Thursday, February 25, 2016

An Unplanned Life

Maybe it's time we take a break from trying to cram so much meaning into everything we do. Time wasn't so long ago that we were more concerned with the amount of daylight we had left to play than what was due in school the next day.

Oh sure, I was a big daydreamer. No surprise there. I figured out the world through imagination. I played my way into adulthood. I skipped and tripped into opportunities. I let my heart lead the way and when I lost heart I went with the flow. My life just sort of spilled out like a stream; meandering, winding, seeking its own level. I never felt it was my plan anyway. I always felt a Higher Hand in things. And eventually I ended up where I was supposed to be and when I didn't I just asked, "What's next?"

So mine has been an unplanned life. Full of surprises and filled with wonder and love. It might seem haphazard and maybe it is, but to me it's the most normal natural way to be. I wouldn't trade all the wonderful experiences and incredible people I've met for anything. I carry them around inside of me. I like the unknown unexpected adventure that life can be. Knowing what's going to happen next is overrated. No one really plans a giggle. No one choreographs wonder and amazement. No one knows exactly the way life will go. Truth is, you never know when the best day of your life will be. And with any luck you might end up with lots of them.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Importance of Stories

Stories are the way we process internal feelings that are hard to explain any other way. They make the unspeakable speakable. They make the funny hilarious. They make the complicated simpler. They help us understand things we would otherwise be confounded by. Deep things. Things philosophers have been grappling with since the beginning of thought. And simple things. Things we complicate because that's just how we are. If you've never been brought to tears or uncontrollable laughter by a story then I don't know who you are or what planet you live on. Because we are all about stories. That's just how we are. So next time someone starts sharing a story remember how important they are. Listen closely. It's a great opportunity. You may even learn something about yourself.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


When Quakers are trying to find answers we say we're looking for "clearness". In other words, do I have a clarity of heart and mind to either move forward with a matter, wait, or take other action? Can I come to a point where I understand the options and ways forward and feel those choices are in line with what I believe, who I am, and what want to be?

Many times life is so muddled. There are many voices and choices presented to us all the time. Actions that in the past would... have been totally unacceptable are now celebrated. Considerations that were once afforded even to strangers are now neglected and even ridiculed. It's a crazy mixed up world theses days and there's very little "clearness" in it.

Clearness happens when we take the time to still our hearts and minds and spend time to thoughtfully consider the options we have before us. Not ignore them, not run away from them, but realize there's a direct connection to the choices we make and the type of people we become.

Going with the flow of negative actions and behaviors drags us all down. It's all too easy to fall into the trap. It's fed to us from social media, from news media, reality TV shows, politicians, even from our friends and family. But when everyone wants to be top dog, when everyone is hell bent on winning or being better than everybody else . . . everyone loses.

It's time we tried to get some clearness. It's time we matched our actions and words with what we believe, who we truly are, and who we wish to be. Who knows? If we can find the clarity to be more genuine with those around us maybe they will gain some clearness too and we can all become more kind and loving people.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Headlong Into the Mist

What extraordinary creatures we are. Complex yet simple. Moved by the smallest concerns and firm against the greatest. And yet we travel our lives in circles inside of circles. Repeating experiences until they become familiar and safe. Safe and un-fulfilling.

But once in while we need to choose the unfamiliar. Chase our dreams. Follow our hearts desire. Let it stretch us; pull us, scare us, change us, dare us.

Run headlong into the mist, my friend! Jump with both feet. I'll meet you there. We'll take the risk. Step into the unknown. Be fully human. Embrace our fears. One thing will be certain, when we die we will have fully lived out life's adventures.