Thom and I just returned from a vacation. Spanning 12 days, we attended a wedding, visited with family, stayed in six different hotels, drove over 1,600 miles, hiked in three national parks, and explored parts of five different states in the Southwestern United States. To accomplish this our trip was an orchestration of coordination and planning—as well as an ongoing intention of the Taoist principal of wu wei. While most people lean one way or another when taking a vacation, I believe that the best of them include a delicate dance between the two. Much like the Tao symbol of yin and yang, wu wei and planning blend the two aspects of action into a harmonious whole. In fact, including wu wei in your travel plans just might be the best way to travel on vacation-–or through life itself. [Read more…]
Have you ever heard the statement, “Argue for your limitations, and they’re yours?” In case you’re wondering, that quote comes from a book written by Richard Bach titled, “Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah.” When I first read it years ago I thought I knew what it meant. What’s interesting is that I seem to need to learn that lesson over and over again.
Limitations, of course, are any excuses I use to hold myself back and not live the life I dream of living. Limitations are also the rationalizations we all use for doing or not doing something, or believing or not believing just about anything. The big problem is that limitations seem so real that we often think we have no choice but believe them. Fortunately, there is now scientific proof that much of what is going on in our minds are stories we tell ourselves—that may or may not be, true. So if we are making up stories as we go along—why on earth would we invent stories that limit us and hold us back?
This last weekend Thom, Kloe and I took a short trip down to Baja Mexico to visit friends. We hadn’t been to Rosarito in years and we hadn’t visited our longtime friends Larry & Jose since they bought their stunning condo perched on the rugged coastline. We had a wonderful time—lots of great conversation, plenty of laughter, tasty food, soaking in the hot tub, playtime with Kloe and her new dog girlfriend Tasha, a couple of bottles of nice wine and even a sip or two of the “new” almond tequila. But toward the end of the mini-vacation we hit a slight “hitch.” Luckily, we both quickly remembered that we “get to make it up” and decided to ignore the hitch and focus on the good. After all, did we want to remember the fun from the amazing previous four days, or the small “black dot” towards the end? And as usual, what we chose to focus on and remember, is up to us. [Read more…]
Last weekend Thom and I watched a movie on HBO entitled, “In Time.” I don’t recall seeing it in local theaters, probably because its ratings were average and the lead actor was Justin Timberlake. But with a sci-fi theme and on a hot summer evening, we decided to give the movie a chance. Surprisingly enough, it was not only entertaining, but it raised some very provocative questions that have stayed with me all week. Questions like: What lengths will people go to in order to try to live forever? Why do most people say they want to live forever, but often live lives of quiet desperation and routine? Is “living” merely taking another breath or is it something more? [Read more…]
I caught a cold this weekend. Yeah, I know it’s not a popular thing to do—or especially to admit. After all, how many times have you heard someone say, “I NEVER get sick!” Which is odd, when you distinctly recall just a short while (week, month, season) ago they were moaning about feeling awful. Besides, now that most people have a Facebook Timeline we have proof of their past experiences! But being sick and trying to heal while not fighting the process got me thinking. That’s when I decided it might be SMART to come up with a few lessons all of us could remember when we have a cold. [Read more…]
As some of you know, Thom and I just spent ten days in Taos, New Mexico. We went there to attend a music festival and ended up staying for a week. After seven days in one place, we discovered several things that made Taos really special. And that got me thinking—what is it that makes anyplace special? And is there anything we can do to make wherever we are the same? [Read more…]
It’s been over two years since my father made his transition*. I still think of him regularly and miss him more than I actually expected. With Father’s Day (in the US) being just around the corner, he’s been on my mind more than usual. But who says you can only celebrate Father’s Day when your Dad is present and available? Besides, if the true sentiment behind Father’s Day is to honor fathers and paternal bonds, maybe the holiday is a good excuse for all of us to acknowledge the care and guidance our father provided—and to celebrate the fathers among us who take the time to nurture and encourage children in many different ways. [Read more…]
Happy SMART Day Everyone!
Several years ago a book entitled, “A Complaint Free World” became an overnight sensation. To date, nearly ten million people have read the book and obtained purple rubber bracelets to help them recognize how much they complain on a regular basis. The practice was designed so that once people recognized their complaints they could put an end to them and gradually transform their world. This last week I came across my little purple bracelet and immediately realized that the bad habit of complaining was worming its way back into my life. Right then I admitted I could use another dose of “complaint-free living” in my life and in my world. [Read more…]
Happy SMART Day Everyone!
Now that the largest Mega Millions Multi-State Lottery is finally behind us, let’s talk about luck. According to estimates, nearly $1.5 billion dollars was spent with the hope of winning $640 Million. Unfortunately, those who bought tickets were in reality 50 times more likely to get hit by lightening—and some guy in Kansas actually did on his way home from buying three tickets at a local store. But those odds didn’t stop hundreds of people from standing in line over five hours in nasty and cold weather for the miniscule chance of becoming a mega-millionaire. News reports say there are only three lucky winners and dozens of others who will share in lesser prizes. Do those winners have a secret the rest of us can use to increase our odds in the future? The answer is yes—lucky people do have a formula. But it isn’t exclusive and you and I can benefit every day of our lives by knowing certain behaviors that can increase our odds. [Read more…]
Not long ago, a woman named Chris went with a friend to Disneyland. There in the massive parking lot of the Magic Kingdom, two other women approached asking if they would like free passes to the “Happiest Place On Earth.” The women offering the gift said they had two extra, and just wanted to give the other two away. This simple act of generosity reminded Chris and her friend of the kindness of others, and restored within her a reminder that people are intrinsically good. In fact, that charitable act inspired her to be more kind and generous herself. [Read more…]