Do you remember?

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What do you remember from the earliest days? I remember being sad for my big brother because the dog died. I don’t remember the dog, but I was so sad for my bro because he was crying and hurting over this loss. I was little kindergartener leaning against the door frame. Another memory was when my younger brother was burned badly from the grease in an electric frying pan he pulled off the counter. I don’t remember that part of the trauma, but I remember that I was waiting in a car late that evening, watching and looking up to the upper levels of the hospital windows wishing to see my family. Then I remember seeing someone female I thought using an ironing board to iron. Okay, so was I  really at the hospital? I don’t know that either, but my mind always remembers it around that incident. There are other memories, but earlier ones are more sketchy than that.

What about school age? Here is one for you. My dad was a pipeline welder and we moved with the pipeline, so I did not go to kindergarten because of these moves and such was the time. I moved 41 times before my 7th grade year.  So, one time, when we had settled back next door to my granny’s house for the cold weather, I went to my “first” day of 1st grade. The other students had been there for days, but this was my “first day” ever in an institution of education. The youngsters were seated and quiet as they used pencils to mark papers. As I sat down I looked around for some visual clues as to what I was supposed to do. The teacher, Mrs. Worsham, walked by and hit my hand with a fly swatter and told me to “quit cheating.” Again, I repeat, this was in first grade, on my first day of school ever in my short life, yelled at and hit and told to quit cheating which I did not even know how to do. Thus my introduction to education.

Jump forward about 50 years. Now, I rarely look back unless my spirit taps me on the shoulder and prompts me to remember. This month I was tapped…on the shoulder and pointed in the direction to pay attention. These are not easy tasks but I try to obey. This one knocked the wind out of me. As happens on FB from time to time, not often, but once in a while I am tagged in a pic from long ago. The pics that surfaced were from a summer Bible campaign in the NE with select college students from surrounding sister colleges. I had not thought of these people for some time. I experienced lasting lessons from a couple of the trips I had taken along the NE coast which shaped who I am today. Yet, many of the people and faces I had forgotten. As I looked through the memories chronicled there I started remembering. Some names came to me, and I connected soulfully again to those whose smiles were infectious. I couldn’t resist the pull to reach out to those easy to locate and the ones who made me laugh. So far I have only heard back from one. That is fine. I obeyed the tap. The outcome is not mine. The action to do as I was led is. I look forward to the day some of the timing for this makes sense. But if that day does not happen on this side I will continue to act on the prompts. I believe that I am here to do that.

What do we do with memory, some great, some good, some we long to never be prompted to revisit? I personally live in the moment, but when the brain waves spark with memory I look to it to give thanks even in the unknown surrounding it. I lean into the stimuli behind it, accept the rush of sentiment, and try to process the emotions escorting it. I’m not sure if the frequency of these recurring memories are a part of the aging process or because they enlighten and move me to more compassion towards others. I would like to think there is a reason, but, again, I’m not privy to the scope of that particular info from the spiritual realm.

Today I will give thanks for the flood of beautiful memories, faces, places, and learning that took place for my good. I wish I could “replay” and “redo” as in a computer game. I would be more kind and understanding of all the players including myself. I would say “Thank you” more, and “God bless you!” I would tell people they were fine right where they were and perfect in God’s eyes. I would tell them forgiveness is there’s to accept. I would see them as a first love sees with wonder and awe into the depths of the precious soul directly across from them. The old photo’s captured exact moments that reminded me to cherish the present much more. Thus, maybe, the tap on my shoulder to revisit the pics as I did and see then, where I offered people and those times my service, I now will do so with much more awe and adoration for the moment at hand. I do wish I had told those across from me then how special they were. But, there are no “do-overs.” There are, however, new opportunities in the present to show more love for those who sit across from me.

Memories serve us even if we do not revisit them much. They will guide us to be better if we allow them. What do you remember? I remembered love so I end with this.

1 Corinthians 13:13

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

 

 

 

What Color is Creativity?

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What is your passion? What creeps up in your thoughts everyday? I don’t mean the ego that reminds you of yours and others unsightly flaws or that picks your spouse/family apart. Or the negativity of any situation that plagues you. I mean, what when the thought occurs, gives you a moment of pleasure? A slight smile? The thought or memory that sparks imagination. What is it that even when days go by it comes back up in a flash and other creative flow follows? What is it? What is that one thing or two or three that fuels you with energy when you allow your mind to faintly wonder, or hope, or plan, or remind, or muse?

I personally think that is where spirit lives within us. The still small voice that hints and reminds and tugs at us to set in motion the things that sometimes terrify or gives us a feeling of butterflies. It’s like meeting a lover but without any harming repercussions. Really, if we could shut down the ego’s voice we could heal…I will go out on a limb here and say…the world.

Wow! That is why I love this blog. I wish more peeps could see it. I love to write about walking at the lake. I love to write the stories that pop in my head as my fingers fly. I love to encourage. I love to think and then deliver in type what inspires…mostly me. I reread these posts from time to time and I’m glad that I did.

I am not so unique that I should think no one else would be uplifted by words of encouragement. That is the crazy, wonderful, most insane mystery around how putting ones thoughts out there for God, universe, flow, or energy to allow the winds of change to give it flight.This bible verse comes to mind…

1 Corinthians 3:6 (NIV)

“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.”

Isn’t it true. We go out and set tangibles in motion, but the great wisdom of our creator directs the path and so much more of that which is intended for good. If I can avoid allowing my limited linear thinking to stagnate my life flow of creativity, there is so much to do and experience. It is usually in movement though. Putting into action. Not out of being busy for busy sake, but taking deliberate steps to deliver the idea that surprises you. No worries about the exact final picture, but just begin the process. It will take shape or lead to the next step. Have faith that the idea came from wonderful grace filled expansive space. God gives. We just have to be the conduit!

So what about the title for this post? What color is creativity? What modality will creativity take for you? My mom makes the best fried chicken and my dad loves it so much! She takes great delight in making it for him. So her creativity was in making the best fried chicken among other great dishes for which she will be remembered. She would never call herself an artist, but she is one of the most creative souls without knowing it. The label of creator is not necessary. We are all given the ability to create. What color we use is up to us.

Today my color of creativity is pink just because. Tomorrow maybe brown, blue, green… I plan on getting back to the Walk and Talk Time. I’ve been away for a short time. Now I am stronger and will get back at it! I will enjoy the colors of creativity. How about you? What color is yours?

Opportunity… I think so!

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I love this saying! Opportunity knocks, some say once, but wouldn’t the world be such an interesting place if we just went for the opportunities offered, whether we “feel” ready or not? Opportunity could be compared to blessings. What if we could hone our skill of seeing the blessings? We can. Look with eyes wide open to possibilities. Life becomes colorful when we see with the lens of possibility as opposed to limits.

There is a song by Sam Cooke with lyrics that say, “What a wonderful place this would be…” He was eloquently reflecting how he doesn’t remember much of the subjects he took in school, but he knows he loves a person and if the person loved him back then …”what a wonderful world place this would be.” Co-dependent?  Maybe, the point being why do we feel our world won’t be wonderful unless x, y, z, or until the right job comes along, the right lover comes along, we live in the right house, or have the best granite cabinets, or the best pet, or better children? The list can be really long. Crazy when a lot of the world just wants water for the day. But that is another subject. Would it not be a great place to be because we are in the present moment? What a wonderful world this”IS.”

All around opportunities abound. Possibilities. Ask God, Spirit, creator, energy to reveal, to open our eyes to the interesting tidbits of life.  There may be a grumpy person to serve in customer service jobs, or a disabled vet to take food to, or a person stranded on the side of the road, or a neighbor that needs help digging a hole to plant his new tree. Ask daily, or hourly, or three times a day, but ask to remove the cloud, the blinders and see without limits.Wear your shades, because it will be bright what is shown to us in the light! No rhyme intended. For today see opportunity.

 

 

 

Make up your mind!

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What a great meme! This could be me daily when the cat comes in to eat. He comes to find me to let him out afterwards, but then we have a long song and dance of, will he go or will he stay?  It could also be me with an analytic personality where I find I deliberate as long as the cat does before he springs into action. Will I get nine lives? Some ancient thoughts are that we reincarnate, rather our souls do many times over to learn and assist others in different stages of life lessons. Scriptures state that Jesus asked his apostles, “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Matthew 16:15 NIV  This is interesting to me as I grew up in a traditional christian religion where anything but “drinking the Kool-aid” would send you to H-E double hockey-sticks. I have no reason to control what others think about this topic. It is not mine to control. But, another aspect of this topic is the decision to make up our mind. Are we going in or not?

Going in could indicate diving in the pool, entering the grocery store, going in to surgery or going in to talk to the relatives about a touchy subject. Are we going in or not? Action over words is my motto. Do we bear fruit? Are our actions helpful or not? The cat sits and thinks and then puts actions into motion with no words, just going in or going out. He makes up his mind. I can learn from him.

My cats name is Capt. Tibbles. When he first came home to live with us he was private Tibbles. He has moved up through the ranks since his first days with us. The sons named him. Maybe he has nine lives. He certainly will have many ranks before he leaves this earth. One thing is for sure, he does make up his mind, and when he does he puts action in motion. No words are uttered, no purr, no meow. He just simply takes a step.

There is so much we could learn from that simple action of taking a step. No fear, no thoughts of future or past. Just a step to the outside or a step heading off to the closest corner to hole up in for a nap. What will be our next decision? Are we in or are we out? It really is that simple. We just have to make up our mind!

Let’s Walk & Talk

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Today was similar to my bike riding kind of days. Yesterday there was rain. This pic was taken a while back. After a ride there was time to fly a kite. The days are nice and long now that May has passed. Relax is a word that comes to mind when I ride with no angst. If all days could be enjoyed like these moments the world would know peace.

Angst is conjured up with my thoughts around scheduled events. I can have an evening event to attend and the hours leading up to it will feel laden with tension around my thoughts about attending the event. What to wear, what vehicle has enough gas to transport me, will there be any scheduling issues, will the humans I reside with (who haven’t communicated all day) decide to unleash their thoughts and ideas 5 minutes before departure, or will I have to let the dog out one last time before I leave and clean up the cat hairball vomit before the dog gets to it. And on, and on it goes if I allow my thoughts to get the best of me. Do those things happen often? Yes, but do they have to torture me? They do if I let them.

I love to read and I surf the information highway as often as I can. I am an information junkie. My reading these past few days have brought me to reflect on my blessings as a way to calm the mind. Deborah King encourages people to journal and list the good things that the day brings and Spirit or God allows us. I grew up singing “Count your many blessings, name them one by one,” so, this is not a new concept. It is, however, one I look forward to doing like a bedtime ritual. My thoughts around counting or looking for the blessings of the day like one would hunt Easter eggs, some in broad daylight others behind the stumps, has brought me to my bright idea. Not a new one to the world, but one I realize I am ready to pursue during my Walk and Talk Time at the lake.

It showed up as I walked along the lake’s water edge. Why not ask people to meet at the parking lot by the playground and walk with me to the large stones about 20ish minutes south to meet for at least 10 minutes of gratitude? “10 Minutes of Gratitude!” What a great idea. It takes 20 minutes to walk and contemplate the blessings they want to share, then 10 minutes of gratitude at the stones as a type of silent meditation, followed by 20ish minutes of sharing the blessings walking back. There is power in like-minded mindfulness. The scriptures say, “Where two or more are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst.” Matthew 18:20 KJV

Why would this not bless those that make time for it? It is a win-win event. Blessings are always a great idea. Are you in? Leave a message here or contact me on Walk & Talk Time FB page or  Twitter to schedule a time. Let’s Walk and Talk! It’s Time!

Sacred Spaces

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Sacred is the space where people go to observe the element bigger than themselves. The water, wind, and air at the lake where I walk seem to know. This is sacred ground. The body of water at our lake cleanses the heart of the city. The air over it provides the playground for the birds and fowl here. I’ve seen many of those birds on the sidelines returning to the ground. It is the circle of life. Appreciation for this species is given as I pass by each bird that has passed. The wind sends the cotton wood seeds scooting across the ground and water. The sailboats drift by giving ripples as cause and effect to the movement of particles.

People pass by either on boat or fishing along the rocks ready to receive the flesh of the fish as their right to energy from the sun. They jog and ride and skate and board, and sail or wind sail. They ride waves attached to kites. They ride carts powered by the wind in the kite sail over the ground. All around the earth gives and gives and gives. Some walk dogs, others feed the cats, and babies ride as parents push strollers so they can jog.

The trees offer shade. The water offers a cool breeze. The shine of the ripples allude to energy as does the wind whipping through the tree leaves. Ducks and geese parade on the edges of the water. Some camp out in the park near the overloaded dumpsters. People food provides the goods they have become accustomed to in this place. The wind can be heard and seen flowing through the flag at the Stars and Stripes park. Thirteen to Eighteen miles per hour is the velocity of the wind and blowing mostly from the south. On the days that it shifts from the north a slight jacket remains a good friend. The colors paint exquisite backdrops. Deep blues to shades of grey, gold to deep green and tree bark, sticks, dirt and gravel all give a distinctive aroma. On the times I have walked while it is sprinkling salt and pepper spray, nature offers a baptism of water washing away the dirt and grime and offering back to God its very best…a Sacred Space.

“Let the Good Times Roll”

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I love my bike. I ride it every chance I get! I recently had a flat and took it in to get fixed. My plans have been to pick it up very soon. You see, I could learn to fix the flat on the road bike, but if I did that I would not have the pleasure of being a patron to the greatest little bike shop ever! The gentleman in the bike shop has run this business I think all his life. He is a pleasure to talk to. Very patient and kindhearted. He loves his vintage bikes that he keeps in the store. There is a museum quality to this establishment. He has a “penny farthing” chained to the light pole out on the sidewalk during the day. That is the name of the large front wheeled bikes of long ago. So much to look at and experience when I walk in. Each bike has a story, a history. I find my mind wondering where each bike has been and where it will go if ever a real girl or boy will come and buy it.

One day a lady older than I came in and had the owner tweak  the brakes to her new three-wheeler. It was a dandy! All decked out with a basket even, and a great teal color with a long flag in back. Now, she was a talker. The store owner is not. You could tell they were friends though. He was patient and she was so proud to be the owner of her trike. I could not help but include myself in the conversation and make over her new wheels. I even went outside to see it up close. She went on her way, and I went back in to pay for my ‘old giant!’ as the store owner so kindly called my fixer upper. I paid a bit to get it repaired so when this son gets home in a few months from working abroad, we can ride. We bought it from this great gentleman a few years back as a bike this son could ride at college without fear of it being stolen. (Sidenote: Our family has had 4 bikes stolen from the same college.) This big old thing has made it through unscathed. It’s big. It’s ugly green. And it is heavy!

I’ve said all that to say this. Aren’t our lives like the bikes we ride. They have known many days in the garage patiently waiting. They have known days broken apart. They have known love and affection. They have known having the air knocked out of them. They have known and experienced struggle from going up hill. But, ultimately they have known the exhilaration of flying downhill and the freedom to roam. They have also experienced the patient, gentle experienced hands of the fix-it shop owner.

Get the bike out. Fix it up and ride. “Let the good times roll.”

It’s the best part of life!