If I Had My Life To Live Over Again

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If I had my life to live over again,
I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.
I’d relax.
I’d limber up.
I’d be sillier than I’ve been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances,
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would, perhaps, have more actual troubles but fewer imaginary ones.
you see, I’m one of those people who was sensible and sane,
hour after hour,
day after day.

Oh, I’ve had my moments.
If I had to do it over again,
I’d have more of them.
In fact, I’d try to have nothing else – just moments,
one after another, instead of living so many yeas ahead of each day.
I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot-water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute.
If I could do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had to live my life over,
I would start barefoot earlier in the spring
and stay that way later in the fall.
I would go to more dances,
I would ride more merry-go-rounds,
I would pick more daisies.
By Nadine Stair, an amazing 85-year-old woman, from Louisville, Kentucky, who provided the words above after someone asked her how she would have lived her life differently if she had a chance.

Gratefulness adds richer color and a gentle texture to everything.

Never let the things you want
make you forget the things you have.
Anonymous

The Thinking Mind: The Playground Bully

thinkerThe thinking mind is very similar to the playground bully of grammar school; the insecure, dysfunction being that over compensates by showing itself to be cruel, unforgiving and completely in control. What “we think” is of our own creation.

The sad part is we believe our most all of our thoughts and think they are “us”. However, deep down we know that is not true (at least at some point in life that truth rises to the surface, even if we choose to let the “bully” (thinking mind) over power that knowing).

I believe each of us innately knows what we should and should not do; what is right for us and what is not. The problem for most is, this knowing arrives very quietly and never speaks loudly. While the thinking mind communicates with us in words, thoughts and broken sentences. The higher self communicates in feelings; a sense of things; intuitive, soft and true; but so very easy to ignore. Call the higher self your gut, intuition, guardian angel, soul or whatever suits you. Follow its direction and your life will improve remarkably for the better.

The (thinking) mind is insistent. It takes charge over the heart’s connection to truth, the inner compass, and the body’s innate wisdom about its own eternal nature. It disconnects us from the source of wisdom and truth.

We strive to create an identity for ourselves that we can be proud of. We want to be independent, unique, special. We want to make a splash and leave an impact on the world. We hope to leave a legacy. We want to be recognized for our contributions.

Yet, for the most part, we have no idea what we’re doing here, and we fall into a trap of working hard, making money, paying bills, working harder, making more money, paying higher bills, until something goes awry and we have to examine our reality. An illness or accident, a relationship breaks down, we lose a job or run out of money – something triggers a snap that flips a switch.

Then a light bulb turns on and we realize what we thought was reality is just a maze we created for ourselves within this game of illusion.

And now the game gets fun. Now we get to find our way out of the maze we’ve constructed that hides the light of knowing inside ourselves. We are inspired to make our way back to the center pole of truth before the timer on our game show stint runs out.

There are many pathways we can take, and crazy confusing signals that try to direct us which path to take. We’re afraid to take the wrong path and end up in worse shape than before we started.

Before we realize we’re in a game, much less begin to try to figure out how the game works, we’re so riddled in lies, or shall we say, beliefs that direct us away from core truth, that we don’t know which end is up. . Mastura Debra Graugnard  http://www.patheos.com/blogs/essenceoftheone/2017/02/this-life-is-the-ultimate-reality-show/

My life changed for the better when I began to “feel” and follow the direction of my deeper self. I can’t do it all the time and frankly, can’t even be that in touch the majority of the time. But when I can ignore my thinking mind and “feel” the direction I am given, my life ALWAYS turns out for the best.

There is no greater agony
than bearing an untold story
inside you.
Maya Angelou

You Have To…

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First posted on Good Morning Gratitude on July 3, 2014

Life will break you.
Nobody can protect you from that,
and living alone won’t either,
for solitude will also break you with its yearning.
You have to love.
You have to feel.
It is the reason you are here on earth.
You are here to risk your heart.
You are here to be swallowed up.
And when it happens that you are broken,
or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near,
let yourself sit by an apple tree
and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps,
wasting their sweetness.
Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.
Louise Edrich “The Painted Drum”

Improved Means to an Unimproved End

First posted June 30, 2012

Living in a country where I have been programmed to consume, it’s difficult not to indulge to or even past the point of what I can afford. Things have not always been so in this country. Somewhere in the last hundred years or so American culture went from pursuing our needs to one of chasing our wants. Hence, the concept of a “standard of living” came about which is made possible by all who want to sell stuff at a profit.

It is evident to me I don’t need most of what I have, but have been advertised into a little bit of insanity about raising my “standard of living”; having more stuff, newer stuff, better stuff or more expensive stuff. Like a hamster on a wheel I have gone round and round trying to satisfy an insatiable desire. There is nothing wrong with wanting, but what I do about those desires matters.

As one friend said to me years ago, “having lots of stuff is OK, as long as the stuff does not have you”. Having grown up poor it has been easy for me to grow emotionally connected to my stuff as I have succeeded and progressed professionally. Having “stuff” is part of my “other esteem” issue when things outside me sometimes get substituted for where my self-esteem should be. Just recognizing I do that and accepting it has been a healthy step.

Now days I sometimes finding myself feeling burdened by all the things I have. Moving out of the country for a year a while back I was amazed how much storage space was needed for my stuff. No storage unit was large enough. I had to rent a warehouse!

What I hang on to actually shapes my life to an extent. The stuff determines to a point how I spend my money, where I live, what I do and don’t do and even when I do it. Honestly there have been times when I yearned for the youthful days when everything I owned would fit in my car and the smallest Uhaul trailer I could rent. True or not, I recall feeling freer back then. Certainly youth contributed to that sense, but the lack of things/stuff/possessions/crap/junk, whatever you want to call them, had a lot to do with how I felt.

So what have I done recently? Completed a project of framing items collected for twenty plus years.  My holiday weekend project is to hang them in my home. More stuff to care for and maintain. Alas, my addiction continues, but not without some progress.

I am grateful to recognize my affliction and even understand it a little. Half of facing any issue is coming to realize it exists. There I have arrived and now the difficult work begins over time: making my load of stuff lighter. After all, everything I own will belong to someone else one day. One of the sorting mechanisms I have already discovered for deciding what to keep and not keep is asking myself “I wonder how much this will sell for at an estate/garage sale some day?”

Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys,
which distract our attention from serious things.
They are but improved means to an unimproved end.
Henry David Thoreau

Everything…

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This life is what you make it.
No matter what, you’re going to mess up sometimes,
it’s a universal truth.
But the good part is you get to decide
how you’re going to mess it up…
Keep trying, hold on, and always, always,
always believe in yourself,
because if you don’t, then who will…
So keep your head high, keep your chin up,
and most importantly,
keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing
and there’s so much to smile about.
Marilyn Monroe

 

Seek Wisdom, Not Knowledge

What was hidden away by three generations of my white ancestors is a strong reason for pride for me: the remnants of Alabama Cherokee in my blood: deluded now, but a strong 1/8th of me.

Native American Ten Commandments

1. Treat the Earth and all that dwell therein with respect.

2. Remain close to the Great Spirit.

3. Show great respect for your fellow beings.

4. Work together for the benefit of all Mankind.

5. Give assistance and kindness wherever needed.

6. Do what you know to be right.

7. Look after the well-being of Mind and Body.

8. Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater Good.

9. Be truthful and honest at all times.

10. Take full responsibility for your actions.

http://www.tranquilwaters.uk.com/nativeamerican.html

My European heritage is tempered with Native American ancestry. The small amount of the latter often keeps the majority of the former in balance. I am grateful.

Seek wisdom, not knowledge.
Knowledge is of the past.
Wisdom is of the future.
Native American saying