Which Road Leads To Peace

I heard a story for the second time yesterday about following peace.  At first, I didn’t recall that I had heard this story before.  Obviously I needed to hear it again.  To protect those that may not want to be named, I’ll spare the full details of the story.  But ultimately, the message is follow peace.

What does that mean?  The first time I heard the story I was quickly able to pinpoint the decision I was facing and which one was right – which one would bring peace.  It became much more obvious and blossomed in front of me and I was able to move forward.  I was at peace.

This time; however, I’m finding complexity in the answer.  What once brought me near instant resolve has me now questioning the very fabric of what makes up my life.  Am I at peace?  Am I following peace?  Do I know what peace is in regard to this situation?  No.  I don’t.  But I do know that I am not at peace and I am not following peace.  Which, strangely enough, is a step ahead of yesterday.  Or maybe it’s behind, as at least yesterday I was delusional.

I remember a time when I used to hear people say “Ignorance is bliss” and I would wonder how that could be true.  Looking back, I was clearly the ignorant, because now I understand the bliss that is lost.  If only I didn’t know…  Clearly that is not the way I really want to live my life but there is that bittersweet taste left behind when the ignorance of a situation, a friend, a job, a life, whatever it is, washes away.  Is the best path to salvage and correct, polish and fix.  Or is it walking away.

What methods do you use to determine the best path?  Well in the words of the Cheshire Cat I leave you with the thought – that if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.

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The Year of the Snake

Hey, it’s my year!  The year of the snake.  In making this year’s bucket list I had a few different goals, well ok that’s2013 redundant.  But seriously I’ve done this enough times now that I have a basic sense for what I can realistically do in a year and how to push a little further.

So this year I wanted to have a few activities that I made public from the beginning.  What you see is only the public version, I think we should all keep a little something just for ourselves.  I also wanted to have a few activities that could easily include others.  Biggest challenge there, I don’t really include others in much and have a limited circle of nearby friends.  Enter bucket list item – make friends.

Without further ado, I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes of 2013 and what surprises I encounter along the way.

2013 Bucket List

  • Reiki Level 2 Certification
  • Excel Level 2 Certification
  • Make Friends
  • Start a writers group that meets mostly monthly
  • Write a book
  • Publish a book
  • Acquire a massage table
  • Learn Scottrade with my dad
  • Take at least one long-weekend trip locally
  • Meditate Daily
  • Try something new in exercise
  • Spend a day on a farm
  • Take Rhy horseback riding with Darian
  • Encourage others to advance in their lives
  • Tour a local brewery with a friend
  • Take James to see Coheed and Cambria
  • Host a backyard bonfire and barbecue

Did you make a bucket list or go with traditional resolutions?  Either way – I’d love for you to share!

Bucket List Experiment & 2012 Summary

A few years ago I started playing with the idea of making bucket lists instead of resolutions.  Somewhere along the way I heard something about focusing on the positive and one New Year tied that to how resolutions never made me feel very good.  I had stopped making them years before because I had faced the fact I was never going to actually do any of them.

My first annual bucket list was a meager attempt.  I was a bit frightened by the idea, how big should I go?  I didn’t want to put down everything I could do in a lifetime just some things I could realistically accomplish that year – finances and everything being part of the equation.  It was clear I wasn’t going to do a world tour.  But it was a success and it made me happy.  I looked forward to little things on my list that were scheduled and those that I did on a whim.

As I prepare for 2013 I’ve been taking a hard look at my life.  What brings me joy?  Some of those things are really obvious and others not so much.  Sometimes you don’t know what those things are until you do them.  Last year I had a friend participate (you know who you are) because he thought the idea was cool and I loved hearing about the things that he did that were on the list.  This year I’ve decided to invite people into the annual bucket list journey with me.

So to kick this off I’m going to share some of the items from last years list (some of them are private as I’m sure some of yours would be too).  If you feel inspired to make a list and join me, message me, post in the comments, or do whatever you feel like.  I’m not big on rules. Last but not least – and this isn’t as cheesy as it sounds – I just want us all to have the coolest year we can think of.  And make it more awesome as we go.

2012 Bucket List

  • Meet James’s family
  • Take Rhy to the West Coast and really experience Seattle, 6 year old style
  • Make stronger connections with my family
  • Appreciate what I have, consciously
  • Take control of my financial future – invest more, invest better
  • Do more yoga
  • Buy a new family car (I almost didn’t think this was going to happen, but it did!)
  • Buy Darian’s first car (hadn’t planned on the second but we did that too… lol)
  • Uncover the allergy mystery (yes we all knew i was allergic to a lot of stuff but i cannot tell you how much different life is when you actually know what sets you off)
  • Give, give a lot.  Give randomly.  Give whenever you can and whenever you feel it’s the right thing to do no matter how any body looks at you.
  • Go to the beach, even if it’s cold
  • Meditate
  • Make one new fruit preserve (strawberry!)
  • Bake and share – i’d say the stuffed cupcake experiment that came out of this was a TON of fun for everyone!
  • Move to a HOME
  • Take all my vacation time (and I used it well too!)

And one of the coolest things I did this year that I hadn’t planned – I got my level 1 Reiki certification and made some wonderful new friends in the process.  It came out of some of the other activities on the list and is a wonderful addition to my life and my happiness.

I will be posting my public list shortly after the start of the new year.  I look forward to hearing about the things that make you happy too.

30 Days Makes A Habit

Today we write.  We write for freedom and for love.  We write for the song that’s buried in our soul.  We write for our mothers and our fathers, sisters and brothers.  We write to be forced to turn off the touch pad that becomes a nuisance.  We write for our aching bodies and bleeding hearts.  We write because we can.  We write because we’re alive.

It never felt so good to be in a place like this.  Chasing a dream, ending up in a better place than you had aimed for.  I look around me and all I see is love.  I see manifestation of the possible.  I see focus and drive.  I see me.

What do you see?

It’s time for NaNoWriMo to begin in less than 24 hours.  For the first time I will participate.  Not only will I participate but I will throw myself into this in unimaginable ways.  Ways that I cannot yet tell you about because, well, they are unimaginable.

I’m posting this mini blog for self inspiration.  For a reminder of my commitment.  For the thought of public humiliation as a muse for days where writing will feel like a curse.  I’m also posting this for you, members of the blogiverse; readers and writers alike.  What challenge can you or will you take on and conquer during the month of November?  30 days makes a habit.  Let’s form new ones together.

I’ll end this one with my favorite quote from the NaNoWriMo team, “In November, embrace imperfection and see where it takes you.”

The Crow and The Cherry Blossom

 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mshades/2370379317/

Expo Crow, Osaka

Trickling down the river flows the essence of the trees.  The place where each lifeblood comes together, forming new isotopes, dredging among the earth.

All things that breathe whisper in the wind and the waters.

Crow flies down, drinks.  Cautiously his guard waits.  Calm and still warning signs of their own.  Petals float haphazardly into the stream while crow blinks.  Trigonometry in an instant.

Wherewithal of crow embodied unto me.

I Don’t Care Too Much About The Weather

The car from my presently past future.

The weight of the weather hangs heavy on my shoulders and I look to the past, the future, the place in between; always so uncomfortable, in the here and now.  Sick of reading about how life is what you make it.  Too many inspirational messages have become cliché by the powers of Facebook and trend-of-the-minute social media outlets.  Checking in to check out.  Spreading the love/hate.

Tell me one more time everything will be alright, one door closes another one opens, or my personal favorite, “everything happens for a reason”, and I’m likely to try and take my own eye out with a pencil.  Only the blind survive this mass media world, spared the harsh imagery and tactical planning of the mysterious “they”.

The curve comes up on me like a crashing tidal wave and I slip, spilling my coffee on freshly pressed pleated pants.  Cursing under my breath for keeping two wardrobes.  For selling out.  For being anything less than me.  In a past life I’d be happy my old battered wreck of a ride was still intact.  Today I look at my Porsche and curse it for its smooth handling.  For allowing myself to daydream.  Where was I before all of this?