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Self-satisfaction

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A Thread of Self-Satisfaction

   From the Inside Out

From the Inside Out

You are an unquenchable flame. There is nothing you can do to yourself that will eradicate you from the Universal fabric. … Be happy with yourself. The joy you experience provides an indestructible armor against any misfortune. Your voice was meant to be a lullaby giving comfort to the weary and security to the young. You were meant to be the giver and the gift. Do not attempt to take that from yourself. It cannot be done any more than you can take the stars from the heavens. You have your place in the Universe. Accept it with grace and good humor.  Gregge Tiffen (The Journey Continues: Economical Rates of Progress - August, 2010)

What bright, cheerful thread will you weave into the fabric of life today?

All too often in life we forget to be happy. It’s easy to overlook our personal satisfaction in a world that seems ever more vitriolic, chaotic, and demanding. This week in the midst of washing windows I experienced self-satisfaction serving as a powerful motivator.

The awareness came as I was about to ‘throw in the towel’ on a project that I’d actually looked forward to doing: washing the outside of the windows my home that were splattered with residue from recent stucco work. I had the tools, plenty of time with no other pressing demands, and I’d save some money. Getting an early start, I gathered my tools, set myself up, and climbed the ladder for the first window.

Before it was complete, I began to question my DIY decision. The task was more challenging than I remembered (it’s been years since I washed the outside of windows and I’d not done them in this home). I felt a bit uneasy on the ladder, even though it was quite solidly placed. The woe is me line “I’ll never be able to do this” was coursing through my body, mind and spirit. I felt inadequate, frustrated, and ready to stop to call the local window washer.

I did stop. I took a breath. I asked myself what I wanted. The answer surprised me. Yes, I wanted clean windows. And, I wanted the satisfaction of doing the job myself. I took another breath to look beyond my feeling of failure.

In recognizing that I wanted more than clean windows and being clear that ‘more’ was the satisfaction of experiencing me doing the work, my energy shifted. I understood in a delightful new way just how motivating being satisfied with ourselves, our choices, and our actions can be. I knew too that the topic for this week’s post had revealed itself.

As I breathed new life and lightness into the project, I gave myself permission to take as long as needed to do the job well and with ease. I let go of ‘getting it done today’ and embraced not knowing how the energy and time would flow to completion. I moved from one window to the next and within a couple hours 12 of 14 were spic and span. After a bite of lunch, a rest, and a short walk with Luke, I tackled blinds and windows inside which I’d planned to do much later.

By the mid-afternoon of the second day, I’d completed the remaining two outside windows on the ground level, along with three small upstairs windows (in and out). The energy flow then carried me to other projects on my list: installing a fan in the office window, cutting insulation for several windows, and patching a water-damaged wall. 

I was reminded that this is the flow we create with clarity, awareness, and intention. I’d added a bright, cheerful thread into the fabric that is life.

Of course, there have been times when I did choose to quit. I’ve learned there is rarely, if ever, a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ decision. Rather there is an outcome and what we learn (or not) from the experience. Deciding to engage someone to do the work might have yielded an insight of equal value (and, for sure, some unused muscles that are a bit sore would be silent today).

But, had I taken that road, I would have missed the joy and satisfaction of looking out this morning knowing that I’d accomplished the ‘clean window’ task. More importantly, I would have missed adding the question ‘what will cultivate my personal satisfaction in this event?’ to how I evaluate choices in life.

What about you, what will bring you a sense of personal satisfaction today? What bright, cheerful thread will you weave into the fabric of life today?

   The vast San Luis Valley and San Juan Mountains Greet Us in Early Morning.

The vast San Luis Valley and San Juan Mountains Greet Us in Early Morning.

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Consistency Need Not Be Repetition

   Sunrises on Another Beautiful Day in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Sunrises on Another Beautiful Day in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

The Universe works on consistency. Gregge Tiffen (The Language of a Mystic: Change – May, 2009)

Consistent awareness brings living to life.

I’ve been thinking about consistency (and what I’d judged as my lack thereof) in terms of daily focus and action toward developing my next work in the world.  I’ve noticed resistance to getting into my office at a certain time each day, distractions and being pulled toward other activities (mostly ones that keep me outdoors in the beautiful mountain air – longer walks with Cool Hand Luke, working with and caring for plants that wintered indoors and new ones with their promise of tomatoes and pesto later in the season). And, I have a long list of other projects around the house. After all, my home is my castle.

Unlike my ‘work’ (which when it forms won’t be work at all), these tasks are clearly defined step by step activities. My ‘work’ on the other hand is forming, so there’s no clear path or plan of action yet. I’m exploring, experimenting, curious. Wait! Or am I?

Exploring and curious are easy ‘yeses’. I’m reading more than ever, journaling, and seeking out an odd, diverse array of information. But, am I really experimenting?

In the sense that everything is an experiment, yes, I’m experimenting. But, in a more focused, intentional sense – ‘let me try this and see if/how it fits into my work’ – I’m not consistent in my action. Rather, I’m seeking, searching, (hoping?) that my next work will simply magically appear.

I’d like to write ‘but, it won’t. You need to do xyz every day for 30 days … (blah, blah, blah). That’s the formula for success.’ But the truth is (for better or not) I operate differently. I know that my ‘next work’ will appear, perhaps it already has appeared, but in a form that I’m not yet prepared to embrace. Hmmm … that’s an interesting possibility. But, I digress from ‘consistency’, the topic at hand.

Beyond being pulled in other directions, I’ve held a concern that consistency breeds habit, habit breeds routine, and routine turns a blind eye to awareness. As I write that idea, my experience says it’s not true (unless I allow it). For the most part, I’m consistent without losing my awareness in many domains: weekly writing and posting this muse on Thursday mornings, daily walks with Luke, my morning journaling and reading practice, daily tasks that shift with the seasons, and daily habits of self-care.

Consistency isn’t just ‘doing’ those things. Consistency rests in the ‘how’ I’m doing them. Am I engaging with awareness or not? Am I aware of how my fingers feel on the keyboard when I write? Do I see the subtle changes of light playing on the mountains during our sunrise walks? What am I hearing, and how is that affecting my attention?

When I’m not aware, I’m inviting routine, repetition, boredom. I’m alive, but I’m not experiencing life as only life can be experienced.

In 250 weeks of writing and sharing my muse, I’ve never experienced repetition even in the routine log-ins and clicks that get these words from here on my laptop out into the world. Frustration at times, yes; but boredom, never. Although I consistently hold Thursday mornings as ‘sacred’ to write the post, the writing unfolds in different locations here at the house and in different sequence to other morning activities. Some weeks it unfolds before our morning walk in my journaling time/place. Today, I write on the back deck in the cool morning air amidst buzzing hummers under a bright blue sky.

Each morning walk is filled with new experiences, even though most summer mornings we walk the same path. Today Luke’s alert nose picks up some interesting scent. I keep a watchful eye while he explores rather than demanding he come back. Sunbeams create a visual feast on the Sangres that changes day to day. Coyotes howl at just enough distance that I allow Luke to continue to roam. I adjust my pace so that my breathing is light and easy, just how it’s meant to be.

As I come full circle, I’m aware of my consistency in an entirely new and satisfying way. Yes, I have room to improve in terms of consistent action to bring forth my work. And, I’m pretty darn consistent in ways that I never considered.  Consistent awareness brings living to life.

Color me grateful as I respond to the call of the plants reminding me that they need water and a bit of TLC.

   Reminder to Mom: 'There is always something new to see, smell.'

Reminder to Mom: 'There is always something new to see, smell.'

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Awake? Or Not?

   Is Awareness The Road Less Traveled?

Is Awareness The Road Less Traveled?

Have you considered that there are a lot of things you might be giving time to that are not teaching you anything? Gregge Tiffen (Pleasure Is Short, Wisdom Is Infinite – May, 2008)

When you’re truly awake, everything teaches you something.

We tend to think that life’s learning mostly comes from big events. In particular, we look for the ‘life lessons’ in problems and challenges that we face. ‘What is my learning from this illness, accident, death, being fired, fighting with my best friend?’ we ask.  And rightly so, since life’s challenges consistently come with opportunities to learn. Life’s joyful events (weddings and celebrations of all kinds come to mind) likewise hold learning for us, and not just when something goes awry.

Considering the above question in one of Gregge Tiffen’s dandy little booklets of wisdom, I came to a deeper awareness that life’s learning isn’t just in the big stuff. Every moment is an opportunity to learn … IF I’m awake, aware, and want to do so.

Everything holds the potential to inform or teach me something. From observing, reading, taking in information in any form I learn ‘about’ things. I learn ‘from’ those things when I experiment with applying what I’ve learned about. Such experiments teach me what works (and what doesn’t).

Over the years I’ve learned to be less frustrated by experiments that don’t work and more curious about how to make something work. When an attempted repair here at home doesn’t work, I aim first to understand just what is ‘broken’. With that understanding, I can look for an approach that addresses that issue.  There was a time in my life when being unsuccessful at tightening a cabinet hinge that had pulled loose would have sent me into a near tirade of self-abuse. This week, realizing that the holes were stripped, I employed two toothpicks and a bit of wood glue with little ado. A good dose of self-satisfaction followed. I’d learned a new repair tactic, and I’d experienced a touch of how I’ve grown.

When I’m awake, I’m aware of how much Cool Hand Luke teaches me about caring for another being and of how much I’ve learned about the basics of caring for a pet.  When I’m awake, I learn how my choices about investments of time, energy, and money reflect my priorities. Or, I discover that I may want to choose differently.

As I awaken to greater self-awareness, it seems that the only things I “give time to that don’t teach me anything” are things that I do without that awareness.  When I look back at what I’ve given time to this week (or any week for that matter), I realize that my choices reflected my priorities in the moment.  When I’m awake to learning, the age-old bugaboo about ‘wasting time’ is silenced. From a game or two of mahjongg solitaire on the computer, I become aware that sometimes I need a bit of distraction.  From more than a couple games, I learn that I’m bored and/or avoiding something. From witnessing violence in the news, I learn how sensitive I am. 

Indeed, I’ve learned that when I’m truly awake, everything teaches me something.

   Early morning wisps.

Early morning wisps.

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52 x 4

   The Joy of Breakfast!

The Joy of Breakfast!

“Speak what you think today in hard words, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson’s quote and “Welcome” were the first words of The Zone written four years ago, August 15, 2013. Hence, today marks the 208th issue. A bit of celebration and reflection are in order.

That I’ve honored my commitment to write and share each week is personally satisfying and rewarding. That you read and respond is humbling. I’m grateful for both.

In that first post, I promised to “share what I think today; offer a quote for your muse to both muse and use; and propose an experiment designed to support your journey.”  I’m batting 1000 on the first promise, quite a bit less on the weekly experiment. 

I promised to be eclectic and to share from a variety of sources, systems and doctrines. Then, somewhere along the way, I felt drawn to mostly share the work and words of Gregge Tiffen. Instead of writing, then searching for a quote to fit, I found myself reflecting on what I was observing and/or experiencing at the time. Once I found a quote that deepened my reflection or understanding, I began to use that as a starting point for the week’s message.  You can read more about Gregge and my work with him here - http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/who-in-the-world-is-gregge-tiffen?rq=Gregge%20Ti

In that first post, I declared The Zone would be “a place to explore what success means; how its meaning fits with dreams and values; what shifts may be called for; approaches for creating your personal Success Zone; and an assortment of resources for the journey.” And, that the focus was intended to be “individually and collectively reclaiming personal power, a right and responsibility that we aren’t very well prepared for in our culture … look at where we’ve abdicated power and how to gain it back through the lens of ancient mysticism, brought forward to practical application in today’s world.”  It’s in these areas that Gregge’s work shines and continues to offer guidance on my own personal journey.

These four years and ‘52 x 4’ posts have deepened my understanding of life, of nature, and of my piece of the universal puzzle. While I continue to experiment and search for the ‘hows’, I’m clear that my focus and intention in the world is as it was when I began “… supporting a shift from the ‘more is better’/’win-loose’ paradigm to the paradigm of care, compassion, cooperation, collaboration, community with abundance for all.”

Next week begins year five.  While, I can’t say what the next four years or even four weeks of posts will look like, these weekly explorations will continue with these intentions intact.

As I said at the beginning, “I want to challenge your thinking (and mine!), to poke around the edges of what’s possible, explore how nature and ancient wisdom define and guide us to success. As Emerson suggests this eclectic approach may sometimes be contradictory. Yet, that represents the diversity and flow of life.  Things change. We change.  We can reconsider and adapt. Or resist and be left behind. Always there is choice.”

Thank you for the privilege of sharing my journey with you.  Seriously, it is a privilege to land in your in-box each week. 

Experiment for the Week: Notice your energy flow. What energizes you? What drains your energy? What new choice(s) are you invited to make?

   Another Beautiful Day Dawns in the Sangres

Another Beautiful Day Dawns in the Sangres

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Light In The Darkness

   A New Day Dawns ... 

A New Day Dawns ... 

The Universe did not send you here to match you up with the puzzle of society. What you do with you is your contribution. … Picture what it would be like if you were at your ultimate advancement. The power vibrating from you at that point boggles the mind. It would be like a bright light in a dark room. The world as we know it today is a dark room.  Gregge Tiffen (Pleasure Is Short, Wisdom Is Infinite – May, 2008)

This quote was written in response to a question about how to contribute to the world almost a decade ago and, it rings especially true for me today. That’s the way of Universal truths. They don’t change. And, the ways in which we can apply them are infinite.

I’ve grappled with the question ‘what does the market need/want?’ throughout the 30+ years I’ve been in business. It’s ‘the’ question that comes early in every marketing ‘how to’.  No matter how the question is posed, to this day it stops me cold.  I literally freeze when I think about defining my ‘target market’ and what ‘they’ need/want? Heck, it’s a full time job knowing what I need/want. In the many courses I’ve taken over these years, I’ve guessed, faked answers or simply ignored the question.

Instead, I’ve put most of my attention on finding ways to express me in the best ways I can whether coaching, or writing, or welcoming guests to my bed & breakfast.  I want to learn to be in the world on my terms, not the world’s. That’s the only path I see to be true to me. And, if I’m not true to me, then there’s little chance I will offer any light in the darkness.

I’m not sure what my “ultimate advancement” would be like. But, when my feet hit the floor each day, using my energy to be the best expression of me I can be seems like a path worth following. And, one that puts at least a little beam of light on the path with each step I take.

Imagine the light that could be brought to this world …

   Nature Doesn't Ask What The Market Needs, Yet Harmony Abounds ...

Nature Doesn't Ask What The Market Needs, Yet Harmony Abounds ...

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Life: Sandbox or Sandpaper?

   Robin sings and brings new beginnings of Spring

Robin sings and brings new beginnings of Spring

As willing adults, we are able to trust, be curious, be enthused, be pleased with ourselves, and be fully generous once again. We are able to know and feel and experience the peace, joy, and love creatively produced by Mother Nature as we live in harmony with Her.  Gregge Tiffen (Mother Nature – May, 2007)

I’m feeling my childlike nature come alive as the temperatures warm, the songbirds sing songs of courtship, and the green of new growth appears on the aspens and cottonwoods. The creek is flowing more freely and swiftly, and budding cones are forming on the pines. Will I embrace new growth and life as my sandbox? Or, will I succumb to the dreary news and the ways of the world that grate like sandpaper on my soul?

   The bright green of new growth as the snow melts and Cottonwood Creek flows

The bright green of new growth as the snow melts and Cottonwood Creek flows

I have children on my mind and in my heart this week. Up close and personal, my stepson’s daughter is about to celebrate completing her third year on the planet and begin her fourth. We haven’t met yet other than via the wonders of technology, yet she’s always in my heart.  That same heart aches at the suffering we humans have created for one another, especially for the children who face survival early on in life. Surely we can do better. We must.

It is the nature of a child to be trusting, curious, enthusiastic, satisfied with self, and generous. Those childlike ways of being are pure energetic qualities that we each have access to. They are the sandbox of life.

Somewhere along the way sandpaper arrived on the scene. We lost touch with our nature. Someone, maybe many, told us it was time to ‘grow up’ or ‘get serious’. They didn’t understand that life is a sandbox. Education and other systems of the world echoed this sad message.

   The curious eyes of Cool Hand Luke trained on a turkey vulture high on a limb stretching to dry its wings

The curious eyes of Cool Hand Luke trained on a turkey vulture high on a limb stretching to dry its wings

But changing our nature is not the way of nature. In nature there is consistency, nurturing, and growth. From a seed in the ground a tiny sapling pushes through the earth and, through all of its years, fulfills the pattern in its seed. It keeps on being that tree through cycles, weather events, nesting birds and insects who find a home there.

In staying true to its nature, the tree invites us to do likewise – stay true to our nature as trusting, curious, enthusiastic, self-satisfied, generous beings. As humans with consciousness, awareness and free will it is our choice to do so. Or not. Moment to moment, day to day we can develop our capacity to return to the life affirming nature of our childlike ways.

We do so by accepting the care and protection of the Universe and having unwavering trust in that protection. We experiment curiously with life’s events to discover how life works (and, in the process, we discover things that don’t). We expect and allow our curiosity to nurture enthusiasm as we experiment, explore, and, yes, even when things don’t turn out as we aimed for them to. We allow ourselves to be satisfied. Even when we think we’ve fallen short, we trust that we gave it our best shot and that tomorrow will dawn anew. Finally we give what we naturally have to give – a warm smile, a hug, a word of encouragement, a helping hand, a laugh and, oh, so much more.

When we embrace life’s events as a sandbox with everything needed to build castles in the sky, the rub of sandpaper fades away and we move forward in our natural state to create the world, our world, anew.

   Spring! A fertile time for bunnies, ideas, and other new growth.

Spring! A fertile time for bunnies, ideas, and other new growth.

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Cheerful Journey Inward

   Snowy Trail on the Journey

Snowy Trail on the Journey

Let us look to Nature for guidance as our code book for everything we need to know or to understand. Gregge Tiffen (Tax Time: Are You Taxing Yourself? – April, 2007)

I saw my first meadowlark of the season (a Western Meadowlark for those birders among you) on April 1st (no joke!) and heard its song the following morning, a snowy one, on a hike to the Ziggurat. The cheerful song accompanied beautiful views in all directions: the Great Sand Dunes and Blanca Peak to the south, San Juan Mountains to the west, the Collegiate Peaks to the north, and, our home, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east.  The beautiful, vast San Luis Valley floor surrounded us on three sides.  Ah, nature.

   The Great Sand Dunes and the vast San Luis Valley

The Great Sand Dunes and the vast San Luis Valley

This vastness is in contrast to the woods that surround us here at the Dragonfly House.  Except for a few glimpses of Crestone and Kit Carson Peaks, there’s little indication of the vastness to be seen a short walk away.  Here I see each tree, up close and personal.  I see the unique form each has taken on its journey of life. I see how shape is formed by how much light, space and moisture are available and by storms that have broken or redirected limbs.  I can gaze with contentment on a tree for a very long time, imagining its stories.

Nature speaks deeply and wisely. I wonder how deeply and wisely I’m listening.  Meadowlark reminds me to let the journey inward be a cheerful one (Ted Andrews – Animal Speak).  Much like me, meadowlark lives and stays close to the ground, home, the self.  I’m reminded to not stray too far from that which is my responsibility.

Nature reminds me that in life there is no purpose for complaint, for blame, for competition or comparison. These distractions are created by man. They separate us from our true nature and from nature herself.

I smile knowing that in my humanness I engage in such acts, even though I know that they contribute nothing to my growth or to happiness and joy. They hold no beauty, harmony or love. The smile acknowledges nature’s wisdom so much deeper than my own.  In nature I see acceptance, cooperation, and the unfolding of its blueprint as each seed falls on fertile ground.  Nature has much to teach me.

Again, I wonder how deeply and wisely I’m listening. 

Before my walk this crisp, clear morning, that was the last sentence of this week’s post. But nature held a different plan. She gently reminded me of another attribute: there is no death, no end.  Snow melts or evaporates. That’s a simple change of form. A tree ceases to add new growth and slowly rots, providing housing for many creatures before it crumbles and returns into soil. 

And, so it is with you and with me.  At some point the body ceases to function, and it changes form.  Consciousness, the soul, moves onward as well, just as it has for eons of time, if only we remembered just how long our true journey has been.

   Beauty Without End. Amen!

Beauty Without End. Amen!

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Directing Energy

   Sometimes even the 'best good boy' needs to explore the edge ...

Sometimes even the 'best good boy' needs to explore the edge ...

And God said, Let there be light; and there was light. Genesis 1:3

You give energy direction. When you focus on something, you magnetize raw energy.  Gregge Tiffen (The Language of a Mystic: Originality - January, 2009)

Continuing the theme started last week (http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/a-sound-beginning), the Bible as a code for how to operate on our planet, directing energy with awareness and clarity is the means by which we create joy and deep satisfaction in life.  Developing the skill to do so masterfully is perhaps the most powerful learning opportunity of life.

When we direct energy with awareness and clarity, we stay in the driver’s seat and avoid the ‘woe is me’ path of victimhood.  This doesn’t mean things always turn out the way we want. And, for sure, it is not about controlling others or even events.

It is about learning to take and experience life step by step with each step leading to the next.  It is the recognition that I’m always directing energy.  If my experience seems off course, I can choose to be angry, fearful or frustrated or I can choose to reevaluate and redirect the energy available to me.  If I’m feeling that the world is against me and throwing too many obstacles my way, I can take the time to remember that I alone am in charge of me.

As he so often does, my teacher, Cool Hand Luke, provided just such opportunities this week.  I humbly admit that my initial reaction when he disappeared during a morning walk was worry.  Although I was calm, the situation was in control. I was in reactive fear.  So reactive that, without thinking clearly, I walked home  to get the car, returned to the area where we’d been walking and drove down a road that never sees a snow plow in winter. 

Not a good choice, especially in the absence of awareness and clarity and direction.  You’ve probably guessed that I got stuck in a snow bank when I attempted to back out.  In my reactive, doing mode, I hadn’t taken time to give direction to the energy available to me, and I wasn’t paying close attention. 

I see this now, in hindsight.  In that moment, a call to a friend for help provided the reminder that I needed (and a suggestion as to who could get my car out of the pickle I’d created). “You need to be home. Luke knows his way around. He’ll be back. Take some deep breaths.”  And so I did just that. I took a breath. I began to walk home remembering that while I had no control of the outcome, I was in charge of the energy available to me.

I’d like to report that Luke was waiting on the porch by the time I got to the house, but that wasn’t to be.  It was an hour or so before he bounded up the steps (muddy, cold, matted with stickers and a very upset tummy – he apparently had quite an adventure in the snowy woods).  I welcomed him with open arms and a joyful heart. Not a trace of anger emerged in the two hours of tedious clean-up that followed.  In that period of waiting, I made a clear choice.  I let go of the expectations and plans I’d had for the day.  I put my focus on love and care for both of us. 

Just as I finished cleaning Luke up and settled him in his kennel to rest, help with the car arrived. Within a few minutes an easy tow and turnaround had my trusty vehicle back in her berth.  Life had presented me with a day of unplanned opportunities.  It was time for gratitude and a nap.

Although it is simple and in our design as humans on this Planet, mastering directing energy is not a single lesson we learn, but rather a commitment to lifelong learning through practice.  As I learned this week, it starts with simply remembering that the energy is ours to direct.

  Great place for a canine adventure!

Great place for a canine adventure!

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What Is The Question?

   It's beginning to look (and feel) like winter!

It's beginning to look (and feel) like winter!

When you are not focused on a question and not seeking an answer, you are not living. You are not feeding the planet, and the planet is not feeding you.  Gregge Tiffen (The Language of a Mystic: Universality, November, 2009)

In a world that honors knowing, questions often get a bad rap. We can feel inadequate when we don’t know something, hiding our unknowing by acting as if we do.  I’ve done that and, in doing so, I block the energy, the excitement, the joy and satisfaction of discovery. I block the energetic force of life.

Perhaps in part this is old residue from school days where having the right answer brought cheers, while the wrong answer or, worse yet, no answer at all evoked jeers (or worse).  What if ‘I don’t know, but I’m going to find out’ was seen as the best answer?

The theme of discovery emerged this week amidst finding myself in a post-election funk, having allowed some of the energy of the masses to enter my being. I realized that I’d lost any sense of curiosity and wonder about what is happening in the world.  I forgot my belief that all is unfolding as it should in the universe. ‘It’ seems all wrong and depressing to consider.  

In the thick of the funk, I was aware that when I walk through life’s events with curiosity, I’m energized, engaged, and have the capacity to hold life lightly.  That’s true of even the seemingly insignificant, but necessary, daily tasks in life. 

On the other hand, when I engage with a sense of obligation, my energy quickly fades carrying with it peace, happiness and satisfaction.  And, without a sense of something to be discovered, obligation seems to rule.  In musing about how to cultivate a culture of discovery, the question ‘so, what is the question?’ emerged. Forming a question is key to cultivating wonder and curiosity.

I have some what I consider to be ‘big’ questions. Those are the questions that there’s no quick, easy answer to. Rather, they live and they help me frame the more immediate questions, those learning opportunities that in due time solve the mystery.  I’m curious about what it means to be ‘in the world and not of it’. And, I’m curious how to live that.  I’m curious about universal law and how energy works, more specifically, how can I use the energy of each day more effectively?

When I’m fully aware, these questions guide my choices about what I read, what I participate in and how I do so.  More importantly, they help me cultivate my sense of wonder around life’s daily events where the learning opportunities are ever-present whether I recognize them as such or not. 

There are gems to be uncovered in every choice we make. Questions help me recognize them when I’m willing to ask and then seek to discover. 

What about you? What question will cultivate your sense of wonder today?  Tomorrow?  And, beyond?

   Our favorite spot on Cottonwood Creek is putting on its winter cloak.

Our favorite spot on Cottonwood Creek is putting on its winter cloak.

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Going All Out

   Going All Out for Halloween!

Going All Out for Halloween!

Waste is the one thing that the Universe does not allow, and to ignore the ‘Great Pumpkin’ of why you are here is a waste. You become part of your own excitement when you recognize that you living your life is you being revealed to you. Now that is productive! Gregge Tiffen (The Great Pumpkin: Was Charlie Brown Right? October, 2007)

I’m away from my normal environment this week, spending time on Colorado’s Front Range in the Boulder/Denver area, a few days in suburbia and a few in the heart of the City. Being away typically stimulates different reflections and new points of awareness. This trip is no different. Among several such points of reflection was noticing the abundance of Halloween decorations on our walks in the neighborhood where I’m visiting a friend.

After an initial snarky judgement (who me?), I found myself curious about the idea of ‘going all out’. Since I generally don’t go all out for decorations, I asked myself just what I’m inspired to go ‘all out’ for.

Ah, the Great Pumpkin of life was inviting my attention, offering the possibility of new awareness from my observations and judgments. Something new was being revealed, a new lens from which to reflect and, perhaps, to make adjustments:

  • What does it mean to me to ‘go all out’?
  • What do I go all out for in my life?
  • What new possibilities offer the opportunity to go all out?

My quick first list included much of how I live my life: my self-care, care for Luke, care for my home, as well as care for my coaching clients, bed & breakfast guests, and friends. Creating this weekly post and my commitment to my personal and spiritual learning and growth are other areas that I identified. Pretty satisfying.

The list led me to realize that, for me, ‘going all out’ is an inside job before it becomes an outside expression. It means bringing forth the best that is in me whatever that is moment to moment, without regard for what I’m doing. It requires that I be clear and harmonious. I need to keep the world’s chaos at bay and maintain balance within.

‘Going all out’ for me means what Gregge calls “attending to our own creativity”, whether I’m engaged in the day to day activities that make up life or in a big creative project. From that perspective, I can ask ‘what do I want to go all out for now, next and I can stay tuned into me to discover just what that will be.  And, that’s a pretty exciting thought to take out for a walk with my friend and our beloved pups on this beautiful, warm autumn day.

   Or Maybe I'll Go Play With a Dragon ...

Or Maybe I'll Go Play With a Dragon ...

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