Archive for the ‘Rhythm’ category

The Golden Rule?

February 26, 2009

The scriptures teach us to “do unto others as we would have them do to us”, but often we end up experiencing people doing to us what we expect them to do to us. Depending on our outlook and attitude, we can expect and experience negative things or positive things. Like it or not, we are the authors of our own lives. Many will not want to accept this, mostly this is due to an unwillingness to accept responsibility for our lives. It is much easier to let someone else determine our lives that to do the hard work and direct our own paths.

If some other worldly force is pulling and prodding me in whatever direction it wants to, then  – success or failure – it’s not my fault. The end result is just marked down to as being “supposed to happen”. The truth is that life itself is difficult and requires hard work from us. Our response should be to pu;; ourselves up from our bootstraps and live life to its fullness, not wimp out and let “whatever will be…”

There Is No Regret

January 7, 2009

When we live as though there are things we would like to change about our past – regrets in our lives- we are deciding to reject the coinciding moments in our lives that have made us the people we have become.

If we choose, instead, to embrace the path we’ve been on, whether conscious or unconscious, we then accept the entirety of our lives – the total sum of our being.

Once done, this embrace puts to rest much of the internal chatter that sits unresolved in our minds. Unresolved because it resides in a zone outside our ability to change. The past is done, but the present is available as a pen to author our future.

The real beauty in music is not the notes, but the space between the notes, the silence intermingled with sound that brings balance. So in our lives, as we open up space in our mind, we will begin to see the beauty that has always resided in each of us, but because of busyness remained hidden and unnoticed.

Paradoxes in Life

October 23, 2008

One of the blogs I look at frequently is the Happiness Project, in one post the discussion of the paradoxes that keep coming up in life was particularly insightful. The opposite of a great truth is also true. I try to embrace these contradictions:
1.Accept yourself, but expect more of yourself.
2.Keep an empty shelf, and keep a junk drawer.
3.Take yourself less seriously—and take yourself more seriously.
4.Use your time efficiently, yet make time to play, to wander, to read at whim, to fail.
5.Think about yourself so you can forget yourself.
6.The days are long, but the years are short.
Often, the search for happiness means understanding both sides of the contradiction.
Take, for example, Item #1 above. W. H. Auden articulates beautifully this tension: “Between the ages of twenty and forty we are engaged in the process of discovering who we are, which involves learning the difference between accidental limitations which it is our duty to outgrow and the necessary limitations of our nature beyond which we cannot trespass with impunity.”

It Begins – Hunting Season 08-09

October 19, 2008

yes, this is me last season

Hunting season has begun, and I am happy. I could stop typing and let those words say it all, but I won’t. Hunting season is a time for me to take a moment and integrate a little more space into an already full life. One of the best things about hunting season is that it comes for a few months and then it is gone. The short time given to hunting deer in Georgia, also gives the hunter time to let the desire to hunt build in the early fall.

Yes there will be ungodly early mornings and bitter cold and rain, but there will also be so much more. There is nothing like seeing the sun rise perched up in a tree alongside all the other forest animals, nor is there anything like watching the last rays of that same sun fall below the horizon and hear the forest settle down for the evening. The smells are inescapable and the sight of creatures in their element is testimony to the greatness and creativity of the God we serve.

I can’t wait to see what this season holds, and what new and amazing thing will happen to me. People have many opinions about hunting, but the one thing that we all have to agree on is that nature in it’s wildness and beauty is as unexpected as the lives we all so desperately seek to live.

Relationships: Life’s Ultimate Building Block

September 27, 2008

In the scientific realm there are discussions about a substance called Black Matter. This material is theoretically what connects the universe and holds everything together. Perhaps in the theoretical field the answer is Black Matter, but in the sociological field the substance that holds all of us together is Relationships.

Relationships are unique things. A relationship doesn’t just happen because two people get to know each other. A true relationship happens when two people are willing to talk and listen to each other. The skill of listening actively to each other means letting life open up in front of you.  It means having truthful conversations that give vocal opportunity to everyone and each of those who have spoken feel that they have been heard because the listeners are listening well.

Imagine the last time you were in a conversation. How would you have felt if you had been able to contribute and had felt that everyone listened to your perspective? People sometimes sit quietly in discussions because one or two people are talking non stop about what matters to them. When one takes a break the other begins. This continues several times and then everyone leaves saying that “we had a good meeting”.

The truth is that valuable insight was lost because of the inability of the leader to listen instead of feeling the need to be heard him or herself. The biggest key in conversations is for us to come together as equals. In conversation there is no king and there are no peons – there can’t be for true conversation to take place. When we shed our titles and roles and simply come together as human beings, we are able to hear from varied perspectives. Though a certain answer may not come out of meeting (it seldom does), it should increase our levels of curiosity as something to be relished and sought after. The more we listen, and listen well, the more holistic a perspective all involved will have.

This next week seek out having conversations. but not so that you can be heard. In the conversation, provide plenty of time to listen completely so that the person talking feels they are being heard. You’ll find that if you do that, you will also have plenty of time to talk about the things that you care about.

Before the Internet, email, faxes and phones – even before paper and pen, human beings communicated by having conversations. Building relationships through conversations is the only way true change will ever happen.

Georgia vs. Gamecocks – Ugggga!

September 13, 2008

OK, let it be known that the tendency for Georgia to forget who they are when playing South Carolina has got to stop. Maybe Spurrier has some chemical compound blown into the locker room, or, based on the exceptional timekeeping, it could just be some noxious form of mold in the air vents, whatever causes the mental breakdown we experience each year we must find it and not allow it to happen again!

Needless to say, this game was sloppy and mushy and long and rather boring. Based on the caliber of both teams, none on those adjectives should be used. Individually the teams are, because of being in the SEC, highly capable of presenting a wonderful game full of excitement and determination. The excitement of this game was focused on the refs and whether the game clocks would come into sync and prove some theory of relational synchronicity.

All in all, great to see the Dawgs pull another one out. Would have liked a little more, but as they say – a win is a win. Looking forward to next week against Arizona State.

Pillars Part 4

August 23, 2008

This week we talked about prayer as a discipline. For me, during the past few years I have run the gamut between prayer needing to be a fixed point in my schedule to wondering that if God is in control – what is the real point of prayer at all. I’m certain that you’ve thought about the idea of prayer and wondered if “you had it right” or whether you could “do it” at all. Prayer is such an enigmatic topic that many times we chose not to dive into it. We wait for priests, rabbis, imams, pastors or teachers to tell us “what it is”. Here is the interesting point, those guys you are waiting to tell you what prayer is often have the same struggle defining it and practicing it.

Loved the discussion about prayer we had Sunday. If you missed it you can hear it here. One of the aspects I want to just touch on is Centering Prayer. The idea was brought into prominence by Father Thomas Keating several decades ago. In a simple nutshell, centering prayer is about sitting and allowing the thoughts in your mind to pass by unattached to you. Think of sitting by a stream. Carried by the current of the stream are the thoughts that are passing through your mind. Consciously let them pass by. It takes effort. but eventually the number of thoughts will decrease and the static/noise level in your mind will subside.

Doing this for just twenty minutes can have a dramatic difference in your day. I know you may be saying that if I’m praying I should be saying something. This is one of the misconceptions we have with prayer. Think of a situation where you asked an opinion about something and your inner thought was your true feeling, but you said the opposite. Our true self resides within and can be heard when we sift through the myriad of brain chatter that vies for our attention each day.

Try each day to visualize yourself for a few moments at the streams edge and watch the thoughts go by and dissipate. This is the “centering” part of centering prayer. Just like everything else in our lives, practices that have the greatest amount of impact take time and effort to learn and become part of our daily rhythm.