life coach rona 17 03 27 interwoven tapestry of life

 

Each of us needs the rest of us to make the life we are living possible.

While driving last week, I passed an 18-wheeler traveling slowly with its oversized load. The truck seemed to be tilting left and it looked dangerous. I felt bad for the driver whose job it was to ensure safe delivery. I said a prayer that the man arrive safely and that his journey is an easy one.

I began to think about all the men and women who do jobs that are dangerous, dirty, tedious, or physically demanding so that I might enjoy the things I take for granted: a highway to get me to where I need to go; indoor plumbing(!); garbage removal; clothing; food, etc.

As I reached for my coffee mug, I thought about the infinite number of people necessary to make the simple experience of enjoying my coffee possible.

I thought about those who dug the trench where pipes would be laid to carry the water to Starbucks, and the worker who would use the water to pour over the beans that someone had planted, and another had harvested, and yet another had delivered to the store… (I could go on but I think you get my point. ;) )

It then occurred to me that every person is doing something in service to another: the mom, salesperson, truck driver, CEO, plumber, politician, gardener, engineer, teacher, factory worker, artist, farmer, etc. are each contributing to our lives in direct or indirect ways.

Although we often feel separate and at odds with one another, the truth is our lives are inextricably intertwined into one beautiful tapestry that we call life.

As we go out in the world, may we hold in our hearts and demonstrate only love, respect, and gratitude for one another!

 

life coach rona 17 03 19 attitude

 

Thank goodness for heroes. They remind us who it is we want to be.

Since January 16th, my dad has been sick, in a hospital, in rehab, back in a hospital, and headed back to rehab yesterday.

He can’t eat; he can’t sleep; he can’t breathe; and, he is in pain. His days consist of sitting in a chair, being moved to a bed, then back to a chair the next day.

Yet, he rarely complains.

The core precept of Stoic philosophy is this: know the difference between that which you can control and that which you cannot control. Then, focus exclusively on that which is in your control. Forget the rest.

Dad is pragmatic. He knows he can’t control what is happening to his lungs and to his heart. But what he can control is his thoughts, attitude, and behavior.

My siblings and I have had the privilege to be by his side for many hours across these many weeks and have observed his attitude and behavior.

We have watched him as Doctors give him less than promising news day after day after day. His refrain across all this time has been consistent: “What are you going to do? We will take it one day at a time.”

We have watched how he treats those around him: he is gracious and grateful, and often shares a joke, or two, or three, or four. His caretakers love him. Many have said he is the most positive person they know.

He looks at the hard work on his road ahead and says simply: “Baby steps.”

As he has done all of our lives, Dad is showing us how to live life well.

As he embodies acceptance, kindness, humor, positive attitude, bravery, hard work, and an optimism that all will be okay, he teaches us to do the same.

And together, we grow! 🌱

 

life coach rona 17 03 12 resistance

 

My daughter takes jujitsu. As I observed her class on Friday night it occurred to me that the basic principles of jujitsu offer a good strategy for living.

I am fascinated to watch my daughter throw opponents who are much larger and heavier than she is. The technique for doing this is based on the principle of using the attacker’s energy against him rather than to oppose or resist directly.

My daughter and others in her belt rank seem to effortlessly use their opponent’s strength and movement to throw him swiftly and efficiently.

By contrast, I noticed the lower belts use force and resistance against their opponent. In doing so, they struggle harder and longer, exert more effort, and clumsily throw their opponent, often folding or falling under the pressure.

In jujitsu, as in life, nonresistance can be effortless; resistance can be effortful.

In life, we can resist, fight against, and complain about our current reality: a bad haircut, a child who is struggling, traffic that is moving slower than we need to go, a health challenge that is not going away, the promotion we counted on and didn’t get.

Or, we can accept life as is. Not from a place of giving up or helplessness. But from a place of strength and an inner knowing that when we move with the energy of whatever comes our way we are better able to use our own power and resourcefulness to manage through life’s inevitable ups and downs.

Resistance causes us to tense up, lose energy, and fall hard. Nonresistance allows us to flow and roll with whatever life throws our way.

Which will you choose today?