion of energy?

banner-human-capital-analytics.jpgOn a daily basis we are given innumerable opportunities for connection and generally speaking for society we keep our heads crammed into social media rather than addressing the face to face needs of those we know and encounter so often. What message does it send to those we care about, love, or my meet by happenstance… if we cannot stop, pause, see the need for validation and follow through then WHAT?  Is it a message of love and a banner waving above us displaying our character?  I would say more than likely NO. What does the banner say instead?

I would love for you, my readers, to share with me the ways you wish or desire others to connect with you and create investment in your life. I would love to hear even more how you have taken moments to invest in others and what that experience was like for you!
I am only one person, but I am determined to spend my life striving and pressing forward, to create even the smallest area or group of peopleMumford and Sons.png I encounter better for knowing me because knowing me is to know all I have learned form others. The more “others” I know the more I have to offer and offer what I know I shall… forever I shall offer all I have, know, and am to create greater… to build where there is destruction, to encourage where there is hopelessness, and to bring light into utter darkness even if all I can carry is the dimmest flame. Consider your role and are you content in what you currently “do” for others or strictly happy living a life of self-indulgent…

Maybe you begin this process with a gratitude journal. If I may suggest a quote to consider for the beginning of your gratitude journal it must be:

Once you label me you negate me. -Kierkegaard 

Burn Brighter

“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”

~Sherlock Holmes  The Hound of the Baskervilles  ~Chap 3: “The Problem”

What do I do when I am challenged by what I find in front of me… Eat my elephant one bite at a time.  How-to-eat-an-elephant.pngI continually reassess and ask myself what one thing I can choose to do today to move me forward.  I know that even one small step would be better, healthier… than sitting and waiting for change to come to me on its own.  Even a small step means progress.  I will not play you as a fool or lie; it is a difficult task.  I believe in building and maintaining a support system of friends, family…loved ones.  Let me suggest becoming a support system for someone else, this is also highly rewarding and helps to bring my situation into perspective.  You can create peace and foster patience by taking care of your mental and emotional well-being with deep breathing, contemplative prayer, yoga, meditation, exercise, and other self-care practices.  I would love to hear what self-care practices have worked for you or you are looking forward to exploring.

“If you can’t fly then run. If you can’t run then walk. If you can’t walk then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.

What about those moments in life when your situations “feels” so utterly overwhelming even taking a breath is hard? 0512ee728db10e9582225b3065d22480ecdeac-wm.jpgWhat about the time you are gut punched and can’t breathe in for what “feels” like the longest moment of your lifetime? What about then? I wish I could say something flowery and comforting here but those moments do occur and they fall nothing short of incredibly painful and possibly indescribable to someone who has yet to experience something of that nature.

Sadly, in my own misfortune…   I can say I have found myself living out this moment a few times and it has never become less painful or more tolerable.  I can say I have learned from past mistakes and poor reactions to these moments.  I guess my point in taking the time to share some thoughts on this subject is that I want you to know you aren’t alone, to remind myself I am not alone, and send out some positive vibes into the “interwebs” saying feeling are okay. Feelings deserve validation but not authority to make decisions for us… on that note I like the following thought…

Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced. -Kierkegaard

The Bible presents us with an opportunity to discover the depths of the story of the Lover of our souls pursuing us.  God longs to meet our deepest needs. For the most part…0518a87d41f10c599180dbbaa379d8c78b775f-wm.jpg we want to be loved and pursued. I personally struggle here with my immediate feelings and my logic.  There is this train wreck of a clash that occurs when I am highly emotional due to a situation derailing me and my plans of what life SHOULD look like versus my logic and analytical self that ferrets out the possibilities and opportunities to adventure through what is a paced journey not a race to an end destination…. What a challenge this is for me!

Let me just say for all of you like me out there… don’t give up when you feel so challenged that giving up seems to be the only answer within arms reach. Allow time to bring other things closer and keep breathing. I know for my personal experience… your light can get so dim you believe it must go out at any moment yet something keeps it lit… in those moments allow someone if there is anyone, allow them to help fan your flame. dreamstime_xl_2211268-Custom.jpg