Just Get Out – re-post

A sister of mine is an excellent shopper. She truly does excel at this. High-value-for-minimal-price excels at it. I have been a frequent and regular recipient of this most excellent ability of hers. Thank You God!

Recently, while doing a re-org out in the garage, a large black garbage bag, contents unknown, kept winking at me. Kept begging me to unknot it and check its contents. I thought it was a forgotten bag of stuff that had been set aside for the local Salvation Army store.

But no. It contained a beautifully patterned Ralph Lauren comforter set that had been gifted to me by the bestest shopper I know. Contained in a dusty old trash bag out in the garage. Filling no purpose just (follow me now) existing in a dark space. Contained. In the dark. Unused and unappreciated.

Hmmm. I’m thinking that this “state of being” can happen way too easily to more animate objects. Not objects at all but to us folks. Did somebody shelf you? Put you in cold storage or otherwise bag you up so you’re out of commission and out of sight? Did you climb in the black bag and, in Houdini-like fashion, tie the knot tightly with your own two hands?

Oh what a waste of a valuable life that was designed to cover others and provide warmth! Get out of the premature grave that has almost succeeded at containing that bright spirit of yours. Get out! Get back into the light of day and into your intended purpose once again. Its never too late to start again. Never ever.

I snapped this pic out in the garage after tearing open the trash bag. Doesn’t it look triumphant to be in the light of day after so long?

Just Get Out

A sister of mine is an excellent shopper. She truly does excel at this. High-value-for-minimal-price excels at it. I have been a frequent and regular recipient of this most excellent ability of hers. Thank You God!

Recently, while doing a re-org out in the garage, a large black garbage bag, contents unknown, kept winking at me. Kept begging me to unknot it and check its contents. I thought it was a forgotten bag of stuff that had been set aside for the local Salvation Army store.

But no. It contained a beautifully patterned Ralph Lauren comforter set that had been gifted to me by the bestest shopper I know. Contained in a dusty old trash bag out in the garage. Filling no purpose just (follow me now) existing in a dark space. Contained. In the dark. Unused and unappreciated.

Hmmm. I’m thinking that this “state of being” can happen way too easily to more animate objects. Not objects at all but to us folks. Did somebody shelf you? Put you in cold storage or otherwise bag you up so you’re out of commission and out of sight? Did you climb in the black bag and, in Houdini-like fashion, tie the knot tightly with your own two hands?

Oh what a waste of a valuable life that was designed to cover others and provide warmth! Get out of the premature grave that has almost succeeded at containing that bright spirit of yours. Get out! Get back into the light of day and into your intended purpose once again. Its never too late to start again. Never ever.

• • • •

I snapped this pic out in the garage after tearing open the trash bag. Doesn’t it look triumphant to be in the light of day after so long?

Create

“The fire was so devastating,” she said. “We had a beautiful home. . . I still cry every day.”

The jewelry maker who created this pendant still lives in Paradise, California—the town that was decimated by fires a few months ago. They lost their home and everything in it. They lost their collection of classic cars. Her studio, tools, and supplies burned to the ground. Though it is ti this day so cery hard, she’s holding on and little by little regaining her soul, her life, and her ground. @creek_jewels

So when I stumbled upon this IG account and these initial pendants made of sterling silver with tiny natural pearl attached I knew I had to have one around my neck. Some days I look at it and I too want to cry at her loss. Some days I look at it and feel stronger knowing that even after this devastating life event she has gathered what little strength she had left and began to create again.

God gave us all a resiliency and will to live, to press on, and to create. The creator of this necklace was still able to produce beauty from elements of this earth, silver and pearl, even when her world was scorched to the ground. What an example. What an invisible badge of honor she wears. What a triumphant crown on her head that she did not just roll over and die through this devastation.

The power to create – what a gift to us mere mortals. We must follow the Leader and stir up this gift.

Hey Shadow

Professor Tyler Zarubin came to the university just a couple of years ago now. He’s one of those quiet storm types, in the absolute best sort of way. He took over the management of the campus Heritage garden when Professor Thea retired (too early if you ask me). OMG what he’s done with the place! We have flowers and herbs in the summer; bee hives, berry vines, and pumpkins in the fall. This one is growing in the Heritage Garden right now.

Some of its companions are lounging nearby in the shade under the shadow of healthy and generously proportioned leaves. But direct your attention to the beautiful pattern on this pumpkin. Artfully done don’t you think? When the earth rotates just a little bit more it will disappear. But for now it’s a beautifully delicate design looking as if handpainted onto the surface.

Sometimes a greater light shines on us, casting a unique pattern, perhaps delicate, perhaps bold onto another person, a situation, an organization even.

Shady places are ideal when we’re in a tender state, needing to recoup, mend, and continue with the process of growth. But like another prof friend recently explained, without the sun—the Greater Light—healthy growth ain’t gonna happen.

Step back into the light and grow again. Step back into the light and cast your imprint again. It’s important and we all need your mark – your shadow design. One of a kind. Priceless.

Connect the Dots

Time for a Sunday sesh. Time to pause and think about this—what are you earnestly desiring for your life? Some change, some breakthrough, some miracle you’ve needed . . . what comes to mind when you slow down, breathe in, and release the scramble mode that the weekday demands? Pause, breathe, relax, gently think. When you’ve got it, mark it. However that is for you, be it a note in your iPhone or carefully scribed into a journal or scribbled on a scrap of Sunday newspaper.

Is there any lifelong theme attached to the thought that emerges?

And how does it (imagining “it” as a puzzle piece of the grand illustration of your life) fit in to who you are today, who you’ve grown into as a tree would, developed as a photograph would, emerged as a painting would?

Is today the day to connect the dots? Is today the day you realize you’ve got to make a 180 degree turn to get back to where you once belonged? Or, is it the day you breathe in a deep, lung-filling breath and say, “Hey! I’m exactly where I should be. My dots are connecting and I can see clearly now.”

Sundays are a good day, a God-day, to take a check and connect the dots.

Go

It’s one of the most frustrating things ever for a person who, like me, is often behind the wheel on the road. My mom used to do this thing when she had the three of us girls in the back of the station wagon. She loved to converse about anything, you name it. And when she was making a particular point she would stop at a green light or in the middle of the street for that matter. And for no particular reason other than that she had lost awareness of what she was really doing behind the wheel of that vehicle—either to make a point or reprimand her unruly children.

When you see a green light ahead and yet cars in front of you are not moving forward your brain, at least my brain, goes into diagnostic mode. It feels like a circuit is about to short out. An important brain connector is about to fray or snap. It doesn’t make ANY sense and all because of one thing. Green means go . . . doesn’t it?

Why are you stopped at a green light then? Are you trying in vain to make a point to someone who won’t listen? Put your foot on the pedal and move forward! In doing so not only do you advance your self into what is next for you but you also allow others behind you to appropriately move into position.

Green = go.

Don’t

What is this plant? A succulent of some sort that I’ve never seen before today. It is most definitely #succulentsofinstagram worthy though its not likely to go viral anytime soon.

Its symmetry attracted me. Then the geometric white markings on the underside of each . . . petal, frond, stem, leaf. I don’t know what to call it but I like it for some reason.

The longer I stared the more it I realized that this was a representation of the flipside of my post from yesterday. What filled my heart, soul, and mind yesterday was the importance of letting go. And the other side of that coin, same coin mind you, is an equally important principle of NOT letting go of the important things. There is no intended confusion or waffling here, just presenting another perspective and different meaning that also speaks from the concept of “letting go.”

Try this: Don’t. Don’t let go of the valuable in your life. Don’t “Marie Kondo” your way into an isolated existence because you hastily decided to declutter some relationships that no longer brought you joy. Like the structure of this plant, the core of it holds on to all the individual members for a reason. Each one participates in the photosynthesis needed to keep this community-based operation thriving. Each one retains water in its cells that aids the entire citizenry in hydration. The core holds on to them all. Until the day that always comes when the lower, outer leaves have lived and contributed to their fullest and then there is a conjugal agreement between core and affiliate that the time has naturally come.

I hear the haunting chorus from that song by The Fray “Never say Never” repeating the same phrase over and over again, “don’t let me go, don’t let me go, don’t let me go-oooooo.” Connection is in our DNA and unbeknownst to our brain cells sometimes the rest of our cells cry out for belonging and attachment. The flip side of the coin is always worth a good long look.

Lettin Go

Is there a right time to let go?

If you are in the Hands of the right One—rhe answer is yes. If you are in the hands of the wrong one the answer is doubly a resounding yes. Being held and supported by One who is invisible might feel, at times, like you’re not being held at all. And while to one of us it feels like a frightening thing, simultaneously, to another it feels like a glorious thing.

We are so unique, each and everyone of us. It is hard to believe that we are all the same species and yet impossible to believe that we are not. So is the dilemma that is created at a cross road. Your cross road. And we encounter mini and micro crossroads almost daily. Which way should we go? Which road should we choose? Which course? Which leader? Which lunch entrée? So many choices before us and thank God for the ability to choose. Choice may feel like a curse to some because the necessary decision feels more like an anguish-laden burden (Oh, if only this were all decided for me and I knew which road to take!). And there is the thing… there is the thing! Many a time for life to move forward we are required to act beyond our comfort zone. It will involve doing something that feels quite severing. And that is the art, yes art, of letting go. Starting a new chapter involves finishing the previous one. You cannot hover in the previous chapter AND experience the next one. You must turn the page and in essence that involves a “letting go,” a choice, a decision.

So this post is for the decision makers – and that is all of us. Even if you’re currently a frozen DM (decision maker). Letting go is usually a prerequisite for stepping into the next best thing that is patiently waiting for us, just on the other side of decision. The glorious gift of choice – when a wise one is made – will involve letting go as a new door of opportunity swings wide before our very eyes.

The animated Disney snow queen Elsa, in the movie “Frozen,” got it right. Cue the soundtrack and let it go.

Fade Not Away

Confession time. I ate this yesterday at a local country kitchen where I haven’t eaten in over 20 years. And though the decor wasn’t anything like my particular grandmother’s home it had that old-timey feeling of comfort and calm. So I over ate, not leaving a speck of breakfast gravy on the plate. The final biscuit went down just fine with the marmalade and grape jelly that the server brought. And with one of those little plastic cups of half and half that sit out for days on end with no refrigeration. Ugggg.

It always feels enjoyable in the moment. You see, them there carbs start numbing brain cells super quickly before our better angels remind us that this is basically poison for the body. It tasted so good though. And I confess to having occasional visions of sugar plums and gravy dancing in my head because these are a few of my favorite things. There, I’ve said it.

“Just don’t BECOME a biscuit,” I tell myself. Tasty but no nutritional value. Lumpy. A little dry even. Don’t do it.

Notice how colorless the pictured plate actually is? Monotone even. May that NEVER be a portrait of your life or mine. Don’t let the colors fade or slowly drain away. Maybe you didn’t notice it happening. Get your spark back. Do things that light that fire in your heart.

Keep the blush in your cheeks by going after what you love (bad diner food excluded) and in the doing not only will you stay vibrant in heart and mind but there’ll be nutrients available to share. That’s key after all. We’re all in this together.

Leave It

Sometimes my spa water ingredients, having imparted their essence for three days running, still have a glow about them when their intended purpose has passed. The leftover water they’ve splashed about in, freely frolicking while adding color and health giving benefits is to be used on the potted kumquat tree in my garden.

Their essence is imparted into the water they’re placed in . . .

I’m big on this. And am very much aware of the impact we make on the environment around us. Here’s what I mean— but first an example. As a Girl Scout back in the day our leaders had us carefully prepare for every aspect of an upcoming camp-out. Down to the tinfoil for the Smore‘s we would make to the tin cup we would pack in our individual mess kits. At the end of our 48 hours of roughing it and learning outdoor skills such as knot tying (never to be used again in real life of course but it earned us a badge) it would be time to break camp and hike back down the hill to our cheerleading and clarinet lesson filled lives. But before we could head out it was drilled into us by our leaders that we must leave the campsite better than we found it. If previous groups of campers had left a scrap of any foreign material of any size whatsoever it was on us to remove the trace. “Leave it better than you found it” was the mantra.

So do you? Do you pass through a place leaving behind a fragrant reminder that someone special has been there? Is the environment you left behind better than you found it because of you? It honestly doesn’t take much, even if your purpose or your mission is to clean up the bits and scraps that someone else had left behind. Perhaps more work, more stringent effort is required of you based on the previous residents or occupants in that space. Are you up for it? The fragrant rose does not choose who to impart it’s intoxicating aroma to and does not withhold from those she deems unworthy. She full on blossoms and shares her fragrance with whomsoever may cross her path.

Do that. Be a rose in your environment and why not? There are enough skunks out there more than willing to leave their mark without so much as a care. Don’t view it as a mandatory campground cleanup but as an opportunity for an impartation of essence, fragrance, and purification of the air.

Leave it better . . . than you found it.