My aunt met my bride and I for lunch the other day. She has been such an amazing mentor and example throughout my life. Being there through many of life’s trials and somehow understanding what I’m going through. While catching up she said she had reconsidered not having a headstone. Although she still wants cremation she said she has decided she recently purchased a plot because she wants to leave a maker. Just something that says she was here. She said “I haven’t written a book, and this is easier”. As we left the restaurant and she crossed the street, I couldn’t help but notice the limp in her gate as she made her way to her car. And I sensed a sadness in her that I hadn’t felt before. At 70 I’m sure she is thinking her time is limited unaware of the mark she has already left. I’ve recently seen great men, who thought their legacy secure pass on only to have their dream unravel. My headstone lives on in each soul I have touched and so does yours. Not all of us get to experience the immortality of a book or record deal. But it doesn’t mean we don’t touch and influence. We do and we have to recognize it. Emerson said “To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” Fear not you have left your mark my gurdian angel , my aunt and my friend. 

 

20140323-225509.jpg

Zen Thinking

March 4, 2014

“Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire.”

“To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain which sustain life, “not the top. Here’s where things grow.”

Excerpt From: “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

So why is it that we always focus on the top? Of getting there? Of arriving? Gandhi said “The path is the goal”. When I stop to think about it most of our lives are spent in the journey and the struggle to achieve whatever purpose we have determined worth our effort. I am committing myself to a different approach. To travel well and enjoy the journey. To embrace the struggle and find meaning in it. And to realize that the top of whatever mountain I’m climbing does not hold what I am seeking. Choice is such a powerful tool.

20140304-213250.jpg

Focus

January 20, 2014

Clearing one’s mind of the endless stream of static is so difficult to master, yet so vital to our well being. Here are 2 articles to help slow down and live in the moment.
mindfulness
too busy

20140120-061047.jpg

Finding Joy

January 20, 2014

I set a few goals last year in the new year. This year as I looked back at what I wrote, sure enough the same list was staring back at me. Then I came across this blog post. finding joy

A New

January 1, 2014

IMG_9006As we begin the new year I’m grateful for my health and the health of loved ones, the companionship and love I have in my life, my love, my family and my friends,.  The opportunities I have to make a difference in ways that matter to me in work, and in lives of those my talents can touch. The beautiful place we live that offers so much in terms of beauty and recreation to fish, photograph, ride motorcycles and enjoy the outdoors.  The time that I live that allows me to learn, understand, and enjoy technology making my life easier and opening up windows to vast amounts of information to explore.  Self awareness that I can continue to grow, learn and progress toward my life’s purpose.  Self help guru Stephen Covey taught “Begin with the end in mind”.  Some time ago I put that end into words… “In the end I want to be remembered as a loyal, kind, loving, and supportive husband and father; an understanding, honorable and forgiving son; a brother who was always there; a loyal friend who knows how to keep a confidence; and a man who lived life with passion, integrity, devotion, and love.  I hope that the small part of the world I touch will better because I was here, and that the lives of those who knew me were better because of my influence.  Did I learn to love well?  Did I learn to live fully?  Did I learn to let go?  As we begin a new this continues to be my focus…

 

Do the work

December 2, 2013

Malcolm Gladwell speaks of the ten thousand hours to become an artist. Ira Glass gives the hope and encouragement to keep going. To push through those barriers of doing the work that doesn’t yet reflect the artistry you know you’re after.
Do the work

Pale blue dot

November 6, 2013

20131105-214132.jpg

The Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of planet Earth taken in 1990 by the Voyager 1 spaceprobe from a record distance of about 6 billion kilometers from Earth. Subsequently, the title of the photograph was used by Sagan as the main title of his 1994 book, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space.
I happened upon this fact as I watched the closing scene in the Wikileaks documentary “We steal secrets”. An interesting story in and of itself. And a sad commentary of our times, our government, and the power and importance of factual information.
Here are a few quotes from the book.
“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”

“Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.”

“To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

“The visions we offer our children shape the future. It _matters_ what those visions are. Often they become self-fulfilling prophecies. Dreams are maps.”

I haven’t yet read the book. But I must admit I found profound wisdom, and insight into these words. In this tumultuous world we find ourselves in,and as we struggle with the problems of our times if we could see the world as Mr.Sagan did, a small, lonely pale blue dot in a vast and expansive universe. I wonder if we wouldn’t treat it and each other with a little more care.

More Rumi

September 20, 2013

Do You Love Me?

A lover asked his beloved,
Do you love your­self more
than you love me?

The beloved replied,
I have died to myself
and I live for you.

I’ve dis­ap­peared from myself
and my attrib­ut­es.
I am present only for you.

I have for­got­ten all my learn­ing,
but from know­ing you
I have become a schol­ar.

I have lost all my strength,
but from your power
I am able.

If I love myself
I love you.
If I love you I love myself.

20130919-221943.jpg

The day the music died

June 12, 2013

I have read that a democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury.

From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising them the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.

The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence:

“From bondage to spiritual faith;
from spiritual faith to great courage;
from courage to liberty;
from liberty to abundance;
from abundance to selfishness;
from selfishness to apathy;
from apathy to dependence;
from dependency back again into bondage.”

Dr. Alexander Tytler, a Scot professor, wrote a scholarly tome, from which this concept comes, called “The Athenian Republic” which was published shortly before the thirteen American colonies gained independence from Britain.

“One man wakes, awakens another
Second one wakes his next door brother
Three awake can rouse a town
And turn the whole place upside down
Many awake will cause such a fuss
It finally awakes all of us
One man wakes with dawn in his eyes
Surely then it multiplies.” ~ Leeland

The awaking has begun at 237. Sounds about right

20130611-221459.jpg

Facebook“I’m not sure there’s any number of Facebook likes that can replace a hug.” ~ Seth Godin

I’ve never been a fan of Facebook, nor have I joined the masses, and public pressure to join it.  Early on it was because I heard too many stories of electronic stalking, and time wasted trying to “keep up with friends”.  I see the value of connection and sharing with your tribe.  The problem I see with it is that it seems like you can’t limit it to your tribe.  You information is out there for anyone trolling cyberspace to lock into.  Movies like Catfish only confirmed my reservations.  As I’ve watched the progression, I’ve held onto my instinct.  Simplify your life, decrease drama and live life in the real realm, not an electronic one…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25 other followers