“See How You Are?”

Many years ago, my dear friend Kevin used to say to me… in a non-judgmental way, of course, “See how you are?” I think Kevin was trying to point out how I was being at the time, as well as trying to get me to be present long enough to see from a new perspective. Of course, it could have been something he said to everyone. Though it was probably that I was being annoying in some way at the time and he wanted me to notice so I could do something different. But, it did cause me to pause long enough to see how I was being in the moment; thus, creating some new awareness.

Since Kevin’s sudden passing, close to 30 years ago, Kevin’s Journey to the Light, I have always remembered that saying. He was the only person I ever heard say it. I liked it so much I started saying it as well, causing others to pause while looking at themselves too. Of course, it is always possible that they didn’t… but instead… just wondered about me or the question itself. That’s good too, even that may have created a new perspective and more awareness in the world.
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Changing Your Story…

“Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, the power to retell it, rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts.” – Salman Rushdie

If you are tired of telling the same old disempowering story about your life and want to tell a different tale, you have to be willing to change your interpretation of it. It’s as simple as changing your mind… and the results can be just as amazing. Are you game?

The Dash That IS Your Life

I once heard someone say that the dash between the date you were born and the date of your death IS your life. Looking at it from this perspective reveals a few things. For one, the dash is brief. Life may seem long when you are young, but the older you get, the faster it goes… and the more you understand how short it really is… and precious too.

Another thing – there is no information about the dash. It’s just a dash. However long we have inside this dash and what we do with it… is up to us. What will we do with the area between our birth and death that is our life?

Because lastly, when one has passed and the physical body is gone, the whole life of that person is distilled down to our memories of them. You see, the last physical evidence that we once existed IS what we leave in our place. It is the family with our DNA, the people we loved, knew and affected, our beloved pets, the things we owned, the photos we were captured in, the mark we made on the world, a grave marker with the date we were born, the date that we died and a dash in between… AND… hopefully some kind words to sum up how we and our whole life are remembered. This is what your dash is all about.

You see, being remembered is just that. Being RE-MEMBERED. Or in other words… being reconstituted in someone’s memory of you – who you were, how you lived your life and what you contributed to the world in which you lived. This is your legacy.

How will you be remembered? What will be said about your life? Did you make the world a better place in your stead?

It’s up to YOU! It’s your dash!

Something to think about.

In Loving Memory

Note: For a preview of how your final dash might be re-membered, see The Exit Interview

 

The Lens of Awareness

Last weekend, my friend shared with me a story from his past. As I thought about it later that day, I realized his story had some important insights to distinguish about awareness.

Back in the eastern states, where heating oil is routinely delivered to homes for winter warmth, the driver of an oil truck accidentally hit a dog in the street one day. You see, the dog ran through the same routine every time. The dog would run behind the truck, then, when the driver stopped the truck to make his delivery, the dog would run around to the front of the truck. The driver, who knew this dog’s routine of running to the front of the truck, would then, drive slowly and carefully away, in order to avoid the dog. My friend, who I will call Sam, wondered back then, how the driver, who always drove the same route, could have possibly hit the dog. “Wasn’t he paying attention?” Continue reading

Lessons From the Geese

… a message about working together.

As each bird flaps it’s wings, it creates an uplift for others behind him. There is 71% more flying range in V-formation than flying alone.
Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of common purpose can get there quicker.

Whenever a goose flies out of formation, it quickly feels the drag and tries to get back in position.
Lesson: It’s harder to do something alone than together.

When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies at the head.
Lesson: Shared leadership and interdependence give us each a chance to lead as well as opportunities to rest.

The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those in front to keep up their speed.
Lesson: We need to make sure our honking is encouraging and not discouraging.

When a goose gets sick or wounded and falls, two geese fall out and stay with it until it revives or dies. Then, they catch up or join another flock.
Lesson: Stand by your people in difficult times, as well as in good.

(Lessons from the Geese, was written in 1972 by Dr. Robert McNeish of Baltimore. Dr. McNeish, for many years a science teacher before he became involved in school administration, had been intrigued with observing geese for years and first wrote the piece for a sermon he delivered in his church.)

If we could all work together… just think about how much we could do, and how far we could go. The sky’s the limit when we’re united in cooperation!

Two Monks and a Young Woman

Two monks by artist Paul Davey

One day, two Buddhist monks were walking together back to their monastery. Their journey led them to a raging river. Sitting by the river’s edge was a young woman, alone and weeping, wondering how she would safely make her way to the other side.

Seeing the approaching monks and desperately needing help, she asked them if they would carry her across the river. Knowing it was forbidden for a monk to touch a woman, the younger monk kept on his way, ignoring all her pleas.

Without saying a word, the elder monk picked the woman up and carried her across the river. Leaving her safely on the other side, he and his companion continued on their way.

As the day went on, the elder monk walked in peace, as he enjoyed the beauty of the country side. The younger monk had an experience that was much different. In the silence of his mind, he brooded in disgust and condemned the elder monk for the vow that had been broken with this young woman.
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Preparing for Death/Life

“Normally we do not like to think about death.
We would rather think about life.
Why reflect on death?
When you start preparing for death you soon realize
that you must look into your life now… and come to face the truth of your self.
Death is like a mirror in which the true meaning of life is reflected.” ~ Sogyal Rinpoche ~

Looking at life through the lens of death is the process and journey of one who is about to look deeply into the core of the soul.

How fearful it first seems to look so completely inward. How fearful it first seems to look into the deep and dark places of the unknown. How fearful it first seems to face the truth before you.
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