Blog Post # 313 – Life in Flux

Note:  I am having a little problem with publishing.  I keep forgetting to hit send.  Sorry for not pushing this out yesterday.  But it was done on time!

Life gets difficult.

But that allows us to contrast with when life is good.

If we lacked struggle, we could not truly appreciate victory.

We seem to have this idealized future view where everything is clean, happy and “good.”

In reality, there is an ebb and flow to life.

Times of intense happiness.

Followed (sometimes very quickly), deep and profound grief.

We need both to appreciate the richness and fullness of a life well lived.

And it’s not really “both.”

For things come at us that are both good and bad.

Happy and sad.

A life in flow.

A life in flux.

We have to be ready for anything.

Ready to jump, to pivot, to dive or to soar.

This is true on an individual level and as a collective people here on planet Earth in 2017.

So it behooves us to be aware of the things that happen to us.

Adaptation is our goal.

Constantly asking ourselves “what’s next?” and being confident that we can handle it will serve us well.

For today, let us take it all in – the good, the bad and all the rest.

Life is no longer black and white for us.

Rather, it is a series of adjustments – tweaks both big and small.

Are you ready?

Blog Post # 312 – The Day Has Come

The day has come.

The day we dreaded.

An admitted groper of women becomes President of the United States.

A man who mocked the disabled becomes the most powerful person on the planet.

A person lacking any qualifications for the office whatsoever.

A man bereft of civility, compassion or empathy.

Here he is.

The once and future king.

He surrounds himself with zealots and people lacking experience or knowledge on how to run a government.

This is who America allowed to become President.

We can throw up our hands and let him do what he wants.

That is one choice.

Or we can fight.

To hold him accountable for this decisions.

To speak truth to power.

To organize for the elections in 2018 and 2020.

That sounds a lot better.

A lot more empowering.

Let him have his crown.

His party has control of the White House and the Congress.

The Supreme Court to follow shortly.

They cannot blame Obama anymore.

They cannot vilify Hillary anymore.

It is all belongs to them now.

We may be inclined to wish them well.

For, in the end, we love our country.

But we cannot let them turn this nation into the hellhole they envision.

So we stand our ground, call them on their lies and fight.

And hopefully, in 1461 days, it will be Mr. Trump and his entourage departing the House that is White.

That, of course, is up to us.

Blog Post # 311 – Stand

Don’t give up hope.

Don’t quit.

Today is not the day that you give in.

That you stop.

That you raise the white flag.

Keep going.

Keep striving.

Keep pressing forward.

Progress is slow.

Progress takes steady dedication and a will to overcome.

Overcome whatever it is that torments you.

Push.

Kick.

Fight.

Do not give in.

Do not say no.

Grab what you need.

Clear your mind.

And stand tall.

Resolute in your conviction.

And in the knowledge that you are building something with your life.

Something bigger than you.

And your own interests.

Be the biggest you that you can be.

At least for today.

You can do it today.

Leave tomorrow in the future.

Focus on right now.

Be present right here.

And stand.

Blog Post # 310 – Change Our Tapes

Our tapes.

The strange things we tell ourselves.

The recordings that swirl around in our brain.

Telling us that we are no good.

That we are stuck.

That any attempt at change is futile.

Our tapes are powerful.

Harmful.

And keep us trapped.

I used to have a friend in OA who would say “my mind is dangerous territory. Better for me to not go there alone.”

It helps to get these isolating thoughts out in the open.

They lose some of their power.

Speaking them to another.

Or writing them in a journal.

These simple acts can help us change our internal conversation.

Another thing is to develop new tapes.

To re-record.

Best way for me to do this is to listen to music that lifts me up.

Or to listen to podcasts or audiobooks with a positive and hopeful message.

It is possible to infuse our brain with new tapes.

And when we change the tapes, anything becomes possible.

Our fear dissipates.

And we get clear on what we can actually accomplish.
Change our tapes.

And change our world.

Blog Post # 309 – Hello, Resistance

Resistance is our friend.

Resistance gives us something to work against.

In order for a muscle to strengthen, an opposing force must be present.

This is true of our biceps, quads and triceps.

But this is also true of our mind.

And our heart.

When we want to change, to become stronger, in some aspect of our life, we have to first acknowledge that there will be resistance.

Outside resistance, as well as internal resistance.

Just part of the deal.

In fact, the more resistance that we recognize, the more likely that we are on the right track to overcome.

Difficult change does not come easily.

The person trying to overcome a sedentary lifestyle is going to face tremendous internal resistance.

The person trying to quarterback his team to victory will face 11 defenders who want nothing more than to annihilate him.

The person trying to advance civil rights for an entire people will face all of the forces of the present power structure.

So instead of running from resistance, we should embrace it.

Acknowledge its strength but vow to overcome it.

To welcome it.

To push back.

With all of the effort that we can muster.

And then kick its butt.

Blog Post # 308 – Race is Still a Thing

So, race is still a thing.

Not going away anytime soon.

America is in no way “post-racial.”

Yes, we elected our first black President.

But then we elected a man who was happy to be endorsed by the KKK and the American Nazi Party. Who made big headlines by capitalizing on the racial divide.

We still look at each other through the prism of race.

Their race and our race.

We still generalize, stereotype and discriminate.

Predominantly Caucasian schools still get more funding than predominantly African American schools.

Yes, there may be reasons for this.

But it is still a thing.

African American men are incarcerated at much higher rates than their white counterparts.

Economic disparity often tracks race.

Have we made strides?

I suppose.

But if we look around, we see a racial component to many events of the past few years.

Ferguson.

Black Lives Matter.

Make America White Again.

Anti-immigrant sentiment.

I’m not here to share some Pollyanna, can’t we all get along drivel.

I am just acknowledging the state of where we are at.

For today is the celebration of the birth of one who challenged America on its racist past and present.

Who died speaking for the poor, the discriminated against and the forgotten.

A man who died because of the color of his skin and the hatred of a white man.

We will never have another Dr. King.

Which is too bad.

Because we could really use his eloquence, his leadership, his empathy and his passion right about now.

Here in 2017.

Where race is still a thing.

Blog Post # 307 – Hard to Let It Go

Let it go.

Just let it go.

All that shit from my past.

Want to let it go.

So hard.

Easier to be angry.

To replay, relive and recall the hurt.

But what’s the point?

Isn’t the better approach to look forward?

Maybe this is why I am such a fan of change.

Of improvement.

Of looking forward instead of back.

Striving, creating, building, sustaining.

Goodbye to the hurt.

Sayonara.

Not to be ignorant.

Not to be naive.

Not to forget.

But because I don’t want it to rule me.

I don’t want it to define me.

I need to box it up.

I need to give it boundaries.

So that I can breathe.

Focus.

And to keep going.

Leave all the shit behind.

And keep going.

Blog Post # 306 – Outrage of the Day

NOTE:  I keep forgetting to hit publish.  This was Saturday’s post.

They want you distracted.

They want you scared.

They want you angry.

Preferably, a righteous anger.

Local and national news stations make their money by getting you to tune in.

To hear the latest outrage.

Watch the latest scandal.

Get your blood boiling.

Now we even have stations devoted to one political worldview or another.

MSNBC is for liberals.

Fox News is for conservatives.

So much talk about “fake news,” but no one talks about how much drivel all of the news stations spew forth.

How much wasted energy.

Be scared of the Muslims.

Be angry at Trump or Hillary.

All Lives Matter!

What if we took away their power?

What if we stopped watching?

Maybe not forever.

But for 30 days. As an experiment.

What could we do with ourselves?

Read a book of substance.

Play with our children.

Listen to a podcast that makes us think about things.

Might we just be a wee bit happier?

Maybe, just maybe, the remote control isn’t controlling our television.

But instead the news of the day is controlling us, remotely.

Lots of things to unplug from in 2017.

But perhaps the outrage of the day is a good place to start.

Blog Post # 305 – Screw Fiction

What do you know is true?

verses …..

What do you think may be true?

Fact or fiction.

We tell ourselves many things that aren’t true.

I am fat.

I am a loser.

I suck.

Forget all of that.

Those are fictions.

Fictions that we tell ourselves so that we can play it safe.

Take no risks.

Stay the same.

Fact: you are amazing.

Fact: your body is as it is because of the food you put in your mouth and the amount of calories that you burn.

Fact: you can achieve anything that you want.

Screw fiction.

Stick with the facts.

So turn off the tapes.

And be you.

With everything that encompasses.

That’s the triple truth, Ruth.

Blog Post # 304 – Our Brave Face

My brave face.

Will I let you see the real me?

Behind my mask.

Will I let you in?

You think you know me.

It is only a part.

The happy face that I share online.

The one where everything is fine.

Everything is okay.

I allow you glimpses every now and then.

But my mask is functional.

Effective.

A hard exterior designed to keep you out.

To hide my vulnerability.

What if we put down the mask?

Shared a lot more of ourselves.

It is certainly okay to hold some things back.

But what do we have to lose in revealing a bit more.

Expressing ourselves.

Revealing our art.

Speaking our truth.

For today, let us decide to be more honest.

More real.

More open.

And see where this takes us today.