Posts Tagged: stop


18
Aug 11

It’s a Stop & Go Life

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Howdy… good to have you hang out with me for a bit.

A couple of blog entries back I talked about the importance of movement… any movement.

Since that blog entry a couple of things have struck me about this whole issue of moving.

Many people get caught up into the issue of direction for their life.  Don’t get me wrong.  I think direction is critical.  I am really big on the issue of knowing where you want to go.

But here’s the simple truth… it doesn’t matter what direction you are facing if there is no movement.  You won’t get there anyway.

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To me, if life boils down to one thing, it’s movement. To live is to keep moving.
- Jerry Seinfeld

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Yes, I know, pretty simplistic but true none-the-less.  Movement is primary and direction is secondary.

I met an executive one time that was hired to go into failing companies and turn them around.  He had a remarkable record of success.  I asked him the secret of his success.

Side Note: This fellow obviously had the basic raw material of intellect, business acumen, and chutzpa.

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He without hesitation shared this principle.

“When I go into a failing business they are always floundering and directionless.  The first thing I do is, very strongly and emphatically, point them in a direction.  Many times it is not the right direction for the long-term but the people just need a direction and the push to get up and get moving.  I can change course later.  The important thing is to focus team and mobilize them.”

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Chaotic action is preferable to orderly inaction.
- Will Rogers

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I know that you have heard me say this at least a hundred times, but it is worth repeating.

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

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There is something powerful in action.  Just starting… taking that first step releases something.  Sometimes I have an amazingly difficult time writing this blog.  Today was tough for some reason.

But forcing myself to… just start is the key.  I had no idea what direction I was going.  I just started.

Think about it for a moment.  When you push through the “last thing I want to do is do something” barrier, something is loosened.

When you take action in one small area it seems to positively impact other areas of your life.  People who start getting disciplined in one area seem to start making changes in other areas.

Some say that it’s just a natural principle.  Maybe, maybe not.  Personally I believe there is a Spiritual principle at work in all of this, but that is a topic for a different time.

One more point about this movement topic.

The powerful reality of movement… is that you get somewhere.

I ran across a thought provoking quote by William Stafford (1914-1993).  Stafford was a prolific and highly respected American poet.  When asked by a reporter how he began his career as a poet he said,

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“I just kept on doing what everyone starts out doing. The real question is, why did other people stop?”

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When you stop it’s difficult to regain momentum.

If you have stopped and need to get going again… take a step.  Join me on the journey.

See you on Monday.


23
May 11

The Monk with the Tiffany Blue Box

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Hi there.

On Thursday I started a story about the Buddhist Monk that I encountered at the Phoenix airport on a flight from Phoenix to Los Angeles last Wednesday.

If you didn’t read the last blog it would probably be a good idea to take a look at it so you can get the total picture of this striking experience.

Before we dive into what happened at the airport in Los Angeles I have to let you know that the Tiffany blue box the Monk was holding on the plane has no bearing on the story.  Though it peaked my curiosity, he just held it during the flight and then tucked it away upon landing.

I put it in the title because it had a nice ring (no pun intended) to it.

OK, back to the monk and the Los Angeles airport.

Upon landing I quickly became consumed with the usual business traveler ritual.  While the plane approaches the gate we quickly prepare our plan for rapid exit from the plane.  As soon as the plane stops and the bell dings you unclick your seatbelt and stand to the aisle in one fluid motion.

You stand your ground, grab your items, and when the line gives way you waddle down the narrow aisle with the rest of the herd.

Once I got out of my seat and in the aisle I didn’t even think about the monk.  I was a man on a mission.

I thought I was making pretty good time through the concourse to baggage claim.  I was running the gauntlet of travelers in an especially skilled and stealth manner if I say so myself.

I got to the escalator to go down the baggage claim.  It was a long escalator that carried it’s human cargo smoothly down into the depths.

About two thirds down I noticed the usual line of limo drivers with their signs scribbled with the names of their ride to be.

But in the middle of the drivers I noticed a person that didn’t fit the surroundings.

There was a somewhat attractive, slightly plump middle aged woman.  She was a striking contrast to the black suited limo drivers.  She had an olive complexion, jet black hair and dressed completely in white.

Her wide grin and the expression on her face was joyous.  She stared straight up the escalator looking directly past me.  I turned to see who she was peering at… you guessed it… the monk.

First of all, I was kind of spooked because it was like he just appeared behind me.  There was no way any ordinary person could have kept up with my skilled maneuvering through the airport.  He must have been ninja monk.   But I digress.

She maintained eye contact with the monk behind me the entire journey down the escalator.

At the bottom of the escalator I quickly took a few steps and turned around to look.

When I turned to see what was going to happen I was taken back.  The scene was so foreign to the setting or our societal norms.

The woman was on her knees and she was bowed completely over from the waist with her face on the floor and her arms extended out on the carpet with her hands flat.

It was an amazing sight.  Here you had the hustle and bustle of baggage claim with all the families, travelers and limo drivers and there was a person bowing as low as one could get on carpet that collects millions of foot steps each year.

I don’t know who the monk was or the story of the woman.  I will never know.

But this is what struck me… this nicely dressed woman without the slightest hesitation, or with any qualms about her surroundings, took a position of complete servitude.

This screams the question, what do I love and care enough about where my surroundings do not restrict my actions?

How about you?

I think I will unpack this more on Thursday.


18
Oct 10

Stop or Cop-Out

Hi there. 

Just so you know from the get go, I am not looking forward to writing this blog today.  I write it very reluctantly… but I must.

If you haven’t read the last blog entry you will need to take a look at it because this entry won’t make much sense if you don’t. 

Side Note:  Go ahead and read it.  We’ll wait on you.  We’ll just hang out here while you backtrack.  Maybe I’ll tell a joke while you’re gone.  Just be quick about it. 

 

Joke:  Did you hear about the scientist who got deeply depressed because his experiments continually failed?

He tried to cross watermelon and cauliflower and all he got was melancholy. 

Sorry.  Pretty bad huh?  I actually made that joke up. I know, I know, don’t worry, I won’t try that again.

 

Welcome back!

I honestly believe I made the first part of this blog light and trivial because, as I mentioned, I really don’t want to write on the topic.

As you read in my last blog I saw a young girl really hurting… my heart broke for her.  I didn’t feel I could do anything for her because of the dynamics I mentioned and so I just drove on. 

I want to drive on now but this time there is nothing stopping me.  If I keep driving now it is out of cowardice.  So I stop my usual blog blather and attempt over the next few days to unpack the event.

I have no illusions that my feeble perspectives will change the world.  It is not intended to.  Steve Jobs founder of Apple said that he wanted to make a ding in the universe.  I believe he has.  I do not have such lofty goals.  BUT… I do want to make a ding in you.

If we make enough dings in each other then maybe collectively we can move the world mean-o-meter down a notch or two.

There are a couple of things I need to say before I proceed.

  1. This blog is not intended to be (nor will be) a social or political commentary.  God knows we have enough of that.
  2. I feel totally inadequate tackling such complex and pervasive issues.  There are no new insights I can provide on this topic.  But I can share how it impacts me personally, just one person.  Just maybe it will be something that resonates with you.  When enough people resonate on the same frequency, the world vibrates.

 

Oh thank goodness… I am to the end of the computer page.  I usually type one page single space per blog entry. 

Side Note:  I asked my wife to read this and tell me what she thought.  She said it was good overall but the ending was a cop-out.  Yep.  Correct.  It is a cop-out.  Sorry if I disappointed any of you in me.  As you can quickly tell I’m not perfect. 

 

But the reality is, even if I may be able to put off the topic one more day, I must stop and engage.

Just to get your mind set in motion, in the next blog I plan on talking about the foundation or core of the issues… Evil. 

I will need my rest.  I think I am in for some heavy lifting.

See you Thursday.


13
Mar 10

Freedom Through Bondage

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 channelled 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.

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

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

It is said that you can tell who the professionals are because they make it look so easy.  That’s very true. 

I marvel at the ability of some dancers or athletes.  The freedom they have to release their body in different ways is literally amazing.  This level of freedom only comes through forced discipline.  It is the relinquishing of the freedom of the moment for the freedom of the ultimate.

Take a look at this quick video.  It illustrates the amazing beauty, ease, and elegance of a body that is free.

YouTube Preview Image

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Freedom… that’s what this journey’s all about.  I think I’m pretty much like everyone else in that there are parts of my life that are really terrific.  I experience joy and freedom in those parts of my life in which I have invested.

But the Voice calls us to more.  And there is so, so, so much more.  But for whatever reason we become lulled in our relative freedom not really realizing that there is so much more.  I sat too long looking from afar at what could be. 

So, as you know, I started this journey of writing.  The discipline of forcing time to write and struggling to find a way for the words and thoughts inside to find release and meaning is very difficult.  Very difficult!  But… I keep stepping forward. 

I ran across a great quote that encourages me.  William Stafford, (1914-1993) was a prolific and highly respected American poet.  When asked by a reporter how he began his career as a poet he said,

“I just kept on doing what everyone starts out doing. The real question is, why did other people stop?”

So I keep going. 

What treasures are trapped in you?

Thanks for hanging in there with me.  We’ll get up this mountain eventually.

Later.


9
Mar 10

The Voice Again

Whether you hear it or not there is a voice calling… a zephyr voice so slight that it easily gets lost in the noise of life.  It is a quiet voice that catches our attention in odd, obscure ways.

Maybe it is something we heard, read or saw that quietly touched something.  A place inside we weren’t even aware of until it got our attention.  We were stilled by an odd curiosity or being intrigued by something obscure or out of character.

What or who is this voice?  Is it destiny… premonition… God… heartburn…?

Literature has mentioned this voice for centuries in terms of… the call of the sea… the call of the mountains… the call of the wild, or any other sort of descriptor that compels us to step beyond where we are into the unknown.

An Interesting Event:

I was just interrupted by a knock at the front door.  I was a bit frustrated because the knock caused me to break stride in my flow of thought on this all important blog of mine.

I opened the door, there standing before me was a very nervous, awkward young Boy Scout (about 11 would be my guess).  He was appropriately attired in his scouting shirt patches and all.  He was going door to door selling mulch for his troop.

I was stilled.  I knew immediately that this was not to be a casual, “No thank you.”

When I first saw him his eyes quickly shifted from my face to my chest and then made their way to my feet.  This is where they stayed most of the time except with an occasional glance upward as comfort allowed or the sales pitch demanded when presenting the brochure.

His father was standing a couple of feet to the side with that… you’re on your own but I’m here to help you posture.  His non-verbals spoke clearly of support… but also protection.  Not physical protection but the kind of protection you give to a child that seems to have been on the “outside” and who knows the ramifications of being so.

Side Note: Some of you reading know what it means to be on the “outside”.  This is not foreign territory.  It is not a pleasant place to be.

The blog… my interrupted flow of thought… my frustration, quickly were put in their place because there was something beyond my here and now.

The VOICE!

The voice calls us out and calls us to.  This time it was “to”.

You see, this journey is not one of selfish insight.  It is a journey of wholeness.  And wholeness is never selfish.  The voice always takes us out of self, never toward self.

The “Be Prepared” scout did not need me to be patient or attentive as he explained the benefits of purchasing mulch in bulk.  But I believe it made his stop at the next house easier.  And that’s important… especially if you are one who has been use to struggling.

I never want to allow the noise of life (or this blog) to hide the gentle call.

There is a voice… constantly calling… voice beyond view that beckons us to something.

How is your hearing?  If you aren’t open you will miss amazingly great and precious opportunities to grow or touch.

Ciao.