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Posts Tagged ‘moments’

Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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2316677591_6654e4ce6f With Mothers Day upon us, it is time to reflect on our mother, both earthly and those that are no longer with us. The other day I posted a blog about having parents, or better yet, the blog was tong in cheek about needing to prove I had parents on my

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Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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Christians believe that Jesus is the mediator ...

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As part of my job, my 9 to 5 job, the one that pays my bills, I get to travel the world. I love that aspect of my job, I love going to new places. Not only do I get to go to new places, I get to make new friends. I now have friends in five countries around the world and have traveled to seven different countries. So on this next trip I get to visit my friends I have not seen in over a year. It will be nice.

Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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Broken?

Image by littledan77 via Flickr

The family dynamic is a very complex thing, it offers great joy and great sorrow. People have write songs and preformed plays concerning the family. Most TV shows are based on the family dynamic and certainly we have read many many books on the topic.

My family is no different, we have dynamics. We have out moments of great joy and great sorrows, and often times the co-exist. But at times one will override the other, the great sorrow of the loss of a parent or child will trump the great joy, becoming the dominate dynamic. Yet other times they seem to mingle and and the line between the joy and sorrow becomes fuzzy at best.

This gray area of the family dynamic seems to me to be the area were it sits the most. We seem to exist in a void of high and lows and allow ourselves to tread lightly on the soil of betweenness. Nothing wrong with that, for the most part. The great joys and great sorrows can be extremely taxing on ourselves and the over all dynamic of the family.

This is were I find myself, I am currently walking in the land of betweenness.

I feel no great joy or sadness within the dynamics of my family. Currently I am having “issues” with most of my family members. Not a good place to be… Some of the “issues” are of my doing and some are not, as is the case with most family dynamics. But what is different now is that I do not feel and great emotion over this riff. This saddens me in a way, but in other ways it does not. I am at a point in my life were the fight is not something I want to do. The battle field seems a long walk and I am not up to the walk to the battle field, nor the battle itself.

This fact bothers me, why am I willing to let the battle defeat me with out even a fight? Why am I willing to allow the dynamics of the family triumph over me? Family Dynamics are a powerful adversary to have.

To me, it seems that I have been beaten up for way to long, that I have allowed the family dynamics to control me and now I am just tired of it. I no longer want to be beaten up or controlled. I have bent to the will of others to keep the dynamic in a joyful mode and in doing so place myself in a field of regrets. I no longer want to walk in that field. I now want to walk in a field that I choose, be it joyful or not, it is my choice.

I am sure the family dynamic will mend itself, one day, but I do no that it will not be the same as it was. Each of us have changed and that change will affect the overall dynamic. The new family dynamic will still be filled with great joys and great sorrows but they will be defined a little differently now.

Paul

 

Complex Dynamics: Families and Friends
We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Frustration is a very powerful emotion and one that can wipe you out. I know, I have been dealing with a lot of it as of late. The frustration of trying to do what is right, the frustration of dealing with people who do not act or react they way you expect them too or the way you need them too. Frustration over just being frustrated.  It’s a never ending stream of energy that seems to just slap the living @#$%# out of me, and too tell you the truth, I am ready for it to just all end.

Last night I was exhausted, the night before the same thing, and the same with the night prior to that one. I can’t remember what day it was, but it was last week, on my way home from work, stopped at a red light, I dozed off, kinda scary stuff. Now understand I am in bed by 10pm most nights, never later that 11pm ad up at 6am, work until 3pm. So it’s not like I am burning the candle at both ends, it’s just he stress and frustration of my life at this very moment.

So what can I do, how can I cope… Easy, I just do, I allow myself time to vent, I allow my self time to just think. For example last night I need a gallon of milk so I walked to the local store, leaving the car in the drive way (by the way the car is one of my frustration points). The walk allowed me time to think, time to work out the hidden energy that is wiping me out day in and day out.

I find moments of peace moments of relaxation, not many, but I find them. In my small back yard I have a pond, often times I will sit out by the pond, listen to the water fall, and just let myself go. the pond gives me many hours of joy, just puttzing  around, cleaning it, feeding the fish and turtles, just allowing myself to be.

It is important that we find theses small moments in life, times were we allow the outside world to slip away, as long as we always come back to reality. Notice that I never stated I go to the bar to drink, or I sit by the pond with a case of beer or a bottle of bourbon. Yes I do like a cold beer every now and than, and a good glass of wine is always nice, but I do not use them as escapes from reality. I would rather use nature and or a good book.

My frustration levels will go down, I will start to feel a normality return to my life, once I figure out how I can once again control my life (yes I am a control freak). But until than I will use the little escapes I have discovered for myself, a good book, a nice walk, sitting by my pond or one of several others. Each allowing me just a moment of calm each taking my mind off the current situation, allowing my subconscious mind time to process all the @#@# going on in my life. And I know that one day soon (soon is a relative word) the world will be right once again.

Paul

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I got this is one of my email newsletters and thought I would pass it on…

-Paul

Sometimes you need to get away, but you don’t have the time or money. Don’t despair: A mental vacation can help reduce your stress.

By Diana Rodriguez

Medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH

take a mental vacation

Small stressors can quickly add up to major stress and one big stressful event can send you reeling, with no idea of how to start addressing it. If you could just get away for a little stress relief, you know you would be okay. But too few of us have the time — or the money — to run off on an impromptu vacation.

Well, you don’t have to spend a dime or go anywhere other than a quiet spot nearby to take a mental vacation.

Stress Relief: Take Off on a Mental Vacation

If you don’t find a way to reduce stress, your health will pay the price, both mentally and physically. It’s not necessary to get a lengthy massage or head to a beach to relax — you can unwind every day in simple ways and still get a major benefit.

"People who are under a lot of stress have physical problems related to constantly being under stress," says Sally R. Connolly, a social worker and therapist at the Couples Clinic of Louisville in Louisville, Ky. "And if you don’t find ways [to relieve it], even in small periods of time, you can have long-term consequences." It’s crucial to add stress relief to your everyday routine, she says.

Connolly suggests learning techniques to reduce stress and trying to sneak in one or two each day. "Even if it’s five minutes in the morning and five minutes at night, just find time to do that," she says.

Stress Relief: Six Quick Mental Trips

Visualizing a stress-free place and other relaxation techniques are quick and easy ways to help your whole body calm down and give you just the boost you need to get on with your day. Connolly suggests these six ways for you to slip away on a mental vacation to reduce stress:

  1. Read a book in bed. Connolly says this is a great escape and can leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed, and ready to face whatever is outside your bedroom door. Your bed is warm, cozy, comfortable, and a peaceful place for you. It feels luxurious, and getting lost in a good book is a perfect way to forget, then refocus, your own thoughts.
  2. Visualize relaxation. Steal a few quiet moments to close your eyes and think of an image that relaxes you — such as the warm sun on your skin and the sound of the ocean, a big country field sprinkled with flowers, or a trickling stream. Connolly suggests thinking back to a time when you felt peaceful and relaxed, and focus on releasing the tension from your toes to your head.
  3. Look at pictures from a happy time. Connolly recommends pulling out snapshots from a photo album of a family vacation or a fun dinner with friends. Reflect on your memories of that occasion, and what made it so enjoyable. Spend a few quiet moments reminiscing, and you’ll find yourself more relaxed.
  4. Look out a window. Distract yourself by focusing on something other than what’s stressing you. Grab a steaming cup of coffee or tea, close the door, and take a mental break. Do a little people watching, appreciate any birds within view, or enjoy some fluffy clouds rolling by. Allow yourself to daydream for a few minutes.
  5. Listen to a relaxation CD. Invest in a couple of these CDs for a short daily escape, says Connolly. You may like to hear chirping birds, rolling waves, or gentle rain — whatever your choice, closing your eyes and listening to these soothing sounds while doing some deep breathing can help you relax and de-stress.
  6. Take a walk. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress because it’s a great escape for your mind. Head out for a quiet early morning walk or lace up your sneakers on your lunch break. Walking along a trail, waterfront, or other peaceful place when possible may offer even more relaxation.

Treat yourself to a 5-, 10-, or 20-minute mental vacation each day and train your body to relax and reduce stress — you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel after taking just a few luxurious moments all to yourself.

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Ever had someone say something that just made you shake your head and ask yourself what was that, what just happened? Well sometimes that how life is, we just have to shake our heads and ask ourselves what just happened.

There are moments in life that I feel should not be explained, moments were we just accept life for what it is and move on. Many of the moments are special moments, moments that we are glad we are part of, moments that define us and create us.  And some moments we want to redo, to take back, or at least we thing we do.

The moments that define us are not only the positive moments, in-fact I would argue that it is the negative moments that truly define us.

It is said that you find your true friends in crisis, and based on experience, I would have to agree. It is in the moment of crisis that friendships are created, solidified or broken, and I have had all three happen.

It is said that leaders are born out of a crises, that in the moment of need the natural leader will emerge. We have seen it in times of war and person crisis. We witness it in times of tragedies’ and destruction. These leaders are quiet people who perform there daily tasks with pride and diligent. Riding the wave of life, until the tsunami hits, the crisis creates opportunity and the leader will emerge.

Crisis creates opportunity and opportunity creates defining moments.

 

Paul

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Pride is a very strong emotion, one that has driven people to extremes. We have witnessed the pride of a man (or a woman) bring them down in a blaze of fire, and we have seen pride rebuild a man (or a woman) from the deepest despair life can offer.

Why is this, what makes one emotions so powerful and at the opposite ends of the spectrum.

This I can not answer, but I can offer my own insights on the topic. Anyone who reads my blogs an a regular basis will know that I often times return to the subject of EGO (Edging God Out), well I think Pride has a small place in EGO.

The pride that causes harm, pride that drives a man to extremes is a pride that is unhealthy.

To have pride in your work, in your life and in yourself and family is a very healthy, and necessary thing. It is when that pride overrides all, when that pride becomes the end all to all that is when it enters the EGO, that is when it becomes a destructive force, not only in your life but all around you.

When we feel that what we do is more important that others, or when we think that our actions are defining moments, when we place ourselves at the very center of life, the EGO has began its destruction.

How do we know when pride becomes EGO, were is that line? I think we all have a different thresh hold, but I also think we all know, internally, were it is.

For me, EGO is the evil part of my being, it is the original sin of Adam and Eve, it was there EGO’s that told them to eat of the fruit, to want to become god’s themselves. Pride, the feeling of being more than they were.

We need to be proud, we need that feeling and that emotion, but we need to control it, and not allow it to take over, when it takes over, that is when pride becomes EGO, a destructive force.

I am very proud of a the volume of work I have created, the programs I have developed but I am also very aware that there is always something more, something better out there, that what I have created is good, maybe even great, and I take great pride in the work, but I know I am only one of many. I will not allow my EGO to take hold of it, I do not, for one minute, think that what I have created is anything more than what it is.

Pride and EGO often times share the same fine line. It is easy to step on way or the other, Pride becoming EGO and EGO becoming pride. Careful where you step, look and see were you are headed and say on the side of pride.

Paul

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Last night I went to a concert, I saw Colin Hay, the lead singer from Men at Work, an 80’s mega group. One of my favorites from the 80’s. I have followed his career from the band to his current solo work. Great stuff, but that not the point, the point is what he had to say, with his songs and with out.

Mr. Hay uses words and music to relay his message, his dreams and nightmares are played out for us in songs we tap our feet to and sing along with. But what really impressed me was what was not sung, what Mr. Hay did not say with words or music.

For all who don’t know, Men at work shot in to stardom with there big début album “Cargo” with the smash hits “Land Down Under” “Who can it be now” and “Over Kill” the follow up album did ok and there last did nothing.  they went from the top to the bottom in a matter of 3 years.

Mr. Hay, a talented singer and song writer went on to  record 2 solo albums than was dropped from the major labels leaving him to ask himself “what now”. As he tells the story, we decided he needed something to do after he drank his morning coffee, so he decided to play in small clubs and record his own music. The result was a man willing to accept what he was compared to what he use to be.

Over the years I have worked with ex-rock stars, and the reason they remain part of the past is because they remain in the past, they refuse to let it go and to embrace the present. My. Hay decided differently, he understood that men at work was a part of his life, but now it’s Colin Hay with out the band. He let go the part to embrace the now.

Mr. Hay may have let go of the past, but he has not forgotten it, his songs often times are reminders of what use to be, looking at the past with new eyes. Sure there is regret and sadness in some of the past, but there is also joy and happiness. But the same is true for the now, we experience sadness and joy all in a matter of a few moments.

Now I do not know Mr. Hay beyond his music and from what I saw last night on stage, but from what I can tell, Mr. Hay has not only accepted his life, he has embraced it. Sure he wish for the success that once was, he is looking for the fame that use to be, but he is also enjoying the moment that is.

We all can learn a lot from this ex-rock star, and enjoy the music that the lesson is at the same time. As Mr. Hay himself states, “My My My what a beautiful world”. I would have to agree!

Paul

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Today I had to practice keeping my anger under control, in fact that’s how I started my day. A part of my life currently is dealing with a bankruptcy, due to the failing of our store and helping other people out and getting taken advantage of. But that’s for a different blog. 

What happened this morning to start my day so well… My Jeep was repoed, now if it was expected I would be fine with it, but as part of my bankruptcy is the protection of the Jeep. So my anger quickly came to the forefront. Trust me it took all I have to hold it in check. I am currently working to get my Jeep back and continue on my way to repay all my debt. Yes, I am repaying it all, not all bankruptcy’s are the same, I will be paying off all my debt, the bankruptcy is just to protect me in situations like this. But it failed me, so far. With any luck I will have my Jeep back soon, if not I will be getting a new vehicle.

God finds ways to test us, or is it better to say, we find ways to test ourselves. It is up to me to keep my anger in check, God did not create the situation I am in, I did, God did not make me open up a Catholic/Christian book store, I did, God did not make me help out a family member nor did God make that family member abuse my kindness. God didn’t do any of that, but what God did was to be with me at all times, he offered His comfort and graces to me. And this morning I took them and held my anger at bay. It was hard, and to tell you the truth, I really wanted to let it all out, to use words that are not very nice, but I didn’t.

God has a funny way about Him, he finds the oddest moments to show His love. In the mist of a bankruptcy He chooses to show His grace to me, He chooses to send HIs calming love to me.  God seems to like to use situations like this to show his saving grace.

It seems God has a sense of humor, because I am sure someone finds this all funny, and others will find it justice, thinking I am trying to get out of paying my debt, but as I have stated, I will be repaying my debt 100%, I just need the help in restructuring it, allowing my time to pay it. In three years it will all be paid off, and I will continue along my way. So Ha Ha very funny does not apply here, it’s more like, well here we go again, yet another bump in the road.

I know that God is with me, and that is love and grace is always with me. And with His love I will make it, I will survive. I just hope with a little less bumps and a little less drama. I just want to get on with it, move on and enjoy life.

Now truth be told, I am enjoying life, and I am getting on with it, but I really would like to be done with all this, the stress is sometimes unbearable, and it makes it hard to keep an upbeat personality going. I am, by nature, an upbeat person, so to add this stress to my life is like adding an anchor to me, keeping me down, and this weight last for three years… As Charlie Brown would say UGGH! It is at times like this that I do feel like good old Charlie Brown, I feel like a BLOCK HEAD!

But I know that it will all be over one day, that soon I will be debt free and out of bankruptcy, but I am sure something will replace that, there seems to always be something going on in my life, death of a parent, taking in a youth and now bankruptcy, So what will it be next? I guess I will just have to wait…

Sometimes the excitement is just to much for me… NOT! Truth be told, I could use a little non-excitement in my life, it would be nice to know that noting is happening, that nothing is going wrong. But I am convinced that my life is not meant to be boring, that in to my life strife must come.

But in the end, I was proud of myself for keeping my cool this morning, I was pleased to know that all the bad words stayed in my head, and in the end this little life experience has taught me a life lesson, and for that I am thankful, but its still not funny!

Paul

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How often do we participate in a conversation, but in truth we are only really waiting for our chance to speak? I know I do this, especially when it is a heated debate, I want so badly to speak my mind. I have been working on not doing that to much, but its like a favorite candy bar, you walk by it and have to have it. I just can’t always control myself, i just have to have that candy, i just have to get my argument out, its all the same thing to me.

We know, just from our own experience that when people listen to what we have to say and we listen to them, the debate or argument or just plan conversation goes better. There is a natural pace and flow to it. Now to listen does not mean agree with, but to just listen and take it in, allowing it time to settle in your mind and to form a thought.

Listening is a skill we all need to improve at, we all need to be reminded every now and than to just shut the mouth and open the ears. To listen to the sounds of everydayness and to the voice of reason. Listening is not just a skill for conversations with others, but it is also a skill for conversations with nature and self. The quit time we spend just sipping our coffee in the early mornings, or out on the front porch with a cup of tea at dusk.

The skill of listening to the silence is difficult, but not unattainable. Simon & Garfunkel stated it best in there song, The Sounds of Silence:

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

The seeds that are planted when we listen to the silence of self and nature can grow in to the changes we dream of, the new creation of self, only if we can learn to listen to the silence of self.

The task is daunting the reward is great. The other day I posted about self time, and in the past i have written about this topic and I will come back to it often. It is a skill that seems to be lost in a modern world where silence is looked at as unproductive or a waste of valuable time.

In days gone by silent time was treasured and looked upon as a treasure for only the well off. In today’s world we look at silence as a sign of laziness and a sign of the less fortunate.

Look at any great leader of the spiritual ways, Jesus, Buda and Krishna all call for and practiced moments of silence. As a Catholic we have moments in our celebration of of Mass that incorporate silence (or it should be, but not all Churches recognize this) we have seasons that calls us to prolonged silence and intense soul searching. The Church sees the importance of listening to the silence.

Listing to the silence of the soul allows you the intimacy of self, the oneness of time and growth and the universality of joining in the the silence of the ages. Silence offers a sort of magic that transcends time and space, giving us the freedom to listen to the voices of the past or future with the present always there.

I am not saying that through silence we can communicate with the dead or travel through time and space, but I am saying that through silence we free our mind to imagine the possibilities of our many tomorrows by  listening to the echo’s of yesterdays.

I have fixed many a problem through the quietness of listening to the silence, allowing my mind to freely flow over the waves of nothingness. Creating a openness that allowed the sounds of reason enter into my soul planting the seeds of forgiveness or love, plucking the hatred out by its roots and allowing the waters of creation to feed me.

So today, sit and have a conversation with the silence, open your ears and listen to the nothingness of the universe and hear the voice of God speaking.

Paul

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