A storyteller makes up things to help other people; a liar makes up things to help himself-
I have wondered about “something” for some time now. That our intention(s) and the effect of our action(s), don’t necessarily line up. In the coming posts, and with your thoughtful help and support along the way. I would like to set out exploring this gap in a variety of different contexts and disciplines – Internal, External and Relational.
I hope to awaken greater personal liberation for many of you reading this morning.
What is clear to me this morning, is that shifting our focus from the effect of our actions to their intention? Is a good place to start …
Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant with the weak and wrong. Sometime in your life, you will have been all of these-
I would like to wrap the week up by not talking about “No“ … But rather two extremely powerful words, two words that transcend our overuse of “no.”
Showing empathy does not drain or deplete our true spirit, our friends. Nor does empathy weaken the strongest of family ties. Empathy empowers us with a special sense of togetherness, a powerful sense of being connected. Empathy, the ability to powerfully understand another person, is invaluable, in every relationship of our lives.
It feels good, doesn’t it? Satisfying and empowering, being on the receiving end of empathy. As parents, friends, yoga instructor(s), pilates even. A training partner at 5am on a rainy Saturday morning … Take a moment to pause and reflect on the people you have worked the hardest for in your life. The people who connect and powerfully understand – You.
I feel motivated, when I feel understood. How about you?!?
Sorrow is my own yard
where the new grass
flames as it has flamed
often before but not
with the cold fire
that closes round me this year.
I lived with my husband.
The plumtree is white today
with masses of flowers.
Masses of flowers
load the cherry branches
and color some bushes
yellow and some red
but the grief in my heart
is stronger than they
for though they were my joy
formerly, today I notice them
and turn away forgetting.
Today my son told me
that in the meadows,
at the edge of the heavy woods
in the distance, he saw
trees of white flowers.
I feel that I would like
to go there
and fall into those flowers
and sink into the marsh near them.
There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature-
One vibrant morning in Omaha last summer. I joined a friend for bike ride and a “refueling” stop midway. We decided to try a little café in Countryside Village that is well-known for diverse, healthy fare and devilishly good treats. Both of us were trying to get our diets in order for the upcoming cyclocross season, so splitting a sandwich fit in perfectly with our plan(s).
Moments after sitting down by the front window, a friendly waiter arrived to take our order. We asked for a club sandwich (which could feed four people) and two waters, one with a wedge of lemon. As our waiter was starting to walk away to place our order into the bustling kitchen, my friend threw in a side of homemade kettle chips. Needless to say – “things” just got real!
“Dude… You, of all people, know that I am not very good at saying “no.” Do you smell how delicious they are?Look at the young couple enjoying their order! Fresh kettle chips are simply irresistible I tell you! It’s torture! The humanity – Gah!!!!”
“I’ll have a few and toss the rest away …“
Finally I chime in …
“How about “no” kettle chips? Let’s say “no” to the order of chips now, so we don’t have to say “no” over and over when they arrive from the kitchen – begging to be savored and devoured!”
My friend finally relented and we kindly asked our waiter to cancel the order. Twenty miles down the road, my friend said he felt pretty good that he didn’t get the tasty, perfectly fried kettle chips. Who needs duck fat fried slices of potato heaven, when you can share good company and an awesome sandwich instead!?!
This is when my Strava obsessed and quasi – superstitious friend discovered the strength and power of saying “No.” Did saying no to the kettle chips add watts and power to our hill training program? Who knows, and who cares. Although we did go back after finishing our century …
“Yes no yes no yes no?
Yes red, no blue?
No red, yes no?
In out, up down?
Do don’t, can can’t?
Choices sit on the shelf life
New shoes in a shoe shop.
If the in crowd are squeezing into a must-have shoe
And the one pair left are too tiny for you
Don’t feel compelled into choosing them
If you’re really a size 9, buy that size.
While everyone else
Hobbles round with sore feet
Your choices should feel comfortable
Or they aren’t your choices at all.
Why limp when you can sprint?”
- David Baird, Fiesta of Happiness: Be True to Yourself
May I ask you once more? In a deeper, more personal way … Why limp through the day, when you can sprint?