Posts Tagged: call


14
Jan 13

Breakdown or Breakthrough?


Blog Note: I added this sentence after reading what I wrote.  The blog may seem negative at first but stick with it… there may be something for you to learn.

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Hello, me again… for the three hundredth time.

Yep, this is my three hundredth blog entry in three years.  This writing feat of posting 300 entries may not be very impressive to you, but for me… I’m ecstatic.

If you told me four years ago I would be posting two blog entries a week for over three years and have over 100,000 hits per year I would have thought you were nuts.  There are three reasons why I thought this would never happen.

First of all I’m not a writer.  I am not claiming they are good blog entries (only you are the judge of that) but I’m happy with most of them.

Secondly, I tend not to be as disciplined as I would like to be.  My life journey road is littered with discarded projects and miscellaneous attempts of meaningful endeavors.  My pattern has been to start things and then after the luster dulls, my effort and interest fizzles.

And the third reason is probably pretty clear to you after reading reasons one and two… I am really good at beating the crap out of myself.

It’s kind of embarrassing to admit, but it’s true.

It’s one thing to be self-deprecating.  There’s kind of an endearing charm of someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously and are confident enough to advertise their shortcomings.

But when someone beats the crap out of themselves it’s neither endearing nor charming.

Wow, I didn’t expect to be this vulnerable when I started writing a few minutes ago.

I feel like someone who has been muscled out of their hiding place and paraded for public display exposed for the world to make their judgments or take their shots.

Now don’t get all weirded out or start feeling sorry for me.

Let me be clear, this open discussion is not a self-flagellating mea culpa to cleanse my spirit of personal demons.  Not at all!

In fact, on some level it is both a declaration and a sign of freedom.

Yes, I have my issues like everyone else…  just like everyone else… just like you.

Every one of you reading this has things that hold you back from living life to the full.

As for me, I recognize and squarely face the things that I tried to keep others from seeing – my flat spots.

This is why this blog has been important to me.  This was one of several steps I was called to take which allowed me to venture beyond the confines of my world.

Maybe you are further along in your journey than I and the insights of this blog entry is old news.

But for some, you remain in your internal “panic room” protecting yourself from exposure to the world.  You’re not about to let anyone know your weakness.

But here’s the dirty little secret – Everyone already knows.

The breakthrough is bringing it to light to face it.

Bringing things to light is risky indeed.  But life is worth the risk.

Hopefully you will show up on Thursday for another visit.

See you then.

Ciao.


7
Jan 13

Living in a shallow grave

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Hello… welcome back… Happy New Year.

A statement in my last blog entry has been haunting me.  I said that worry robs your life of life.

How sad, but unfortunately all too true.  There are millions of people living in this world who are living with no life.

Something happened to me about five years ago.  I am not exactly sure what but I do know that it was a God thing.  I decided that I did not want to live my life in a shallow grave.

A person in a shallow grave is one who lives in and settles for less than what is available to them.  I believe more and more, and my heart rejoices more and more with the reality that there is so much God has given for us to experience and enjoy HERE and NOW not just in the hereafter.

Yes, as a Christian I knew I would go to heaven and all would be good.  But little did I know that God desires for us to experience life to the full – NOW.

I am not talking about deeper Spiritual insights or tingly feelings.  Yes, those are available and I like those things too, but I’m talking about something different.

I wish I could bring to memory the event or moment that sparked the notion that life had more to offer than what I was settling for.

Here’s the amazing God thing.  I already had a very good life.  It was neither boring nor unfulfilling.  But something sparked an inner ember.

Something struck an invisible soundless note that resonated in my spirit.

All I knew was that God was calling me to a higher place.  It had nothing to do with money, job nor possession.  There was a stirring to things outside my comfortable snug world.

I am sure some you are reading this and are bored out of your mind thinking this guy is weird.

But there is someone reading this that is feeling a stir.  Something inside is rising up and taking notice.

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We long for more but dare not believe that more is possible

- Penelope Stokes

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You don’t know what, but there is something inside that knows or wants to believe that God has more for you… and He does!

That is why I started this blog journey three years ago.

Something or someone was calling me to more.

As I said earlier, I had a wonderful life up to five years ago.  Since that time it has been amazing.  It doesn’t mean simple… but simply amazing.

I have taken risks, started things (like this blog) that I would have never attempted.

All because I listened to a zephyr call to something more.

No, life is not perfect.  Yes, I still have my challenges and setbacks.

But I can honestly say that I no longer live in a shallow grave where my life has no life.  And the amazing thing is that what I have experienced is only the beginning.

This is my invitation to all of you weird people out there that feel a stir at what I am saying.  The voice you hear is not mine.

I am only the instrument that invites you to more.

I hope you join me as I continue the journey.

If you are really serious I encourage you to read the first couple of months of blogs from 2010.  All you need to do is go to the archives on the right side of the page and check them out.

Ciao.

See you Thursday.


5
Nov 12

To vote or not to vote… that is the question

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Hi there… welcome back.

No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t keep my mind nor my fingers from swerving toward the topic of the election tomorrow.

Don’t worry… this will not be a political blog entry.  We all have had our fill of ads, promises and the opponents taking cheap shots at each other.

But I do want to talk about the amazing opportunity we have to choose; to select who we want to lead our wonderful country.  Sometimes as a country we make good choices and sometimes we make bad choices… but at least we get to choose.

It’s sort of like a grander version of our personal life.  We reap the benefits of well thought out decisions and suffer the consequences of…. Uh…. Shall we say… not so good decisions.

Now the only troubling thing is if you are trying to make a good decision (in your opinion) but the majority of the population are made up of stupid people who have a different opinion.

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In America, through pressure of conformity, there is freedom of choice, but nothing to choose from.
-  Peter Ustinov

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Frankly I don’t want stupid people making decisions that affect me.  But strangely enough, people on the other side of the aisle are saying the same thing.

They actually think that I am a stouped person… go figure.

I can see it now on Wednesday morning, about 51% of the population will be ecstatic while the other 49% will be pissed because their candidate did not win.

So what do you do if you happen to be one of the brilliant 49%?  You continue to love our country and work harder to make it better.

Yep, no matter how distasteful, we have to support the decision.

Now in full disclosure, if my candidate doesn’t win it will probably take me a month or two to work through my depression.  But I do believe that it is important to support the office of President.

Once again, regardless of who wins or looses… I would rather live in a country where at least we have the opportunity to choose.

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Democracy makes us articulate our views, defend them, and refine them.
- Lee H. Hamilton

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I think Lee Hamilton hit the nail on the head.  Democracy forces us to work at and define what we believe.  It forces us to articulate with clarity our stand on issues.

There is no question Democracy can be messy… especially during election time.

But I would not want it any other way.

Hopefully you will be one of the ecstatic 51% on Wednesday.  If not… support the President and work to make it better.

Ciao.


7
May 12

The BIG Push or Pull

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When I started the blog over two years ago it was because something was stirring inside.  There was something that longed to see the light of day and a voice that needed to be heard.

I really don’t know if I have succeeded but I can say I like where I am today much better than where I was three years ago before I ventured beyond the wall.

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Side Note: You may be wondering about the wall I am referring to.  When I started the blog I referred to being comfortable behind the garden wall and wondering if there was something beyond.

I recommend that you go back to the first couple of blogs and check them out.  All you have to do is go to the archives column on the right, click on January 2010 and scroll down to the first blog and go from there.

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Before we go on I need to press in on a very important point.

You will get more out of the adventure of stepping into the unknown if you know the primary motivation for the decision to step forward.

The motivation or impetus for taking a bold step into the dark is basically one of two things.  Either you are being drawn to something (a PULL) or you are getting away from (a PUSH).

There may be elements of both but primarily it is one or the other.

For me it was definitely the PULL.   There were things about my life that I wanted to improve but basically I was very, very happy with where I was.  My life was amazingly good.

But I knew in the depths of my being… there was more.

The “more” was not a childish desire to grab things that are shiny and sweet to the taste, but a deeper (I believe divine) knowledge that I am living below where we all are created to be.

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We long for more but dare not believe that more is possible.

-  Penelope Stokes

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For you the motivation may be totally different.  You may be in a situation where things are pretty crappy where you are and you have decided – ENOUGH!!!

You may not hear a call, feel a pull or believe there is something more.  That’s ok.

Take it from me as someone who has decided to cast off from the shore and launch into the deep… it’s kinda scary but oh my – I wouldn’t change a minute of if.

Whether you are in the PUSH or PULL group there is one thing that is the same for both.  Open your heart and head and listen.

Some people decide to take this step and recklessly jump into the first thing that comes along.  The natural tendency is to latch on to anything when you’re in the dark.

If you are open and listening you will sense and know if the things you encounter are good or not so good.  The struggle to determine the good or the bad are part of the growing process.

Be comforted in the fact that bold steps like this are God things.  Now don’t worry, I’m not get all preachy on you.  But it is important to know that growth and a better life are divine.

As I wrap up this blog entry today I have a couple of more thoughts that I hope will help you to join me on this amazing journey beyond where you are.

These two thoughts helped motivate me to start and continues to stir me now when I get discouraged.

The first motivator is a statement.

  • I don’t want to wake up five years from now and be where I am today.

The second motivator is a question.

  • What would you attempt if you knew you wouldn’t fail?

I hope these help as you make some decisions.  How cool!

Join me Thursday  as I continue my journey.

Ciao.


5
Jan 12

Best Tip for 2012 – Don’t listen to any tips

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Howdy, I’m glad you decided to hang out with me today.  With any luck I will have something to say that will make your visit worthwhile.

I would be really happy if my blathering causes you think, challenges your assumptions, or simply makes you laugh.  Any of these are good things.

In my first blog entry of the year I had some tips on how to make the best of any “fresh start” you wanted to make for the New Year.

I am embarrassed to say this but I did something that I personally really, really dislike… I created a list of tips.

Lists of tips really bug me because in my mind it gives the false impression that substantive life change is easy.

I cringe when I see something that promises the impossible such as…

  • Fame and fortune in 12 Days in Five easy steps
  • Four ways to make your cat less independent
  • Three simple tips to keep Steelers fans from being so obnoxious

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Talk about impossible!

Now to my credit I never implied the “fresh start” tips were easy or quick.  It was my attempt to give people a starting point.

I wasn’t intending to write a follow-up to the blog but honestly I kept being pulled back to one of points that I feel needs a little more attention.

It was tip #2 Make Changes for Yourself.

Hopefully I will not over complicate it or on the other extreme wear us all out by beating it to death.

I feel the need to press the issue because the most success in change comes when a person’s primary motivation is to do it for themselves… “I need to do this for me.  Because it’s the right thing.”

There is no question that pleasing others or regaining their respect and love is an incentive… but it cannot replace the power of doing it for yourself.

If the change is for you then you do not become disillusioned if people don’t respond the way you want or expect.

Of course it is nice and wonderful if those you love or care about respond the way you envision… that is icing on the cake.

But in it’s purest form, the response or lack of response of others is irrelevant to your journey.

You step out because you are called to higher things.  We are not called or destined to lower things.

Yes, we have all settled for things beneath us… but that is not the end of our journey.

I really admire those of you bold enough to make a “fresh start”.

The courage to start, and restart for some of us, means that your eyes are not fixed on the moment but the reality beyond.

Very, very cool.

I want to encourage you on your journey.  Hang out with me if you wish.  I’m on a journey too.

So tighten your boot strings because we’re in for a walk with some hills as-well-as flat spots.

See you Monday.


8
Aug 11

“One small step for man…”

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Howdy… welcome back.

Last Thursday I talked about the difference between “To” and “FROM”.

If you have no idea what I am talking about I encourage you to read the last blog.

If I say so myself, the blog I wrote was a bounty of amazing insight and astounding wit.  They were exquisitely woven together in a well choreographed dance of words that took the reader to another place and left them craving… no, dare I say, demanding for more.

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Side Note: How did I do with my first attempt at self aggrandizement?

Uhhh, not me is it?  It was fun to write but I feel stupid reading it.

OK, please don’t ask where the last couple of paragraphs came from.  I have no idea.  They just popped out my head on to the screen.  Scary huh?

Oh well… back to my humble hole where I peck away at my little blog.   Hopefully there will be some semblance of meaning and thought.

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The purpose of the last blog was to emphasize the importance of knowing what is driving our decisions.

A BOLD PROMISE

Today, I want to focus on the most important aspect of our journey.  It is the thing that WILL transform your life.  I am as serious as I can be and I am not exaggerating.  You will never be the same.

It is the step that changes your life… “your step”.

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“If you don’t take a step you won’t end up somewhere else.”

. . – Me

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You cannot get to where you want to go and stay where you are.  It requires action, a step of some sort.

Whether you are drawn to a higher place or you are pushed out of a lower place, it requires a step.  Albeit small, it still requires a move.

I don’t know about you, but there have been times when I wished that God would just zap me and miraculously I would be different or be at a different place.

Don’t get me wrong.  There is no question in my mind and in my experience that God does some miraculous things.  But it always requires a step… even if it is a step of faith.

Tired of where you are in a certain aspect of your life?  Then get off your ass (My wife suggested something tamer like butt… but it was just a bit too calm for me).  Just feebly standing up is a step.

Now no one guaranteed it would be easy… usually it is not.  For me personally, waking up five years from now and being in the same spot is more horrifying than the fear of the first few steps.

“I never worry about action, but only inaction.”
Sir Winston Churchill

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For years I hung out in the same place with little or no growth.  On some level it was easy but the call of “what can be” became a siren song I couldn’t ignore.

It took months for me to wade through the morass of where I was and the thought of writing a blog began to emerge.  Why a blog?  I have no idea, because as most of you know… I am not a writer.  All I knew is that it was the right step for me.

But something was unleashed when I finally took the big step.  That step began to open me on several different levels and has had a broader impact in more ways than I know.

But my big step only came after a desire to be in a different place, a willingness to do something different and a multitude of micro steps.

Are you tired of where you are?  Is there something stirring deep within that is calling you to higher things?

I think you’re ready to give birth to a new phase of your life.

OK, take a deep breath… push… take that step you think you should take.

See you on Thursday.

Ciao.


14
Jul 11

Strength in the Struggle

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Wow, as I poke at this word resistance, it continues to take on a variety of shapes and meanings.

In the last blog entry I talked about having resistance to forces that are trying to shape and mold us.  Today we take a look at resistance from the opposite direction.  The resistance we are faced with and feel when we are trying to advance or move forward.

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. . I was introduced to a book called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.   It is a very interesting read.

Although this book initially targeted creative types who struggle with the blocks that hinder the creative process, the simple universal truths apply to every aspect of our lives.

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Pressfield spends a significant portion of the book on the reality of and the struggles we face in life with the constant force of resistance.

The reality is, life has a natural headwind.  Any meaningful movement faces opposition.  Pressfield writes…

“Resistance cannot be seen, touched, heard, or smelled.  But it can be felt.  It’s a repelling force.  It’s negative.  Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.” (page 7)

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How true.  I feel resistance every time I write this blog.

I have come to accept that resistance is the nature of life.  I heard someone say one time that the only trouble with life is that it is so constant.

The more powerful reality is that the resistance is felt when moving forward … especially anything noble or good.  It is nice to have this belief validated in The War of Art.

Pressfield says that resistance comes when…

“…any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long-term growth, health, or integrity.  Or, expressed another way, any act that derives from our higher nature instead of our lower.  Any  of these will elicit resistance.” (page 6)

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“Resistance obstructs movement only from a lower sphere to a higher.  It kicks in when we seek to pursue a calling in the arts, launch an innovative enterprise, or evolve to a higher station morally, ethically, or spiritually.” (page 17)

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Yes, moving forward can be tiring.  But oh the amazing things you see and experience.

This blog was started on the premise that we are made to move… journey.  We are not made to sit, atrophy and rust.  Yes, that is the easier path.  It is downhill and you have tailwinds to make it even more effortless.

I started this blog journey by talking about hearing a voice (no, not the kind of voice you need medications for). A voice beyond where I was, started calling me to more.  I scaled the comfortable walls I had built… peeked over the top … and saw things to do and territory to take.

Nope, it hasn’t been easy.  But when you begin to move, something is released that makes it all worth while.

I don’t know where you currently feel resistance, but you can be assured the resistance is a signal that you’re moving in the right direction.

On Monday I plan on talking about the other alternative… taking the path of least resistance.

Later.


4
Jul 11

Freedom Fanatic

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Hi there.  Happy Independence Day.

Side Note:  Before we tackle the topic for today I thought I would let those of you who are interested know that the Memorial Service went very, very well.  (See last blog entry to know what I am talking about).

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As you will see, because of last week, I am totally out of sync in my blog writing.  I figure you will be as confused as I am before this blog is over. 

Those of you who have been hanging out with me for the past few weeks know that I have been talking about the coarse but thought provoking quote tattooed to a girl’s upper under arm.

This is the out of sync part… I won’t be writing about the quote until Thursday.  Last week totally disrupted my rhythm.  So, Thursday is the day to get back to the quote.

But this being the 4th of July I have to poke around at one of my most favorite topics, FREEDOM.

On March 13, 2010 I wrote about freedom.  I wrote…

I have music in me… lots of music.  There are times when I have sat at a piano, placed my fingers on the keys, closed my eyes and believed the music inside would explode into melody.

But the wellspring of music within remained trapped… frustrated by its inability to find release and purpose.  There was no avenue for escape because I had not provided a path of freedom.

Now I’m really going to confuse us all.  FREEDOM requires giving up freedom. 

When younger I could have taken piano lessons.  I could have given up the freedom to do the things I wanted to do and channeled that time into a forced discipline of training my mind and fingers.  But my freedom in the moment was more important for me than ultimate freedom later.

This principle is true with virtually everything I can think of.

  • Finance
  • Children
  • Education
  • Household chores
  • You name it 

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What struck me when I reread the blog was the quote, Freedom requires giving up freedom.

In essence we must give up our freedom of the moment for greater freedom later. 

Unfortunately there are messages bombarding us today that rob us of our future.  These are things like do your own thing or don’t let anyone or anything restrict you.

Those who are unable to succumb to the confines of the moment will never… NEVER experience full freedom. 

I am thankful that I am in good company when it comes to understanding this reality.

To enjoy freedom we have to control ourselves.

- Virgina Woolf

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.

- Thomas Paine

The 4th of July is a wonderful celebration of freedom. 

But during this time when freedom in the fore of our thinking, I encourage you to be open and receptive to what freedom may be saying to you.

If we are attuned to ourselves we will sense the deep intuitive notion that there are better deeper things for us to experience and enjoy.  We live so far below what’s available… there is so much more for us. 

What freedoms do you need to give up now for ultimate freedom later? 

See you Thursday.


21
Mar 11

Pack or Unpack?

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In the last blog entry I tried to unpack why I was stirred by the phrase “to move forward you must surrender something”.

Today I feel the need to poke around on the topic a bit more.  I am not too sure why I feel I want to continue the topic.  Maybe there are some more insights to capture or it could be just an intellectual dance of morbid curiosity.

I do believe part of the stirring of the phrase is directly tied to the beginning of my blog journey well over a year ago.  To move forward in my life I had to be willing to surrender something.

Side Note: If you are interested in how all this got started, my first couple of blog entries in January of 2010 will give you a pretty good flavor for the journey and the angst I experienced.

On the right side of the page are the blog archives.  Just click on January 2010.

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To move forward there is always the sacrifice of the present.  In the last blog I referred to the Law of Displacement.  The fact that if we want to add more then something must go… good or bad.

Sometimes it may mean giving up good things to experience something better.

Giving up something good is tough. The nagging question is, if I possess something good now, how do I know for sure that what I am shooting for is going to be better?

The answer: You don’t know for sure.  That’s the adventure of life.

Now let’s be real world here for a second.  I am not talking about someone who willy nilly discards good things on an “all in” bet of life.  We are not talking about the fickle adolescent whims of likes and dislikes of things in our life.

So the question beckons, why would we give up a good thing?  We do it because something or someone is calling us to more.  That’s the adventure.

Deep calls to Deep.  I am talking about deep divine stirs that cause us to lift our eyes above the present to realities beyond our line of sight.

If we are open there are times in our lives we sense a compelling call to beyond.  We don’t fully understand it, but it’s there and it’s real.

We can choose to disregard the call and continue a “good” life and possess the good things.  No one would blame us and we have every logical reason not to step out.  The only thing that will nag is the haunting question of… “What if?”

Or we step out and experience the thrill of a heeded call.

It is the kind of step that sucks the breath out of you in a mix of both fear and anticipation.  For me it was mostly fear.

We have been talking about giving up good things.  As strange as it may seem, I don’t think the sacrifice of good things are the most difficult.

This will sound weird but I tend to believe giving up bad things is the greatest challenge and requires the greater courage.

I will talk about that on Thursday.  See you then.


20
Sep 10

Unfinished Starts

Hi there. 

Did you happen to see the video at the end of the last blog entry?  If not it is well worth a couple of minutes to scroll down the page and take a look.  It is a wonderful true story on finishing the race.

I think I may have given the wrong impression on the issue of unfinished starts.  If I am honest with myself I may have inadvertently thrown some of my baggage onto your cart by accident.

Side Note:  Throwing our baggage onto other peoples cart is something we all do without intent.  Our baggage is such a part of us that it just bumps into all kinds of stuff.  This is normal (not good necessarily but pretty normal).

The bigger issue is if you let my baggage stay on your cart.  That is, if you recognize it.  We all know a lot of baggage looks the same. 

 

I probably gave the impression that anything that you started and didn’t finish was a bad thing.  I don’t believe that’s totally the case.  There is something to be said for trial and error. 

In my humble opinion, here’s the nut of the issue (for me at least). 

There are two opposing facts.  There are things you want to do (or be) or called to do (or be) and things in our lives or surroundings that hinder us from getting there. 

This is the marathon race… the moment you see where you can be and set out to get there.  The ways of getting there may be many.  This is the trial and error.  The failure is not being successful in the myriad of things you try to move forward but in giving up the race.

Side Note:  Be open to trying something again that you had tried before.  I think that there is a right timing for certain things.  What you tried a few years ago and cast aside now may be the time to try it again.

 

I do believe though that there are some initiatives that rise to a different level of significance in the race we run.  It’s one of those things we know in that deep part of us that this particular endeavor will be a major mile marker in our journey.

To me this blog is one of those things for me.  I just know that this initiative for me has breakthrough potential.  So I am not as casual to cast it aside when I’m tired or discouraged.

So I will see you Thursday.  Fight the good fight and keep your baggage off my cart.