Six Key Commandment — Navigating Life

Good Morning, God!

I was going through my drafts on my email — basically emails that hadn’t been sent — and I found this email to myself. It’s a riff on Being a Tree as in Psalm One.

Psalm One — what does it mean to be a tree of life?

I loved the leaves never withering and the bearing fruit in its season but then my thoughts made it down to the Roots of these trees.

Commandments as roots? Here are MY favorite commandments.

  1. Bless bless don’t curse. Cursing is an extreme form of judgment And it clogs our capillaries 
  2. Offer up the sacrifice of praise First fruits of lips that name Jesus as Lord — praise is Trust made audible — the opposite of despair — an antidote to fear.
  3. Confess your sins/shortfalls one to another that you may be healed Sharing — hearing and being heard is powerful when just humans listen. How much more when God listens. And That kind of sharing strengthens the body of Christ
  4. Weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice — this is the Power of being with one another. And again it strengthens the community — the body of Christ.
  5. Pray for those who despite fully use you — if your enemy is thirsty give him to drink. Ah, that is the effect of prolonged prayer! We begin to see with God’s eyes and that changes everything — especially us.
  6. Care for the orphan, widow and stranger in your midst — that is seeing Jesus in the Least — and are we not all one of the Least?

I thought but what sort of image for this riff? Images of real roots? And then I saw an image of a map of Singapore — taken when we visited– and realized Your Commandments God, are to help us find our way in Life. Help us navigate. Help us live more love filled lives. Help us be more fruitfully human.

Posted in connecting

The Power of a Name

BougainvilleasGood Morning, God!

I’ve been meaning to write about the importance and power of names for weeks now! I’ve always been — what I charitably call a Name Hawk — ready to correct people who call my friends by an incorrect version of their name. Names ARE important.

Naming others is important! Here is an excerpt from a blog quoting from Madeleine L’Engle’s book, A Wind in the Door[referring to the Echthroi Progo says]
War and hate are their business, and one of their chief weapons is un-Naming – making people not know who they are. If someone knows who he is, really knows, then he doesn’t need to hate. That’s why we still need Namers, because there are places throughout the universe like your planet Earth. When everyone is really and truly Named, then the Echthroi will be vanquished.

I am taking a small step toward doing something about the importance of names. For several weeks I have brought names tags to events at our church and also created a form for people to request an official name tag.   That’s because when I KNOW someone’s name that person moves into a deeper part of my mind and my heart. So learning each others names seem like a way to create a healthier and more welcoming congregation.

Oh, and I just came across another use for names. In the book, Micro Resilience: Minor Shifts for Major Boosts in Focus, Drive and Energy the authors quote Dr. Amen as saying, “Often just naming a thought can help take away its power.” I hadn’t thought of that. But, I like the idea that there is power in naming!

There is also power in hearing ourselves say things OUT LOUD. I wonder, God, if that might make naming a thought even more powerful? Speaking the name out loud!  Taking a position of power.  Speaking!

I like that. I am going to try it.

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Posted in Books, connecting, developing helpful definitions of love, LOVE, The Power of Naming, The Power of the Spoken Word

My Wonderful Husband

IMG_6808Good Morning, God!

Yesterday we got the Punahou Bulletin and found the long awaited article on my wonderful husband Kit. And I really wanted to 1) Thank You for him!!! and 2) share the story!  Just one small corrections. I ran a marathon with Kit (in Anchorage) on our 38th wedding anniversary. . . not our 50th!IMG_6809

The Gift of Persistent Love! That is my husband. And that is YOU, God!

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Posted in connecting, Families, LOVE, the gift of persistent love

It’s hard to be a human nowadays

DilbertGood Evening, God!

I laughed out loud when I read this Dilbert comic this morning. A rueful laugh of recognition! We humans are barely able to maintain Continuous Intermittent Attention — let alone real focus. Except, of course, on video games, etc.

But, it isn’t just apps that are addictive, God. There was a study that showed rats preferred oreo cookies to morphine. Sugar is the drug of choice for Western Civilization. And I even found it added to a bag of potato chips. Yikes!

Then there is this little problem with robots. Factory workers have lost jobs to robots. And now it appears that white collar workers are at risk, too. I just read about a robot that was programed to act as a therapist. It turned out that people confided more to her/it than to a human therapist. The designers theorized that was because the robot NEVER EVER showed a nanosecond of judgment, irritation, impatience or boredom. Well, I thought, Who is next?

And then I read about a huge hedge fund that has set aside 30 billion dollars to be “managed” but artificial intelligence . . . algorithms, God!

Still, I must confess to a desire to upgrade my human OS. My wonderful husband Kit and I have reached the point where we often use Google Maps to navigate for us. The voice (we call her the Google Girl) is totally pleasant ALL THE TIME. No matter what ill advised move we made — her response is a matter of fact instruction on the NEXT turn. She recalculates with grace! Not, alas, like me. I REACT with a wide range of emotions!

So, here I am — taking the Google Girl as the role model I aspire to. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Maybe both?

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Posted in accepting my need for help, adjusting, Artificial Intelligence, Changing, Choosing to respond, complexity, connecting, Future, Help me to see, Perspective

A few more thoughts on Resilience

multicolored hibiscus

Good Day, God!

I have yet to read the book I just bought on Micro-Resilience by Bonnie St. John. I thought it would be fun to ponder what I have learned so far about life and resilience. One huge conceptual pit — that I have fallen into — is thinking that:

“There must have been a Right Path I could have taken
so I wouldn’t have landed in this BOG — but I missed it!”

This idea that taking a better series of turns would have kept us safe puts all the responsibility and blame on our shoulders. I’ve been there! Our daughter Patty had a rare form of cancer — ergo, WHAT DID I DO WRONG????? Or what could I /should I have done differently? Horribly painful . . . and not helpful.

I had to learn that Life itself IS a Bog. Failures or wrong turns are built into it.  We just can’t know enough to avoid all possible pitfalls, Indeed, trying to navigate a perfectly safe path — past a certain point — squanders life energy that is better spent living and enjoying TODAY!

My second realization is that a major factor in resilience is the ability to Reset and Respond. This awful thing has happened or is happening. Accept it. Then look around for ways to deal with it, mitigate it, and work around it. Accepting is BIG and Acting is BIGGER. Thankfully the internet has made this possible in ways that I could not have imagined a decade ago.

But the most helpful thing for me, God, is the belief that You love us — all of us! I put my weight on You completely during Patty’s illness. And You supported us all. You didn’t heal Patty. But You have provided me with the amazing assurance that she is “Vibrant and Radiant and Alive and with YOU!”

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Posted in accepting my ability to REDESIGN, accepting my need for help, adjusting, asking for and accepting forgiveness, asking for help for myself, authority over my life, awareness, Books, connecting, resiliency

Bouncing and Needing Help

red hibiscus and branchesGood Day, God!

At lunch today, I heard myself say, “life is uncertain, capricious and bad things do happen but I am determined — as much as I can — to only undergo bad things ONCE. I do not want to undergo them repeatedly due to fear.”

WOW! That is no doubt obvious. But, still, it felt like I NEEDED to hear myself say those words. Aging seems to make life just a wee bit MORE capricious and uncertain! I do believe in planning as best I can. But there is no substitute for the ability to bounce — as in bounce back from adversity.

Just this morning, God, while reading our daughterʻs book Mango Days I read how she said, “Usually I bounce with the best, but I can’t always.” She had just talked about going in to her resident advisor’s room at Stanford when she needed to cry. And I thought that is the KEY to being able to bounce. Having some way to get help and comfort when we are NOT able to bounce.

We all need help, God. And BOY to I resist asking for help! What a fear we have of being needy and whinny and helpless! Well, the whinny part is perhaps optional. But needy and helpless are just part of life!

That brings up an important thought. Laurence Gonzales in his book Deep Survival talks about how experienced hikers often die when lost — but children under seven hardly ever die when lost. One key reason is that children do not know that they are lost. That spares them the panic that overcomes those old enough to know they are lost.

Somehow, God, our mental conceptual maps make an enormous difference on how we live and how we react to disasters and problems. I’m going for a walk and listening to The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes — and Why.  Then I shall ponder this whole topic some more.

Posted in Books, connecting, fears, Humility or Needing Help!, resiliency, social support networks

Thinking and Doing — Prevention!


Good Day, God!

Our dear son-in-law Dave has been on a Fat for Fuel eating plan for a few years now. He has returned to his Right Weight and has energy for those Tucson mountains he cycles up. Bravo!!! Iʻm working on it God. Like so many things in my life — I understand what a great idea it is! But getting concepts from my Brain to my Mouth, my Hand — and Food Choices –is taking a lot more time than I keep expecting.

What I am hoping is that Kit will join me on this eating plan. That would make it so much easier for me . . . and it would be good for both of us.

Yeah, Youʻre right, God, that IS wanting someone else to make it easier for me. Ok! I commit myself to going full bore! Doing it mostly has helped me lose 10 pounds. Now it is time to push on!

Another thing Iʻm guilty of — is SHARING ideas instead of just doing them. (It is the Mind thing again.) Sigh. Sheesh, God, whatʻs with all this personal improvement, today?

Just one more discovery about something I have started to practice: Not sitting for longer than an hour without getting up or moving around. Dr. Mercola has a couple of great blogs on the topic. One blog is on working intermittent movement into our work day. And the another is on the perils of sitting!

Thank goodness my “stand up desk” is working again so I CAN sit down at my desk now!

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Posted in connecting, decision making, healing, health, moving, Personal Checklists, Personal Responsibilty

Blogs I Follow
Brené Brown

chatting and sometimes, listening

Rachel Naomi Remen

chatting and sometimes, listening

A Moment with God

chatting and sometimes, listening

Sacred Dance Guild Journal

Since 1958 articles by members & guests offer news about activities, history, Sacred Dance practices, profiles of Sacred Dancers, choreography, images & illustrations.

Victoria Paulsen

How to Step In -- Substitute Teaching

Brené Brown

chatting and sometimes, listening

Rachel Naomi Remen

chatting and sometimes, listening

A Moment with God

chatting and sometimes, listening

Sacred Dance Guild Journal

Since 1958 articles by members & guests offer news about activities, history, Sacred Dance practices, profiles of Sacred Dancers, choreography, images & illustrations.

Victoria Paulsen

How to Step In -- Substitute Teaching