Frequently Uncomfortable

2706077104_70df96a778_zPurely by personal choice soon I will be retiring from professional life in order to pursue a myriad of other interests. It’s an agenda far too long to ever complete, but I am exceeding excited and grateful to have the time to apply myself to it. My ‘new life’ will require some fairly radical habit changes. Lately, on and off, I have been reading thoughts on-line others have shared about breaking routine. Here’s a list of ten things I can start applying even before my time is my own:

  1. Hold a conversation with a new person everyday. Expand your world beyond people similar to you. You’ll learn about ways of life and outlooks on life that are incredibly different from your own.
  2. Avoid wasting time. You have far too little. Don’t watch television. Yeah, I know, you mostly watch the history and science channels. People tell me that all the time. Turn it off and go do something else. Anything else.
  3. Waste time. Relaxation frees the subconscious to connect the blocks of your knowledge and experiences. When you free your mind your subconscious has more power to bring in random thoughts or connect items that are not necessarily related to each other.
  4. Use your lunch, not just for lunch with friends or to run errands. Go to museums, new restaurants, new parks, try new foods. So many people waste this time working at their desks or going to the same restaurant with the same people and eating the same food.
  5. Read books from the Dummies series on subjects you have no use for. Even better, read children’s books; they’re faster. There are millions of subjects you could expose yourself to with a few minutes each day.
  6. Play with Legos and Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs. The building challenges, the creation of something quickly and easily is both a puzzle solving exercise and builds visualization skills. In addition, anything that triggers childhood memories is good.
  7. Create a piece of art and enter it into an art exhibit. My guess, call it an educated guess, is that most of my readers can not even take this suggestion seriously. You have “No talent, time, tools, techniques, yada yada yada.” So how about taking some of that tenacity and courage and give art a try?
  8. Try writing a short story. You don’t have to be Hemingway. Trouble coming up with an idea? Write the story about a character doing what you do, at work, home, having fun, whatever. Two thousand words are all you need.
  9. Expose yourself to a wide variety of music. Thanks to the internet you can now listen to anything you can imagine and more. …if you normally listen to American Pop then it’s time to try some jazz and classical.
  10. Change your schedule… You’ll see your world differently, you’ll sense different emotions in the people you meet and hear different sounds.

Achieving a different life lived with fresh experiences and lessons is simple, but difficult. Regardless of the challenges I am marching confidently toward my new way of being with conviction. This change of direction seems so kindred, yet just out of reach.

Change is frequently uncomfortable, but in the friction with old habits lies new ways of seeing, being and understanding.  I am alive with anticipation and gratefulness for the opportunity life is affording me.

The only person who is spiritually smart
is the one who has learned how to learn,
unlearn, and change directions instantly,
and start all over again, if your soul calls for it.
Michelle Casto

More Like Myself

Love… love… love. There are few people on Earth who do not yearn for a remarkable love like those found in the movies. While the “with all my heart, happily ever after variety” of romance often portrayed in film usually ranges somewhere between partial fact to dream-like fantasy, many still desire what they see. At least to a degree, I am among them and below are three movie quotes that have special meaning to me (with a 4th bonus line at the bottom)

“Look, I guarantee there’ll be tough times. I guarantee that at some time, one or both of us is gonna want to get out of this thing. But I also guarantee that if I don’t ask you to be mine, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life, because I know, in my heart, you’re the only one for me.” (from “Runaway Bride”)

“Love is passion, obsession, someone you can’t live without. If you don’t start with that, what are you going to end up with? Fall head over heels. I say find someone you can love like crazy and who’ll love you the same way back. And how do you find him? Forget your head and listen to your heart. To make the journey and not fall deeply in love – well, you haven’t lived a life at all.” (from “Meet Joe Black”)

“It was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together … and I knew it. I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home. .. only to no home I’d ever known … I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was like … magic.” (From “Sleepless in Seattle”)

A many-times-broken heart within still loves and desires to be loved, maybe more so than ever. In appropriate measure the lesson to cherish the gift of being loved was taught to me the most difficult way. There is much gratefulness for the love I once had in my arms and let slip way; not once but several times. Through those losses I came to know great teachers such as grief, heartache and misery who brought some of the wisdom I possess today.  

“I am someone else when I’m with you, someone more like myself”.
(from “Original Sin” starring Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jollie)