Lying to Myself

“So much to do, with so little time.” A phrase I’ve heard many people say, including myself. But now I wonder if I said it as an excuse for not doing something I should have done.

Eight weeks of isolation gave me plenty of time to start several projects that had been waiting on the back burner – but I was busy doing other things. Or was I? Am I lying to myself when I say that?

If I had to prepare an official report of my accomplishments in the last eight weeks the list would contain mundane tasks that no one else would ever consider worthy of reporting. So, there it is. I have nothing tangible to report. But I did have an awakening, or rather, an “Ah-ha!” Oprah moment, while searching my brain for something I could claim as an accomplishment.

I realized my brain was the problem. Like a good friend, my brain was always there, cheering me on, pointing out errors, giving excuses, and suggesting other [more entertaining] things I could be doing with my time. It was behaving like a dog playing in the yard one minute, then, when a squirrel appeared, it suddenly took off after it. I think this stay-at-home-isolation-thing activated my brain to go on auto-pilot, which in-turn, allowed it to chase one squirrel after another. It’s amazing how it constantly came up with ideas; observed things; analyzed things; and distracted me from accomplishing anything. I was exhausted – and yet, I had done nothing. I didn’t exert one ounce of energy so how could I possibly be exhausted? I had to pull the auto-pilot plug and take control of the wheel.

Simply placing all of my attention on one of my projects was all it took. As I purposely focused with intent, my brain wasn’t able to interject random thoughts because it was too busy working for me. I was no longer on auto-pilot. I was in control and flying high. I planned, organized, and strategized. And now, I am proud to report, I am in the process of editing and illustrating a second children’s story I started years ago. And as I write this, no word of a lie, a squirrel is on my deck. I won’t look. Oh, the little rat is at my plant. I gotta go chase the squirrel. [At least this one is real !]

~ I hope this inspires you

Nova Scotia Strong

How does one begin to fathom such a tragic event?

If you listen to Unbreak My Heart by Toni Braxton, you can hear the deep pain of losing a loved one. The agony she expresses is undeniable – but it’s just a song.

This was an event that will never be forgotten.

Like the morning fog that rolls in off the Atlantic, shock has crept in and covered the province with a blanket of pause. Shock helps to numb the pain, cloud the mind and tune out the noise – temporarily. Once the fog lifts, reality slowly seeps in. Clarity of the new now, the new normal, will force many to carry on without their loved ones. How does one begin to plan their future without their loved ones?

It is difficult to truly understand what anyone feels or is going through. Unless we experienced it first-hand, we are disconnected from their personal pain. We can feel a glimpse of their pain if we pause to recall our own. Anyone who has personally experienced a tremendous loss, has compassion. Compassion is a loving understanding; a remembrance of what it feels like to suffer deeply.

This Covid virus, has added another dimension to the families’ grief. Alone is the last place anyone should be while suffering. Community support has pieces of Nova Scotia tartan tied to mailboxes and trees. Others have started Fund Me sites for the families affected by this tragic event. The province may be physically separated, but all Nova Scotian hearts are together in sorrow, praying for better days ahead with more peaceful tomorrows. Stay strong Nova Scotia.

As a footnote; In this age of social media and cyberspace an irony is noticeable. Globally, we are closer than ever. But personally, our relations with family and friends have in many ways grown apart. Don’t get me wrong, there is always contact – a quick call – an email – a snap chat or text, but rarely do our busy schedules include time for a lengthy, in-depth conversation. Later. I’ll do that later.

We are connected to the whole world but are disconnected from the actual ‘relating’ part of our relationships. We need to take the time to express and share our thoughts and feelings, and we need to listen to others in order to understand each other better. That’s what relationships are all about. Communication comes in many forms these days – but unless we get to the heart of any matter – we are not relating with anyone – we are simply greeting each other with idle chatter.

The pain of a tragedy takes years to unfold, and a victim’s story is often retold. The world will move on. New headlines will replace the old, but a victim’s story never grows old. Everyone copes in their own way. Grief has no timeline. If a victim needs to share their grief – let them speak. Put every ounce of compassion you have into focusing on them and listen to their pain. Their story is not for you to compare or share, it’s only said for you to hear.

~ Love and compassion can heal a broken heart

Stirring the Pot

Sometimes it’s hard to be joyful when our thoughts are constantly focused on worrying. I learned an interesting approach to negative emotions years ago that is very helpful. When sad, make someone else feel happy. When hungry, feed someone else. It’s amazing how doing for others lifts you up and makes you feel better inside.

But in this era of social distancing it may be a good time to focus on You. Remember when we were kids, and we knew we were going somewhere exciting. Before we were out the door we allowed the experience to begin. We didn’t need to be in the pool, or at the beach, we were excited by the mere thought of going. That’s what we need to do; mimic that child-like-on-the-edge-of-our-seat-excitement!

This is what I call, stirring the pot. Allowing a thought to raise our enthusiasm. We can do this sitting at home. We can raise our energy to a high level of excitement simply by thinking of an exhilarating experience we are about to partake in.

Worrisome thoughts do the opposite. They deplete our energy. They pull us down and make us feel heavy with dread. It’s hard to shake these feelings off.

Imagine a hallway with several doors. Every door opens into a messy pile of dreaded thoughts. One door is family, another is work, another is … you get the picture. You could go in and out of these doors all day long spending too much time in each of these dark rooms – OR – you could look ahead to the end of the hallway where a well lit stairwell leads you upward to a massive sunny room where opportunity awaits you! Fill that room with your most hopeful dream. Wood working tools? Drafting tables? Computers? A theatre stage? Medical equipment? Musical instruments? Fabrics? Sheet metal? Car parts? Whatever interests you and brings you joy.

Want to take it a step further? Consider this; Mind, Body and Soul are the building blocks to creativity. The Mind thinks it, the Body builds it, and the Soul experiences it. The problem is, when the Mind heads this project, little gets done. The Body has a hard time performing when the Mind drifts into doubtful thoughts. If Worry steps in, the project gets delayed and the Soul never gets the opportunity to enjoy it. And the rest of the world never gets a chance to appreciate or be inspired by your creativity.

So let’s change the process. Let’s put our Soul in the lead! Let’s allow the Spirit of Creativity to take charge so the excitable anticipation will stay alive inside us.

Get excited, think big, let your imagination fly! Then let the mind plan it and the body build it. And any time your mind starts to take over the project with negative thoughts, go back to your original soulful desire. Your desire is your cornerstone. Write it down on a piece of paper and post it somewhere to remind you that a wonderful experience is about to happen. And enjoy every minute of the process.

Yoda, once told Luke Skywalker, “The Force is with you.”

I tell you, “The SOURCE is within you.”

Be well, stay positive, and stir your pot often!

~ I hope this inspires you

Value’s Weight Varies

Liking or disliking anything [or anyone] is decided after weighing its’ value. It’s a process most often done consciously once we recognize our own personal gains or losses. This made me feel good; that made me angry; these cost too much; those are ugly. I can’t help but notice there seems to be some confusion between a Personal Value and the Proper Righteousness of the American Judicial System.

Lady Liberty holds the scales of Justice for all to see. She proudly stands blind-folded so as not to judge by sight [pre-judge; prejudice], but rather to carefully weigh the facts of a case presented before her.

Valuing a person as a friend is one thing, but if this same friend has intentionally acted in ways that Lady Liberty would weigh as being unjust, corrupt and unlawful, then the personal value of this friend should have no bearing on the Courts’ Judgement. Anyone who chooses to place more value in their own personal preference over the righteousness of the courts has a very immature knowledge [lacks wisdom] of the American Judiciary System.

Facts, unless they are “alternative facts,” are not personal ~ they are what they are. It’s cold out ~ that’s a fact. To feel the bitter wind is a personal experience that is weighed and it’s value would vary from person to person. Now it is no longer a fact, it has become a preference. Preferences are personal, and preferences have no business in the decision-making process in the courtroom.

Righteousness does not come from authoritative figures whose personal values suppress those they dislike and promotes those they do like. Righteousness arrives after careful consideration of the facts. Once they are weighed, then the right way of thinking comes naturally – without any plots, plans, schemes or paybacks.

It is obvious that if a personal friend, who knows everything about you, is caught in a very uncomfortable situation that boarders on desperation, could possibly say or do just about anything to get themselves out of their situation. Knowing this, it would be in your best interest [gain vs. loss] to protect yourself by doing whatever you could to release this friend from their unfortunate predicament. This is not justice; this is justifying your decision. And your decision is not in the best interest of anyone, not even your friend, but yourself. Lady Liberty would not be impressed.

Intention is on Trial Today

The trial in the Senate is a battle between Trump’s current and temporary future vs America’s constitutional and permanent future. Today will determine who will put themselves first over their country, or who will put country over themselves.

What drives each and everyone of us to do anything is purely based on our intent. Why do we do what we do? If you want a promotion, will you approach your boss specifically to bad-mouth other employees with the sole intent to make them look bad so you can look good? When you look at it this way you can see the dirty, sneaky aspect of it all. Getting dirt on the Bidens is an example of Trump’s true intent.

Trump’s lawyers’ intent is to save Trump. The House’s intent is to save democracy.

Fighting for the Betterment For All is the mindset required to being a selfless hero. Fighting solely to keep your power is the mindset of a selfish dictator.

May God bless and protect America

Personal Interests

We all have personal preferences and individual goals that we each aim to achieve. However, the minute we arrive at work, our personal life should be set aside, and a mutual co-operative goal should be the focus. One that follows the business at hand.

Politically speaking, any government servant is supposed to work for the interest of the public. So I am confused to hear murmurs that a ‘hall pass’ is given to particular senators; it’s an unauthorized ‘OK’ to vote in accordance to what will help or promote their re-election in 2020. Is this not the reason for the impeachment trial – Personal Interest in the 2020 election is in question??

Nostalgia

Introducing my very young children to Eddie Murphy’s comedy no doubt would have labelled me ‘a bad influence’ to many parents and scholars, so I never openly admitted I showed them clips from his stand-up routines. [Their favourite was “The Ice-cream Man Is Coming!”] Many would say I “polluted” their virgin ears. Which would have put me on the defence because I was very protective of what I allowed my children to watch, but I guess the magic of Eddie overpowered my parental judgement.

When SNL announced Eddie was hosting, we all looked forward to it hoping to see Gumby, Buckwheat, and of course, Mr. Robinson’s Neighbourhood.

The anticipation and joy that twinkled in my eyes was also present in theirs. Had I not introduced my kids to Eddie’s comedy, they would not have appreciated Eddie’s SNL return like the rest of us 50+ year old fans did.

Thank you Eddie Murphy for bringing a shared nostalgic moment into our home.

As I write this, commentary from Cosby is circulating in the news. I will just say this, remarks and judgements thrown at Eddie in the 80’s were precisely the reason I felt guilty introducing my children to his material. I admired and respected Crosby back then. He didn’t like Eddie’s swearing. He felt it wasn’t necessary. But we can’t deny what we feel. And I felt entertained listening and watching Eddie on-stage. If anything, Eddie was being his RAW self, unlike Cosby, who was only playing the good guy.

The brilliance of Eddie Murphy is being able to wrap a 35 year old joke up with a quick one-liner “whose the American dad now?” said it all.

~ Let’s try to judge less and enjoy more

A World Without Trump

The world will not be better off without Trump. The divisiveness is in need of a hero and only one man can be that hero – Donald J. Trump.

The impeachment is likely to happen. Many will be relieved, and many will be upset.

Immediately following, Mr. Trump should address the world from his oval office and send a message of love, peace, and hope for the future.

His address should call for pause. His statement should be humble. His words should be clear. No blame should slip through his lips. Instead he should accept the vote and vow to do better. He should show his respect for the office and apologize with deep regret that his actions has caused a great divide in America.

By doing this Democrats will appreciate his acknowledgement of the severity of the situation and Republicans will respect him even more.

Living In and Loving The Moment

Flipping through channels the other night I came across Garth Brooks wiping tears from his eyes. Being curious I had to tune in. His story captivated me. We assume successful people get lucky breaks. But no one arrives at the top of their game without first pursuing their dream. And Garth had a wonderful dream.

Titles, trophies and awards validate some successful people. But Garth achieved the greatest success – true happiness. I often start my day hoping to achieve the same, but I forget to activate something within me – passion.

Success begins when we feel satisfaction. And satisfaction is felt when we enjoy what we are doing. And we enjoy what we are doing if we allow ourselves to be passionate. If we ignore our passions by placing our hope for success in the future, then ‘if tomorrow never comes,’ we lose the opportunity to feel happiness.

Watching Garth perform is not simply seeing a man strumming a guitar and singing a song – it’s watching a man celebrate his love for life! It’s watching him thoroughly enjoying what he is doing. And as we watch and listen and ‘dance’ we genuinely feel his infectious love for Living in, and Loving, [and singing in] the Moment.

Thanks for ‘The Dance’ Garth.

~ I hope this inspires you

The Right Time and Place

I have not had the pleasure of seeing Lin Manuel Mirandes’ phenomenal play, Hamilton, but I did see a special on PBS, showing the making of Hamilton and was completely blown away.

Great work is inspired. And I believe there is a divine hand leading ordinary people to do extraordinary things. And when these inspired people listen to their deepest desire [to write a play about Hamilton] and allow the seeds of their creation to grow with the pure intent to provide betterment for others, then the entire universe will support and help them to succeed.

Like dandelion seeds floating in the wind, I like to think there are ideas floating in the universe. And when one of our thoughts [hopes, dreams, wishes, desires] lines up with one of those seeds, conception occurs.

I watched the American Judicial Hearing yesterday and was inspired by the four professors who so elegantly explained the dream of the Founding Fathers and the reasoning behind the Constitution. Politics can be boring for many, but if you look at it from a perspective of efforts being made to create a better future, it becomes more meaningful.

I can’t help but wonder if Lin’s play about Hamilton was meant to be. Was it a dandelion seed floating in the air waiting to be captured by the right person who was able to use their God-given talents and abilities to shed light on a subject that is needed at this time. I truly believe, Hamilton, arrived at the right time and in the right place. NY – where would be a better place to perform such a play?

Dream big, hope for more, and aim to fulfil your desires – who knows, right now could be your time to create something that will make for a better future.

~ I hope this inspires you