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@Lori @galenpearl I don't see it in the moderation or in the spam folder--you've posted comments before, so I don't know what the problem is. Oh dear. If it doesn't work, please email me your comment and I'll post it for you. Thank you, my friend.
3 months, 1 week ago on How Do You Get Into the Christmas Spirit?
@Lori @galenpearl Thank you! See you there.
Lori, Holidays can remind us of those we miss. Your approach is such a loving way to honor Alex's memory. The Christmas spirit opens our hearts to allow generosity and love to pour out.
For me, Christmas has been a time in recent years to draw inward, not in an isolating way, but rather into a time of quiet and stillness in the midst of all the holiday chaos. I have handed over the torch to my kids to celebrate as they see fit. I'm happy to join in their choices rather than to be the center of it.
This Christmas is also a time of letting go for me. I posted my last blog post the day before Thanksgiving. The blog has run its course, at least for now. So this is also a time of goodbyes for me. I'm going to visit all the folks, like you, who have been a wonderful part of my life these last few years. Thanksgiving seemed a perfect time to begin a period of giving thanks as the year comes to an end.
So thank you, my friend, for being a blog friend to me, for sharing your story with courage and delight. I hope you will stop by for a gift of gratitude in my last post. Wishing you all the best, Galen
Since I've gotten to the age where, as my daughter affectionately says, I have the memory of a gnat, I like to save my brain space for stuff that really matters. Because I can still remember my childhood phone number from decades ago but can't remember my daughter's current cell phone number, I have a theory that we have a finite amount of memory space in our brains, just like a computer. But unlike a computer, there is no delete button to make more space and no way to add more memory capability. So when it's full, that's it!
I have no scientific basis for this theory, but it makes me feel better when I forget where I put my keys, but can remember that I'm supposed to pick up my grandson from daycare. And also, I'm glad that apart from the finite memory card, there seems to be no limit to learning and thinking in our brains.
If you can still remember all the phone numbers and passwords in your life, then I want to know what vitamins you are taking!!
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Is Your Brain on Cruise Control?
Your article reminded me of something I read awhile back that was sort of a defense of Pollyanna. People use her as a way of criticizing someone, as in "Don't be such a Pollyanna." The person writing this defense pointed out that Pollyanna had a way of looking for the good in everyone and everything. I was so intrigued that I actually went back and read the book. Pollyanna was really a very enlightened little girl! So yes, I am all for rose colored glasses, at least figuratively speaking.
4 months, 3 weeks ago on Are You Looking at Life Through Rose-colored Glasses?
@Lori @galenpearl I can tell you from personal experience that the belief we can control anything outside of our thoughts, words, and actions is indeed a delusion--ha! The effort to change yourself would fall under those things we can control, wouldn't it? Because changing ourselves means changing our thoughts, words, and actions.
You can't make calls not come in, for example, but by focusing on what you could control--unplugging the phone for example--you could change the situation. I recently had to hire a lawyer to stop some unwanted calls! Again, I couldn't control the calls, but I could control my actions, like hiring the lawyer.
I think the issue with regard to our suffering, at least the part that is self imposed, is that we get frustrated when we try to control what we can't control and it doesn't work!
4 months, 4 weeks ago on How Much Control Do We Have?
I had to laugh when I saw your post title. When I make a presentation about the 10 Steps, we do an exercise for Step 3--Give up the delusion of control. We make two lists--one listing the things we can control, and the other listing the things we can't control. Skipping to the end of the discussion, we end up concluding that we can control what we think or say or do, and we can't control everything else!
You couldn't control other people calling you, but you could control your actions, and you did, by taking steps to prevent the calls from bothering you. Nicely done!
@Lori @galenpearl If you will forgive my inclusion of a blog link, here is the story--
5 months ago on Are You in Pain?
My book is dedicated to Todd "who found the part that looked like me." This is a reference to an energy healing session I had with him years ago when I was a real skeptic. He made me a believer!
@Lori @galenpearl I think we would be curious and attentive about what was going on without adding a layer of interpretative assumptions. Assumptions are closely linked to judgment, whether we are evaluating something as good or bad.
I wouldn't say that we wouldn't think about things, but we might think less about them. I believe that our experience of things and our response to things would have less of our ego involved, and we would be more centered in the present moment.
Of course, this is purely academic since I, like most of us, quickly make assumptions, and with your encouragement will now try to be more self aware of the choices I make about them!
5 months, 1 week ago on Are You Making Assumptions?
Great example! You might just have easily assumed that she didn't recognize you because you had aged so much. I'm not saying that would be a reasonable assumption since in your photo, you look barely old enough to have graduated from high school! My point is that, as you say, our assumptions are our choice, and it's just as easy to choose a positive spin as a negative one. What if we tried to drop our assumptions altogether?
@Lori @galenpearl Here the funny part. I live in the inner city in Portland, Oregon! Not small town at all, but small town feel. The gas pump thing is state wide--it's the law here.
5 months, 1 week ago on Is Technology Making Us Antisocial?
I think it does both. I love going in my small bank where someone always greets me by name. Same for the grocery store. Even though they have the automatic check lines, I always wait for a cashier. I like the personal touch, and the technology in those situations does not enhance human connection. Same for automated phone answering (don't even get me started on that one!).
One of the many things I love about Oregon is that we don't have self service gas pumps. Yep, when you stop to get gas, a real human being comes to your window and asks what you want. I love some of the little chats I have with folks while waiting for my car to get filled.
So in many situations, I think that technology is cutting us off from each other. Like your sister-in-law observed, we can go through much of our day without any contact if we choose to, and even sometimes if we would choose otherwise.
On the other hand, because of technology, I am able to stay in touch with people I know all over the world from my years as an expatriate. True, we wrote letters before, but this is so much faster and easier. I'm also connected with people I had lost track of--either they found me or I found them, and we reconnected.
And there are folks like you that I only know online, and yet I feel a connection with. So, as others have said, it's how you use it. I just got back from a few days at my cabin--unplugged! I enjoy my time away from technology, and now I'm happy to be home and seeing what my online buddies are up to.
I like the idea of moving away from the concept of problem. That immediately evokes a negative judgment. Many of the things we label as problems are just life. We get stuck in traffic, the water heater breaks, we are put on hold, we get a cold, whatever. When we set ourselves up to wait for a problem free time in our life so that we can be happy, we are going to wait for a long time.
Having said that, there are certainly times in our lives that are more challenging than others. We might suffer a devastating loss, as you have, or it might be a series of less serious issues that nevertheless take a lot of time and energy. And sometimes it's a project, as you described, that is just getting to be too much.
Then we do want we need to take care of ourselves and give ourselves permission to make adjustments. Sometimes that might even mean quitting something and letting go. Or not.
Maybe the key is to drop the judgment about it.
5 months, 3 weeks ago on Do You Have Days When You Want to Quit?
@Steve_Rice Oh, I like that too. Sometimes I do a one minute gratitude list--easy to do at a stoplight or waiting in line.
5 months, 3 weeks ago on How Do You Live In the Moment?
@Steve_Rice Belly breathing is a quick and effective practice. Or having a word or phrase that interrupts the hampster-wheel thinking, like "come" or "be still."
I love the title--having the courage to live a life of joy. I will definitely hop over and check out Steve's blog.
As for living in the moment, I find that the real life benefit is that I spend much less time in "what if" or "if only" world. When I can stay present, my life is richer and definitely filled with more joy and gratitude. I'm also better able to respond rather than react to situations without having all the past baggage or future fear dictating my thoughts and actions.
Lovely post. Now to your blog....
@Lori @galenpearl Yes, I had a wonderful summer. His book The Power of Now is by my bed--next on my list!
6 months, 1 week ago on How to Become Free of the Ego
This is very consistent with other wisdom teachings, like A Course in Miracles, Buddhist writings, the teachings of Jesus, and more. Very enlightening! (Just spent some time catching up with your other recent posts. Glad to be back after my summer break.)
When I look back, I don't think about missing the good old days as much as I think about the bad old days that could have been good old days if I had made some different choices.
Your posts about Alex always touch my heart. What a beautiful family photo on this post.
6 months, 2 weeks ago on Do You Miss the Good Old Days?