It was not my intent to wait until the last minute to write this blog over winter break. It was also not my intent to bang it out fast and furious before the fun started of being on holiday either. I had promised three different classes at the university where I teach that I would post a piece before January 1st at 11:59pm. Yes, most people would have said New Year’s Eve but as anyone who knows me I am not most people. Some would even reserve judgment on the people part but that is another blog entirely. That being said I made my promise and went on holiday, eating, drinking fine adult beverages, over indulging in nog, gourmet treats, and walking on beaches, in art museums and circles in my mind.
It is my personal deadline to get this written today and off to a small cast of editors who may or may not stumble out of a champagne/chocolate haze to edit this in the shameful little time I have given them so I can post by deadline. My procrastinating of the morning consisted of answering all my emails on all four of my addresses, talking to my boss about work stuff, washing a days’ worth of dishes, filling a water bowl for stray cats, checking the bird feeder in the tree out front then filling the humming bird feeder out the back door, taking out the trash, then there were the last of those pesky spice gumdrops calling to me to be finished in order for me to concentrate. I have a difficult life dealing with talking candy and such but a promise is a promise as Horton says. So here I am again at my desk still thinking there is something I need to do rather than tap into the kaleidoscope that is my head and write.
The last seminar I teach each semester is about choices, about intent and about how much power each and every one of us has to change not only our world but the whole world. Think about it; think about some of the people in just the last 100-200 years who have changed the world for both good and bad. People like Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Hitler, Steve Jobs, Einstein, Picasso and Kim Kardashian to name a few. We all hold in our hands and heart the ability to choose and there are only ever two choices; one choice is love and the other is fear. Those my friends are the two trunks that branch out of the tree of life and from there all else springs.
We also know we have a very short time to make those choices as we are not here long on this little blue-green marble. There are folks whom we have known and loved that were here and in a blink of an eye are gone. Whether by death, disagreement, ennui or through an eddy in the time/space continuum they are gone. Then we remember what we had forgotten to say to them before they disappeared themselves, maybe that we loved them, we were/are angry, or sorry, or we had lied or we forgive them. So the choices we make today can be that there is little to no things left unsaid or undone and that we have done our best in that movement. We hope that we choose well and from a place of allowing and love rather than being small. We choose that something is bigger and more important than the fear, whatever that might be.
And the beauty of choice is if we choose poorly or have changed our mind we can choose again and again. To be clear here, not choosing is choosing, in fact it is the worst kind of choice. Not choosing is like crawling into the back seat of our moving car and complaining about the driving. Really?! With every choice, every word, every deed we show people who we are because how we do anything is how we do everything. Our word and our intent, is our only currency, the measure of our humanity and our integrity as we move through this world. That is not to say we don’t make mistakes and mess up on a grand scale, good gosh I make a living out of screwing up. Mistakes can be an earmark of trying new things, being brave and that is called learning. That is a good thing. However, doing the same type of mistake, messing up all the time is different. That behavior points to pattern, intent and desire for whatever that outcome is however painful or crazy it might be. This is a flag that can indicate what you believe you deserve or need and therefor create with a new cast of characters or events over and over. That is crazy making stuff.
I spend a lot of time when I am walking, which can be from 5 to 10 miles a day, smelling the flowers, yes, but also being self-reflective. Thinking about my day, week or year and asking what was good? What do I want more of and how do I build that in? This means literally putting it in my day timer like I would any appointment. I want to make fun and goodness as important as getting my teeth cleaned or more so. I also look at what I can do better, what was a waste of time, felt yucky or went horribly awry. How do I learn from what I did so I can improve, mitigate or leave it be for next time? My choices are based on looking at who I am in an honest way and looking at my track record. I can change my stars, my life so to speak, but I have to choose different behavior to do so. I have to take risks, be brave and do what I believe is the right thing even if nobody else agrees or is even watching. I have to be willing to be uncomfortable because change is just that being uncomfortable. Not too many people are comfortable doing anything the first time. Think back to the first time you rode a bike, had to speak in front of a group or class, went on a first date, or cooked dinner for someone; chances are you were really uncomfortable doing those things and my guess is you made some mistakes as well.
Trying to live a life without making mistakes or trying to be perfect is not living at all. In fact, it is the polar opposite of living; it is locking yourself up in a hermetically sealed glass case and trying not to change a thing. That is not even possible and if it were it’s a waste of a life. Life is messy and brilliant, full of color, deep emotions, bad hair days, falling in love and saying stupid things, creating crappy art then better art, eating good food without guilt, laughing so hard milk comes out your nose or you pee a little, touching and being touched, having gratitude for the ride and all its ups and downs even when they make us throw up our corn dogs. Your choices and the intent behind them are the foundation of your life and how it plays out whether that is in love or in fear is up to you. Pay attention here…All you have is now, right now. So in this moment what are you going to do? Because it is your Nows that build the foundation of your life and all those you touch so make it what you want because you get to choose. For me that is strong, generous, authentic, beautiful and full of wonder and of course the four food groups for health… candy, candy corn, candy canes and syrup.