June, 2010


28
Jun 10

A Change of Plans

Hello, me again.  It must be Monday.    

In the last blog entry I shared about a friend that talked with me about finding my resonate passion.

I thought about my friend’s charge and was all geared up to talk about PASSION.  I was going to talk about finding your passion, the power of passion and all sorts of good stuff. 

I was planning on exploring how discovering your passion drives behavior and how passion can easily override logic and throw our lives out of balance.  The same fuel that drives life can burn up a life. 

I even ran across some fancy dancy quotes from minds greater than mine expressing the blessings and curses of passion.

Fancy Dancy Quotes:

“It is with our passions as it is with fire and water, they are good servants, but bad masters.”                – Aesop

“The passions are like fire, useful in a thousand ways and dangerous only in one, through their excess.”   – Christian Nevell Bovee

“Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

While I was mentally preparing for this blog I recognized the fact that… I’m not passionate about writing about passion.  Pretty sad huh? 

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not a slug slowly crawling along in this life leaving a trail of slime as in indicator of existence.  I have a lot of energy around certain things.  Just not writing about passion today.

For some reason it felt contrived.  Passion is to be spontaneous not manufactured.  Something like passion should flow and not be forced.  In fact, if anything, I should be using energy to restrain the flow vs. energy to pump something out. 

So as I type away I am conflicted.   I know that if I write with passion the invisible energy is somehow mysteriously transmitted to your heart and you are touched on a deeper level.  If you’re feeling touched on a deeper level while reading today’s blog it probably means you have gas.

Oh well, I don’t think I’ll be causing any profound aha’s today.  But who knows?  Maybe you’re the perfectionistic type that finds it difficult to give yourself permission not to perform at top form.  This blog may give you enough courage to give yourself a rest. 

Now there are others out there that will take any excuse to sit on your ass.  If so, this blog today is not for you.

If I’m not careful I’ll start getting passionate about something.  I better quit while I still have my wits about myself.

See you Thursday.  Thanks for hanging out with me.


25
Jun 10

The Point of Passion

Howdy.  I’m movin kinda slow this morning.  It is obvious that I was moving slow yesterday because today is Friday and I am typing Thursday’s blog. 

Although I was moving slow yesterday there was something that occurred that has been poking around the edges of my mind.  I had coffee with a dear friend yesterday and he was talking about the importance of finding the resonant passion in our life. 

There are a lot of exciting things that energize us but they tend to be short lived.  Engaging in things that are exciting provide momentary explosions of energy and enjoyment.  But resonant passion… that is energy and joy on a different level.

People who are musical talk about the resonance that certain rooms possess.  You can hum and when you hit the exact pitch and the whole room seems to vibrate.

Side Note:  For some reason large public bathrooms are particularly exciting. 

Now, now we are talking about music.  I know that I am weird but not that kind of weird.  I am a nice weird… I think it’s time to quickly move on.

 

A resonant passion is something that makes your whole life vibrate.  There are parts of our lives that tend to be mundane.  That’s normal.  There are the daily requirements that maintain the basics of life.  If not careful the mundane can become the focal point and our lives dry up.

I believe that resonant passion is something that touches you in such a way that it makes the mundane meaningful.  The mundane has meaningful purpose because it allows greater passion to be realized.

“We could hardly wait to get up in the morning.”

-  Wilbur Wright

 

Typically I am a morning person.  But to have a resonant passion that makes me impatient for the morning is intriguing.  I remember as a kid wanting morning to come quickly on special occasions such as Christmas, vacation, or trash day (I threw in trash day to just see if you were paying attention… although trash day can be pretty exciting).

My friend continued to push me to think about times in my life when I was engaged in something productive that made me feel alive and vibrant.  What was it about those events that sparked life?  As he shared he talked about the fact that it wasn’t the specific activity that made him alive but what it represented.  The specific activity tapped into something that was deeper.

He indicated that his resonant passion was setting people free from their self-imposed limitations.  As we were talking he was getting more and more excited… vibrating you might say.  Why?  Because he was trying to help me break free of my self-imposed limitations. 

So the question for myself (and for you) is, what is it that sparks life… makes me vibrate?  I have to remember not to get locked in to the specific activity but what the activity touches.

So my self assignment this week is to be attuned to the things that make me vibrate. 

Side Note:  If you happen to be in a hotel room while reading this and you’re getting all vibraty you may need to turn off the “Magic Fingers”. 

That statement really shows my age.

See you Monday


21
Jun 10

Deep Calls to Deep

I started this entry early this morning in St Louis.  I am in Indianapolis and just now finishing.  Weird day. 

Monday Morning:

I’m feeling very introspective this morning.  There are all sorts of stuff tumbling around and I sit here trying to logically sort out the moving thoughts and emotions. 

There’s a lot of movement… not erratic or helter skelter… deep currents in motion.  The types of things that slowly emerge into momentary recognition and then silently sink back. 

These are not troubling stirrings but substantive truths trying to make their way to consciousness.  I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs that there is a difference between being troubled and being stirred.

Side Note:  Every time I use the word stirred it think of Bond, James Bond… “I’ll have mine stirred not shaken.” 

Yes, I know… I’m weird.

 

When I am troubled I know that something is going on that needs attention and decisive action is the cure.  But when something is stirring the opposite is true.  For me, when something is stirring I need to just be open, reflect (not try to figure it out), give it some time to allow it to surface.

Also, I recognize that the stirrings I am currently having today are deep Spiritual things… God stuff… not normal personal stuff.  There are stirrings that are important personal things that tumble around inside. These take shape with time, thought, reflection and logic.  But this is not true with Spiritual things.

You cannot logic out Spiritual things. Spiritual things are reveled.

 

I don’t know about you but God stirrings cause my ears to perk up and my head to tilt.  I know that there is something for me to pay attention about.

Oswald Chambers said that earthly things are thought out by logic and insight but with Spiritual things you must obey your way out.  Humm,  Very interesting thought.

Side Note:  If you have never heard of or read Oswald Chambers you have missed a treat.  He was a Scottish minister from around 1900.  He thinks on a different spiritual level.  My wife and her friend talk about Ozzie. 

What kind of stirring has been going on with you?  Is it a God stirring or just deep thought? 

I know that I have been writing a lot on stirring lately.  I have been a bit concerned but I write what I believe I am to write.  Either there is something God is trying to get at in me or in you.

Thanks for hanging out with me.

See you Thursday.


17
Jun 10

Too Far To Turn Back

Howdy.  It’s me again… I survived full disclosure from the last blog. 

The only thing that I am concerned about is if any friends of mine who read the blog wondered if I thought they were boring.  Not at all.  It’s my friends who don’t read my blog who are boring.

But opening up about something that makes me look bad isn’t something I typically do.  But I’m on a journey beyond where I am.  I know that it seems odd to some who read this blog… especially people who know me.  Actually, I have a great life, I am very fulfilled and by the standards of many people pretty successful.

How well you are doing isn’t the proper measuring rod.  It is how much are you capable of?  And how much more there is that you are letting slip through your fingers? 

I am determined not to take the easy way.  I have had several people say that they admired the fact that I am writing a blog (especially writing two entries a week).  I am very appreciative and thankful for their kind words.  But if there is something a person is called to do (and I truly believe I am to write this blog) then there can be no other option but do it. 

The compelling quiet whisper that invaded my heart and head is relentless in its firm gentle way.  It is the quiet whisper that is calling me to venture beyond my comfortable world into the risky business of the unknown.

So I continue to press on… and let me say… it has made life much more of an adventure.   The final verses of Robert Frost’s Road Less Traveled are right on.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I– 
I took the one less traveled by, 
And that has made all the difference.
…Robert Frost

 

Traveling the path into the unknown and unfamiliar is risky, time consuming and demands investment.  It takes a lot of effort to start and effort to maintain momentum, but the ongoing investment is eventually transformed into passion.

“At some point, turning back is not an option.”

 

When is the last time you tried something for the first time?  Is there something stirring from within that demands attention? 

Hopefully this little blog is challenging you to lean in closely to the voice trying to get your attention.  Life is too short to ignore the “what if”. 

I am sorry if I am sounding a little preachy… I don’t mean to be.  I do want to encourage.  

What is the one small thing that you think you are to do that you’re not doing?  Is there a call you need to make, letter to write, a person you need to forgive, to let go of the failure you hang on too, read that book, go to that church, write that song, or release the rock that you have carried for too long.

For me it was to take that first step beyond the safe wall of self and write this blog.  Thank God I have.

See you Monday


14
Jun 10

Bored to Life

Hello there, welcome to the trail.  It is always good having people stroll along with me… I’m glad you decided to hang out with me for a little while.  I like to hang out with people but I don’t feel like I’m very good at it.

Frankly I think that my writing is bit more entertaining and stimulating than meeting me face-to-face.  I have some friends that might disagree, but I feel I am boring.  Yep… boring.  I know, some of you on the other hand are not surprised by my statement at all.  

The frustrating thing is that if I feel I am boring then I naturally hold back in social situations and don’t allow my personality to freely come out.

Honesty Alert:  Ugh, I dislike having to provide full disclosure.  But if I plan on getting the most out of this journey outside the confines of my comfortable walled garden then I must be honest.

 

OK, if I am really honest, I think I am boring because I get bored so easily in social situations.  So if I’m bored then they must be bored.  The silly reality is that boring begats boring. 

I just made a big mistake.  I Googled quotes on boredom.  Big mistake.  I find that honesty hurts at times. 

“Boredom is a sign of satisfied ignorance, blunted apprehension, crass sympathies, dull understanding, feeble powers of attention, and irreclaimable weakness of character.”

- James Birdie

 

OUCH!  What does that Birdie fellow know any way?  With a name like that I would make up silly stuff too.

“Boredom, after all, is a form of criticism.”

                                    – William Phillips

 

Ouch again.  This is getting embarrassing.

“A child of my own! Oh, no, no, no! Let my flesh perish with me, and let me not transmit to anyone the boredom and ignominiousness of life.”

                                    – Gustave Flaubert (1821 – 1880)

 

Ok, ok, I may be a bit slow on the uptake but I get the picture.  This is something that I have been working on and it looks like I need to focus on it a bit more.  I hate to admit it but it is insulting not go give the best of yourself to someone.  If you give your best then it tends to be reflective.

Wow, another ouch, this time I’m injured by my own hand.  My last statement says that I am receiving what I am giving.  I have always prided myself on caring for people, being nice and showing respect. 

I really need to take to heart something I deeply believe.  Everyone has a story.  A few years ago a reporter by the name of Steve Hartman did a series on CBS news called Everyone Has A Story.  I loved it.  He would take a dart and throw it at a map, go to that town, pull a random name out of the phone book and interview them. 

I found this video of one of his reports.  It is well worth the four minute investment

 YouTube Preview Image

Well, the path is clear.  I must really believe that everyone has a story and work hard at engaging with people.  I mean really working at it.  I know that I need to focus.  Focus on them.  They are worth it.

“Work saves us from three great evils: boredom, vice and need.”

                                    – Voltaire (1694-1759)

Gotta go.  I’m going to work.

See you Thursday.


10
Jun 10

Simply Profound

Hi, good to see you.

I’m especially glad to see you because the trail seems a bit lonelier and quieter today.   A person that has pioneered ahead on this path is no longer with us.

I didn’t know the man but I know him… if that makes any sense.

He was a simple farm boy from Indiana who became a great coach.  But his exceptionally successful coaching career was the least of accomplishments.

John Wooden was a giant… a man profound in his simplicity.  It is interesting how the quiet simple things have the most powerful impact.

I was planning to share several of his quotes but I ran across this video that illustrates his simple humble greatness.  It is a little lengthy but well worth the time.

YouTube Preview Image

c

I heard a quote one time that really applies to this particular situation.

“The test of one’s nature is the atmosphere it produces.”

This begs the question, What atmosphere do I create?  John Wooden inspires me to be a better man.  That statement alone tells me a lot.

Yes, the trail is lonelier today.  But John Wooden has left us lots of markers to follow as we advance.

See you Monday.


7
Jun 10

What’s the Purpose

Hi, welcome back.

I heard something the other day that really started me thinking.  It struck me at the time so I wrote it down and tucked it in my wallet.

“If you don’t know the purpose of something you will abuse it.”

The interesting thing is that over the past few weeks it was something that kept creeping into my consciousness.  If there is something that is persistent enough to demand my attention then I need to pay attention.

This is one of those times that I was meant to stop and try to find meaning beyond the obvious.

“If you don’t know the purpose of something you will abuse it.”

This may sound goofy but the first thing that struck me is that this statement defined for me the purpose of “purpose”.

Purpose elevates the ordinary and provides it with meaning.  And true meaning comes from… fulfilling your purpose.  Think about it, what is the meaning of anything if it doesn’t have a purpose.

Knowing the significance of purpose is different than knowing the purpose.  This awareness demands one to understand and know purpose.

Side Note: I didn’t intend to get philosophical.  But the way things are beginning to flow out of my head I might get “out there” a bit.  I may cross the “weirdo” line that causes you cock your head and say “Huh?”  Fair Warning!

The second insight that jumped out to me is that I must fully understand the importance of the purpose of something.  We treat something in direct value we place on it.

If nothing means anything to you, then it is easy to abuse or neglect.

Quote Addendum:  “If you don’t know the purpose of something you will abuse or neglect it.”

You can destroy by abuse or neglect.  In fact I believe the greater sin is neglect.

Abuse comes from anger and anger means that something important somewhere was violated.  Anger (although usually misplaced) is a reaction to something meaningful.

Ignoring something means that it possesses so little value that it demands no emotional investment.

The third thing that wiggled its way to my consciousness is this.  If purpose is so important then we are to assist things and people in fulfilling their purpose.

“How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people.”

- Albert Einstein

Humm, does it mean that part of our purpose is to help people find their purpose?

All of this caused me question things a bit more.  For example, it caused me to ask, “What is my real purpose for writing this blog?”  It’s a question that I must ask periodically.  I think the purpose is to stretch me and cause me to grow as a person.

Maybe, maybe not.  But I do know that questions regarding purpose are important to ask.

As a capstone to this blog I ran across this quote from Robert Byrne.

“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.”

See you Thursday.


4
Jun 10

Meeting Day

Me again.

I hope you visit me on Monday  because I don’t have time to write my blog today. 

Right now I am sitting in a meeting while I type this.  I am trying to figure out if I should feel bad about not having a substantive blog today.

I have decided not to feel like I let myself or anyone else down. 

If you are really bored and don’t have anything to do you can always go back to the first couple of blogs and see where all of this started.

I will see you monday.


1
Jun 10

Movin’ Blues

As many of you already know my wife and I have just moved.    I am sore, tired and my daily routine is all screwed up.

I have come to this conclusion – Moving is a pain in the butt.  Yes I said the word butt.  Now to most of you saying the word butt is no big deal.

When I was growing up I couldn’t say the word butt.   I couldn’t say the word ass either.  I’m not too sure why… I think they were considered cuss words, or close enough to being cuss words to where you would get a whiff of sulfur from the flames of hell if you used them.

It was confusing to me.  I didn’t see too much wrong with them and it was especially funny when on rare occasion a preacher would read a scripture that contained the word ass.  Ass is used about 90 times in the Bible (King James Version)

I think the preachers I knew just avoided those scriptures during their sermons because they didn’t want the awkward embarrassment of the congregation or to cuss while preaching.

I know that “Ass” in the Bible refers to a donkey, but it was fun as a kid expanding the meaning of certain scriptures.  For example:

“And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.”

Genesis 22:5

My friends and I tried to figure out if Abraham was referring to his father-in-law or his wife.

Then there was the really risqué scripture.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, … neighbor’s wife… nor his ass.”

Exodus 20:17

Just so you know, as young boys were weren’t interested at all in coveting his ass… now his wife’s ass was a different matter.

Now, now, don’t get all upset with me.  I’m sure my last statement just made some of you a little uncomfortable.  Some of my old friends are beginning to worry that Jerry may be getting a bit to distant from his spiritual roots.

Sorry if I offended someone.  I’ll be good.

As you can see, I am pretty slap-happy today.  I’m tired… I spent the whole weekend working my ass off.