Posts Tagged: exhilaration


12
May 11

Men at Work

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Hello, good to see you again.

As most of you know I frequently press in on the amazing reality that our life is a journey.  I even kicked the tires on the topic again in the last blog entry and said I would poke at it some more.

As soon as I start talking about this life journey thing I know that some of you are immediately turned off.  You probably think this kind of premise is a fluffy, feel good, inspirational pep talk about life and tapping into some personal inner power to reach your full potential.

Nope, not at all.  I wouldn’t do that to you.  I am definitely not a hold hands, get in touch with the inner you, pink wearing, kumbaya kind of guy.

Well, on second thought I do like a tasteful shade of pink… the manly shade of course.

In reality this premise is about as raw and rugged as it gets.  Nothing takes more courage than to look life square on and face reality.  This is the “Men at Work” zone.

Side Note: Ok ladies, don’t get your panties in a wad.  I am using this phrasing in a purely gender neutral metaphorical sort of way.

I am fully aware that you are fully capable (probably more so) of facing life square on.

Anyway, I kind of like messin with people at times… and those who tend to lean a bit too heavily on the feminist issue are particularly fun to tweak.

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I admire people who are willing to address the hard issues, look for ways to better themselves and the world around them, enjoy the amazing blessings available and be willing to search for the hidden treasures that are sprinkled along the way.

Making the most of this journey of life requires work… hard work.

The work is not so much in charting the course and making things happen the way you want them to in life, but the work is on yourself.  It is the hard work of unlocking the invisible shackles that keeps us from where we can be.

I tend to see people gravitate to the two ends of the continuum of life.

There are some people who seem to just let life happen and then all of a sudden one day they wake up and wonder how they got where they are.

Side Note: In the spirit of full disclosure I leaned toward this end of the continuum when I was younger.  I don’t know if it was youth or the fact I didn’t know any better.

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Then there are those at the other end of the continuum that are so buttoned down they try to force life through the narrow hole of their plans and timetable.  The very life of life is sucked dry.

I don’t know all the reasons we approach life the way we do.  But I do know that life, like most things, is a combination of art and science.

We must be intentional and plan.  Yet, we must fully grasp that life has the mysterious beauty of unpredictability and serendipity.

Although we may lean toward one end of the continuum or the other, I believe the people who have learned to float effectively on the currents between the two seem to enjoy life the most and be the most fulfilled.

I do know with certainty… I do not want to wake up five years from now and be where I am.  Here’s the interesting thing, where I am now is terrific, really terrific.

But I also know in the core of my being that there is a whole lot of life beyond my sight and knowledge for me to grow and experience.

“I will go anywhere, provided it be forward.”

-          David Livingstone

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So I move forward with a sense of excited expectation.

You just never know what is around that next bend… how exciting is that?

See you Monday.


23
Mar 10

A Helpful Hint

Howdy, good to see you again.

Our last couple of blog entries have been pretty heady so I needed a break from thinking too much.

Side Note: About six weeks ago I wrote a blog entitled “Walkie Talkie” where we talked about how walking through nature has the mysterious ability to break down our barriers allowing us to be more open.

That blog entry focused on the gift of deep meaningful conversations.  But the other gift that comes from being with someone with whom you feel safe and comfortable is that it frees us to share our joys and fun.

So I thought it would be a good time to share a story or two on our journey.  Maybe I could trade helpful hints on miscellaneous stuff.

With that said, to my pleasure and probably to your chagrin, I have decided to share something odd that happened last summer.  This is also a helpful hint for home owners… well… helpful is a relative term.  We’ll see how helpful you think it is after you read my saga.

LAST SUMMER

It was a sunny warm July day.  Like most days of summer, this was one that had a particularly strong way of summoning you outdoors to tackle distasteful chores.

The Distasteful Chore: Removal of dead limbs in trees

We have several very large trees around our house.  The removal of some of the limbs was pretty easy but others proved to be a challenge.  These were the limbs that were large and high.  I’m talking about limbs of significance.  Any of which, if allowed to remain, could severely hurt someone if they fell.

So here I am, a man who is past his daredevil 20’s and reluctant to climb and hang 40+ feet into the air (actually it was probably 20 feet but it looked 40).  What does one do?

I did what any red blooded man would do… get some other sucker to help.

The Sucker: My brother visiting from Texas

As the task unfolded it became quite amusing.  But I must say we were very creative in the way we brought to the ground the demon limbs.

Tools Required:

  • One tennis shoe
  • One ball of twine
  • One lengthy piece of rope
  • Two willing and slightly naive men in the mood for adventure

Optional:

  • Two lawn chairs
  • Two giggly wives who amuse themselves by setting up a make-shift audience to observe the splendor of two men bringing down limbs

The first task is to attach the twine to the tennis shoe.  Then one must throw the shoe over the identified limb.

This is tricky… and it is more difficult than it may appear.  The aerodynamics of a sneaker is not conducive to throwing.  But they are durable and soft enough not to bring harm if by chance it should fall on someone or thing.

Once the shoe has been precisely launched the twine is then tied to the rope.  This allows you to pull the rope over the limb so the real work can begin.

After the loop of the rope is positioned properly around the limb, the two men can begin their task.  With hands firmly grasped to the rope, the two men pull in unison.  Of course the challenge is UNISON.

After a couple of introductory tugs and then a unified grunt and pull the limb comes crashing down.  All of this to the pride of the pullers and the delight of the audience.

Yep, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  I’m sure my brother appreciates me blasting the story across the web.

Maybe the next blog we’ll return to more serious matters but thanks for letting me relive a fond memory with my brother.

Arrivederci, see you later.


25
Jan 10

Walkie Talkie

Wow… you’re back.  I wasn’t sure I would see you again after the last blog.  Welcome!  As I said in my first entry, I am taking this journey whether anyone joins me or not but its nice having the company.

Enough of the niceties, the mountain is calling, onward and upward.

Have you ever strolled along a secluded wooded path with someone?  There’s something about nature and a leisurely stroll that stimulates the sensesrelaxes the mind and most especially opens the heart.  Laughter is free and conversation natural.

There is a subtle joy that seeps in as you slowly walk along with your head bobbing up and down… looking up and around at the beauty and then to the path at your feet to secure your next step.  This cadence with the surroundings does something to and in us.  Our guard tends to be lowered and casual conversation about the trees and beauty seamlessly (almost magically) transforms into dialogue about life.

Our deepest and most meaningful conversations are spontaneous, never contrived.  You cannot force deep interaction.  In fact force undermines the very virtue you seek.

Unfortunately deep meaningful conversations are the all too rare… those times when we feel comfortable enough with someone to expose our deeper self, the self below the obligatory niceties.

Side Note: My hallmarks of a meaningful conversation

  • Natural and fluid vs. forced and formal
  • Both are engaged, not one sided
  • Probing but not pushy
  • Questions but not challenging
  • Varied opinions but not judgmental
  • Focus is on my learning and insight vs. trying to change the other person

By the way, have you ever met someone who felt they needed to set people straight?  For what ever reason they feel it is their calling to let you know where you’re wrong or where you’ve failed.

Strange paradox…  deep conversations are not only for people we know.  The amazing thing to me is some of our deepest conversations are with total strangers.  Why is that?  I have my opinions but I would like yours.

I have had amazing conversations with people on planes.  The small seats, tight quarters and background roar of the engines suddenly disappear and your eyes, mind and focus are fixed.  Sadly, I must confess, many of my deepest conversations have been with people I have just met.

I have two other quick observations.  First, deep conversation is a gift of trust, and secondly they are remarkably intimate.

Hold on… I’m not talking about that kind of intimate.  Where is your mind going?  I’m not that kind of guy… you pervert.

Just kidding, just kidding… anything for a cheap laugh or to get a quick rouse out of someone.

You feeling it in your legs yet?  You know… the muscles begin to tighten as we walk up the mountain.  Thank goodness we’re still on a slight incline.  But the rough climbing is ahead as we begin our ascent.

Later… see you Thursday.


18
Jan 10

Head for the Hills

Hello, me again.

Last time we decided that this is a journey of exploration not destination.  So let’s explore.

I think it would be good to first get our bearings.  It’s important to know where you are.  So we are going to the mountain to look around and get a lay of the land.  We can wander around and decide where to head to next and what dragons we want to slay.

Bumper Sticker I saw yesterday:

“Not all who wander are lost”

We will have plenty of time to go through the valleys, peek in the caves and walk the streams, but right now… off to the mountain.

So I tighten my boots, straighten my pack and off we go.  We will explore as we go.

I love to explore.  I remember as a kid the pure joy of poking around old abandoned houses or attics.  I remember one time digging all around an old farm house because legend had it that one of its occupants buried their life savings during the Great Depression.

Why is exploring so exhilarating and fun?   The DISCOVERY.

There are things that magnify the experience of exploring.  You might say they are the steroids of exploration (sorry Mark).  They are the risks of the unknown, the magnitude of the potential, and the significance of the effort.  All mixed together they create a life cocktail that can be quite intoxicating.

I know people who literally search the globe going to exotic places for a new adventures and discovery.  I have one friend who actually climbed Mt. Everest.  I am not judging this at all.  You see, adventure and discovery is a part of our emotional DNA.

“From the moment of Creation, humankind has felt the pull toward discovery.”

- Penelope Stokes

But there is a question that must be asked, and it is a hard question.   We must ask… am I doing this to fill a hole or to be whole?  So I ask myself and you… am I going on this journey to fill a hole or to be whole? They sound the same but they originate from a totally different center point.  One is out of empty need the other out of fullness expanded.

I personally do not have a hole to be filled.  But God knows that I want the full expanse of being.  I want the whole enchilada of life.  And this has nothing to do with having to experience everything there is in the world.  If anything it is the opposite.  Let me quickly say, I do enjoy experiencing new things and traveling to see the vast beauty and diversity of our world.  But being full (some people say I am full of ”it”, but that is a different topic for a different time) of life and appreciation for the simple brings a wholeness and satisfaction no specific experience can bring.

Side Note:

I know that this may be a bit confusing because as I write it I find myself cocking my head.  But I do know that there is a core truth here… an important truth to grasp.

I feel sort of like the kid who knows there’s a horse in here somewhere.  You may have to dig through the crap to find it.  But it’s there.

Also, as mentioned earlier, this is a journey of discovery not destination.  Filling a hole is a destination.  So if you’re in need of filling a hole… you might be a bit frustrated by this meandering expedition of exploration.  But you’re still more than welcome to tag along.  I always enjoy the company.  And who knows, this may be one of the pieces that leads to filling the hole.

So let’s wander around and explore as we head up the mountain.

Since I am basically pretty lazy I am not looking forward to the climb. Mountains can be very difficult.  I would much prefer a picturesque helicopter ride to the top.  But once again, if I want the full expanse of being then the easy method is not the way to get there.

As we hike up the mountain we’ll chit chat.  I have something important I need to share in my next entry.  Hopefully it won’t cause you to stop traveling with me… but for some it might.

Later… how’s next Thursday?