Personal Bests

How about those Olympics? All that ‘personal best’ stuff happening night after night. And here I am, no blog posts for over a month, and I make ‘personal bests’ my topic of choice. Go figure.

Just wanted to share a thought about what ‘personal best’ really means. While the world celebrates and acknowledges the Olympics and its level of high achievement, this also serves as a reminder that ‘personal bests’ are not limited to athletic accomplishments. And let’s face it, these athletes competed on a level playing field kept clear of war zones, national political processes and, for the most part, external classist behaviors.

This brings me to the rest of us. The “us” that, once the Olympics are over and before football season begins, wind back down into “status quo” mode. We may let the highly broadcast and transcendent personal best of others overshadow the significance of our own lives by giving in to the everyday ennui of not feeling in the spotlight.

We fail to celebrate or see the significance of our own personal bests which may have nothing to do with fanfare or fame or awards or wealth; or even of anyone else knowing or noticing what we’ve accomplished. And, because of this, we may choose not to acknowledge our everyday personal bests because “Hey, it’s not making the news.”

Let’s think about that in a global context.

Which serves the greater good of humanity? A week-long  broadcast of phenomenal athletic prowess or the everyday commitment by the majority of our global citizens to overcome economic and political adversity while continuing to function and set a worthy example of how to stay out of the news?

So maybe it’s not as electric, exciting and fun, but it’s what actually keeps the world going forward in a good way, in a humane way. It’s what makes the news we watch a reminder of how humanity goes south when we give up on doing our personal best.

Instead of honoring our better natures and mattering in quieter, more sociable ways, some of us allow other people or forces to disrupt and corrupt our better natures. The dark side of fame lures and claims us to where we commit heinous acts that we obscure or ask others to overlook and follow us anyway. We give up on the idea that our personal best really matters; that we matter just because.

With or without a spotlight, our personal bests do matter. When we give our personal best, it’s a vote for humanity, a belief that we all belong and deserve the best from each other. It’s a vote that we’re all equal and the same, that no one has more rights here than anyone else.

Doing our personal best to maintain our personal bests is the only mindset that can ultimately save humanity – no matter who’s in the spotlight or how they got there.

Personal Best Photo

 

 

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Playing Outside Humanity’s Comfort Zone

Blog post for yesterday, Friday, July 8, 2016:

I had a God experience this morning.

Happens a lot. Somewhere between the latest feed on the internet this morning and the residual carryover from last night’s signoff newscast, I reached my saturation point for “What’s not to understand about ‘We’re all the same’!”

So, Kumbaya already, guys. Does it take a village to get that acting out of self-entitlement and mis-imagined superiority takes us all down the path to You Know Where? Let’s be God for a moment – no, for real. Not the puffed up version of Him we let ourselves get to in our own heads, but the real deal.

God, who could perform a global-wide smackdown at any given SECOND for the horrors and hurts we perpetrate on one another, in total violation of the mission He’s sent us on and, on many, many – too many – occasions, in His name! As if!

Religion is our enemy. So is any type of categorization that allows even one person to exalt himself or herself above the collective mission of humanity: to honor and accept one another’s spiritual beliefs and to find a way to live in harmony regardless of physical and philosophical differences. He never said we had to like our mission, or even agree with the terms of it. But the mission is still the mission.

Those who want to point to the inevitability of Armageddon and Revelation are missing the bigger picture: the fact that we’ve had free will going for us throughout our and our ancestors’ time on this planet. Instead of us recognizing that choosing or allowing greed, hate and power-mongering to rule us, we point to the sky and wonder why God hasn’t “transformed” us and our situation yet! Or fixed “those people” yet – whichever particular batch of “those people” we subscribe to.

Hello!!

This lighter tone does not lessen the gravity of what happened in Dallas last night, or in Minnesota or Louisiana or any of the other many places injustice and hate flare up and overpower the collective good and consciences of others.

We are our own enemy when we allow the concept of “lesser than” to be applied to any person or group of persons on the planet. Or to advocate or indulge an evening up of the score between sides, when the payback is randomly and unjustly inflicted. Smite for smite, taking a life for a life equals a whole lot of subtracting from who we’re capable of being or becoming. We fulfill our own judgments of “lesser than” and, collectively, we are ‘it’.

This is where we decide if we’re ‘all in’ as part of the global community – where ‘us’ means ALL of us – or if we’ll fold Humanity’s hand instead. Just stand pat on the cards we’ve got ‘cuz we refuse to play out of our comfort zone with the “lesser thans” at our table. Or if we have to fold ‘cuz the Game gets called for cosmic reasons beyond our choice. I’d say ‘control’, but we all know better.

I say let’s deal one more hand and all of us be ‘all in’, ‘cuz, without it there’s no way any of us are going to win. Ya know?

Lesser Than Party Pair

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Keep America Bernin’!

Flag in Storm

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America – even though that’s not allowed in as many places as it used to be.

And to the Republic for which it stands – still and in spite of our Congress and other governmental agencies,

One nation under God – which God that is seems more open to discord than once upon a time,

Indivisible – although a little less so now,

With liberty and justice for all – as if! Still working on it!

So, about Bernie.

Just making a pitch to keep America Bernin’ and alive. Yeah, maybe Hillary’s got Obama behind her, but who’s got the back of the American people? Doubt it’s Hillary.

If Hillary is so incensed about women getting paid less, how about her upping and equating the salaries for women at the Clinton Foundation? I hear earnings there are the same percentage less as everywhere else so . . . ?

Campaigning for Hillary is not an option for me. If I have to, I’ll vote for her over Trump. But until she’s walking her talk, I’m staying with Bernie until HE says he’s done.

Until then, I’m keepin’ a light turned on the  whole show until there are no more shadows or shell games to expose; until there’s the best candidate standing victorious for ALL of us.

Go, Bernie!!

 

 

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The Consequence of Saying “Yes”

As I lay on my bed trying to come up with this morning’s topic, I kept going over my ‘to do’ list in my head as well.

Not pretty.

We’re talking major pileup of the “must do’s” vs. the “not nows” or the “maybe laters”. We’re looking at planning out which “must do” to do first and which will follow after, knowing that the subliminal agenda every day is “What do I have to do to get to the things most important to me?” And, having acknowledged that, knowing that I may not give myself a “Yes” for quite some time until I’m done doing what I must or have to or need to do.

Just saying “Yes” would mean others would have to wait for what they want me to do. It would mean accepting “No” as a reason to not have what I want now. “Yes” might mean freedom. To fly, to fail, to acknowledge and accomplish my “yeses” would mean letting go of what is, choosing the unknown vs. the known, jumping aboard the yet to be. Taking a chance that the yet to be is the better option in the face of the theoretical fault line running up, through and around where I’m currently standing.

The fact that I recognize a fault line where I’m standing is the very reason why “safe” is not an option no matter which choice I make. And the one thing that has always been a sure fire motivator for me is my absolute aversion to the feeling of standing still in my own life. I may not get to leave town or do a major seismic shift in occupation but I will find ways to alter my course, if not physically then mentally or spiritually.

Changing the thought is everything to changing your reality. Choosing ‘yes’ helps the universe open up the new possibilities of who you want to become and where you want to be. It’s also believing that saying ‘yes’ won’t take away the support for those people and things that you have tended to but, for the sake of yourself, you must now relinquish some of your engagement and connection with.

So, now I say “yes”. “Yes” with no tagbacks. Let’s see what comes.

Road Trek.

 

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The Proof, Vol. 2

PROOF THRU THE ROOF

Judgment.

It’s a conundrum. We need it to figure out right from wrong, but then we let it turn us into finger-pointing, unforgiving fools when someone goes backasswards and causes harm or strays from the cultural norms of the dominant society. Or it appears to be so.

Whether that difference is philosophical, religious, biological or psychological, we let judgment diminish us all as co-inhabitants of this universe – the one God designed then assigned ALL of us to.

We let a snapshot or an overheard comment become the sum total of what that momentary encounter of a person or event must be about. We live in a time of quick pic, snap focus understanding of a situation or person according to what we’re told or guided to believe is true, so our attention can move on.

We’ve allowed our powers of discernment to be hacked into and conditioned by the media, the internet and those institutions or figureheads who hold power and influence over us. Rather than taking the facts and interpreting for ourselves what’s true, we’ve become accustomed to being told what to think, who to like, and which side of a person or story to believe.

Then there are the stories which speak to each of us with no need of breaking down what really happened; where our level of judgment is equal to who we are as human beings once we’ve heard or experienced the details.

This is when we either learn to overcome our senses of entitlement and perceived social superiority, or we diminish ourselves with our pretense that we’ve been delivered through a more spiritually or politically correct alliance with God.

This is where judgment meets the road of “What’s Next?”.  Peace, love and a global community of healing and activism, or finger-pointing, trash talking fools wondering why God isn’t here yet to fix what He – and we – got wrong.

Judgment. It’s a gift. Thank God for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Proof, Vol. 1

GENDER NATURAL ZONE

Critical thinking.

Where did it go? Any ideas, anyone?

Guarantee you it’s not outside the restrooms in Target or any other public restroom. Anybody tricked into policing an issue that was discreetly resolved decades ago should question why this was suddenly thrust into the national forum of IMPORTANT issues to address.

Really, America? That’s all we’ve got? Pepper spraying female transgenders for trying to second guess which restroom would be the least disruptive to use for mandatory biological functions: the men’s room dressed as a woman, or the women’s room where you at least match the dress code? And vice versa for male transgenders.

Please don’t cite religious concerns here. Jesus has got to be shaking his head over the pitifully un-Christian like behaviors we have chosen in addressing this SUDDENLY overwhelming social issue. Like I said, this was discreetly resolved decades ago. No need for legislation, judgmental craziness or self-entitled smackdowns of others. The most physical Jesus ever got was overturning money lenders’ tables, not the money lenders themselves!

If we’re claiming to stand on Christian principles, could we actually FOLLOW his example, please?

And if we could just get our legislators to be as instantaneously vigilant and proactive about job, food and housing budgets and bills as they’ve been on public toilet usage, or in serving our corporate citizenry’s agendas . . . Oh right, it’s not ‘table turning’ time yet.

Or is it? And does Jesus really have to come back for us to get how we all should behave and treat each other, or who to hold accountable for causing our economic strife?

SMH! We all should be!

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RIP T.J.

20141209_122840

My daughter Heather’s applehead Chihuahua T.J. passed away yesterday. He’s been part of our family for 11 years. Traveled with us from Oregon to California then finally to Texas where he got dressed up this past Halloween. Think he secretly dug it. The costume so went with his personality!

He’d been ailing for quite a while with a congenital heart murmur and an underactive thyroid. Had to take two kinds of pills, which might have been a bummer except that it gave him – and our other four dogs – the opportunity to eat small tidbits of lunch meat or cheese used to conceal his pills. And, of course, the others would not be given short shrift on their goodies, minus the pills.

T.J. ruled the dog pile in spite of being the smallest and oldest. He could and would put any of the other dogs in their place, including Oreo, my grandson Ryan’s border collie/pitbull mix. Oreo loomed large over T.J. but was no match for him if T.J. had an issue with her behavior.

We’ll miss you, T.J. The family room and backyard won’t be the same without you. Except, in a way, you’ll still be here. Love you, T.J.

TJ RIP

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Switching Thoughts

Roadtrip sunset behind

The game changes when you think so. So does the road you’re on.

It’s not about what is or what could be, it’s how you think about where you are and what thoughts you’ll use to restart your possibilities, your forward momentum.

So, out of your currently stalled mental state, instead of looking for reasons or excuses on why you have to stay put, look instead to where you can step out into the void of who you’re becoming, who you need to be next – and change the thought to get you there. Trust.

Trust the universe to know that this next step is the one you need to take because where you’ve been standing is no longer working, and you’ve got to move forward somehow.  Trust the universe to know what you need because it will provide whatever experience can lead you there.

Be patient and still; just say ‘yes’ and pay attention. Whatever you just said ‘yes’ to is on its way.  Trust that the universe knows what to send. Be ready and brave.

Believe you’re equal to whatever game changer you receive. You’ve changed the thought. Now it’s time to change your game. And get moving again!

 

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Standing Fast on What’s Past, Pts. 1 and 2

Pt. 1 – Sunday, 5/15/2016

Today is a giant reunion day. A flash forward of sorts for a member of the family that left our circle when she and I were both still young. I was six, she was thirteen.

Going to meet up in Tulsa, Oklahoma sort of equidistant for each of us. Our little entourage of my daughter, grandson, mother and myself. My older sister having arranged for her, her children, grandchildren and other family’s siblings – all 22 of them – to meet us at a local park there.

After so much time, all you can do is show up as who you are, who you’ve become over time. My sister and I have talked on occasion over the years. It’s like we’ve never been apart when we get on the phone. But, other than one previous visit with her and her family, I know nothing of how their family has grown, who is whose child or grandchild or nephew, cousin, etc. And to be sure, we will need a scorecard if not this afternoon, then coming away so we can help my 95-year old mother keep tabs on who she’s met and now can include in a larger family circle.

Oklahoma, where the original family split took place. Just a little further east from where it happened. Coming home in a very distant, hazy kind of way. History revisited without the emo and the shattering. Bringing it all back together for some peace and healing, inclusion and moving forward.

The past stays the same but the now is on the way to becoming what will be. Fingers crossed for some happy memories to take home today.



Pt. 2 – Tue., 5/17/2016

Many smiles, hugs and memories later – old and new – our family parted ways at a KFC in Tulsa near the park where we reconnected with one another. This leaves one disgruntled, ailing younger sister up in Oregon to still bring into the fold. Not enough time to get her from there to Tulsa since she won’t fly and we couldn’t give her enough notice to arrange for her cat’s care. It also leaves my adult grandson wishing he had gone after all.

Seeing Mother happy and surrounded by my older sister and her adult children, grandchildren and a few up and coming great-grandchildren was so amazing! I think she stayed happy the whole afternoon and evening. She even thanked Heather when we arrived home.

Clearly, it was a monumental social coup for everyone, and a chance to make plans to meet again soon. Already, several family members are planning to stop by on their way to other parts of Texas and Oklahoma in the next few weeks and months.

And so begins a new chapter in our family’s history. Decades of distance and detachment dissolved and resolved in an afternoon.

Once again, Mother rules.

 

 

 

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Seeing Through the Storm

Storm Coming

There it was. The forecasted storm front moving in.

And there I was, daring to stand fast and keep clicking away at the approaching drama and perhaps ensuing mayhem. Couldn’t help it.

For some of us, Nature is an addiction. Watching it unfold is so fascinating, so mesmerizing and captivating, that we risk the next moment to capture the one we’re in.

In a way, it’s good practice for the other moments in our lives when “bad weather” approaches and the payoff is less than spellbinding.

The urge to run or move on can be overwhelming, and sometimes we do have to decide if we’ve already risked too much by standing still. But conversely, maybe if we embrace the bad weather at hand or as it passes through, we can step into ensuing joy and happiness once the storm has passed – if it even stops on its way through.

In this case, it did not. Just a magnificent threat of thunder and drama. And like so many other of Life’s moments, it passed dispelling the dread and worry that had preceded its arrival.

Left behind was the gift of another chance to live our new moments free of imminent threat and rainy day decisions.

I love a good storm!

 

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