Monday, February 19, 2018

Not so Big Dreams

Do you ever feel tired of smiling? Of having Dreams so Big that they scared you? Not the same as when you were an awkward teenager but more recently? That feeling that although you have done your best to stay on top of things, to show the world that "dang-it-all you've got your stuff together" that no one knows what's going on inside?

We're listening to a lot about people's successes right now. About gold medals in international sports, injuries overcome, financial hurdles navigated, standing on the podium. About the competition not only from others but also of the demons within, of Facebook fiascos and Pinterest pity parties.

Rare Picture of Me, Seattle

We read on social media about 19 year olds who sold their technology company for zillions of dollars. And of folks like Chris Guillebeau in The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World who set a goal to see every country in the world. Sites built on teaching people how to pay off their mortgages in five years and then sailing around the world for the rest of their lives.

Okay, I think you get the picture.

But what about the rest of us? Most of us? Who just want an extra long-weekend, a great sale on toilet paper, an extra 100 airmiles on Thursday's grocery order? Dreaming of completing one chapter at a time in the novel we're writing?

How do the rest of us keep smiling?

I say, let's plan on some smaller dreams this week. A parking spot closer to the door. Someone who says "thanks, you've made my day". A hidden piece of chocolate cake in the freezer.

I'm not saying to give up on the Big Dreams. I'm saying it should be just as much fun juggling some Not so Big Dreams some days. Keep those Dream balls in the air and sometimes you get to land on a Big one. (Tweet This)

You can juggle many Not so Big Dreams at the same time. (Tweet This)

Enjoy your smaller dreams this week and tell me what happens!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Someone's Son

He told me his name was Thunder. Only because I asked him what his most unusual name meant in his native language. I asked him if he felt the power of that name and he bashfully smiled and said No. You will, I replied, if you allow it.

A slightly older chap is standing on the corner as I leave my yoga class. His cap is pulled down over his forehead and he clenches his gloved hands in a rhythm only he hears. It is cold. He picks up his sign that says Hungry, and walks down the driver's side windows as most people ignore him. The wind is picking up and I see that his running shoes have clumps of snow on them.

Someone's Son

It is a sunny day, and an elderly man is leaning against the busy walkway of a popular tourist walk along the water. His face is etched with experience and when he smiles, the creases disappear and all I see are his blue eyes. I hand him a granola bar  from my pocket and ask him his name. He is startled. No one has asked me that in a long time he says sadly. Michael.

Each grown of a woman, who perhaps does not know where he is or if he has eaten today. Each carrying the weight of his past choices. Whose son is he? What wishes has he abandoned? What dreams does he still have? Where will he sleep tonight?

We might be cautious to roll down our window but our awareness of him is our prayer. Our open heart can be his gift even if we don’t stop. (Tweet this)

They are someone's son. They have a birthday, a favourite Disney character, a love of macaroni and cheese. They have a story.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Slow Flow

Every once in a while you get a day like yesterday. Sunday, a day that appeared to have unlimited hours, minutes that crawled by. A day that seemed to last and last.

I used to always love Sundays. As a teenager, when homework and chores were done, when you could lie down on your bed and listen to the same song over and over.

But as time passed, Sunday was used for cooking and preparing for the week ahead. Making lists, getting the family organized, scrubbing floors and folding laundry.

I used to live on the eight floor of a building that faced south. I could see the mountains and the sky as it slowly brightened. Then watched as the shadows grew longer. And as night approached, each twinkling star in the inky blackness of forever. I could hear the traffic far below and ignore what I didn't want to pay attention to. It could be beautiful and peaceful. I was the audience.

Slow Flow
Yesterday, I was able to capture that feeling. The snow had fallen all night, it was that miserable cold that you couldn't help but stand by a window and be glad that you were indoors. You could wear socks on your feet all day. And then change back into pajamas. All sounds were muffled.

In Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, this feeling is described as being in that moment when time has no meaning. It is surprising to me, a typically busy kind of person, how I felt.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Counting Down to Zero

Counting Down to Zero #CanmoreAB

We count and we count. And the months and weeks get crossed off on our calendars. The days vanish. The hours disappear in front of our eyes.

We practise for our first 21.1km race. We read to reach our book goal for the year. We increase our laps in the pool. We even dress with 33 items for 3 months. We need a certain amount of money in the bank. We need to be there for 6 o'clock.

We are governed by numbers.

And what we often forget, is the most important number of all. The one moment that is now. (Tweet This) 

This moment. The one we can taste, the sounds we hear, the feel of a loved one's hand, the weight of our thoughts, the music of our heartbeat.

Let's spend this moment, in this moment.

Because the day will come, when there will be just one moment left. (Tweet This)

Because we're all just counting down to zero.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Over Half Done

"I was half way to the bottom
When you threw me that line
And I'll quote you now, verbatim
Get your head out of your own behind"

I've been reading a lot about adversity these days, how one person can shake it off and another is buried in worry and despair.

Just like you, I have friends and family who have endured some pretty awful things. And yes, they are good people, it happens to them too, and they don't like it, weren't expecting it, but they accept it. Somehow, they have been able to piece together their disappointments and sorrows and still smile.

We all feel blue sometimes. We all want to throw out our dreams, say I'm just too old/tired/sad and worn-out. I'm bored with my life but I don't have the ability/skills/support that I need. I'm angry/scared and I'm going to take it out on you.

So isn't it a surprise when we see these people around us, bounce back? They were dealt a poor hand in size - too big/too small/never quite right. They were shortchanged with a crazy family/looks/or brains. And yet... they continue.

More than half their life has happened, and they still look forward to their future. They anticipate. They've failed. They've laughed. They've been torn apart with grief.

And yet, they continue.

It's never quite perfect, but that's perfectly fine. (Tweet This)

Over half done but it ain't over yet. (Tweet This)